France / USA, 1960, modern classical

Columbia Symphony Orchestra / Robert Craft / Edgard VarèseMusic of Edgar Varèse: Ionisation; Density 21.5; Integrales; Octandre; Hyperprism; Poème électronique

I learned about Varèse when I watched a Zappa interview a while ago and found out that Varèse’s music fascinated Frank from a young age as he sat amazed that music could sound like this. Perhaps it’s the title of the fifth track, but all this sounds like what music would be if it was white light that struck a prism, broken down into its beautiful, mysterious parts, making me wonder how it can be white when put back together again. There is a strong sense of deconstruction here. Also, I can’t believe “Poème électronique” was composed in the late 50s. All buttholes puckered.

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