Paul Dresher & Neal Rothenberg – Untold Story: The Edge of Sleep

Created with a mixture of tape loops, acoustic bass, percussion, and a Japanese instrument known as a Shakuhachi, Untold Story: The Edge of Sleep is part two of a five part composition by Paul Dresher and Neal Rothenberg on their Opposites Attract record from 1991. Both artists were classically trained in composition, though Rothenberg has been influential in the free improvisation school. Both draw on both the Western canon as well as non-Western influences like the Shakhuachi (played by Rothenberg) and Gahanian percussion and Hindustani classical music, which Dresher studied after studying composition under the influential electronic composer Pauline Oliveros. The record was released by New World Record, which aims to release the work of American composers who find difficulty realizing their work through commercial labels. The story of how the label started is pretty sweet:

The company was founded with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation with a mandate to produce a 100-disc anthology of American music encompassing the broadest possible spectrum of musical genres. This set of recordings, together with their extensive liner notes, provides a core curriculum in American music and American studies. In 1978 the Anthology was completed and distributed free of charge to almost 7,000 educational and cultural institutions throughout the world.

Dresher has not released anything since 2004, while Rothenberg has remained prolific throughout the 1990s and 2000s. His most recent release was entitled World of Odd Harmonics, which was put out by the avant garde label Tzadik.

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