Karen Ervin: Percussionist

Pretty amazing lp on a tiny label called “Wim” outta Los Angeles. Robert Kraft conducts, but the album is credited to Ervin as she is the featured soloist on all tracks. The whole lp is quite good as an Avant Garde Percussion record, but the tracks that really set this apart are two spoken word pieces called “Gunslinger”, and “Housewife” – which are narrated by Edmund F. Penney. These two tracks never fail to just absolutely blow my mind every time I hear them. I also really love how the cover pics of Ervin looking totally wholesome give you no hint as to the bizarre music within.


  • “Housewife” is simply awesome! Will you please post “Gunslinger”?

  • There’s an article about her, in memory by the PAS since she passed several years ago. It’s a good read. This LP isn’t mentioned specifically, however.


  • I forgot to mention that she also plays timpani on the Los Angeles Brass Society’s record on Avant (pieces by Rayner Brown, conducted by Dr. Lester Remsen, played by Ladd Thomas on organ).

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