In the early 1900s, a group of American composers started experimenting with the basic formula of rhythm + pitch = music, hoping that simple sounds would produce beautiful outcomes. They wrote notes that repeated in a steady, hypnotic rhythm and pitch so that any unexpected notes would jolt the listeners. Minimalism was born.
Fast forward to today, and Florent Ghys is blending minimalism with pop music, sampled speech and humor. His work, described by Time Out New York as a “thrilling breed of post-minimalist chamber music,” has appeared on movie soundtracks, in Broadway shows and even computer applications.
The native of France is currently promoting his new solo album, “Télévision,” which he recorded in the bathroom of a New Hampshire art colony and his bedroom in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. With a video accompanying each piece, he explores classical forms, musique concrète, sampling and sci-fi. He also mixes alto double bass with applause, bass drum, editing, guitar, hair dryers, hand claps, hi-hat, Max programming, mouth hi-hat, piano, shakers, snare, solfège, video, voice and weather reports.
On August 9, Noguchi’s series will continue with JG Thirlwell, a composer/producer/performer who also works under the pseudonyms Baby Zizanie, Foetus, Hydroze Plus, Manorexia, Steroid Maximus and Wiseblood. He will present works for a string quartet.