The digital revolution has produced at least two distinct schools of aesthetic thought. One seizes on the sampler’s capacity to zip through and assimilate vast quantities of diverse information; the other uses the computer to examine minuscule flecks of material in meticulous detail. If the first school is epitomized by the pastichery of John Oswald, the second finds elegant articulation by the minimalia of Carl Stone. A native of Los Angeles, Stone has been quietly developing his approach to electroacoustic composition since the predigital 70s, but it was the rich, layered pieces on his 1991 CD Mom’s (New Albion) that brought him greater international attention. (A new record, Carl Stone, is reportedly out on the Em:t label.) Stone likes to take short sections of extant music or recorded sound and, as he puts it, “turn them inside out,” specifically by using his Macintosh to loop, superimpose, stretch, multiply, echo, and otherwise toy with the music’s DNA; he manages to use repetition without lapsing into redundancy. The piece “Mom’s” actually moves somewhat in Oswald’s direction by hop-skip-and-jumping around a Javanese pop track–it’s a reminder that Stone once utilized good old-fashioned turntables for his sampling needs. “Sing Kee,” on the other hand, digitally scrutinizes the tiniest molecule of a Schubert lied–as sung by a Japanese pop singer. Though Stone’s music is decidedly on the pleasant side–pretty, even–it has a subtly subversive undercurrent. Friday, 8 PM, Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe, 2827 N. Lincoln; 773-327-6666.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Carl Stone.