57 short pieces or extracts covering the first 50 years of the work of the seminal Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris, starting with Pierre Schaeffer(1948) and ending with Christian Zanesi (1998), selected and compiled by INA.GRM itself for a special edition of the rather obscure Italian Magazine Avidi Lumi, published by the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. Of special note on the CDs are rarely heard works of Darius Milhaud Earl Brown, and Philippe Arthuys; otherwise it's a lexicon of essential names: Bayle, Ferrari, Henry, Parmegiani, Chion, Reibel, Dufour, Lejune, Schwarz, Malec, Racot, Pamerud, Xenakis, Terrugi, Leroux, Racot, Stockhausen, Ascione, Amy, Lariviere, Philippot, Canton, Smalley, Carso, Favotti, Boucourechliev,, Risset, Mion, Ceasar and Baillif. Very different Individual styles and the evolution of the new musical language over time are here both closely and usefully juxtaposed. The CD's are also sold with a magazine.
57 short pieces or extracts covering the first 50 years of the work of the seminal Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris, starting with Pierre Schaeffer(1948) and ending with Christian Zanesi (1998), selected and compiled by INA.GRM itself for a special edition of the rather obscure Italian Magazine Avidi Lumi, published by the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, which it accompanies. Of special note on the CDs are rarely heard works of Darius Milhaud Earl Brown, and Philippe Arthuys; otherwise it's a lexicon of essential names: Bayle, Ferrari, Henry, Parmegiani, Chion, Reibel, Dufour, Lejune, Schwarz, Malec, Racot, Pamerud, Xenakis, Terrugi, Leroux, Racot, Stockhausen, Ascione, Amy, Lariviere, Philippot, Canton, Smalley, Carso, Favotti, Boucourechliev,, Risset, Mion, Ceasar and Baillif. Very different Individual styles and the evolution of the new musical language over time are here both closely and usefully juxtaposed. The magazine in 5 languages has a good collection of visual material and various giving some background on French and Italian electronic music history, practice and institutions. These will be useful to specialists but are otherwise either very dry, overwritten or bland. And are poorly presented. The CD is the thing. [Price reflects the weight of the magazine and consequent postage costs. If you don't want the magazine, for the CD alone is listed at £15.50.]
This is a good one. Intriguing and engaging combination of environmental, narrative sound and pitched 'musical' sounds. Very precise focus of material in 5 very different pieces. The last and longest 'walking tune' is an homage to and uses material from Australian maverick composer Percy Grainger to fine effect - featuring also much documentary sound en route. A beautifully conceived and balanced piece of work. (Interesting to hear alongside Jon Rose's (ReR) 'Perks' by the by). Highly Recommended.
In 1968 Mainstream released an LP with AMM on one side and MEV (Musica Electronica Viva, then based in Italy) on the other. In 2004 the two groups re-convened in London. Two of the five original AMM (Eddie Prevost and Keith Rowe), and three of the original five MEV (Alvin Curran, Frederick Rzewski and Richard Teitelbaum) still in place. The only new boy on this CD is their contemporary John Tilbury; since 1980 he has been the stable third AMMusician. On CD 1 the entire ensemble is in a studio, in meditative mood mostly; on CD 2 the two groups play separately at the 'Freedom of the City' festival in London the following day - a very good live recording, and a rare opportunity to hear MEV again. It was a great concert. IIlustrated booklet with a substantial essay by Harry Gilonis.
Third in the valuable Sub Rosa edition. The main work of this volume seems to be a proposed connection between early electronic productions evolved under the aegis of contemporary 'classical' music - yes, the terminology is deeply problematic - and recent, mostly computer and sample driven - work that floats unattached to any institution. From the first group there are pieces by Hugh le Caine, Ilhan Mimaroglu, Herbert Eimert, Robert Beyer, Bernard Parmegiani and Michel Chion; from the second Michael Schumacher, Francisco Lopez, Peter Rehberg, Asmus Tietchens, Rune Lindblad , Michael Rother (Kraftwerk), Lilith, Merzbow, Faust and a few sound artists: (Justin Bennet, Carsten Nicolai, CM Von Hausswolf. These are not complete lists, there are 23 pieces featured. A few stand out: Le Caine, Mimaroglu, Schumacher, Einert and Beyer, Faust but it is the sweep across somehow related fields that is useful to a listener trying to orientate in a profligacy of 'electronic' music. For the laptop generation, this will likely be an enjoyable collection, for students of the history of electronic music it should be informative; in any case it's a valuable resource. I still tend to the view that the claim to kinship between these different worlds is problematic and that many essential questions need to be answered before it can be easily accepted. The presence of Faust and Merzbow suggest this, but not deliberately. Perhaps I ask too much. In general this is an admirable and invaluable series. [OFFER. All three Volumes £48]
The first disc is a documentary about George and the ballet, with some old footage. It's a fair introduction, a little oversimplified and more like a promo film for the revived ballet than a real documentary - which is what it is, so fair enough. And there is good material here. Disc two is a whole performance of the world premiere, in 1999, of the Ballet as originally conceived - for 12 player pianos, 7 percussionists, 2 pianists, bells, sirens and airplane propellers. A landmark work, with some prescient ideas (endless repetitions, use of long silences) featuring for the most part relentless hammering; the ultimate crystallisation of futurist outrage, and one of the most blatant, howling, in your face compositions of the last century. George takes an idea, multiplies it by 100, then heaps some more on top. Written primarily to offend old ears and to cement a reputation (it succeeded), this work, unlike that of Varese or Schoenberg, has no aspiration to ground a new means of musical expression; rather it made newness, noise and the machine aesthetic an end in itself. In this it was essentially a Futurist work before it was a musical work. But a musical work it is nevertheless, and a classic. Most familiar is the much-reduced 1953 concert version. Then there was a release some years ago of a reconstruction of the 1923 version, in which 9 grand pianos replaced the 12 player-pianos when it became clear that the mechanical pianos could not be synchronised. The invention of the synclavier and MIDI have changed all that and this is a full reproduction of Antheil's original score. The DVD also contains Ferdinand Leger's 1935 experimental film 'Ballet Mechanique', made to be shown synchronised with the music, as well as useful interviews with archivist and composer Charles Amirkhanian, film composer David Raksin, composer Henry Brant and several others. Total time just under 3 hours.
A collection of historic spoken word documents. Interesting for collectors, the generally curious, researchers, lecturers (the Joyce and Duchampare also on 'Joyce' and 'The creative act' respectively). Full marks to SubRosa for making this collection available.
From the (rocking) horse's mouths come these unlikely and very listenable pieces, documenting some of the critical virtuosic and imaginative tours des forces of early sound poetry from Dada Germany. 14 pieces by Jean Arp, recorded in 1961, 9 by Raoul Hausmann, recorded by Henri Chopin in 1956-9, plus 'Anna Blume' and the 'Ursonate' by Kurt Schwitters, recorded in 1932. Important historic document with useful notes.
The legendary banned radio piece of 1947, here restored. An historic item, in French with some short instrument interludes, for voices, various stages of hysteria. Only for those interested in the history of sound/radio art, but for them indispensable.
Made in 1979 this a quiet, decentred piece, electronic for the most part (organ, Moog, electronics) with fragmentary involuntary speech. In his nicely pitched notes he relates this to Tourette's syndrome. Here also are two extracts from two other vocally based works made a decade earlier, 'Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon' for speaker, singers and bells and 'She was a Visitor' for many voices, humming and droning with a needle-stuck speaker. Important historic recordings.
Written for theatre in 2003, this is another of Ashley's voice dramas with 'electronic orchestra' accompaniment. He, Joan La Barbara and 'Blue' Gene Tyranny feature, with three other singers. Minimal open and riff-based musical structures ground layers of speech, quasi singing and choral interventions. There are some extraordinary moments as Ashley abandons all musical distinctions and glosses pop, minimalism and quasi lounge in a dreamy suspension clouded around his eccentric, conversational, texts. Maybe not something you'd listen to all the way through more than once, but unique; odd and fascinating. Comes with a 108 pp book with full texts.
Features the legendary 1964 piece for amplified voice and tape - a landmark in the history of electronics and performance art - as well as the tape made to accompany it, heard for the first time here on its own (itself a fascinating piece because of the materials used and the way they are used - far from the norms of electronic music or musique concrete at the time). Plus, the earlier (1957) tape piece 'The Fox' and, from 1960, 'The Bottleman' - for contact microphone, loudspeaker, vocal and found sounds, a more abstract and drone based piece
Recent work (1998) commissioned for Radio in Germany, this hypnotic 63 minute work features 5 voices, which speak, in a very musical way, over a continuous, slightly shifting, pulse and dramatise a strange and indefinite story involving fraud, the CIA, banks, intrigue and mysterious death. Hard to describe because it's really unlike anything else.
Collated from many sources, including long deleted records (remember the Bam label?), this gives some idea of the extraordinary scope of the Baschet brothers’ instruments. In a long career, starting in 1954, they produced families of beautiful, exotic, futuristic sculptures made from metal, sheet aluminium, glass, wire and plastic - in all sizes, some small, some over 20 feet high – all designed to be played: stroked, beaten, bowed, blown (even worn) and composed for. Here are compositions from various hands that exlore the amazing array of sonorities these objects can produce Some unfortunate vocalising now and then does not really detract. This is history. I recommended that you get this CD free with the Book – see the book section for details.
The Baschet brothers produced families of exquisite sculptures, starting in 1954, which were designed to be played as instruments - exquisite and exotic instruments whose sounds recall Partch, Analogue synthesisers, the Ondes Martinot, Fred Frith and otherworldly atmospheres impossible to produce except through this specific acoustic concatenation of materials and shapes. In this book their history, the principles of their design, the theory of sound that informed them and a fascinating anecdotal history of their careers and the careers of their designers in many countries and in collaboration with Cocteau, Varese, Schaeffer, Shankar, Cage, Tudor, Menuhin and Takemitusu (who has a piece for the instruments on the CD) are covered, along with 100’s of photographs and design drawings and a clear meditation on acoustic principles and sonic theory. Another indispensable addition to every library. And not even expensive.
Weight means we have to add postage to this - sorry £3.00 UK, £4.00 Europe, £6.00 World.
The rare 1972 Dandelion LP reissued on CD. Bedford's experimental '60's pieces - for 8 recorders and 8 Melodicas, for 10 acoustic guitars, for 80 female voices and 30 'whirlies', for 12 piece chamber ensemble, for 6 pianos,, instruments and (Kevin Ayres') voice. Says a lot about the '60's and has lasted pretty well. David was a highly sympathetic and accessible composer and these pieces are still stimulating and very listenable.
Kurt Schwitters' legendary 'sonata in primordial sounds', a tour de force of abstract voice composition (the entire phonetic text is printed in the book) here in two versions by Jaap Blonk, one made in 1986 (and not released then for legal reasons) and a live version made in 2003 in a powerful acoustic space. In structure, there are 4 movements, with themes and developments, each centred on a clear structural idea, with a cadenza as the 4th part. A critical art-historical work, very plausibly performed (maybe a little overserious). Dry, austere and not for everyone.
