DVD REVIEW: David Tudor- Bandoneon! (A Combine)

David Tudor Bandoneon! (A Combine)

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Having never taken acid, I don’t know if I can really appreciate the new DVD of avant-garde music in a theatrical setting by David Tudor entitled Bandoneon! (a combine) but its innovative experimentation is certainly interesting. The performance took place as part of “9 Evenings,” a collaboration between theater, music, and visual artists such as John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg with scientists from Bell Telephone Laboratories that took place in October 1966 at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan.

While the concept behind the piece is very interesting, the resulting video documentation is ambient and confusing without any real description of what’s taking place and the auditory sounds might be a good choice for next years Haunted House. The idea behind the piece is that the bandoneon, a musical instrument similar in appearance to the accordion, would by played by Tudor, a renowned pianist who often performed John Cage’s music, along with a Vochrome, a jacked core of reeds from a harmonium which is a reed organ, with microphones on radio controlled sculpture blocks and anyway I’m exhausted…so science and music is cool and confusing kids.

In conclusion, this very strange video put me to sleep after only four minutes but it’s clearly groundbreaking in some way which I cannot try to comprehend. I’m going to give it to the unshaven waiter at the local coffee shop because he’s weird and into ambient stuff but it might also be great for antisocial music PhD students or if you want to impress your really stoner friends.

Tim Needles

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