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Lunar Rambles MP3 by Terry Fox (circa 1977)

The hovering sounds of Terry Fox‘s “Excerpts from Lunar Rambles” (MP3) will strike many as otherworldly, and when their source material is revealed, they may appear, to the contrary, all too familiar. These slowly cycling sounds, rich in overtones, were made not by visiting UFOs but by an artist working “a metal bowl and steel plow disk.” But even with that fact sheet, it’s informative to take into consideration the date of the recording: April 1977. Long before today’s ubiquity of contact-mic performance sound and remixed field recordings, Fox was experimenting with a minimalism that had as much to do with its raw materials as with its pulsing, rhythmically informed, melodically-untethered music.

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The following images are stills of Fox performing variations on the piece in the videos Lunar Rambles: Canal Street (left) and Lunar Rambles: Brooklyn Bridge (right), released in 1976 and available from eai.org.

Fox passed away in 2008. This audio recording, made available as part of the holdings at ubu.com, was broadcast on radio station KPFK in Los Angeles on the show Close Radio on April 25, 1977. More on Close Radio, founded by John Duncan and Neil Goldstein (and organized by Duncan, Paul McCarthy, Nancy Buchanan, and Linda Frye Burnham), at getty.edu.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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2 Comments

  1. [ Posted September 14, 2009, at 6:04 pm ]

    there will be a memorial concert for terry in cologne october 9, with a lot of good folks performing. i unfortunately will not be there, but am sending a “tape work” to be played that night. my piece for the upcoming soundwalk in long beach is also related to terry’s work. i was lucky enough to meet him a few times, and his work was an absolute inspiration, and continues to be. great for you to feature him, as the electronic music community seems not to know much about him, and they should. there’s info on the cologne event here: http://www.recalling-terryfox.de

  2. [ Posted September 14, 2009, at 6:50 pm ]

    Thanks for that additional information, Steve. Much appreciated. The Fox piece seems to have attracted attention here on Disquiet in particular due to the early stage at which he was exploring the mode of sound that he focused on. I look forward to reports from people who attend or participate in the October 9 event.

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