XI 121: YPGPN
Many composers have been interested in the idea of making a piece of music by allowing one
sustained sound or noise to drone on and on with little change. Perhaps the most sensuous and lush drone pieces, however, are those of Phill Niblock. No one has ever made music anything like this.
YPGPN (Young Person’s Guide to Phill Niblock) is the long-awaited re-release of a 2 CD-set that was a joint production by the UK based Blast First label and The Wire magazine in 1995. It includes the following works:
Held Tones (1982-94) Barbara Held, flute; Didjeridoos and Don’ts (1992) Ulrich Krieger, didjeridu; Ten Auras (1994) Ulrich Krieger, tenor saxophone; Ten Auras Live (1994) Ulrich Krieger, tenor saxophone; A Trombone Piece (1978-94) James Fulkerson, trombone; A Third Trombone (1979-94) Jon English, trombone; Unmentionable Piece for Trombone and Sousaphone (1982-94) George Lewis, trombone and sousaphone
Phill Niblock and his music have been with us now for quite some time. In 1972 he guided an audience that had come to the New York venue the Kitchen for a concert of his compositions, to his loft... Now, some thirty years later, Niblock’s work continues to draw new audiences. What is extraordinary about this, is that the principles of his music have not changed much over the years; that with the long timespan covered by each piece and the sparseness of the musical material and its elaboration, one could be forgiven to think that it is at odds with contemporary hasty tastes. In fact, just because of that, it has the power to draw attention to itself. The apparently immobile string of tones that is basic to his compositions, has a singular mesmerizing quality.