A strange confection this. The title piece, by Branca, is a clean recording of one of his more celebrated compositions, thought lost (this is a studio recording made in 1981). Branca fans (of which I am not one) will be interested. Of the 10 electric guitars, two are played by Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo, so of interest to Sonic Youth fans. If only for the sake of historical footnoting, then, this would be a useful release. What interests me, however, is track 2 - a 19 minute conversation about Branca's piece in concert by two attendees: John Cage and Wim Mertens. Cage (famously) is highly critical. Not only is this curious recording a worthy Cagean piece in itself( with an interesting and noisy background: the navy pier on lake Michigan; the voices very spaced out); but as an informal conversation it reveals a lot about Cage's character and philosophy: he certainly does not think that anything goes, and his careful articulation, Socratic questioning and general civility, crossed, as they are with suppressed anger, make for quite a deep and complex audition. Mertens' attempted defence adds nuance. This was an unintended artwork - usefully raising the old questions: can such a category exist? Can it be defended? If so on what grounds? Then there is a third, short Branca piece (a sequence of chords) to round the CD out. The sleeve-notes reprint two letters about the controversy the Cage/Mertens conversation (released on a record in 1982) sparked, the second of them by Branca himself, who seems both proud and hurt - and certainly rather insecure - making the whole CD a passing strange object; either boasting about 'Cage's Folly' - as Branca has it -, or using the Branca piece as evidence for Cage's case (it's hard not to take sides). And although I think Cage does show a certain arrogance, perhaps it is with justice. Certainly, to me, the Branca does sound, at best, like a failed experiment; at worst like child breaking its toys. There is an emptiness; as Werner Herzog once said, "Look into the eyes of a chicken and you will see real stupidity. It is a kind of bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity. They are the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creatures in the world.". Cage sems to hear something like that in Branca. Avoiding the hyperbole, so do I.
Henry Brant, like Harry Partch and Conlon Nancarrow, is without question one of America's great originals. And like them, he had been an embarrassment to the musical status quo. Of course he was difficult. He chose a form hard to replicate with recordings: since the early 50's he has concentrated on spatial music, that is, music for diverse and often large resources physically arranged around a space, rather than facing the audience from the front. (Stockhausen too made some important advances in this field, but soon moved to the surround world of loudspeakers; Brant stayed with acoustic sources, carefully positioned). In a sense, then, this is site-specific music, and of course neither the site nor the spatial effect could be reproduced on record. However, the instrumentation, its deployment, the exploded nature of the compositions (requiring multiple conductors) and the sheer imagination of this music translate perfectly well. The two pieces here are Northern Lights over the Twin Cities and A plan of the Air. The first is scored for Orchestra, symphonic band, two choirs, a pipe band, a percussion group, two jazz groups, ten pianos and soloists; the second for multiple instrumental and vocal groups. Lights was probably recorded in 1985 at the premiere. It doesn't say how or by whom, but it's a professional recording. A Plan was probably recorded in 1975. The mastering for both is credited to Teo Macero. Disc A also contains an extra MP3 file of 41 minutes of Brant speaking about his music, acoustics, new concert hall design ..
Second volume of the Brant retrospective. Brant, a unique voice in Amercan music, has been a pioneer of spatialised music (using diverse ensembles positioned around auditoria playing simultaneous, often non synchronised, parts) for the last 60 years. Nomads is for voice, percussion, brass and wind orchestra and was recorded live in 1974, Solar Moth (1979), composed for 8 track tape, is a concerto for Violin (played by the legendary Daniel Kobialka), 4 violas, C and Bass flutes, harp, piano and marimba - all played by Brant himself - and voice (Amy Snyder, seldom sounding human). This is a remarkable work and a vanishingly rare example of direct composition for tape in the 'classical' musical world. And it's absolutely great. Ghost Nets is for double bass, two chamber orchestras and one isolated horn. Another brain scrambler. These are substantial, unusual and important works. File with Ives, Partch, Nanacarrow, Varese; radical pioneers.
Composed between 1969 and1971, when Bryars was working with ideas from Cage, Fluxus, free improvisation and experimentalism. There are 4 compositions here: Pre-Mediaeval Metrics for guitar and saxophone, a graphic score, Made in Hong Kong, for mechanical toys, 1, 2, 1-2-3-4, for ensemble: the musicians all listen to the same cassette (a new technology then), and ignore one another, improvising along with what they hear (Beatles songs). The cassettes slowly get out of synch, The Squirrel and The Ricketty Racketty Bridge, written for Derek Bailey. The performer has to play two guitars simultaneously, placed flat on their backs, hammering on and off. These are all new recordings with sleeve notes by Bryars.
15 essential cut up pieces mostly made in the early '60s, as the techniques were developed. Burroughs speaks, records, rewinds, records at random, moves tape, cuts and splices; texts are mysterious, ominous, sardonic, with extraneous sounds, newsmedia and shortwave interpolated. There is also a short extract from a lecture Burroughs gave on the ' Origin and Theory of the Tape Cutups' in 1976, a radio talk fragment, some early '70s cassette works with multiple tape recorders, a performance piece and some short field recordings. Nicely presented.
A monster of a work, and massive, this originated in a harpsichord commission Cage was reluctant to undertake but eventually completed in the course of three years work with (early computer programmer) Lejaren Hiller. It turned into - for its 1969 premiere - a four-hour multimedia overload for seven harpsichord soloists, electronic keyboard and 52 pre-prepared tapes (with material in 52 different computer generated microtonal divisions of the octave). A lot of existing music was used, especially Mozart - using his dice method - but also Beethoven, Chopin, Schoenberg, Busoni, Gottschalk and others. The result is a massive cacophony of wide spectrum pitches and melody fragments, like nothing before or since. This version was made by Joel Chadabe, the harpsichords played by Robert Conant. It lasts 65 minutes and there are two short demos of the materials used as extra tracks. The packaging is stunning. Flourescent colours and great design based on the small edition screened posters overseen by Cage for the first concert. The full and informative text is printed on 16 full colour cards which, when laid out form a wildly lurid poster themselves. It all comes in a psychedelic slipcase. Altogether a great work.
Three sets of tapes, birds, Cage 'singing' and environmental sounds organised in a - you know - complicated non-random random way. Plus two extracts from an interview with the composer about the recording.
28 surviving and recovered pieces from one of the major futurist musicians, mostly for voice and piano, some for piano alone, written in the first 2/3rds of the 1920s. Charming short pieces (between 1 and 3 minutes) with texts that may be futuristic (not translated in the booklet) and music that is mostly (though not always - tracks 12 and 21) rather romantic (in the dreamy rather than the stormy sense) and hardly challenging. He's no Antheil (a contemporary), but it's a rare recording of one of the few, generally ignored, composers allied to the futurists, so informative. And not without its own merits. Useful sleeve-notes, though omitting texts and composition dates.
From 1964 to 1974 Henri Chopin edited and released a magazine dedicated to sound poetry, and with each included a record. This extraordinary box collects the works on all those records. For the most part we are not listening to familiar voices speaking or making noises: this was the age of the tape recorder and people were using tape, microphones, overload, distortion, environmental recordings, noise, overdubs - anything at all to make sound objects to tape; the voice as the centre but mostly not recognisable any more as a voice. There are some here who speak, or make sounds, repeat words - even tell stories, but the rest is in the world of musique concrete. Contributors include Henry Chopin himself, never less than extraordinary, Bryin Gysin, Charles Amirikhanian, Ake Hodell. Bernard Hedsieck, Ladislav Novak, Arthur Rimbaud, Bob Cobbing, Hugh Davies, Francois Dufrene, William Burroughs, Raoul Hausmann, Mimmo Rotella, Paul DeVree, Gil J Wolman and Emil Begt Johnson. The deep LP-sized box comes with a 70pp flatbound book, full of texts in English and French by Chopin - about the magazine, with details of each issue; photographs, other texts, manifestos and notes on the works (less complete than I'd like, no dates and places of recording usually, and not much about method). Then there is a half inch thick stack of single and LP gatefold size sheets with graphic texts, scores, visual poems, concert flyers, programmes and exhibition notes. It's a much needed record of material seldom heard and mostly ignored in other collections. For students, the curious and the adventurous. Limited Edition of 1000.Because of weight there will; be a 2 surcharge toward postage outside Europe.
This essential piece of history at last reissued, redesigned and repackaged. Keystone works from the various streams of musique concrete, electronic music, soundscape, electroacoustics and plunderphonics - including two masterworks from Eastern Europe, a territory traditionally overlooked in collections of this medium. It comprises: John Oswald's 'Parade', a complex work drawn and extended from Satie's celebrated ballet composition of 1917; Georg Katzer's monumental 'Aide Memoire' ('7 nightmares from the 1000 year night'), a terrifying document of collage, electronic manipulation, original composition and sound documents from 1933-45; Lutz Glandien's exquisitely economical, sonically powerful and surprising 'Es Lebe' for Tape and Tuba; Steve Moore's groundbreaking 'A Quiet Gathering' (chamber music for environmental sounds) - a multi-layered 22 minute work made only from captured non-musical materials; Jaroslav Kr_ek's miniature electronic gem based on nightingale songs and the proto-plunder legend 'Ommagio a Jerry Lee Lewis' by Richard Trythall. An indispensable collection in my view.
An historic and useful collection comprising the celebrated 1920 recording 'L'album les Six', with six short piano pieces, one by each composer; 2 pieces recorded in 1929 with Cocteau himself speaking and singing and the Dan Parrish Jazz Orchestra playing; extracts of Auric's original soundtracks for five of Cocteau's films and - perhaps musically most important - Milhaud's extraordinary 'Le Boeuf sur la Toit' for small ensemble, Satie's 'Parade', for ensemble with gun, typewriter &c., and Honneger's graphic quasi futurist hymn to big locomotives, 'Pacific 231'; all introduced by Cocteau. Well-illustrated with comprehensive notes.
A nicely produced and thoroughly documented CD from the Centre Pomipdou collecting representative works and extracts from Cocteau's major productions and principle collaborators, programmed to invoke a sound impression of that hopeful art milieu of 1920s Paris which so often featured Cocteau as its principle MC. Music from Satie, Honneger, Stravinsky, Poulenc, Milhaud, Tailleferre, Durey, Auric, Weill and Sacre - 26 short pieces that taken together explain more than individual, longer, pieces could hope to achieve. Includes the first recording of Satie's Boeuf Angora for orchestra and the scarce Sur les Bords de L'Issus. A collection, of dramatic, inventive, light, hopeful and eccentric music filled with ideas that flow easily and never strain for effect.
