cover of Rhys Chatham - DIE DONNERGOTTER

This album by minimalist composer Rhys Chatham was released on vinyl by Homestead Records (distributed by Dutch East India Trading) in 1989; two members of the Band of Susans appear on the album. Robert Poss and Karen Haglof both play guitar on the title track.

Record Notes:

Guitar Trio (1977): Uses the natural overtones of the electric guitar as its primary melodic material. The overtones are elicited by flat-picking directly over various predetermined points on the fretboard of the guitar. A rhythmic tension is created by the symmetrical 4/4 meter of the right hand's flatpicking technique and the more ethereal rhythms of the overtones. Composed in 1977, Guitar Trio was the first musical composition to make use of multiple electric guitars to merge the extended-time music of the sixties and seventies with serious hard rock.

Waterloo, No. 2 (1986): Uses the familiar sound of the drum and bugle corps as its starting point, juxtaposing an exceedingly difficult snare drum solo consisting entirely of the basic standard drum rudiments with a permutation of the harmonic vocabulary and compositional technique of process music. Waterloo, No. 2 was commissioned by Petr Kotik for the S.E.M. ensemble in 1966.

Die Donnergotter (1984-1986): Which was composed over a two year period in New York City, is scored for sxi electric guitars in special tunings, electric bass, and drums. I developed the piece at Cornelius Conboy and Dennis Gattra's now legendary club, 8 BC, in the East Village. Beginning in 1982, I began my love affair with instruments of the brass family and felt a renewed interest in notated music. I had noticed that while some music is only possible to arrive at through the use of non-notated music, other music simply must be notated. I therefore decided to write a series of fully notated pieces for brass ensemble. After performing these pieces a number of times, I realized that the next step for me would be to use the techniques of notated music I had garnered from working with brass in the compositional process of making a major work for the guitar band. The result was Die Donnergotter. In addition to careful attention being paid to the overall sonority of the composite waveform of the guitars, a primary interest in the making of Die Donnergotter was the special emphasis and importance on its melodic content.

Sepcial thanks: The musicians on this album who spent two years helping me make Die Donnergotter, Elaine and Werner Dannheisser, Peter Gordon, Mary Griffin, Mimi Johnson, the Kitchen Center for Video, Music, and Dance, Sue Latham, Robert Longo, Elisa Marshall, Mass. Council on the Arts, Isabelle Marteau, Joseph Nechvatal, Alain Sinfurel, and Leopold Zappler.

Cover concept: Robert Longo
Cover image: A portion of "All You Zombies," a sculpture by Robert Longo
Cover photo: Brigitte Mayer
Album layout: Elisa Marshall

All compositions (c) 1987 Post Minimalist Music Publishing Co. (BMI)


Die Donnergotter, Waterloo No. 2, Guitar Trio