Music Review: Method Music

Significant and mysterious, this collaboration between the who's Pete Townshend, NH's Bob Lord and composer/programmer Lawrence Ball is like the matrix set to music.



If there's madness in this Method Music, it's the type experienced by John Nash made famous in the book "A Beautiful Mind." The tracks reverberate with signals that plumb the music of the spheres for mathematical asymmetries. Composer Lawrence Ball writes, in the liner notes, "I hope the listener feels as if held in a sonic cradle, watching an intricate musical mobile."

But that's just a piece of the puzzle. The rest is rooted in the very history of rock 'n' roll, grafting into a lifelong project of seminal rocker Peter Townshend called "Lifehouse." It started as a film script he wrote for Universal Pictures that was never made but music from that project appeared in some of Townshend and The Who's most memorable songs, like "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Baba O'Riley."

Ball's work is not an attempt at fulfilling those musical statements for Townshend, but rather to lay a foundation for something far more ambitious and abstract: a system of sound that adapts to an individual and produces a tailor-made piece of music based upon one's personal data. This concept was a key plot point in Townshend's original Lifehouse script and, over the years, it's turned into a kind of musical quest for him.

To achieve this latest staging area in his mission, Townshend and Ball partnered with NH producer Bob Lord and released the double CD on Lord's Navona Records.

Intrigued? Confused? The CD cover says, "For further exploration, place disc one in your computer or visit navonarecords.com/methodmusic."

A fine madness, indeed.

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