Pioneering works from the legendary Koln studio - founded in 1951 at one of Germany's major radio stations - that move through the early strict serial approach to synthetic materials into the many and different approaches to the sonic opportunities synthesis uncovered. Where Musique Concrète took all recordable sound as its instrument, Koln began with purely electronically generated sound - first using a trautonium and a melochord, and then simple tone generators, filters and primitive processing equipment. These pieces, mostly never released before in any form, represent according to one of the composers, a fair cross section of the work done at the studio between 1952 - 58 (with the exception of already famous works by Stockhausen, Kagel and Krenek). Represented are: Herbert Eimert, Robert Beyer, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Henri Pousseur, Franco Evangelisti, Györgi Ligeti, Karel Goeyvaerts, Paul Gredinger, Giselher Klebe and Herbert Brün. Excellent booklet notes.
The classic.. A vital Minimal electric violin drone with microtonalities by La Monte Young affiliate Conrad, and scary machine beats from the Faust rhythm section (Jean-Herve Peron and Werner Diermaier) and Faust guitarist Rudolph Sosna (who plays some synthesiser here) This was undoubtedly one of the more remarkable projects to come out of Faust's famous Wumme schoolhouse (Slapp Happy's Sort Of was another). And it still holds fast as a definitive - and primal - musical statement. Added to the original (remastered) LP are other out-takes from the original sessions and another version of the ur-piece without an extra violin overdubbed later. A landmark. Nice packaging, though the text is more promotional than useful. If you already have the single CD, not a lot is added, but the quality is better. Sorry it's so expensive. But still worth it
Gong and bell sounds with background roar and occasional traffic by Fluxus alumnus Corner, performed mostly at a concert in New York at The Kitchen in 1974 (there is information in the autographic booklet, and it's good information, but it doesn't say much about the actual recordings, which are clearly live and fairly lo-fi - not a bad thing - especially the unidentified first piece, where Corner is joined by Bill Fontana). For the other two pieces there are 4 performers with a variety of gongs and a bell tree. There are also low piano notes in the first one. Both are pretty cleanly recorded and good on the ear. Especially the first: deep resonating gongs, low strings, the sound just hanging around...hard to go wrong.
A very welcome collection of 21 Cowell's mostly experimental piano pieces, where many of techniques - clusters, work inside the piano etc - were pioneered, ably played by Chris Burns. An important part of music history well presented. Spot those Irish folk and classical Chinese influences.
A classic collection including the early influential abstracts Rhythmus 21 (1921) by Hans Richter and the legendary Symphonie Diagonale by Viking Eggeling. Richter is also represented by his later Film Studie, and Ghosts before Breakfast. There are two Man Ray films, Le Retour a la Raison and Emak Bakia, plus Ferdinand Leger's Ballet Mechanique (made to accompany George Antheil's notorious score) and Entracte, made by Rene Clair and Francis Picabia for the Dada Ballet Relache - with music by Erik Satie. Performers include Erik Satie, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Darius Milhaud, Marcel Duchamp, Kiki, Paul Hindemith and Hans Richter.
Spoken word documents of the Avant Garde, featuring James Ensor, Loius Aragon, Philippe Soupault, Henri Michaux, Pierre Bourgeois, Pascal Pia, Paul Neuhuys, Clement Pansaers, Franz Hellens, Robert Guiette, Marcel Lecompte, André Souris, Marcel Marien, Paul Nougé and Salvador Dali. Historic documents, entirely in French.
A charming selection of 27 relevant short pieces from many hands: Erik Satie - including non-piano works 'Fanfare for waking the great King of the Monkeys', the great 'Cinema' soundtrack for Rene Clair's 'Entracte', and Embryons desseches, this a world premiere recording, Arthur Honneger (furniture music), Arnold Schoenberg, Francis Poulenc, George Antheil (a rare 1925 recording abstract from the Ballet Mechanique!), Daruis Milhaud, Cyril Scott, Erwin Schulhof (rarely recorded), Germaine Albert-Birot and pieces by Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp and Max Ernst (delivered by Sonja Neuman), with original recordings of Kurt Schwitters, Raoul Haussmann and Marinetti. Nicely programmed, great to listen to and well documented.
A collection of pieces by known and not so known instrument builders and sculptors, especially interesting are the tracks by Sheil and Lamb. The Partch is a live recording and not, so far as I know, available elsewhere.
These 2 CD reissues are great news for all 'organised sound' enthusiasts. TD was one of the distinctive pioneers, and yet remains little known. His work was always hard to find. These are fascinating concrete works - using old technology: tape, razor blades, layerings - of classic quality and depth. Well documented and packaged. CLASSICS.
Paradigm continues to uncover important fragments of the historic record. Bob Downes was everywhere on the musical fringes of the '60s, and his own 'Open Music' with Barry Guy and Denis Smith was part of the furniture of the time. Here, he and Wendy Benka with an orchestra of flutes, hammer dulcimer, marimba, gongs, percussion, jew's harp, saxophone, electronics, feedback, public telephones, water pump, zither, wind gong, cello, crystal glass vase, snail shells and tablas, produce an airy semi-electronic music - originally commissioned for dance, and released on Downes' own Openian label in 1974. What makes it especially interesting is the ground it explores between acoustic and electronic musics: all the sounds are processed, using the limited equipment available at the time, but with a great deal of inventiveness - and imagination will trump outboard computing power every time. Re-mastered from the original tapes, adding 7 extra tracks made between 1972 -2005 (one using only New York Public telephones, au naturel).
232pp book in French, lavishly illustrated. Born in 1901 Jean Dubuffet studied painting, gave it up to become a wine merchant. Then in 1943 he became a full time artist, working in various media, including what we would now call installations, in a style often referred to as Art Brut ( now associated with the art of children, the mentally ill, or naifs) - a term coined by Dubuffet himself, though not to describe his own work but that of outsiders who had no stake in the artworld, and who eschewed representation, working from their own individuality rather than fashion or cultural conditioning. In 1960 he began, with a tape recorder, at home, to make improvised music, with all manner of instruments (formal or conventional expertise was not an issue) with Danish painter Asger Jorn. The CD that accompanies this book collects a selection of their improvisations - on various instruments - that are abstract, sometimes rhythmical, always focused and, somehow, visual - like Pollocks or Twombleys they pullulate with a diffuse Brownian motion. They also express a kind of serenity - gentle charm - without ever being less than extremely radical, especially considering when they were made. All the pieces here are dated 1961, with one late work from 1978. The book, 16.5 x 24 cm, 232 pages is in French and lavishly illustrated with photographs, facsimile documents, drawings, paintings, sculptures, stage-sets and photographs (18 in colour), as well as articles and interviews covering all the facets of Dubuffest musical involvements and experiments, including his 'animated painting performance' Coucou Bazar (with original music by Ilhan Mimaroglu). Very nicely produced, well laid out (wide spaced text) and thorough, it also has a complete annotation of the tapes, a discography and a short biography and bibliography.
Weight means we have to add postage to this sorry: £3.00 UK, £4.00 Europe, £6.00 World
A 50 minute video, shot in 1964 in black and white consisting of interviews with Marcel, Marcel at his first major retrospective in Pasadena talking about his work (mostly his very little known pre-Armory work, nude descending a staircase, king and queen, and the readymades). He also talks about chess, reflects on art and history, visits his old friend Edgard Varese and walks around in New York. There is more recent colour footage of the artworks edited in. The soundtrack is mostly taken from Varese. It's a vital document, but I have to say that the editing is eccentric, the hopping from one thing to another un-necessary, some of the images need labelling, and it merely skims the surface of the oeuvre However, not to complain; someone had at least the gumption to interview Marcel on camera, and it's good to see Edgard in his den. All in French with subtitles. Arty but awkward packaging. Still. It's good to see Marcel saying what he has to say - so much better than the mythmaking and neutrality of the written word - and what he has to say is well worth hearing. PAL VHS.
Two new versions of Duchamp's Musical Erratum - a pair of prescient scores that date from 1913 and form part of the preparatory work for 'The Great Glass'. In one, notes are replaced by numbered keys, and virtuoso performance is discouraged in favour of novel mechanical instrumentation (in this interpretation using spinning rotary discs and open piano strings). The other, a chance composition (38 years in advance of his later friend Cage) Duchamp's used numbered balls and a toy train in motion in its composition is played on a standard piano. This 74 minute CD also includes four spoken word extracts by Duchamp - in English -, including his important Houston lecture, The Creative Act' (1957), earlier released by Sub Rosa but for many years out of print, 2 lengthy interviews from 1959, and a reading by Duchamp of 'A l'infinitif'. The two musical pieces are excellently interpreted and recorded. The spoken word is simply indispensible.
Price INC. POSTAGE INSIDE EUROPE A key post-war artist, deeply involved with the New Realism, the Lettrists, the Ultra-lettrists and the still mostly neglected Sound Poets, Dufréne. Like his friends Hain, de la Villeigle and Rotella he is probably most famous for his work with posters torn from walls and manipulated (he worked with the reverse sides). His work (indeed all of the work at this time) with tape recorders, pre-recorded sounds and sound poetry is less known, and every newly released artefact is useful. This CD has a good representative selection. It's hardly poetry in any sense of the word in everyday use; in some pieces classical music pounds while distorted roaring, howls, squeals, overtones and feral noise accompany it, elsewhere Dufréne duets with Chico Hamilton, and with himself, neither of him sounding particularly human. Once or twice he sounds almost normal. Otherwise, this is a substantial catalogue from a comprehensive 2007 retrospective exhibition in Portugal, 250 19 x27 cm. pages, beautifully produced, filled with high quality colour prints of his found and manipulated poster work, drawings, elaborate illustrated writings, paintings and objects, as well as photographs, a discography, a filmography, biography, bibliography, exhibition calendar and list of works. In Portuguese, French and English. POSTAGE PLEASE ADD £ 5 SHIPPING OUTSIDE EUROPE, £ 2 outside the UK.
The author of the groundbreaking Chaos and the Emergent Life of the Pond (an '80s soundscape classic) and inventor of many highly specialised microphones, here reveals another unexpected and complex sonic universe, that of the navigable layers between the outer bark and the inner xylem of a single species of American pine. It's a world that bustles with an amazing variety of noisy life as it goes about its (mostly destructive) business. The main players are pinyon engraver beetles (size: about one rice grain), though there are walk-on parts for other species. What is extraordinary - and this is the aesthetic point of the recording - is how varied, intense and mysterious this soundworld is. Superficially similar to some of the more radical 'small sound' sampling experiments released in the last years, this CD offers both a more interesting and a more meaningful experience; it's subtle, but you can hear the purposiveness and the life of these sounds, a dimension wholly lacking in the narrow world of samples, glitches and algorithms. And these are sounds inaudible to the human ear, however close you approach their source. A fascinating work, it comes with a serious and excellent essay by Dunn on the ecology and possible significance of the sounds, and the technical details of their capture and collage.
