Philip Perkins ‘Neighborhood With A Sky’


01 Bird Variations #1 (2:15)
02 Bird Variations #2 (2:23)
03 Bird Variations #3 (2:58)
04 Bird Variations #4 (3:50)
05 The Black And White Cat (3:05)
06 Este’s Request (4:33)
07 The Fountain (8:38)
08 Equinox Weather (2:48)
09 Rico In The Birdhouse (5:41)
10 Retreat (5:30)

Total time 41:39
LP released on FUN Music, Albany, CA, 1982

A rare example of American musique concrète, ‘Neighborhood With A Sky’ was Philip Perkins‘s first LP release on his own Fun Music label, after several cassettes including ‘Apartment Life’ (1980) and ‘Tapeworks 1975-80’ (1981) and a 7” titled ‘Tool’s Paint’ in 1981.The label was founded by Scott Fraser, David Ocker, ‘Blue’ Gene Tyranny and Perkins in 1979. For more info on Philip Perkins, see previous post. The LP is a collection of magnificent musique concrète miniatures based on massively processed location recordings. The effects (pitch modification, speed change, reverb, phasing) are so generously applied it is sometimes hard to identify the sound source. The latter includes a purring cat, water, clock mechanism, birds, construction noises (or street cleaners?), . . . Some synth and electronic effects are added here and there, merely enhancing the poetic and magical sound effects of some tracks. The music is very focused but un-dogmatic. Other examples of US musique conrète composers I can think of include John Wiggins and Richard Lerman, but not much more.


10 Responses to “Philip Perkins ‘Neighborhood With A Sky’”

  1. 1 Harps April 25, 2009 at 2:35 am

    This looks great! Thank you very much.

  2. 2 twinkle April 25, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    If the heavy processing of musique concrète material is not discounted, my favorite American musique concrète artist is Minóy.

    check out:

  3. 3 twinkle April 25, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Randy Greif might also qualify, but he really pushes recorded and sampled sound to the representational limit.

  4. 4 continuo April 25, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Hi Harps. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you’ll enjoy the music.
    Hi Twinkle. The Minoy track you pointed to is great. Feel free to recommend any additional recording I shall investigate in the field. I would not go as far as to include Boyd Rice, though.
    The musique concrète definition is rather self-limiting (and is all the more powerfull for it): a found sound and a sound treatment. You don’t often get as dogmatic as that in the US.

  5. 5 twinkle April 26, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Though good, Rice does not produce the same degree of enchanting indeterminacy I so enjoy in Minoy.

  6. 6 twinkle April 28, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    How about non-American John Armleder? It would be so nice to see John Armleder blogged.

  7. 7 continuo April 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Well, though he was featured on a few Tellus tapes, Armleder is basically a visual artist, hence a little out of this blog’s scope. Are you sure you want to call him “non-American”? You know, there’s nothing wrong with being European or even, for that matter, Swiss ;D

  8. 8 Poseur, Rome May 4, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    FANTASTIC! i searched his material since a long time, thanks!

  9. 9 s. borges September 5, 2009 at 1:00 am

    I have this record – bought it when of its original release via Subterranean Records, in SF, CA. Although very interesting, I do prefer Perkin’s “King of the World” – not necessarily music concrete, but quite interesting. Flame of Ambition is also another very good release by mr. Perkins. If anyone is interested, I may upload this somewhere.

  10. 10 continuo September 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I would be very interested by ‘Flame of Ambition’ for a possible post. Feel free to upload it and offer the link here or to my mail address:
    Thanks for dropping by.

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