Fifty in Two Thousand CD emc ball
Experimental Music Catalogue
experimental music since 1969

Fifty in Two Thousand: The First EMC Recording

Here's the EMC's first CD project: Fifty in Two Thousand by Christopher Hobbs.

Julian Cowley, writing in Wire Magazine, said:

Far from the "forbidding, hermetic" piece implied by his commentary, this quietly alluring music possesses the seemingly incidental beauty that can arise in music composed under self-enforced constraints. It does lean, as Hobbs remarks, "toward the meditative and uneventful", but the games it plays with time are constantly diverting. The electronic keyboard sounds at one moment like chiming clocks, at others like a giant toy piano. The percussion rings out potentially interminable patterns. The piano lilts and muses, illuminated by the glow of decaying notes. These elements are dovetailed expertly, following those preconceived procedures, and by the piece's end another potential hour and a quarter has taken on its singular shape.

Chris writes:

This recording of Fifty in Two Thousand marks a first in several respects. As far as the piece is concerned it is the first time I have written for prepared piano, the first time I have intentionally used five different compositional procedures in one piece, the first time I have written in variation form, and the first time I have written a work which is performer-specific (no one else can easily play the piece without using the particular instruments I wrote it for). As far as the recording is concerned, this disc is the first to be issued by the Experimental Music Catalogue.
hobbs cover
The piece, which plays continuously for 75 minutes, uses the sounds of piano, prepared piano, electric keyboard and percussion. There are 50 sections, each 90 seconds long, divided into five strands of ten variations each. These strands, labelled A B C D and E are arranged as you can see in the diagram above. The piece is basically quiet and contemplative and as such seems to lend itself particularly well to recording.

Chris Hobbs, Fifty in Two Thousand (EMC101)
Price: 10; postage and packing: 75p in Great Britain (contact us for foreign rates).
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