This is an exceptional collection of pieces by one of the pioneers of electronic and tape music. Halim El-Dabh began experimenting with wire recorders in Egypt even before Schaeffer inaugurated the practice of Musique Concrete in France - one piece here dates from that period ('Wire Recorder Piece', 1944) and is thus of great historical importance. Most of the other works were recorded in 1959 and evidence a remarkable body of work and experimentation. El-Dabh does not sound like his fellow Electronic Music brethren (he was working at The Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Centre) but is more organic, physical and eccentric; more like Sun Ra than Mario Davidovsky. There is much use of objects and some instruments, as well as electronically generated tones and concrete techniques of tape manipulation and electronic processing. And very imaginative use of the human voice. Most of the groundbreaking 'opera' 'Leiyla and the Poet' is included here for the first time on record. Indispensible.
The third in the series moves into the more musical use of bells, specifically in Accra, Ghana, in the por por music invented by timber truck drivers and played still by members of the Accra minibus drivers union -hence the frequent appearance of (bulb) car horns. Many of the pieces here also include mbira, zither, one-string lute, saxophone, double reed instruments and all manner of other percussion. This is more of an ethno-musicological than a soundscape collection, but we include it since it is part of a series.
A fascinating look at Feldman's early works, including - at last - the assumed lost 'Intersection' for magnetic tape, finished in 1953, and the great music for a 1951 film about Jackson Pollock, which effectively marked Feldman's entry into American musical life. This CD reproduces the optical soundtrack from the film itself - all other recordings being lost - which includes Pollock himself speaking. There are other substantial early works for 1 and 2 pianos, occasionally for piano and violin. The spare qualities are already there, of course, but there is a wider palette perhaps than we sometimes expect from Feldman. An altogether excellent collection.
Reissue of the much missed CRI CD. The title track is a 29 minute piece for viola and small ensemble, conducted by Feldman himself: endlessly suspended and endlessly listenable - it could go on forever; cleanly articulated, always concentrated, in constant motion but without a goal; just rich in its going. There are longeurs that sink into silence, and there is great, and unfamiliar, use of blurry, quiet percussion. It is a work that transfigures time into pure qualia. If you are not familiar with Feldman, this, or Rothko Chapel, would be a good place to start. There are two other pieces on the CD, inhabiting the same timeless zone, 'Why Patterns', with Feldman himself at the piano, and 'False relationships and the extended ending.' For flute, percussion and piano.
An important collection consisting of Petite Symphonie -what Ferrari calls landscape music, layers of mobile organs, ocarinas (?) and other sounds inhabited by fragments of speech and the traces of local fauna and flora. Minimal means with powerfully evocative effects; then the glorious Strahoven, a 1985 full-on plunderphonic work made from recordings of Beethoven and Stravinsky; an indispensable piece of history - and bold as well as being dryly droll; Presqe rien avec filles - third in the Presque Rien series; enigmatic Tuscan soundscapes haunted by human fragments, storms and increasingly disruptive and violent electronic events implying some mysterious inchoate narrative process; and lastly Hétérozygote, an electroacoustic piece employing speech fragments, natural sounds, musical sounds and acoustic documents collected in diverse locations. An excellent signature collection from one of the masters.
Indispensable. In 1969 Ferrari made Music Promenade, one of the key works of tape music, using environmental recordings throughout. He followed it in 1970 with Presque Rien (at the seaside), again using documentary recordings only, but this time, les eventful, more environmental. He returned to the process in 1977 with a night piece that extended the documentary night into One more return in 1989 (with young women) recorded in Tuscany. The whole sequence is on this CD.A classic.
Includes the CLASSIC 'Music Promenade'. A huge narrative of environmental recordings with hardly any additional electronics. Plus versions of 'Presque Rien' continuing Ferarri's experiments with composing with environmental recordings. An important document.
11 more groundbreaking pieces; the first - the Wax Experiments - dates from 1921-1926, the last from 1952 - A TV commercial for Muntz, employing again his Motion Painting technique. There is also Munchen-Berlin Wanderung, a piece never shown publicly, Muratti Privat (variations on the celebrated cigarette commercial), Studie No.5 (1930), Studie No. 9 and Studie No.12 as well as Komposition in Blau (1935), in which many new techniques were explored (it won multiple prizes), American March and Organic Fragment, from 1941, and his Mutascope Reels (1945). VHS PAL. With excellent notes in a 24 pp booklet in French and English.
If anyone deserves the epithet genius in this field, it would be Fischinger. Though, predictably, he never made money, he produced works of stunning brilliance and originality and invented techniques others would adopt and extend, and some even (like Disney with Fantasia) profit from. Pure abstraction, colour, the appropriate expression of musical movement and dynamic relationships were his constant subject. This first collection features works from 1931, including the luminous Muratti cigarette advertisement, Spiritual constructions, an extraordinary silhouette work of constantly mutating, fluid figures, following the travails of two figures in an uncertain landscape, Study no 7 and No. 8, Kreise and Allegretto (all abstract music settings), and one later film Motion Painting No.1 (1947), a constantly evolving single painting and overpainting. VHS PAL. With excellent notes in a 24 pp booklet in French and English.
The definitive Fluxus film edition, compiled by George Maciunas and assembled by Jonas Mekas featuring 41 fluxfilms by Nam Jun Paik, Dick Higgins, George Maciunas, Chieko Shiomi, Geoge Brecht, Yoko Ono, Joe Jones, Wolf Vostell, Erik Andersen, Jeff Perkins, Albert Fine, Robert Watts, James Riddle, Pieter Vanderbeck, John Cavenaugh, Pail Sharits, George Landow, Peter Kennedy, Mike Parr, Benjamin Vautier and John Cale. Runs 2 hours on VHS PAL. With full notes in a 48pp booklet in French and English.
Another excellent collection of pieces for violin or guitar, mingling hillbilly/blues riffs played with a raw sensibility, minimal structural movement and non-generic repetition – art repetition played with feeling - a hard trick to pull off. This CD also Includes the really great swelling guitar pieces, ‘leather High in A’ and E.
A remarkable collection of hillbilly minimalism, by one of the forgotten heroes. These are blocks of generic material subtly changed by reiteration and lack of development. Like Beefheart, Henry Flynt is one of the rare examples of musicians who fearlessly experimented with the blues and folk forms in the face of all contemporary and experimental music orthodoxies. An important recording and a great listen.
Historic reissue of the 1973 Nocturne release featuring the GAEB, founded in the late '60s - a small orchestra of very interesting Invented instruments (inc. aolian space horn, phoniums, princess oil can, microtonal revolving sound generator), more traditional instruments (inc. bazooka, saws, bass violin, water gong drums, gourds, synthesiser), played by 7 people. Consistently interesting sonorities, carefully deployed, this is in the AMM, MEV area of intelligence and competence. Microtonal, organic, subtle and highly listenable. Useful sleevenotes, pictures of the instruments and historic background.Includes a fine extra track not on the original LP. Historic.
Another important slice of history from the redoubtable Paradigm records: Lily Greenham, composer, performer, concrete poet and optical-kinetic painter, born in 1924 and highly active in both the visual and electronic arts from the early '60s onward; peripatetic and multilingual, she lived in Vienna, Copenhagen, Paris, Madrid and Lisbon before finally settling in London in the early '70s, where she produced prize-winning electronic pieces; collaborated extensively with the radiophonic workshop, toured alone, performed with Hugh Davies, Bob Downes, Barry Guy, Peter Cusack, Max Eastley, John Tchicai and others, and helped shape an era. These are important contributions to the history of concrete poetry - both as it comes, and where the voice is radically processed, layered and made sound. English is seasoned with Danish, German, French and Spanish and, while the voice is source, sound is always the centre and Greenham consistently works her materials at a high level of imagination and technique. Also captured here are rare recordings of the ubiquitous but unheralded Bob Downes Open Music Trio, and collaborations with Hugh Davis and the legendary Paddy Kingsland. Collected mostly from unreleased tapes, this collection is a melange of home studio, radio and performance recordings which, taken together, memorialise a mature and consequent performer working at a highly productive historical moment: it's like a luminous notebook. Accompanied by excellent notes from Michael Parsons, two texts by Greenham herself, archive photographs and some of Greenham's visual work. A much needed restoration to the record of a significant talent. Excellent.
A collection of fascinating and valuable interviews - made in 1956 and 1968, in English - with Bauhaus directors Walter Gropius (mostly) and Mies Van der Rohe, and one teacher (painter Josef Albers) on the history, theory and practice of the Bauhaus, and its staff (Klee, Moholy Nagy, Kandinsky, Feininger &c.), interspersed with contemporary music by associated composers, including the legendary but seldom heard Hauer (independent originator of a twelve-tone system), and Antheil's seldom heard 'Shimmy'. With an excellent booklet of documents, photos and data. Highly relevant to current debates. Gropius is a highly civilized and intelligent speaker; we miss his type today.
Historic collections from one of the key Improvising/Composer groups (with AMM, Musica Electronica Viva etc) of the '60's. Members were: Mario Beroncini, Waller Branchi, Franco Evangelisti, John Heineman, Roland Kayn, Egisto Macci and Ennio Morricone, joined on some pieces by Frederick Rzewski. All were both composers and instrumental virtuosi; they eschewed all they considered musical cliches (tonality, periodic rhythm, repetition etc) and explored new playing techniques, and 'non-wasteful' economy of compositional means; 'work in small areas'- with broad and often deep aesthetic results. In short, this is history. From Edition RZ, beautifully packaged.
Something deep connects this 60's Italian project with the British AMM. The cast reads well: Franco Evangelisti (pno,percs), Giancaro Schiaffini (tb &c), Ennio Morricone (tpt. Fl, &c), Giovanni Piazza (horn, fl, vln), Egisto Macchi (percs, strings) and Antonello Neri (pno &c) and the music is open, sonically wide and engaging, abstract and full of surprises. Altogether a fine - and historical - release (actually re-release, the original came out of the great Cramps label in 1976). Nicely packaged.
Unreleased recordings made between 1967 and 1969 by this legendary and historic group made up only of composers: Ennio Morricone, Franco Evangelisti, Mario Bertoncini, Walter Branchi, Ivan Vandor, Roland Kayn, Egisto Macchi, John Heinemann & additionally here, Frederick Rzewski. Founded by Evangelisti, GNIC played an important part in the general opening-up of contemporary music in the wake of the Cage/Darmstadt debates. Decentered forms, unconventional techniques, inclusion of electronics and a highly disciplined approach to 'unmusical' performance made them pioneers in a specifically European language of sonic abstraction. Without wanting to open any debates, there are strong links to AMM, their British contemporaries. The DVD - a film made for Norddeutscher Rundfunk in 1967 by Theo Gallehr is a gripping journey through preparation, extended instrumental techniques, live performance and interviews - with intelligent questions, thoughtfully answered. Plus a great deal of cigarette smoke. Improvisation poses questions; it isn't yet a style. Altogether a priceless document. Three Digipacks in a very sturdy box with a poster and a useful 76pp booklet in Italian and English. LIMITED EDITION OF 500.
