20 Best Avant Albums of 2014

The year's best in noise, out-jazz, contemporary classical, ambient, drone and more

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Vicky Chow, 'Tristan Perich: Surface Image'
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4/20

4. Vicky Chow, 'Tristan Perich: Surface Image'

New York blip wrangler Tristan Perich composed this dizzying, disorienting 63-minute symphony for piano and 1-bit pixels blooping and chirping from 40 individual speakers. Pianist Vicky Chow interacts with these manic chiptune lightning bugs in fascinating ways — first by matching them, playing in sharply defined Philip Glass rectangles; then by playing against their alarm clock relentlessness for a cool darkjazz coda. Imagine Terry Riley's Rainbow in Curved Air played by an orchestra of digital watches and cooing calculators.

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