Monday, December 10, 2012

Polanyi - "Ongoing Resonance" LP (self-released)

When an LP arrives looking like a modern classical vinyl I might find at the back of the used record section, I'm immediately intrigued. Steven Wright is a composer/performer who's work as Polanyi is multi-layered and conceptual. His project named after Karl Polanyi** is noise scrape static boom crang. Sheets of sound (LOUD AS ALL GET OUT) recorded in a church, the "resonance" of the four compositions must have something to do with the people for whom the pieces are named after (you will have to research them individually, but from my quick search, they are all variants on freedom fighter/political-human rights activists, etc. etc.) The album is carefully thought out and obviously politically conscious. It is a tough listen, but for fans of atonal "serious" music, this is an interesting listening experience.

**(wiki:  a Hungarian economic historian, economic anthropologist and social philosopher known for his opposition to traditional economic thought and his book, The Great Transformation. Polanyi is remembered today as the originator of substantivism, a cultural approach to economics, which emphasized the way economies are embedded in society and culture. This view ran counter to mainstream economics but was popular in anthropology, economic history, economic sociology and political science. Polanyi's approach to the ancient economies has been applied to a variety of cases, such as Pre-Columbian America and ancient Mesopotamia, although its utility to the study of ancient societies in general has been questioned. Polanyi's The Great Transformation became a model for historical sociology. His theories eventually became the foundation for the economic democracy movement.

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