Reissue of a classic. Originally released in 1992 this is a CD with four tracks, each of which carries very quiet, small sounds. Often imitated since, this particular work embodies an original thought; and as such bears the echo and substance of its breakthrough power. Now the idea is out there, that energy is not required. And, historically, the earliest works do tend to retain their aesthetic productivity, since it is in them that a critique is most clearly appreciated and posed. It's also a definitive CD artwork: surface noise would defeat it - and you need a quiet system to listen on.
Four Fluxus documents, 38 minutes total. The title piece (human voice soundtrack of stuka attack) and a balloon piece (squeaks, ululations and bangs, with a bemused/amused public and mike overloads) both date from 1987. The later Car Bibbe (car horn chaos, with public and dogs) was recorded in 1989 as was The Futuristic Chatanooga Choo Choo in the Mongolian Desert (Guitar and voices). Comes on translucent blue vinyl and in a very limited art edition. Collectors and Libraries. Short Supply
Commissioned respectively for German and Swedish Radio, these two pieces, like all Hartman's work are detailed, engaging, constructions that suggest environments and narratives, invoking strongly visceral as well as aesthetic responses. These are true radio pieces, though the category is a thorny one, although they share techniques with electro-acoustic and concrete works; it is a difference obvious only in the act of listening. Very nice work.
In the series, this is a sound-work made for a permanent garden installation at the mattress factory in Pennsylvania. The classic Julius forest of small sounds, various articulated; atmospheres and shifting colours. Meticulous. All white with foldout insert with drawings and some text by RJ. Art Edition.
Comprising one sound CD and one CD-ROM concert video. The sound part features predominantly Kiraly's writings for voice - a children's opera from 1963 and various songs and improvisations with Katalin Ladik, some with the Ensemble Acezantez. It's interesting historically and as contemporary vocal work from the 60's and '70's. But the CD gets into high gear with the bonus track - a tablophone solo from 1998 by Kiraly himself, which is astonishing. His instrument is already otherworldly (electrified, highly modified zithers) but his aesthetic is really sharp and on the edge (and the guy is in his eighties now). Think Fred Frith/Keith Rowe and then some. The CDROM is more artistic to look at than informative since it is dramatically lit and low resolution; still it's a good document, and fixes a great piece of music. For this 24+ minutes and the solo audio track the CD is already worth having. Kiraly is one of the few - and a pioneer. And he's still way ahead of people a quarter his age.
A comprehensive collection of electronic works made between 1952 and 1990, but predominantly in the '60s and '70s, which includes many of the works that have since been declared classics of the genre (Scambi, Presque Rien avec Filles, Strathoven (early Plunderphonic), Visages, Omaggio a James Joyce, Momenti, Le Rire..). This is, in fact, the entire BVAAST Acousmatrix series repackaged in a sturdy box with an extra information sheet. There is nothing new. The first 5 names have a CD each (Koenig & Dhomont are doubles), Berio and Maderna share, and the rest are on one CD dedicated to the work of the legendary Koln Studio, back in the glory days between 1952 and 1958. This is a useful window both on the formative years, and the years of expansion. A useful set, especially for students of the genre.
The real Elevator Music.16 exemplary tracks of (mostly Parisian) lifts in La Defense, Radio France, La Villette and the Metro, plus a pedestrian tunnel in Anvers and the Unilodge building in Melbourne. A great example of where less is definitely more. A classic.
One of the key figures in electronic music development, though better known as an inventor, Le Caine did make pieces and some of the best are collected here. Some humorous and plunderphonic (happy birthday made from the scream in Berg's Lulu), some informative - demonstrations by Le Caine of his instruments and some just very entertaining or ear-turning. Echoes of Raymond Scott.
Documents of interest to a few specialists.Vorticist and novelist Lewis speaks - radio essays about Britishness, art and literature, some poems and an extract from 'The Apes of God'. Breathtakingly xenophobic. But a useful historical document for those who are interested.
3 CD set and DVD Remarkable and welcome collection of the work of the New Zealand composer and electronic music pioneer who founded the first electronic music studio in the southern hemisphere. He was also someone who avoided the emerging language and cliches of European electronics and followed his own unique path into the universe of synthesised and documentary sound, using the simplest and most demanding tools (no samplers then - the legendary VCS3 synthesiser was top of the line).The result is a very individual and unusual collection of pieces that betray the sweat that went into their making. All that effort had to be for a purpose: today you can knock of a piece in an afternoon, it's not such a great investment; but then you had to roll up your sleeves and slave for months, so there had to be a reason to put yourself through all that. These pieces were reason enough. And they are, to my ear, great. Simple and essential. It is a commonplace observation that 'primitive' means can often outpace touch-of-a-button sophisticated technology, since they test the person and the quality of the thinking rather than the facility of the machine. This is a good example. All in all, an excellently organised and well presented set, with good, full, notes that do its subject justice. And it celebrates an important composer who is still, unfairly, little known.
Using only Glass - in all shapes and forms, and subjected to all manner of soundings and playing techniques - Glass World was essentially a performance piece, premiered at the Middle Earth club in London in 1978, and then recorded over the next two years for Tangent Records. It is one of the iconic works of the period; constantly referenced, making this is a valuable document. Tiger Balm is a 1970 piece, made for the BBC using loops, drones, recordings of tigers, and other found sounds in an early, and successful attempt to create a hypnotic protean drone. Limited Edition reissue in gatefold cardboard sleeve with two booklets, one of substantial notes by Lockwood, the other 'Piano Transplants', which documents Lockwood's scores and events in which pianos were variously burned, sited in parks and gardens, sunk in ponds and anchored on beaches.
We have only a handful of copies of this elusive gem, after six months of trying. This is a great collection from the groundbreaking American PBS radio programme that collects, contextualises and broadcasts historic location and documentary recordings. Two and a half hours and 10 programmes of fascinating recovered sounds, including an eyewitness account to the Gettysburg address, Carny language, Cigar manufactory storytellers, Virginia Steam trains - their whistles and drivers, Tennessee Williams' cardboard penny arcade recording, listening to the Northern Lights and a gold-dust item about recovering sounds from obsolete, forgotten and arcane media. Magnificent.
The classic recording for voice and tape that set a whole movement in train. For 45 minutes Alvin's original recording, which describes the process he is undertaking, changes from coherence to pure noise as it follows the process: first it is played back into the room in which it was recorded, then that playback is recorded in the same room and in its turn played back - and so on until all that remains is an unintelligible, inhuman sound that bears the print of the acoustics of the room itself. A landmark work. Indispensible.
One of the classic long wire pieces. Essentially this is a one string aolian harp (with active but steady state oscillation applied to it) - magnetically amplified (like an electric guitar). Slowly modulating pure tones, drones, silences, harmonics. Tuned to play itself by reacting to slight changes in its environment.
5 early pieces, including the legendary Vespers - where people with Sondols (clicking echolocation devices) move around and three-dimensionally map an enclosed space (a room).. this is of course unrecordable, but here is a fair approximation - and even in this form it's a radical and fascinating piece. Then there are 4 other pieces: Chambers, the sounds of different acoustic spaces - occupied rooms - brought together; North American Time Capsule, speech and song wholly converted to electronic sounds through Vocoders; Middletown (Memory Space), for koto, accordion, piano, shakuhachi and electric guitar and Elegy for Albert Anastasia - for low electronic sounds, a prescient work for the early '60s. A historic document. Enthusiastic notes, though low on useful information.
12 films made between 1935, when Lye was working in John Grierson's groundbreaking GPO film unit, and 1980, charting the work of this pioneering maker of movies without a camera Here he, explores various techniques: painting and spraying directly onto blank film stock with, and without, stencils, working independently with all 3 separate negatives of colour film, scratching onto exposed negatives, direct contact (rayogram) and working with found footage (plunderoptics). Plus there is one more conventional animation. In all of them, music is essential - from Holst through Cuban Jazz and Sonny Terry to African percussion Orchestras. VHS PAL. With full notes in a 32pp booklet in French and English.
Long overdue reissue of 2 very rare Folkways LPs. These are that rare commodity, politically explicit music, and rarer - they are complex and experimental music. Billed as electronic at the time (1968-1972) these seminal compositions mix electronics, Musique Concréte, multiple media fragments, vocal and instrumental sources to powerful effect; underwriting a freshness and immediacy seldom found in this field (Trevor Wishart honourably excepted). These are not polished gems but living, twisting things; which is not to say they are simple - their form is highly evolved and sophisticated, exploring techniques that would not be taken up for a decade and more. Soaked in the heat of its time and as full of ideas as if that time might end at any moment - this work pulls absolutely no punches. We need a Mimarolglu right now. Historic, and unequivocally recommended.
An Alga Marghen box with 154 page book and a lot of original documents, including full colour original posters and programmes from the New York Avant Garde Fesival, which Moorman organised between 1963 &1980. Her work with Nam Jun Paik has rather overshadowed the rest of her career so this collection re-inserts her in the heart of the New Music activities of the time. There are performances of works by Cage, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Guisppe Chiari, Earle Brown, Sylvano Busotti, Stockhausen (+ robot) and others, a choral work performed by Paik, Ben Patterson, Philip Corner, Malcolm Goldstein and Jackson Mac Low, and of course collaborations with Nan Jun Paik (one with a tape collage made by Ornette Coleman, apparently). There is also a long interview with Moorman. Last few copies of a Limited Edition of 500 copies.
Postage: uk - £6.25, europe - £10.88, rest of world - £20.72
1959 -1984, 6 pieces by the legendary Gordon Mumma, much heard of but not much heard (unfotunately). These are pieces made for dance, but work excellently alone. Mumma was one of the non-aligned sonic investigators (like Tudor, he was someone who liked to roll up his sleeves and solder, wiring experimental circuits and then running them). The pieces here range from roaring planes and smoke through spacious zen garden episodes and from bowed psaltery and bandoneon through to collected and synthesised sounds. A wide and panoramic collection that explores sound intelligently and closely that should be in any comprehensive collection.
This 5 CD box with a comprehensive 140pp booklet documents the legendary Ann Arbor festivals organised by a musicians' group including Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, Donald Scavarda, George Cacioppo and Roger Reynolds where these composers and others (inc. David Behrman and Pauline Olivieros) presented new works, straight from the press, performed often by themselves. These are radio recordings and the quality is respectable. Neither New York School, nor Darmstadt, these were alternative proposals for how music might be constructed. Mostly instrumental, there are also mixed media and purely electronic pieces featured. For students of this period and of these composers, this will be indispensable.
Negativeland's website says 'bootleg" versions of our banned EP have appeared over the past decade, including some forgeries that are so well-designed that it's hard to tell them apart from the original, but none of them have come even close to encapsulating the bloody history of that old release as this brand-new CD on the suspicious "Seelard Records" label. We don't even know where this "label" is located'. This ' is an album-length collection of just about every darn gasp uttered by Negativland which relates to the notorious and banned EP, from early run-thrus of the material (taped from our weekly radio show, OVER THE EDGE), to live versions both pre-lawsuit and post, and to the actual single itself. We are amazed at the extremely high-fidelity and professional presentation of this material, which even includes the only top-notch recordings available from our "Music For Lawyers" tour of 1993 (several lawsuit-related compositions which never saw the light of day on any other "legitimate" Negativland album)'. Historic. Buy it while you can.
