"Nodal Excitation is a reissue of a key minimalist masterwork. Dreyblatt's documentation in the past has been slim, with albums on Hat Art, Tzadik and (shortly) Table of the Elements. This album features a 39 minute performance by Arnold's group known as The Orchestra of Excited Strings, recorded in 1981/82. Dreyblatt only had one record (Nodal Excitation, on the mostly post-AACM jazz label India Navigation), before he packed and moved to Berlin, were he concentrated on other activities, making only 2 more records over the next 10 years. But for those who caught the action, Arnold was the man. He was more rock than any of the other minimalists combined, and he was also the only one to really tap into that massive proto-minimal sound that Conrad had squelched out of his tin-contact mic violin in the early 60s. Indeed, in the early 70s, after being in school in Buffalo, where Conrad taught, Dreyblatt moved into Manhattan to work for LaMonte Young, where he witnessed first hand, and listened first-ear to those legendary recordings of the Theatre of Eternal Music. He got interested in long string sounds, and bought a bass that he wired with piano wire. By hitting the strings instead of bowing them, Dreyblatt was able to get those ringing overtones, but he also had added something new: pure rhythm...So what you have here is Dreyblatt's freshman record, a slice of minimal history that is as potent now, if not more, as it was then. It was a lighthouse that was aiming the wrong way when the tugboat came by, but now it's shining right in your face." - Drag City Press Release
Arnold Dreyblatt, Michael Hauenstein: Bass Viols with Excited Strings
Peter Phillips: Midget Upright Pianoforte
Kraig Hill: Portable Pipe Organ
Greg Lewis: Hurdy Gurdy
Recorded & Mixed Dec. 81/Jan. 82
First Release in 1982. Re-release in 1998.