Frank Pahl - Music for Architecture & Little Bang Theory 

You never, ever imagined you’d hear Ennio Morricone played this way

One of the darker pieces from Little Bang's disc was playing somewhat distantly in the background at work and a colleague's ears perked up. Hmm? Is that something new from Tom Waits? And a little later, someone walked into my office, where Pahl's solo disc was playing, and asked if this was a record of lullabies. Nice music for putting kids to bed, right? Detroiter Pahl has a thing for certain kinds of sound palettes. On Music for Architecture he plays John Cage's circa 1940 invention, the prepared piano; nuts, bolts and other odds and ends are wedged between strings and ... voila, it's a new instrument. With Pahl at the helm here, think Balinese gamelan masters meeting Philip Glass in a music box. Little Bang (Pahl plus Terri Sarris and Doug Shimmin) has a similar tintinnabulation going with the members showing that toy instruments — with the odd wordless vocals and Class-A whistling — can be more than kids' stuff. Ever imagine you'd hear Ennio Morricone played this way?

More by W. Kim Heron

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