Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse

XI 104CD XI 104CD

1991 release. Guy Klucevsek is teaching the accordion to whoop and wheeze in strange new ways. Once condemned to drunken requests for "Who Stole the Kishka" and "The Happy Wanderer," this virtuoso now plays deconstructed, reconstructed art songs and dance tunes, translated into a metalanguage of his own making. His is a musical Esperanto fashioned from hocketed melodies, giddy with arabesques; Henry Cowell-style tone clusters; the eerie difference tones of "acoustic phenomena" composer Pauline Oliveros; the hypnotic phasing and locomotive ostinatos of early minimalism; low-register drones punctuated by high-register yips, in a manner reminiscent of Scottish bagpipe and Bulgarian accordion music; dark, György Ligeti-ish sound clouds, lit from within by lightning-like melodic flickerings; the metric modulations of Elliot Carter; a Morton Feldmanesque sense of grand gestures, and of microscopic movements; an appropriation aesthetic shared with John Zorn and other New York avant-gardists; and a rollicking, roisterous energy borrowed from dance forms and folk music the world over. In Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse, Klucevsek gives us a postmodern conundrum: dance music informed by avant-garde styles designed to be listened to in a straight-backed chair, wearing starched duds and too-tight shoes; art music enlivened by dance musics best appreciated while slipping and sliding over sweat-slick floors. It is, refreshingly, a holistic postmodernism rather than an explosion in the Toontown sound-effects department. The identities of the Slavic, South American, and American idioms from which the composer draws inspiration are preserved, while the twentieth century classicism that is his anchor remains unshakable. Ensemble pieces for strings, percussion, guitars, and woodwinds on Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse feature Bobby Previte, Tom Cora, David Hofstra, John King, Laura Seaton, and more.