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"Stay on It" by Julius Eastman

Updated: May 22, 2022

Album: Stay on It

Artist: Julius Eastman

Sub-Genres: #ModernClassical

Label: WE1

Non-Airable Tracks: n/a

Reviewing the music of Julius Eastman is a hard thing to do, let me tell ya.

There are extremely easy ways to categorize Eastman on the surface.

“Boring, too long.”

“Cool ideas here and there, but not much substance.”

“I can appreciate this, but I won’t be listening to it again.”

“Oh, a huge grouping of some sick minimalism work. Thanks for finding this!”

But, no. Alas, I think if you’d like to describe Eastman to anybody, these few words and

phrases just aren’t going to cut it.

“Eastman chooses his notes deliberately and effortlessly - a constant, non-stop fluttering of pitches, with sheet music that seems to cascade off of the paper itself. An ever so dull ache in the back of the head, personified on sharp, jittering passages that seem to both grip and push away at the listener. And when the smatterings become light and airy, there is a break of sorts, when major keys start to pop up, bookended by violent minor skirmishes.”

All of those random ass words are to tell you that this music is not for one who wants to write about it. Not all art can be broken down in such ways.

Instead, think back to a time in your life when you didn’t have any single trouble in the world. It’s hard to do, am I right? That’s how it feels to listen to Eastman, God among men. You feel every weight lifted off of your shoulders, and you sink deeper and deeper into the effervescence of his work, no place from which to escape except the dark recesses hidden within the meaning of each piece.

Congratulations, you are now one with the music.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Color: Red, Orange, Brown, Yellow

Sounds Like:

  1. Philip Glass

  2. Steve Reich

  3. Morton Feldman

Recommended Tracks:

  1. ​The Holy Presence of Joan d'Arc

  2. Stay on It

Reviewer’s Name: Trey Cardi

Date of Review: 03/31/22

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