Historic recordings of Neuhaus' interpretations of John Cage's Fontana Mix made with a pair of tympani with contact microphones attached, speakers adjacent and controlled feedback operated by Neuhaus at a nearby mixer. Important because it is a very early example of live electronic music, because it a very early use of controlled feedback (outside rock) and because it was evidently LOUD. The sleeve notes are good and well illustrated. You are recommended to listen with the speakers as loud as you can bear. I find it more interesting than good to listen to (I find it rather irritating). Though many will disagree (feedback is popular again now). Historic.
Known now as one of the pioneers of sound art, Neuhaus trained and was active in the early '60's as a percussionist. These recordings, made between 1964 &1968 in New York, London, Koln, and Chicago present 3 interpretations each of three pieces by Cage, Brown and Feldman. The Brown (four systems) feature amplified cymbals, the Feldman (The King of Denmark) metal, wood and occasional drum is played with the fingers, and is modestly great., the Cage (Realization '64 and Realization '65) are wildly different again; for '64 he chose amplified Tam Tam, automobile string, a wood scraper, tympani and a radio, for '65 (both versions) he constructed a frame with metal rods, wood, rawhide and plastic and amplified it with contact microphones, then he made a tape from Realization '64 to accompany himself. Clean, dry sounds, very electronic, hard to imagine it being played. Good 16pp booklet with thorough notes, scores and photographs. Altogether an excellent collection, and rare - a very useful addition to the record of an important period.
Solid gold CD, with fine performances of Partch's 11 Intrusions and the rare Dark Brother, plus new works for Parch instruments in Harry's style by Drummond: Before the last Laugh and Congressional Record (with wonderful texts), both extremely good. Buy it! Dominic Muldowney, Bernard Rands and Jan Steele).
(It's close to 4 kilos and the price includes postage)
Compete documentation in a black hand-made box, signed and numbered by Hermann Nitsch. This is the legendary documentation of Aktion Nr. 100 or "Das 6-Tage-Spiel des Orgien Mysterien Theaters, mastered from the original recordings made at Prinzendorf Castle during the epic 6 days of the 100th Aktion (3-9 August 1998). More than 48 hours of massive, monumental sound, featuring 4 orchestra groups, a substantial percussion ensemble, bells, two folkmusic/festival bands, an amplified synthesiser and a 100 voice choir. We are not fooling around here. I've only got as far as CD (26) and so far it's pretty stunning. Like a soap opera - so much time to develop and change the material. Lots of simultaneous events, lots of fascinating, long sections of bells, dissonances and mysterious harmonies. One great CD a day would last you close to two months. And this is an artwork. 20 years from now it'll be your pension. The package also includes the complete documentation of the Aktion, consisting of 3 full-size printed books (cm.21x15) with the reproduction of the full score - including star maps, drawings, paintings, formulae and graphics: Volume One, 720 pages; Volume Two, 432 pages; Volume Three, 464 pages - plus the original program given to the audience taking part in the aktion (20 full-colour pages, cm. 21x15), plus the original full-colour folded poster of the Aktion (size cm. 84x58) and a 20 page booklet (12 x 12), numbered and signed by Nitsch, including the essay "The O.M. Theatre's Music", as well as liner notes and technical information (in German). Privately issued by Atelier Nitsch, 2005. It may seem expensive, but this is an artwork, and seen in those terms, remarkably cheap.
This is the first CD documentation of an event which took place in the Chiesa di Santa Lucia in Bologna, Italy in 1977, shortly after Beate Nitsch's death. Until this time Nitsch's music had essentially been a wall of noise: musicians could play anything they liked, but as loud as possible. With the Requiem Nitsch, for the first time, started to work with longer tone clusters, especially for the wind instruments. The perfect acoustics of the church with its wonderful organ suggested a new and much richer direction in his music- to which he has since adhered. 2 CDs in a tri-folded digipack - reproducing the impossible-to-find 3LP gallery edition issued in Naples in 1977. With a 12 page folded insert with drawings and directions from the original LP boxed set. This edition also includes a 32 page (shocking, for those of a sensitive nature) full-colour photo documentation of the aktion, available for the first time. Edition of 1000 copies, only 700 available for distribution.
The old '60s actionist troublemaker, mellowed by time it seems, triumphantly reappearing here with a (graphically) composed piece for 42 piece orchestra. Originally made for a 6-day event in 1998, this version was (very well) recorded in 2004. Though Hermann still talks in an Artaudian way about the scream, sado-masochism, warm entrails and accompanying ecstatic noise, this has more the sound of Brandt, Scelsi, Partch or Universe Symphony Ives. It is extremely coherent and highly unusual - strangely meditative and thoughtful. And it works stunningly well on a purely musical level. In fact few composers today make music so radical and interesting to my ear; partly perhaps because Nitch's approach, from the other side of the sensory divide, has given him an ear for the theatre of sound that is unhampered by conformism or rebellion or the opinion of his peers. This is a music free of the cul de sac that music has of late backed into. A breath of fresh air. In a threefold digipack with a 28pp book with scores and photographs printed on strong art board. Comes in a slipcase.
Likely the most essential release of 2001. 60 tracks covering the period 1969 to 1996 - including all 25 tracks from the infamous banned Plunderphonic CD -in re-mastered and alternate versions. Plus a 44-page, handbound, hardcover book, featuring a 30,000 word interview with Oswald who discusses the process and the cultural and historical context of the tracks, plus many of his own full-colour photo-collage images. Along with Cage's 4-33, Schaeffer's Etude aux Tourniquets, Oswald's Plunderphonic has to be one of the pivotal musical paradigm shifters of the second half of the C20.
Only while limited numbers last, this is the scarce Japanese import of the 1993 plunderphonic classic in which John samples over a thousand top-hundred artists from the past 10 years. Starting with 'rapmillisylables', it then progresses through the material according to tempo. Hard to describe because the material moves so fast (there are thousands of fragments). It is jaw-droppingly complex, at the same time as being nothing but glossy hits exploding into a million shards (harmless when whole, exploded this stuff is lethal). This piece works on so many levels it's better to leave it to you the listener. EP length; indispensable
Troublemaker, prankster, collaborator with Cage and Stockhausen, Fluxus alumnus Paik has here for the first time some of his recorded work released on a CD . Includes Hommage a John Cage (for tape and piano) and Study for piano and Simple (1958-60) both of which are in effect, classic early tape-works - incorporating plenty of stolen - sorry, referential - audio material. Plus Prepared Piano for Merce Cunningham (1977) a live performance by Paik for detuned piano and voice, and Duetti (as above but with Takis duetting on his metal sculptures). An historic release, very nicely presented.
Rotate the Body in All Its Planes (Music for Acrobats by HP), Music Studio - Harry Partch (Partch introduces and demonstrates his instruments and performs, alone, using overdubs (!) WINDSONG. This is worth the whole video, U.S. Highball - A performance/film of the celebrated Hobo piece; excellent - MTV Phooie !, DAPHNE OF THE DUNES (Windsong in full as soundtrack to a curious narrative-artmovie). A MUST for any HP fan. Invaluable archive material. From the US original converted by the British Harry Partch Society to UK PAL standard.
BIG NEWS!! Nearly 5 hours of priceless archive material from one of the great musical originals of the century; all recordings not in print, and nearly all works so far unreleased, plus Harry lecturing, reading, introducing the pieces and being interviewed; plus a sound-collage memoriam featuring informal (& illicitly recorded) conversation amongst HP's friends and tapes of HP at the piano talking with friends and playing. A mix of old precious low fi recordings and some new digital recordings too. Excellently compiled. Think of this as 2 evenings well spent with HP: he introduces the selections, gives you a clear exposition, with musical examples, of his tuning system. Here too is a substantial part (a sidesworth) of the extraordinary and prodigious 'Bitter Music' (HP thought he'd destroyed all copies). In other words, it's a gem - and for any fan of HP, indispensible. What's more, it is very cheap. While it is around. Plus informative and well designed book.
A massive 528 page hardback art-book 21x29cm. A portrait chronicle of Partch's life and work compiled from original documents, here reproduced. Includes over 300 photographs by HP and others, reproductions of HP's writings and letters - a mass of important material (corres. inc. Anais Nin, John Cage, W.B. Yeats, Martha Graham, etc), lectures, drawings, reviews, sketches...A remarkable and beautifully made artefact. Limited edition of 800 copies .Sorry but we have to add Postage Cost for this 2.4 Kilo book . UK, £ 9 , Europe £ 13 : Rest of the world: £ 25. That's their best scale.
MADELAINE TOURTELOT's film of all playing, all singing, all dancing 1969 UCLA stage production (75mins.), with extra interpolated film material. It makes all the difference to see how HP imagined his music to look as well as sound. A crucial document + the San Diego KEBS-TV documentary featuring 'Daphne of the Dunes', two duets from 'On the 7th day...' (Harry P. and Danlee Mitchell) and an interview with HP (28 minutes). PAL version.l
A highly eclectic assembly, with a 32 page 7" square illustrated book which outlines pataphysics and the relation of the pieces here to it. Works include the first recording of Alphonse Allais' 1884 anticipation of Cage's 4:33: Funeral music for a great deaf man, two college of pataphysics recordings of Jarry texts from 1946 and 1951, music by Marcel Duchamp, a short, rare extract from one of Percy Grainger's music machines from 1952, a Boris Vian song, Harpo Marx, some extraordinary phonetic palindromes by Luc Etienne, an unreleased, manipulated recording of Soft Machine's 'pataphysical alphabet', Ponukelian Melody by Gavin Bryers - an 11 minute composition for organ, bells, cello and tuba, lugubrious and, I have to say, very funny, recorded live at the Lucy Milton gallery in 1975 with Christopher Hobbs, John White and Briars himself, a lipogrammic version of part of Schubert's Ab major sonata by Christopher Hobbs, three field recordings by John Levack Drever, and half dozen other highly varied pieces to boot. A limited edition, and a one-off selection of generally excellent and historic material. Companion to Big Ears, Fitzgerald's Manifesto.
Two pieces with some incidental sounds, one a collection of quotations from the world's philosophers, grouped according to Chinese Astrology, the second a lecture, effectively 'Art as thinking; thinking as Art'.
A fine collection of piano pieces by known and unknown composers written between 1912 and 1920 that were performed by Nelly Van Doesberg at Bauhaus, De Stijl and Dada events between 1921-25. It includes pieces by Josef Hauer (much referenced but seldom heard), Honneger, Poulenc, Schoenberg and Satie and names lesser known (and therefore more interesting). These are excellent, very listenable, and mostly very short, pieces. Good sleeve-notes with some appropriate documents.
