all out of ink, inc.
The trail which led – for me – ultimately to İlhan Mimaroğlu begins with a stark one colour caricature of Mingus by Greg Condon. \”Changes One\” and \”Two\” – recorded in NYC in December, 1974, with Don Pullen on piano; George Adams on tenor sax; Jack Walruth on the horn – are variously celebrated as a high, or derided as elevator music climbing only so far as a wedding planner schmoozing in the honeymoon suite of an uptown hotel. The last position is thoroughly strange when one considers that much of the content from these two sessions was informed by the Attica Prison Riots of 1971, mitigated only marginally by allowing that both albums were produced by Turkish electronic avant-gardist, İlhan Mimaroğlu. For some, the blame lies not with the featured composition or performance, but the veneer and polish of the final Atlantic release. In short, those essential qualities Mimaroğlu brings to bear in consenting to channel the muscular Mingus at the top of his game. Born in Istanbul in 1926 and educated at Lycée of Galatasaray, Mimaroğlu \”studied in the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Center under Vladimir Ussachevsky\” after his move to the US in the 60s. In 1971 he collaborated with Freddie Hubbard on the critically acclaimed \”Sing Me a Song of Songmy: a Fantasy for Electromagnetic Tape\”. For his part, Mimaroğlu was rewarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. One assumes Mingus was himself impressed; there is no record that the decision to draft Mimaroğlu into service on \”One\” and \”Two\” was anything bar consensual. Beginning in earnest in 1964 – with \”Bowery Bum\” (after an ink drawing by Jean Dubuffet, executed 12 years earlier) – Mimaroğlu\’s experimental compositions are simultaneously linear; collaged; perplexing. Founding the Finnadar label in 1973 as a conduit for both acoustic arrangements and his continuing experiments in stereo and quadraphonic sound, Atlantic bought over distribution of his back catalogue in 1981. \”Musique Noires\”, released in 1983, compiles – so far as I can gather – earlier \”tape parts realized in the studios of Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center\” overdubbed with traditional instrumentation and voice. In the following instance, with cello by Charles McCracken. There. I just thought I\’d hurl out a curved ball.