Charlemagne Palestine
Strumming Music
(Shandar, 1974)

Charlemagne Palestine | Strumming Music album cover

Long considered a masterful display of pure, unadulterated minimalism, “Strumming Music” is calm for about a minute or two of its album-length running time. The rest is off to the races, with Charlemagne Palestine whipping his Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano into a frenzy without the safety net of notation or a proper game plan. The contemporary artist/composer reaches for the heavens and stays there instead, making this a nice substitute for coffee in the morning—a pulsating blur of abject beauty. When minimal gets maximal.