Frozen Reeds


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Recorded live on Wednesday, November 6, 1974 at Composers Forum in Albany, The Arts Center on the Campus of the Academy of the Holy Names, Albany, New York.

Performed by the S.E.M. Ensemble. Recorded by Steve Cellum. Tape transferred by Garry Rindfuss.

With liner notes and then some by Mary Jane Leach. Mastered by Jim O'Rourke at Steamroom. Design by Antoine Verhaverbeke. Cover by Andrew Roth: »Untitled (Julius Eastman)«, c.1980.

"This is the premiere release of Julius Eastman's Femenine, for chamber ensemble. It is the work's only known recording, documenting a 1974 performance by the S.E.M. Ensemble (with the composer on piano) which has lain unheard for decades. The music of Julius Eastman (1940-90) is enjoying an on-going period of rediscovery. Known best in the past for his work with figures like Peter Maxwell Davies, Arthur Russell and Meredith Monk, today his own formidable compositions draw increasing admiration. Joyous, insistent, and immersive, Femenine bathes the listener in surges of tonal colour from intertwining winds, piano, violin, pitched percussion, synthesizer and uniquely the composer's own invention of mechanised sleigh bells, which provide the 72-minute piece with its characteristic pulse. Illuminating sleeve notes are provided by composer and author Mary Jane Leach, who is co-editor of Gay Guerrilla, the recently released collection of essays on Eastman's life and music. Recorded by Steve Cellum co-producer of Arthur Russell's World of Echo and mastered by Denis Blackham."