Recorded in 1990 in Berlin upon his return to the city where he spent a month performing and recording two years before, this document of Taylor
playing piano and percussion and reciting his poems is a mixed bag. Partially it's because Taylor
's poetry doesn't translate well on record. His use of elliptical language and speech devices, which has read wonderfully on the page and comes off as dramatically beautiful live, is a cipher on a compact disc. Thankfully, that of the two cuts here, the poetry, which is on the longest part of the work, is brief. Double Holy House
begins with one of Taylor
's most beautiful and haunting ballads, constructed of minor thirds and diminished sevenths. It's full of half-parsed chord voicings and shimmering glissandi. It's six minutes of inwardly focused, blessed-out pianism. The impenetrability of the work's vocal aspect opens part two and rolls out of Taylor
's half-spoken, half-whispered text; it is unaccompanied for about six minutes and gradually percussion and piano begin to enter the text as dimensional sound effects and eventually take it over. By the 15-minute mark, the piano has completely replaced both voice and percussion instruments and becomes one of Taylor
's more architecturally minded improvisations. His reliance on the middle to lower registers here creates virtual buildings in sound that he erects one after another until he exhausts his tonal possibilities in one series of motifs and begins another for approximately 50 minutes, until the entire work just vanishes from its dizzying heights of arpeggiated ecstasy.