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ARTIST
TITLE
552 Steps Through 11 Pairs Of Strings
FORMAT
2LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
ET 628-07LP ET 628-07LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
7/14/2017

When Terry Fox went from San Francisco to Europe in 1972, he discovered the great pavement labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral. It consists of 11 concentric rings with 552 steps and 34 turns leading to the center. The discovery of the labyrinth became a revelation to him: He saw it as a metaphor for his own life, the numbers of rings and turns corresponding to cycles of health and sickness he had undergone. Thus, he decided to base all of his works until 1978 on the labyrinth. These include two major sound works, one of which -- The Labyrinth Scored For The Purrs Of 11 Cats -- was later released on cassette (1989) and LP (2009), while the other has remained unreleased so far. 552 Steps Through 11 Pairs Of Strings was a performance made in Fox's loft in San Francisco on August 14, 1976, starting at 10pm and lasting four-and-a-half hours. He stretched 11 pairs of piano wires of 11 different thicknesses across the floor and attached them to turnbuckles at each end, which he then hooked to eye-screws in the wooden floor. Each of the piano wire pairs were passed over a wooden bridge at both ends. over a wooden bridge at both ends. He played this instrument with a soft mallet in one hand and a score in the other. The score was a 34-foot string tied with 552 knots. Each knot represented a step in the labyrinth with the 34 turns indicated by either a piece of wire in a knot (a move to the next longer pair of wires) or a rubber band around a knot (a move to the next shorter pair). The audience was in the dark loft of the floor below. Alan Scarritt describes the performance in the liner notes: "We were all mesmerized by the beauty of the piece and lost in its grace. Around midnight a light rain began to fall outside the windows completing the piece's perfection. He played for another two hours or so. It also happened to be my birthday. It was the best birthday I ever had." This double LP includes four selections from the performance. Comes in a gatefold sleeve with a reproduction of the score, a photograph and a drawing of the instrument, and the invitation card to the performance; Texts by Terry Fox and Alan Scarritt; Edition of 300. Last copies.