Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Unknown Public Naked (Music stripped down; solo improvisations and compositions).   up10 70'06"



This is a unique production, which explores some of the outer fringes of the musics of today. unknown public CDs come in plain brown boxes with several explanatory inserts, which provide comprehensive background information about each item. Some are complete works, the longest being 14½ mins (jeremy peyton jones's 18 guitars - lower case is obligatory in this new world!). It is, perhaps, like a sampler, but more interesting than the usual type. Playing it through over breakfast was very pleasurable.

This issue explores solitary music making at the end of the century, a time when 'the tiny, one-person studio is the norm, engineers and arrangers are all soloists now, sound has become a solitary art; musicians study soloist's disciplines the better to create with minimum means'. Many of the contributors are classically trained with impressive pedigrees and CVs but have also 'crossed over' into other musics. There will be much more of this in the coming decades.

On this CD you will hear several guitar compositions with variable electronic input, solos for voice, violin, double bass, saxophone, electric harp, and a synthesised Caruso. Most extreme are the Russian vyacheslav ganelin (one time member of the USSR composers' union) who improvises on piano, synthesisers and percussion all at once, and walter fabeck, whose own invention, the chromasone (a chrome & perspex structure played by flexing fingers in data gloves, moving hands around and tilting and rotating the instrument), has been reviewed in S&H, July 1999 (Private Viewing and Public Hearing).

Recording quality is excellent throughout, and you will hear some alluring and amazing sounds, such as you can hear too each week on the stimulating Radio 3 programme Mixing It. Presentation inside the cardboard box is fully professional. There are large photos of all the composers, and even a correspondence page at the end. Full details of the origins of each track are given, and from those I obtained D C Heath's The Rage, from which violinist Clio Gould's track here is taken (q.v. review of D C Heath's CD).

Unknown Public (which is closely associated with Joanna MacGregor's Sound Circus) is not available through retailers. It deserves to be much less unknown - for further information, email Laurence Aston, UP's publisher, at


Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

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