Five 'Classical' Pieces That Blew Dan Deacon's Mind

Friday, August 17, 2012

The delirious, ecstatic music of composer-provocateur Dan Deacon stands alone. Though perhaps best known for his dance music — beat-heavy assaults of musique concrete, audience-triggered electronics and heavily manipulated acoustic instruments — the classically trained Deacon has also written extensively for chamber ensemble, film, and recently, orchestra.

Deacon's last album, the critically-acclaimed "Bromst" was released in 2009 and he's slated to release his next proper album, "America," via Domino Records later this month, but he hasn't been resting on his laurels in the interim. Instead, he's become a major player in the new-music scene, with world premieres at the Ecstatic Music Festival in both 2011 and 2012, performances at So Percussion's Summer Institute and the premiere of a John Cage-inspired piece at Carnegie Hall during last March's transcontinental American Mavericks festival.

We asked Dan to offer a Top 5 list of "classical" (any categorical boundary presented to someone who thrives in eclecticism as much as Deacon does require quotation marks) music pieces that blew his mind and changed the way he thought about music.

→Watch Dan Deacon's recent appearance on WNYC's Soundcheck

Top 5 "Classical" Pieces That Blew Dan Deacon's Mind
and Changed His Music-Making Trajectory

1. Conlon Nancarrow - Study for Player Piano No. 21 (Canon X)
2. Terry Riley - Poppy Nogood And The Phantom Band
3. Iannis Xenakis - ST/4-1,080262 
4. Meredith Monk - Turtle Dreams 
5. Raymond Scott - Portofino 2 

Produced by:

Hannis Brown and Kim Nowacki

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Comments [2]

Raul Nunez from NYC

Xenakis? Nancarrow? Be serious, now.....

Aug. 17 2012 10:23 PM

Well I have four out of five of these in my collection. Still need to incorporate some Meredith Monk into my regular listening. But I couldn't agree more on his observations of Xenakis who was the first to get me seriously excited about modern music. I much more recently got into the other three, and I'm very happy at his inclusion of Scott, who falls right through the categorical cracks but is, nevertheless, a vital link having employed Bob Moog and his dad in building proto-synths to his blueprint specifications (later it was Moog who inspired Wendy Carlos), and also inspired Bruce Haack.

Thank you Mr. Deacon for calling our attention to these works of musical genius. I hope we can hear more of all five on Q2 (especially the seemingly neglected Xenakis).

Aug. 17 2012 02:33 PM

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