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North Pacific Music

Gary NOLAND (b.1957)
Royal Oilworks Music

Prelude in E minor Op.34 (1979 revised 1993) [3.44]
Serial Lullaby Op.80/1 (2005) [5.41]
Spray Taint Op.80/2 (2005) [7.24]
Dog Duo Op.66 (2002) [3.41]
Ragbones Op.11 (1977 revised 1988) [4.27]
Grey Malignant Banks Op.80/3 (2005) [5.16]
My Babe’s Gone Down To Do Her Glue Op.80/4 (2005) [6.32]
Royal Oilworks Music Op.80/5 (2005) [5.17]
Prelude and Zootrot Op.22 (1991) [2.47]
Something Rotten Op.80/6 (2005) [4.52]
Music is Dead: A Paradox in Fugue Op.53 (2001) [4.19]
Dreadmill Op.37 (1994) [6.35]
Deformed Fugue Op.17 (1977 Revised 1990) [1.51]
Insurrection of the Office Slaves Op.80/7 (2005) [7.27]
Psycho-Bacchanal Op.80/8 (2005) [3.54]
All compositions performed by Gary Noland
No recording details
A look at the head-note will alert you to Gary Noland’s very personal way with words. Not for Noland the lures either of Olympian detachment or lower case “significance.” No, Noland is full-on and takes few linguistic prisoners. Similarly with the booklet artwork, Noland’s own, which is an example of crazed Robert Crumb à L’Africaine. And his music is much the same, Deformed Fugue, his 1977 piece for harpsichord summoning up pretty nicely his compositional stance. This is an elixir brewed of Couperin and Rameau, Scott Joplin, Bach, free funk, free Jazz (Cecil Taylor?), the Fugue, and an unholy alliance of straight sounding neo-classicism and its subsequent assault by the forces of percussive militancy.
Noland may actually be a romantic but doesn’t want you to know. His Prelude is baroque-convincing though attended by some sour-ish off notes but he follows it with Serial Lullaby, a synthesiser-rich free funk piece that mocks its own title. Spray Taint gives us assaulted baroque, the percussion blizzards full of jazz offbeat and whoop-bang noises (plus telephone rings and disco inferno). He subjects Ragtime to the same souring procedures as he does to his off-note harpsichord baroque and evokes a drugs fix (in My Babe’s Gone Down To Do Her Glue) with some haywire free form. He writes a American fanfare for the title track and subjects it to anti-Bush assault by bird song and drum blister.
His quixotic sense extends to opus numbers – the bowels of Op.80 are scattered throughout the disc, and to instrumentation as well. I assume he makes all the noises, both pianistic and harpsichord synthesised and vocalised. He’s a veritable one-man band of off-kilter influences, the procedural repetition of which sometimes got me seriously down, though I did like his Swingle Sisters take-off on Music is Dead: A Paradox in Fugue.

Jonathan Woolf 


North Pacific Music



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