Anthony Moore

Reed Whistle & Sticks

P-Vine • 1972

Whatever British musician Anthony Moore can be accused of, label fraud is not one of them. His 1972 album »Reed Whistle & Sticks« consists of two tracks of the same name, which is what they sound like: If someone dropped a pencil holder on a windy day in a post-apocalyptic scenario (including a cry of anger about it), it would sound the same. Which, admittedly, doesn’t read like the best soundtrack for an upbeat day. But the now 74-year-old Moore managed to bring order to this sound through loops and structures. Which fascinates within seconds. Because you cannot make out the order. The rhythm apparently repeats itself, but the question is where and when exactly? As an avant-garde album, »Reed Whistle & Sticks« is one of the more listenable works in the genre. Nonetheless, that doesn’t make it any more accessible. Just like the sticks and timbers that constantly keep falling, knocking against each other, Anthony Moore shifts the patterns on this album. A chime adds to the confusion, its appearance seeming even more random. In the background, something barely discernible is howling; it seems to be the wind whipping at the window. Thus Moore’s sound continues to trigger a pleasant unease, a malaise to this day, precisely because it is great art, because we allow ourselves to be fooled by our pattern recognition, by our desire for cause and effect. Moore thereby leads us into a world that is music and yet is not. A challenge even 50 years after its release.