Sacred Bordello
Book w/CD


2004 release. Special edition of Sacred Bordello (originally published by Black Dog Publishing) bundled with a limited edition CD released by Alga Marghen. As one of the most influential figures of experimental music and performance, Charlemagne Palestine has remained an enigma. Unlike his illustrious contemporaries Terry Riley, John Cale, Steve Reich, and Phillip Glass, little has been written on Palestine and his continuing influence. In his own right, he was and remains today a pivotal personality whose research in musical composition and performance has been characterized over the years by its incantatory repetitiveness, its flamboyance, and its mysticism, but also by its violence. Born in Brooklyn in 1947, his first musical experiences were as a cantorial singer in the synagogues of New York. Through his contact with Tony Conrad, Palestine was soon introduced to the thriving experimental art scene of the late 1960s. The circles around Andy Warhol and La Monte Young provided a crucial backdrop for Palestine's work, which increasingly extended beyond the scope of music. His groundbreaking appearances, which combined violent piano playing, performance, video, and installation, were considered to be amongst the most radical musical experiences, leaving a lasting impression on followers such as Arto Lindsay, Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth, and the Sex Pistols, as well as Tintin creator Hergé. Palestine's epic durations, microtonal trembles, and dense overtones are reoccurring features in contemporary industrial and electronic music. Sacred Bordello is a flexi-cover sewn, full color, 192-page, 11" x 9" book that includes essays, scores, and original photos of performances and installations, providing the most complete documentation of Charlemagne Palestine's art. The included CD features an hour-long recording of a lecture that Palestine gave on March 7th, 1975 at the ArtNow Centre in Canada. Following the performance of a strumming music concert, Palestine freely speaks about his music and philosophy, involving the students in some kind of magic ritual. Starting as a question-and-answer conversation, the lecture develops into an intimate speech in which particularly private subjects are discussed. The CD also includes a previously unreleased multi-layer voice study from the early 1960s.