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Barbara Morgenstern - Live

Few scenes in movie history capture the sense of urban alienation/melancholy/decay with the same palpability that the Pruitt-Igoe segment in Koyanisquatsi does. The helicopter hovering over abandoned buildings is quite an emotional sight in itself, but the score by Philip Glass amplifies the sense of desperation hanging in the air tenfold. As depressing as the footage is, it is also strangely captivating in its size and grandiosity.

Juist/Poose, the subject of today’s premiere, may not be tied to any specific event, but it certainly shares a thing or two with Koyaanisqatsi score (as well as Glass’s work in general). For one, there’s a similar melancholic undertow to the piece, brought on by the saxophone arrangements of Christoph Einzel and found video footage supplied by Petridisch.

The whole piece is also quite different from other work of Barbara Morgenstern I was introduced to through Fish Prints catalog. While her 90s work was beyond impressive, “Juist / Poose” (as well as the entire live album the piece is taken from) is an ambitious neo-classical/minimalist creation and a bold step outside of her comfort zone.

Live is out on December 27 via Fish Prints


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