Peter Van Riper ‘Room Space’


01 Long Tones – Basel (2:03)
02 Loft Rehearsal – NYC (7:15)
03 Palazzetto Dello Sport – Bari (8:11)
04 Spazzio Dell’Arci – Bari (6:45)
05 Alpine Pasture (4:30)
06 Water Heater (24:20)
Bonus tracks:
07 Heart (from Acoustic Metal Music) (4:00)
08 Radio Interview (4:25)

Total time 60:01
LP released by VRBLU, NYC, 1981

Peter van Riper (†1998) was a US sound artist and saxophone player who often collaborated with performance artists such as choreographer, video or visual artists (see my Wikipedia article for more details).  This LP (presumably his 2nd) documents his Long Tones saxophone technique on side A and field recordings or found sounds on side B. Van Riper being used to the magic of reverberant spaces and resonant metallic objects, his saxophone playing retains some of these techniques. Long notes are emitted in large empty rooms, the player moving around the room and interacting with resonant waves, obviously listening to the echo as much as his own instrument. I’ve heard similar saxophone experiment from Swiss saxophonist Markus Eichenberger during the 1980s, especially in a cassette called Atemwerke or Breath Works. That’s what side A is about, breath works, with absolutely no hint at jazz music, by the way. Side B is pure sound art. Alpine Pasture is a recording of multiple cow bells, though presumably not recorded in the field. The sound is gorgeous and strangely reminiscent of Japanese temple bells – van Riper lived in Japan during the 1960s. It may or may not be part of the numerous Acoustic Metal Music van Riper created for installation artist Eugènia Balcells during the 1980s. Now ‘Water Heater’ is another matter altogether. It’s a straightforward recording of the composer’s New York flat water heater. The mesmerizing tiny, ambient sounds of the metal’s dilatation, the gas burner’s flame, the quiet humming make for a peaceful background music. The only equivalent I can think of is Japanese Sui Kin Kutsu music (see previous posts here and here). The VRBLU label was presumably Van Riper’s own imprint and this record can be considered a self-release. During the 1990s, Van Riper used to release his music on CDs without mentioning any label or publisher. As a bonus I’m adding a great track from The Aerial #4 cassette (1991) and an interview from a 1997 radio program.


7 Responses to “Peter Van Riper ‘Room Space’”

  1. 1 ankh February 9, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Dear Continuo, I’ve got special gift for you. Cheers !!!

  2. 2 continuo February 9, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Thank you so much! I was looking for Andrzej Dudek-Dürer’s music for a long time. Will report on your blog later.

  3. 4 enborRa February 15, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Uno se va bajando cosas de Continuo, y no comenta nada, al final quiero agradecerte por las entradas. gracias, mila esker.

    One things is going down steadily, and not commenting on anything in the end I want to thank you for the tickets. thanks, mila esker

  4. 5 continuo February 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    It’s indeed very nice from you to drop by, Mila. Gracias and thanks for the Google translation ;D

  5. 6 forked tongue February 16, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Thank you.

  6. 7 continuo February 16, 2009 at 7:18 am

    You’re welcome.

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