Aurore from the Crowd

Composer/guitarist Bruce Arnold’s adventurous comprovisations, which straddle the line between jazz and so-called contemporary classical music, have led him down the path of uptown serialism in the past, e.g. a series of 12-tone heads on the appropriately titled trio CD A Few Dozen and even covers of Webern with the group Spooky Actions, although neither are your parents’ Darmstadt. On a new duo disc, his talents are paired with more downtown leaning Tom Hamilton, who for years has been responsible for the live sound processing of Robert Ashley’s music and whose own fascinating electronic compositions include a musical re-interpretation of a trading day at the London Stock Exchange. The results of this exciting collaboration, which pairs Hamilton’s synthesizer wizardry with Arnold on guitar and SuperCollider (a computer program for real time audio synthesis), yield music ranging from classic Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center soundscapes to grooves that share a remarkable kinship with the more spacey European prog-rock of the mid- to late 1970s—think Heldon or the trippier moments of Tangerine Dream. I know that Holger Czukay studied with Stockhausen, but I’ve always wished that Mario Davidovsky, Bulent Arel, and company would have hung out with Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, and John Cale—at one point they all were living on the same island after all—but it was up to the fertile creative minds of a subsequent generation to make the connection.


—FJO