A critical figure in the early C20 avant-garde and instrumental in the history of Dada, both in Europe and New York, Francois Picabia composed only one musical work in his lifetime but - however you listen to it, and however you account for its composition - this is a work that once encountered is impossible to ignore - notwithstanding the fact that for close to 90 years it has been glossed over in most histories of C20 art and music. Written in 1920 for the Parisian Festival Dada (until now its only performance), La Nourrice Americaine consists of 'three notes repeated to infinity'. Although it may have been intended as a provocation, in the light of subsequent developments (Cage's playing of the Duchamp card, the rise or rediscovery of conceptual art and the evolution of musical minimalism) it cannot be ignored. Moreover, it works: there are two 20 minute versions on this CD - one slow, the other much faster, and it is an illumination how completely different they are: a classical demonstration that the physical grain of things, the phenomenological experience of qualia, can never be discounted; that sometimes what is relegated to mere detail turns out to be the central matter of a work. For me, for instance, the faster version is a far better composition - though it is problematical to explain how and why; and the fact that it is so hard to explain itself justifies the importance of the work. There are great complexities in this apparently absurd simplicity - which, of course, anybody could have produced at any time. But the fact is that nobody did - until Picabia. And after Picabia, a barrier was broken, easing the way into new territories for generations that followed. Between the two versions there is a rare radio interview with Picabia made in the late '40s (in French - with an Englsh translation in the accompanying booklet). Otherwise there are notes, a brief biography and a facsimile poster from the Festival Dada programme.
A CD reissue at last of the long unavailable CRI collection featuring very early US tape music pieces by Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky (1952-56) including Fantasy in Space, Moonflight and Low Speed; 'Stereo Electronic Music No.2' by Bulent Arel, Mario Davidovsy's famous 'Synchronisms' No.5' for percussion ensemble and electronics and 'Pril Miley's 'Kolyosa'. Then there are early computer pieces by Ussachevsky and Alice Shields' 'The Transformation of Ani'. An historic collection with useful sleeve notes.
Beautifully made environmental recordings from the natural sanctuaries and settlements around Modena, Italy. Wildlife, environmental ambiances, animals, some human sounds. Unexpected material. Exquisite. Start with any of them.. Salse di Nirano
Beautifully made environmental recordings from the natural sanctuaries and settlements around Modena, Italy. Wildlife, environmental ambiances, animals, some human sounds. Unexpected material. Exquisite. Start with any of them. Sassi di Roccamalatina.
Beautifully made environmental recordings from the natural sanctuaries and settlements around Modena, Italy. Wildlife, environmental ambiances, animals, some human sounds. Unexpected material. Exquisite. Start with any of them. Appenines
Beautifully made environmental recordings from the natural sanctuaries and settlements around Modena, Italy. Wildlife, environmental ambiances, animals, some human sounds. Unexpected material. Exquisite. Start with any of them. Sassoguidano.
This is a model, a standard, a template for how such collections should be assembled and presented. Four CDs in a substantial box with seven booklets (180pp) comprehensively written, beautifully documented and illustrated in full colour on nice print stock with 3 fold-out replicas: a score, a schematic, an early newspaper article - and a fold out time chart. The texts are excellently researched and written (with exemplary materials on the Philips laboratory, electronic scoring for film, the three featured artists: Dick Raaijmakers aka Kid Baltan. Henk Badings and Tom Dissevelt, and extensive track notes, beautifully designed. The CDs concentrate only on the popular and functional productions of the studio, meaning ballet music, industrial film soundtracks and experimental productions of what was intended to be 'popular electronic music', that is non-academic electronics pitched somewhere between science fiction beeps and swoops, tunes, lounge and jazz. That said, most is not sleazy (as much later work in the field tended to be) but really straddles worlds in a fascinating (and very listenable) way. CD1 presents 2 ballet scores by Henk Badings, 'Cain and Abel' (1956) and 'Evolutionen' (1958), plus 'the world's first attempt at popular electronic music' - a single by Kid Baltan (1957) with an unpublished B-side for 3 ondes martinots and backward piano, Tom Dissevelt's extraordinary 'Intersection' for electronic sound and jazz orchestra (1961), plus a few other pieces from 1959 & '60. CD2 features concert and film soundtrack music ('57 - '66) including a pretty wild 16 minute unpublished industrial film track by Dick Raaijmakers (using his own name for his non popular productions). CD 3 reproduces Tom Dissevelt's 'Fantasy in Orbit' LP (1963) and CD 4 contains great alternate versions of some of the pieces on the other CDs, some extra, short, unpublished pieces and 75 'sound example' tracks which are not only fascinating and instructive but also make great listening just as they are, in sequence. The CD ends with a spoken letter from Fred Judd (1966) to Tom Dissevelt about the problems of popular electronic music and the state of play in the UK as well as Holland at the time. This CD is a gem. But then so are volumes 1 and 2. Vol 3 is a more standard electronic/lounge production, interesting but not exceptional. Overall, I would say that this is as much of a must-have set as Raymond Scott's 'Manhattan Research' which it in many ways resembles and which was also produced by Basta. This was a critical and interesting period in the history of early electronics, and the Dutch productions have until now been rather ignored. They were important and here they have been given the best presentation anyone could want. Essential. And cheap!
For a few this will be Big News. Pound's original and eccentric music (aided by George Antheil) is much written about but virtually never heard; now these historical recordings have been gathered from rare performances. Mostly text based and pitched somewhere between medieval vocal music (sparsely accompanied by a small chamber group) and Erik Satie's 'Socrate', these works occupied some 15 years (on and off) of Pound's life. Le Testament, written in the early 20's was first performed in 1971 and Cavalcanti, though commissioned by the BBC, was never submitted to them and was thought lost until it was reconstructed by Robert Hughes in the 1980s. Comes with an excellent 80-page booklet, a thorough essay by Pound music expert Margaret Fisher, and previously unpublished photographs.
One of the pioneers, most famously for Scambi, produced at RAI in Milan in the mid-1950s - a work which is endlessly referenced and considered one of the landmarks of the genre. Trois Visages.. from 1961, mixes electronic and concrete materials and approximates ice storms, Industry, Russian constructivist film soundtracks and city montages. An excellent piece for this period, and programmatic. Paraboles.. from 1972, works in real time with 8 different 30 minute pieces used as source material for live mixing, spatialising and processing and appears here in a version prepared for this CD by the composer in 1990. Quiet, rather minimal and static. Interesting and useful notes.
Man Ray made 4 films in the 1920s, which secured his place as a major figure in avant-garde cinema. They are collected here along with ten seldom seen short autobiographical films. All the films are in French with English subtitles. Contents: Le Retour à la Raison, Emak Bakia, L'Étoile de Mer, Les Mystères du Château du Dé. All zones PAL DVD. 112 minutes, with bilingual booklet.
A selection of films from the Dada Film Pioneer including: Rhythmus 21 and 23 (1921, 1923), Filmstudie (1926), Ghosts Before Breakfast and Inflation (1927-8), Race Symphony and Twopence Magic (1928-9) and Everything Turns, Everything Revolves (1929). VHS PAL. With excellent notes in a 24 pp booklet in French and English.
Another excellent collection of Piano pieces, continuing in the LTM Satie series that includes many of the better known works - the Gymnopedies, Gnossiennes, Sports et Divertissements - as well as lesser known but equally exquisite short, mostly melodic, enigmatic pieces that are a pleasure to listen to. Fine playing. Useful notes. To be taken in small doses for best appreciation.
Excellent collection, beautifully played, of works Satie wrote for his collaborations with Picasso, including the two cubist ballets 'Parade' and 'Mercure', both of which are here interestingly presented both in orchestra versions and piano transcriptions. The other titles are 'Les Pantins Dansent', Trois Valses Distinguees du Precieux Degoute' and 'Divertisement (la statue retrouve)'.
Not the whole of it, of course, that would take a day or so. But here are the first 40 repeats of Satie's disarming motif. Dating from 1893, this piece, its first complete performance organised by John Cage in 1963, stands as a monument to a deceptively revolutionary musical mind. The score calls for 840 repeats, but to say that is only to repeat words - it can't approach the physical experience of listening; and of course no played repeat is really a repeat. Can you listen to it? Of course, for a while, then like any repeated thing, figure repositions itself as ground, then it gets interesting. Because not mechanical, this is furniture music with personality. It is also a musical landmark and it's good news that someone has at last set it on a record.
A collection of piano pieces played at, or written for, various Dada events in Paris between 1921-3. One or two pieces are well known but most will be heard here for the first time. The whole CD is nicely programmed, getting progressively stranger before finally returning to more familiar ground. The Ribemont-Dessaignes pieces are particularly remarkable - you couldn't date them - and for anybody interested in the history of musical ideas, very valuable. They are world premiere recordings, so this is the first opportunity to hear them. The same is true of the three Mesens pieces. The collection ends with a restored 1925 recording of Stravinsky's played by Marcelle Meyer, the pianist who performed at the two Dada events listed here.Nice booklet, with useful notes and illustrations. A pleasant, eccentric and - for the recording premiere pieces - useful CD.
2 CDs in a hard bound 148 page (colour) book, beautifully illustrated and laid out, well documented. What to say about this extraordinary document? Raymond Scott, best known as a bandleader and composer whose quintet performed fast and furious pieces - many of which found their way into Bugs Bunny cartoons - was also an inventor and pioneer of electronic instruments (Sequencers, Bass line Generator, Elektronium, Clavivox, Bandito the bongo artist), ran electronic R&D for Motown and produced a significant amount of electronic music for soundtracks, commercials, demonstration purposes - and for the hell of it. Many of the pieces painstakingly assembled here have never been heard outside Scott's studios. Musical content. Stranger than Negativland, stranger than fiction are the real commercial's of the late 50's and early 60's that were the bread and butter work of Manhattan Research, making much of this collection more post modern than post modern. I mean some of these pieces are deeply odd, others breathtakingly kitschy. And so much great copy-writing. A minute is the average length. Sometimes Raymond talks about the pieces (from lectures). It says a lot about the "future" as conceived in the late 50's and early 60's. Then there are demonstration recordings, work tapes and experimental extracts featuring some of RS's many invented electronic instruments (he designed the first sequencer in 1960 - way ahead of the game - which like another great pioneer, Les Paul, he first kept to himself. Then there are short film soundtracks and instrumental pieces - in the Forbidden Planet vein (or even electro-poppy) rather than art-electronic, but still using state of the art technology and techniques. So much that seems contemporary is already stated here, and sometimes what is achieved is up to and beyond any art electronics of the period. Still the approach is always popular, if sometimes warped. This collection hits on so many levels- musical, experimental, sociological, historical that it is impossible to exaggerate it's importance. And it makes great listening. The book is superb and the research impressive. This is a thing of beauty, of history and of strangeness. It's not stunning but it is incomparable- a glimpse into one eccentric life. Priceless. And cheap.
