Review of The World’s Longest Melody by Larry Polansky, New World Records, 2010
The title of this cd, “The World’s Longest Melody”, would almost think of a composition by Phil Niblock with its lenght’s idea. But this is not, this CD, instead of a single long piece, contains eighteen different compositions, lasting from 4 seconds of “tooaytood 3” and about 17 minutes for “for jim, ben and lou”. Another important aspect is that virtually all of these compositions involve the constant presence of guitars, particularly the Belgian quartet ZWERM. In this cd, acoustic and electric guitars are organized for compositions both in small and large combinations, even some pieces, not originally conceived for our favourite instrument, are presented re-arranged for guitars. All of these works have as their main features exploring new experimental intonation techniques, combining and interacting with computer generated music and sounds, and new innovative ways to play guitar. What I find important to point out is Polansky’s original approach to composition, in particular I was pleasantly impressed by the “tooaytood” series, eight tracks, three of them rearranged by Toon Callier, characterized by very short durations, from four to seventeen seconds, making them similar to true aiku music, tiny miniatures of musical thought. I also like the booklet that accompanies the cd, with a nice essay by the musicologist Bob Gilmore.