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Philip Perkins - JPop.com
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Philip Perkins

Philip Perkins

Philip Perkins


From http://continuo.wordpress.com Philip Perkins was born in 1951 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. During the first half of the 1970s he made numerous experimental films in Eugene, Oregon before relocating to San Francisco in 1977. Starting 1979, he focused on sound engineering and music, yet still making videos for local bands The Residents, Tuxedomoon or MX-80, for instance. Like two other Perkins audio works of the time (The Rosetta Stone and Hall of Flowers) Read more on Last.fm
From http://continuo.wordpress.com Philip Perkins was born in 1951 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. During the first half of the 1970s he made numerous experimental films in Eugene, Oregon before relocating to San Francisco in 1977. Starting 1979, he focused on sound engineering and music, yet still making videos for local bands The Residents, Tuxedomoon or MX-80, for instance. Like two other Perkins audio works of the time (The Rosetta Stone and Hall of Flowers), ‘Drive Time’ was conceived as an alternative radio program, an interest Perkins further developed in later radio projects featuring live musicians and electronics, like ‘South Florida Remote’, ‘San Francisco Remote’ (both 1988), and ‘Berkeley Remote’ (1989).

For more information on these, read Philip Perkins 1989 interview with H23 magazine No 1, Spring 1989 here. ‘Drive Time’ is a collection of audio vignettes encompassing recordings of various human leisure and outdoor activities (conversations, Christmas party, funfair, mechanical piano, outdoor orchestral music, muzak, geese, gulls, rain, etc), interweaved with keyboard and guitar music, in addition to what Perkins calls ’simple musique concrete tricks’. The final mix, an elaborate audio survey of contemporary human activities, shows Perkins’ mastering of studio techniques, clever arrangements and melodic skills. ‘Eastchester Parade’ recalls Tony Schwartz’s own fondness for street parades, while on ‘Mechanical Piano Parade’ the piano conjures up a frolicking Buster Keaton surrounded by joyous geese.

Imagine The Residents toying with field recordings for one of their concept albums (minus the buffoonery), except Philip Perkins’ melodies are far more refined and his arrangements more complex. The brilliant sound crafting recalls fellow San Franciscans Rhythm And Noise (Naut Humon, Nik Fault, Rex Probe) and the peerless technique of ‘Chasms Accord’ (1985). But Perkins doesn’t focus on electronic, and keyboards are just an element in a well balanced mix of acoustic instruments, synth loops and location recordings. Quite an achievement, actually. From http://www.scaruffi.com/oldavant/perkins.html La musica di Philip Perkins (un tecnico del suono per le colonne sonore, che ha lavorato anche con i Residents e ha diretto alcuni films) e' episodica ma non casuale, naif ma non banale, gentile ma non rilassata, lenta ma non statica.

Il suo soggetto favorito e' il mondano, nel senso di rumori di sottofondo uditi durante la giornata. Perkins compone sinfonie per suoni del vicinato: Apartment Life (1975-80) e' un'opera di suoni ambientali (passi, squilli di telefono, servizi del telegiornale, frullatori, grilli, pioggia e cosi' via) trattati elettronicamente (risonanze, modulazioni, disturbi radio, nastri rallentati), vasto affresco di vita americana, spesso allietato da accostamenti comici che riflettono peraltro la complessita' della folla urbana. Molto piu' cupo e meno realista, Neighborhood with a Sky contiene le quattro Bird Variations per suoni orrendamente deformati, il mantra elettronico The Fountain, il sofferto richiamo di jungla alla Hassell di Rico In The Birdhouse e la gag melodica The Black And The White Cat. King Of The World, che si avvale anche di un sintetizzatore, evolve verso una forma di musica concreto-ambientale dai toni arcaici e Drive Time, pensata come musica per recarsi al lavoro in auto, e' una sequenza di "imitazioni" di musica di strada, sketch pubblicitari e rumori quotidiani. Se Hall Of Flowers e' un'altra suite concreta di suoni "trovati", Pacal ricostruisce sonoramente la vita di un re Maya basandosi sugli oggetti reperiti nella sua tomba, e Flame Of Ambition e' una raccolta a tema di canzoni e strumentali che prendono di mira il mondo degli affari.

Rosetta Stone mescola suoni senza significato e parole del linguaggio, simulando il modo in cui i bambini riescono a distinguere gli uni dalle altre, mentre il suo retro, Horizontal, e' una suite melodica degna della new age. Perkins fu a suo tempo il massimo realista della musica concreta. I suoi collage di rumori erano le apoteosi della civilta' del rumore, e pertanto si situavano all'estremo opposto dei pastiche bucolici di Alvin Curran. Perkins non aveva pretese polemiche o ricette taumaturgiche: si limitava a fotografare la citta', togliendo agli eventi qualunque referente possibile. In the 1990s, Perkins formed the duo Bifurctors with Scott Fraser that released Gang Of Two (Artifact, 2004). If English is your first language and you could translate this text, please contact me. Scroll down for recent reviews in english. Perkins has also composed several electronic pieces: South Florida Remote (1988), Berkeley Remote (1989), San Francisco Remote, etc. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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