Werner Dafeldecker/Valerio Tricoli

Williams Mix Extended
Octophonic electro-acoustic diffusion28

Latin variations on John Coltrane’s work exist as does a raga-oriented version of “Take Five”. Symphony orchestra have turned to presenting entire programs of Beatles tunes or Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals to boost attendance and not a day goes by, it seems, that another Jazz ensembles doesn’t recasts the music of some revered so-called classical composer. Like the cartoon/graphic novel retelling of important novels these concepts seems perfectly respectable. So why shouldn’t serous music’s most iconoclastic seer have the same transmutation occur with his oeuvre? That’s what musician/ sound sculptors Italian Valerio Tricoli and Austrian Werner Dafeldecker do on this release.

Williams Mix Extended is an eight track, 32-minute unvarnished recreation and extension of “Williams Mix”, the four ninute-15 second electronic composition by John Cage (1912-1992) created in the early 1950s initially played on eight tape machines. What Tricoli– who usually creates on his own, and Dafeldecker, who as a bassist in bands such as Polwechsel – have done is to use Pro-Tools and other digital audio software to tweak and expand on “Williams Mix”, mixing in with the original recording approximately 2,000 different sounds they collected independently.

Transforming The Williams Mix from bagatelle to bountiful involves coming up with enough sonic packaging so that the restructured piece takes on a identity of its own. Emphasizing the orchestral range of the processed and mutated software-sourced sequences they created, the two tone scientists have turned a brisk creation that flashes by like the winning filly at a horserace, into a multi-sectional continuum at steeplechase length. With the four-part program undulating through a series of rubs, buzzes, hisses, pumps, whistles and clatters the sounds often move from clamor to silent pauses and vice versa, Some section are more watery and sedate and others punctuated with backward-tape running flanges, but all include enough fluctuations to call for close listening, even if sonic identification may be impossible.

Whether Williams Mix Extended is a corruption and or a regeneration of Cage’s composition and ideas is something for musicologists to debate. But considering that literally hundreds of versions of the works of Beethoven, the Beatles and Charlie Parker exist, it’s refreshing that some musicians go past treating works like these as if they are inviolable graven images. More recalculations of such modern classics can only add to the appreciation of their originality and their subsequent malleability.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Side A - 16:07 (Page 1-96) 1 8:24 2. Side A - 16:07 (Page 1-96) 2. 7:43 3. Side B - 15:59 (Page 97-192) 1 7:46 4. Side B - 15:59 (Page 97-192) 2 8:06

Personnel: Valerio Tricoli and Werner Dafeldecker (composition and creation)