John Cale – At About This Time Mozart Was Dead And Joseph Conrad Was Sailing The Seven Seas Learning English (1967)

From Steinless Gamelan: Inside The Dream Syndicate Volume III by John Cale.

On the album’s longest work, “At About this Time, Mozart Was Dead and Joseph Conrad Was Sailing the Seven Seas Learning English,” at nearly half an hour for wollensack, viola, and guitar, tape edits are sliced into the mix, altering whole tones and creating intervals out of seeming half and semi-quavers. Interestingly, since the notion of the piece is to move ever upward, these cuts seem to create intervals of modulation where there were none. [source]

John Cale – Tape (Wollensak), Viola, Guitar

Sterling Morrison – Viola, Guitar

The track is recorded May 1967. Released on Table Of The Elements. © John Cale 1967.


John Cale – American Psycho (2000)

The soundtrack album released for the film is your typical “various artists” selection. There are a few score excerpts, but they’re voiced over by the titular psycho killer, Christian Bale, who, though f-f-f-far better than many narrators, is still an obstruction to my goal, which is hearing the goddamn John Cale score.

A-and it’s a hell of a score. It’s a little mushy in the late middle, but starts with a bang and ends the same way. The spirit of Bernard Hermann is here (notably on “The Men’s Room”) – unique for a Cale soundtrack. The piano figure on “The Ritual,” while rather unimaginative, is haunting for what’s done with it. On “Packing for Paul” Cale recalls his theme for director Mary Harron’s earlier film I Shot Andy Warhol. There’s a lot of rhythmic tension throughout – unlike some of his more meandering soundtracks, this is mostly a frenetic and tense experience.

When it slows and calms down, though, the effect is powerful – on “The Office,” for instance, the eastern-European-feeling horns give the piece an off-kilter nature that’s simultaneously threatening and laughable, while the Ligeti influences on “The Second Time”/”The Bloodbath – The Chainsaw” are more effective for being isolated. The churning strings on “The Police” and “The Wrong Building” lose me out of the context of the film, but the Eastern European folk intro of “The Confession” grabs me again.

The most striking track of the score is “The Day Planner” – the weird vocals (by the Mediaeval Babes) are creepy and beautiful, and the sudden appearance of voice has an impressive transformative effect on the soundtrack, allowing for a transition into the drone and serenity of “The End.” “American Psycho (Reprise)” provides a smirking, sprightly, sinister finish to it all. [Source]

01. American Psycho (3:20)

02. The Ritual (2:23)

03. The Alley (0:49)

04. The Vagrant -The Beauty Shop (1:35)

05. Packing For Paul (1:00)

06. The Answering Machine (0:12)

07. The Hooker (0:29)

08. The Coathanger (0:18)

09. The Men’s Room (1:00)

10. The Office (0:44)

11. The Date (1:31)

12. The Restaurant (0:29)

13. The Second Time (0:54)

14. The Bloodbath-The Chainsaw (1:24)

15. The Stray Cat (0:50)

16. The Police (0:56)

17. The Wrong Building (1:04)

18. The Confession (0:51)

19. The Next Day (1:07)

20. The Redecorated Apartment (0:24)

21. The Desk (1:18)

22. The Day Planner (0:53)

23. The End (1:14)

24. American Psycho (reprise) (2:46)