Simon Reynolds is writing his 123rd article about Robert Haigh, the British late prog guy turned unlikely drum and bass star (as Omni Trio). I don't actually hate Haigh but it gets tiresome seeing every release receive special treatment when there's so much good music starving for decent criticism. I rarely look at The Wire, even though it covers its share of obscure material. Magazine profiles with exceptionally well-lit photos of musicians brooding in their studios are annoying -- just write about the work, please.
Speaking of The Wire, it published a playlist of Robert Haigh's favorite solo piano works, since he is now performing solo piano works in his latest career incarnation.
The list is below. Streaming versions of all these songs are on The Wire's website.
Wire Playlist: Robert Haigh
To accompany the release of his most recent solo album, the musician formerly known as Omni Trio has compiled a playlist of influential compositions for piano.
Frédéric Chopin “Nocturne No.1 In B Flat Minor” 0:05:50
Erik Satie “Gnossienne No. 3: Lent” 0:02:23
Chick Corea “Ballad For Anna” 0:02:31
Claude Debussy “Voiles: Préludes Book 1” 0:03:43
Harold Budd & Brian Eno “First Light” 0:07:08
Vladimir Cosma “Promenade Sentimentale” 0:02:33
Federico Mompou “Impresiones Intimas No. 8: Secreto” 0:02:30
Feldman “Triadic Memories: Page 34, System 3, Measure 4” 0:04:10
Roger Eno “Grey Promenade” 0:04:32
Wim Mertens “Struggle For Pleasure” 0:04:01
Philip Glass “Opening” 0:06:25
Bill Evans “Peace Piece” 0:06:44
This inspired a counter-list, not so much in opposition but to convey a different attitude one could have to solo piano (more fun, more tuneful, more diverse, more emotional).
Included are a couple of musicians that might set Reynolds' hair on fire -- it can only be hoped. Most of these soundfiles were found "on the internet," volume-adjusted, and posted here under the banner of MP3 blogging (fair use, for discussion purposes, no commercial intent, will remove if requested, etc etc).
Gertrude Orff, "Kleiner Klavierstücke, Heft I, No. 2" 0:31
Maurice Ravel "Le Tombeau de Couperin, I. Prelude" (performed by David Korevaar) 02:59
Nino Rota "7 Difficult Pieces for Children: The Ladders" 01:20
Randy Weston "African Village/Bedford Stuyvesant" 05:15
Philip Glass "Modern Love Waltz" (performed by Amy Briggs) 03:38
Carla Bley (transcribed and performed by Bruce Berrios), "Lawns" 01:38
Keith Emerson "Karn Evil 9, Second Impression" (performed by Rachel Flowers) 07:34
Liz Story "Myth America" 02:57
Steven Brown "Waltz" 01:28
Alice Coltrane "Prema" 06:11
Steven Brown is the keyboardist/sax player of Tuxedomoon; the above piece is from a collection of his mid-1980s piano music. Other names should be more or less familiar.