Review

La Monte Young

Dream House 78’17”

Superior Viaduct • 1974

»Dream House 78’17”« is music history incarnate. By the late 1960s, the Theatre of Eternal Music’s multimedia shows in light artists Marian Zazeela’s loft in New York had become legendary. Before concentrating on the Velvet Underground, John Cale was their violist. On »Dream House 78’17”«, you can hear Jon Hassell, who would later coin the term »Forth World Music«. However, its foundation was provided by Zazeela’s husband, the minimalist composer La Monte Young. The album’s first half consists in 39 minutes of entangling Hassell’s trumpet, a trombone, singing with three sine-wave generators. Their deliberate interplay is beautifully modulated, hypnotic – and incredibly whimsical. The ensemble makes their instruments hum like a swarm of bumblebees. In comparison, the second track is tailored to give neighbors anxiety. »Drift Study« solely consists of molecular variations of sinewaves. They only come into their own when the album is played at a deafening volume. (The weekly »Village Voices« once reported that Young’s shows were so loud »the audience screamed the National Anthem and any other obscenities to induce a termination of proceedings«.) Yet, »Dream House 78’17”« feels surprisingly three-dimensional, even compared to contemporary drone artists like Kali Malone or Sarah Davachi. It promises a rewarding listen for a anyone with a passing interest in minimalism.