Studio Néau


In Liminal Spaces – Angus MacLise

10.09.2023 10.40

When Angus MacLise decided to leave the Theatre Of Eternal Music in 1964, its founder La Monte Young needed to rethink the group’s concept. The avantgarde composer had formed it three years earlier to develop his idea of dream-chord music, and MacLise’s sparse, somewhat absent yet precise drumming had become an essential part of it. In addition to the Haitian, medieval and jazz techniques MacLise already knew, he left New York City to study the ethnic percussion traditions of Morocco – on the spot.

It was not only musical aspects that MacLise appreciated about other cultures. At the age of 19, in 1957, he had discovered Buddhism and developed an intense personal relationship with this philosophical tradition and its rites. This is probably why trance became an important aspect in his sound works, which often seem like journeys.

MacLise never released a record, but has collaborated with many artists, including The Velvet Underground (which he left before the first release), John Cale, Jack Smith or Tony Conrad. A variety of these interventions and his solo works were recorded on tape. Unfortunately, MacLise left no notes on these recordings, and they were not released until almost 20 years after his untimely death at the age of 41 in Kathmandu in 1979.

Angus MacLise was a connecting link between Beat culture, New York City’s art scene and the hippies. 

78 minutes with nine pieces by the enigmatic artist who has made a name for himself as a drummer, composer, poet and calligrapher.

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