Reviews of my music

Review of Confessions of a Virtue Addict on David Manson's Beast

"As a composer taking on the concepts of concrete ideas constructed abstractly and abstract ideas constructed concrete, Eric Lyon has succeeded in a way that is very commanding. Confessions of a Virtue Addict is a virtuosic, light but very serious piece that embodies the divergence and contradiction of the late 20th century information overload. The piece is a perfect contradictive conundrum. Manson is able to present a very convincing and cohesive trombone performance. The integration of Japanese noise music and 18th century musical doctrine is very captivating here. Lyon's composition presents many opposing feels, rhythms, sections and styles that are able to coexist in a masterful balance."

Another review of Confessions

"Related to Japanese noise music, Eric Lyon's almost 15 1/2-minute "Confessions of a Virtue Addict" has the boneman using double-tonguing, sweeping whinnies and hocketing to maintain his place in the piece. Echoes of drum machines, smooth 1,000+1 Strings-like backing, a sport arena organ, obtuse cracked electronics and ricochets of a ray gun are the composer's contribution. Before Manson concludes his part with a velvety ascent up the scale, he has quoted a snatch of "Whistle While You Work" to burlesque his strategy during the sonic miasma."

Review of The Blistering Price of Power on Elizabeth McNutt's Pipe Wrench

"The remaining piece on the disc is for flute and tape by Eric Lyon. The Blistering Price of Power was composed in 1993, and the tape part is a strange composite of electronic sonorities produced on the UPIC graphic/music system (at Les Ateliers UPIC) and algorithmically-generated "disco" materials produced with the composer's own "BashFest computer drum machine." The music shifts in collage-like fashion between sharply contrasting materials, including fragments of spoken text, with the flute jumping in to play in mechanical synchronization with some of them. For me, while the tape part is interesting, the flute part seems rather gratuitous and unnecessary. Still, it makes for a fun contrast with the rest of the CD."

Review of Retirement Fund #1

(excerpt) "Sometimes - though too seldom for my taste ... - you have to relate to hitherto completely unknown stuff, that you cannot - however much you try - put in some defined spot, and say; this is what this is! This is the bewildering and happy case with Erik Belgum's & Eric Lyon's Retirement Fund - A Chamber Opera , which enters the sounding space of your listening in an other-worldly guise of an electronism, an electro-acousticism that moves you in thick layers of the colors of the rainbow to some remote inner-space factory of questionable causes. That is the overture of the opera."

Review of Red Velvet

(excerpt) "Eric Lyon's Red Velvet takes this Zen-like mode of "the Joy as it flies" - and stretches it by stitching humor and calculated abandon into works that leap happily across stylistic divides, while still managing a surprising and compelling capacity for narrative. This music, however synthetic, marks its discourse with realism. This is music for our times, really: self-aware postmodern commentary, scatterbrain tangents of haunting millennial choirs bleeding into 80s dance-pop, beauty, silence, computer chip dissonance, and the acute cynicism of a terrified but enamored, global, and modern people - a people who are culturally connected for better or worse in a continuum somewhere between McDonalds homogeneity and Zen detachment."

CMJ Review of ICMC 2004 Performance of "Onceathon II: The Kiss of Constable"

"Eric Lyon's Onceathon 2 was a gloriously absurd mix of stylistic clichés including rock, blues, new age, and, of course, computer music. An intentionally over-the-top computer solo in the middle of the piece with Ms. McNutt waiting in a state of patient amusement brought chuckles from the audience."

Review of The New World Sonatina

Eric Lyon's The New World Sonatina audaciously shoves sections of klezmer stylings next to uptown dissonant fragmentation, indulges in atonal fiddling gestures, and quotes the Renaissance mass tonemeister's delight "L'homme arme." It shouldn't work - but somehow it does, and gloriously.

Review of Ex Cathedra CD

(excerpt) Ex Cathedra groups six clever, well-done pieces. Lyon is a deliberate assembler who doesn't dwell on a point longer than necessary. Digital toys are in evidence, with allusions to the past and - probably - lots of inside jokes.

2005 Review of Rock and Roll Goddess by Mike Greenberg, senior critic of the San Antonio Express News (no online availability):

Eric Lyon's "Rock and Roll Goddess" (2001) for computer-processed electric guitar music was a hectic, frenetic, cartoon-like bumper-car ride, and completely delightful.

NYT Review of Sacred Amnesia

An excerpt from a 1949 radio interview with Schoenberg gave the musicians a brief break. They had another when Mr. Lyon’s fascinatingly quirky Sacred Amnesia (2001) was played. Mr. Lyon subjected fragments from Parsifal, a Sousa march, and Pierrot Lunaire, (reharmonized to sound tonal), to electronic distortions that gradually rendered the originals unrecognizable (and even inaudible) within the sonic haze.

NYT Review of Noise Triptych

The evening’s second concert featured String Noise, the enterprising violin duo of Conrad Harris and Pauline Kim Harris, who are married. A concise program showed off the pair’s lightning-fast reflexes and warmly matched sounds.

Eric Lyon’s Noise Triptych, the first work expressly composed for the duo, opened with Folk Noise, in which jolly, rustic melodies decayed and resumed repeatedly, and closed with Two Kinds of Noise, a shaggier rhythmic romp. In the middle movement, Noise Impromptu, two notebook computers provided directions for a guided improvisation crammed with exaggerated squeaks, grinds and skitters.