A fine collection of early Japanese electronic and concrete works made between 1965-1979, mostly at the Utrecht Institute of Sonology and the legendary Princeton Music Centre. The (excellent) earliest piece, like Stockhausen's first studies, is made entirely from sine waves, while the rest feature the increasing inclusion of environmental recordings. The last composition, City Visit, made in 1979 - which occupies 40 minutes of the whole CD - consists entirely of New York urban soundscape recordings without additional treatments or processing - a fascinating portrait of the city, and an important contribution to the history of soundscape phonography. A valuable release.
5 pieces - for clarinet and string quartet; small ensemble and computer; cello; flute and electronics; small orchestra. The compositional premiss is a division of 72 parts to the octave. This is a music with a deep logic, which you can hear. Even if there seems to be nothing going on, after a while you've heard a whole lot. Subtle and satisfying. Highly unorthodox.
3 CD's and a full book in a box of the long deleted LP set that accompanied Pierre Schaeffer's definitive book "Traite des objets musicaux" in 1967. A kind of lecture with a lot of sound examples - consists of speech (in French, short sentences mostly - all translated in the book into English and Spanish) and the sounds, raw and cooked.
A collection of pioneering computer works by American Icon Tenney which includes the celebrated ur-plunderphonic piece Collage No.1 (Blue Suede).The music on the rest of the CD - like much computer music - is rather bloodless; an exception being the hurricane of sound that is Fabric for Chè. For those concerned with the early history of electronic music this is a useful CD, for those with a more general interest, the two pieces above and the 6 minute Music for Player Piano remain significant early works.
Companion to Pataphysics and Fitzgerald, this is a CD in a 28pp 7" square book, compiled by the founding director of the legendary Ubuweb, who says in his introduction that: 'This compilation is a celebration of Impurity and guilty pleasures, as viewed through the lens of the historic avant garde'. The CD contains disparate extreme and cutup pieces, about 2/5 of which I think are startling, noteworthy or breathtakingly eccentric (and have strange, often outsider-art histories: Artuad, Williams, Language removal services, Nakano, and especially the glorious Dokaka and Landers) and all of which feature text and/or the human voice. The booklet includes writing experiments, poetry and drawings. Well worth the candle. While stocks last.
The legendary LP set now available as a limited edition 4 CD set, with a highly informative 72pp booklet. This is one of those really extraordinary releases that defy all account. The short-wave radio environment is filled with unidentified stations broadcasting spoken numbers, tones and sometimes modulated noise. No one owns up to them, it is illegal in the UK even to listen to them. They are scary, mysterious, blatant, mindless. They are in fact the dark work of secret government agencies, broadcasting in one-time pad code to clandestine offices and operatives - but blatantly, in plain earshot. And in human, all too human voices that convey, in spite of the emptiness of the message, strange emotions, coloured by the static, blips, leakages and musical extracts that entwine with them. They are the repressed writ large. Publicly broadcast but ostensibly meaningless, they are malignant communications that we are instructed not to know about (the official response to one journalist's enquiry was simply that it was illegal to listen. He stopped asking). All the more extraordinary then that a group of people have monitored, logged and recorded these stations around the globe. The cumulative effect is indescribable - though its complexities and beauties are unintended, like the beauty of poisonous exotic plants growing in the dark. The most hardcore conceptual artist would have to bow to this masterful material. The accompanying notes are informative and excellent, and the records impenetrable. This is subversive work, and it's no kind of art. It's also completely fascinating. There's a very limited quantity, and it's unlikely to be repressed in the near future, so it may be now or never.
Ur -Ambient. Noisy bird sanctuary? Two versions of David Tudor’s celebrated acoustic environment‚ for vibrating objects - suspended and distributed in space and fed to Tudor (and others) to be processed, remixed and redistributed - one with DT and Takehisa Kosugi made for Merce Cunningham and recorded in 1990, the other for a larger group but with no recording dates. It‚s one of the classic pieces always written about. Here’s what it sounded like.
3 pieces: Anima Pepsi, recorded in the legendary Pepsi Pavilion at the 1970 Expo, is derived from heavily processed animal and insect sounds, Toneburst (1975), written for Merce Cunninham, uses only electronic instabilities and internal feedback, with no external source sounds, Dialects (1985) is built around insect wings and alpha rhythms, again in a salad of cross-wiring. Like so much of Tudor, there is a fascination with the system and the process, to the extent that what comes out is rather arbitrary. These pieces are chaotic and not unlike, though preceding by decades, some laptop music. The sounds are generally more interesting though, because dirter. For those who like Tudor.
A valuable collection that documents an important period (1955-1963) and Tudor's shift from standard piano (albeit played inside and out and both at once) to electronically transformed sounds, though still originating with the piano. The astonishing recording here is of Cage's 'Variations II' (26.30), where Tudor for the first time - it was his decision, not suggested by Cage, or the score - wired the piano with both contact and directional microphones as well as LP cartridges, and worked with the piano guts, incipient feedback loops and noise to realise the score. Instantly recognised as a landmark at the time (1961), it remained for Cage one of his 'most significant productions'. It is a classic, and this CD is worth having for this recording alone. All the recordings on this collection were made for radio and, other than Cage, feature pieces by Morton Feldman (' Piece for Four Pianos' - Tudor, Feldman, Sherman & Hymovitz - a rare recording of Feldman at the piano), Christian Wolff (Duo for Pianists I & II - the second piano played by Cage), and Bussotti (Piano Piece for David Tudor III). Other than both versions of 'Variations' Tudor plays Cage's Music for Piano 21, 22, 26, 27, 29, 32, 35, 36 - in various different interpretations made between 1955 - and Winter Music. There is also a short extract from an interview with Tudor at the close. Double digipack. Usual RZ art quality. Booklet in German and English.
The three works are: Pulsers - a rattling punkish, uneven, messy pulse (with violin by Takehisa Kosugi), Untitled for bubbling chaos, speech fragments and a lot of feedback loops - and the more interesting Phonemes, full of low tones, silences, small sounds and intermittent events. Essentially pieces derived from messy procedures and circuitry. Interesting and part of the history..
Pieces based on a 'procedural score' for composition with environmental sounds. The title track, made in 1967 is a very early environmental composition and is fascinating, as well as being of historical significance. All the other works are later orchestrations evolved out of different readings or electronic analyses of this one recording, three electronic and one for acoustic instruments, all of them mostly drone-centred. For me, the acoustic piece is far and away the best. In fact this 1980 work and the original 1967 recording, are reason enough to buy this CD.
RUSSOLO, RUTTMAN, CAGE, SCHAEFFER, POUSSEUR, MUMMA, MacLISE, CALE, CONRAD, JECK, OTOMO, TETREAULT, PAULINE, EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN, BOEHMER, NAM JUN PAIK, SONIC YOUTH, VARESE, XENAKIS, JJ SPOOKY, OLIVEROS, IKEDA.: An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music first a chronology 1921-2001
A very worthwhile collection that includes pieces well known, and crucial to the form - though probably already in the collections of students and specialists -: Corale, őWeekend', Etude Violette, Scambi, Poeme Electronique, Concret PH, Rozart Mix, Aspekt, plus a number of unreleased pieces, mostly of interest though not always great, of which for me the most resonant is one by Sonic Youth, made at the end of a concert, where they turned their microphones onto a baying crowd and processed the sound they made in real time. A gem. This is a fine collection for those wanting some grounding in the history of electronic music and for those who will want some of these unreleased pieces. The presentation is eccentric, not chronological, with Pousseur and Mumma in the chronology section and Varese and Cage in the őexploration' section, which is not organised chronologically, nor in any other way that I can perceive. There are notes, but they don't explain the raison d'etre of the order or the choice of pieces either. Better to ignore the educational or historical part and take this as an almost random scattering of interesting pieces by participants in the unfolding story of electronic music. There are rarities here, and strange unexplained juxtapositions. A ő postmodern' approach one might say; slightly scattershot with no clear intellectual underpinning. Are Varese, Cage and Fennesz really comparable in a coherent way?The bulk of the music, however, can speak for itself.
Another vital, if eccentric, collection from SR, who seem now to be the best source for much of the historic catalogue and who are slowly assembling an indispensable library. CD1 contains pieces by well known composers (Ussachevsky, Luening, Ferrari, Dockstader), by much lauded but seldom heard pioneers, such as Daphne Oram, Johanna M Beyer and Hugh Davis, as well as pieces by Morton Subotnik, Alan Splet and Kim Cascone. There's also a quintessential piece of phone-pirate Scanner. CD2, deals more with the recent years and veers off into territories I don't care for so much, but is still a useful overview (Autechre, Yoshihiro Hanno, Merira Asher, Lasse Steen, SPK &c). It also contains a short piece by Percy Grainger for 4 Theremins, a strong sample of industrial ambient Laibach, a feedback piece by David Myers and two inexplicable selections from Sun Ra and Don Van Vliet (well OK for them being there, but the choice of pieces does not bring out what is essential). Still, no complaining. Overall, it's essential listening, and though loosely documented, here the ear's the thing.
Important contemporary documents from Luigi and Antonio Russolo, Filippo Marinetti, Luigi Grandi, Wyndham Lewis, Appollonaire, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco, Richard Huelsenbeck, Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Jean Cocteau. Music and Spoken Word. Invaluable.
Music and spoken word. Contemporary documents featuring Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Tristan Tzara, Salvador Dali, Robert Desnos, Jean Cocteau, Philippe Soupault, Roland Penrose, Andre Breton, Louis Aragon and Antonin Artaud. Invaluable.
Text Soundworks by Cage, Gysin, Ashley, Giorno, Amirkhanian, Coolidge, Gnazzo, Dodge, Anderson, Gallagher and Saroyan made between1962-73. Originally released in 1975, this has become a key release, often cited. Lost are the locked groove recordings that ended each side of the LP (replaced here by a number of repetitions, but hardly the same). With a generous booklet that gives a page to each composer and work, a list of other sources and an overview introduction.
Classic recordings by one of the electronic and improvising pioneers. Beach singularity documents an environmental music event, bizarre in itself and rendered stranger by subsequent processing. Menagerie is a collection of excellent tape pieces made to accompany an exhibition of 'assemblages'. Extra to the original LP is Vocalise - a good example of Wishart's highly developed vocal performances. With well made booklet. These are important documents of interesting and in many ways seminal work, missed on it's first appearance. I hope this helps get TW the recognition he so well deserves. Recommended.
Red Bird is a reissue of the classic LP by maverick British electroacoustic and vocal composer Trevor Wishart, unifying concrete scissors and tape technology, computer work, the human voice and environmental sound under a clear emotional and political agenda of content without finger pointing or didacticism. Rare achievement. Anticredos, for 6 amplified voices ('the most versatile instrument we have') is quite extraordinary.
Composed between 1970 and 72 in one of the UK's earliest electronic music studios, privately pressed as two LP's in 1973. There are acoustic sections, mostly of junk and toys (bike bells, squeeze horns, bottles, metal tubes, combs etc; everyday field recordings, Concrete sounds and a lot of processing (also features current York University students Steve Beresford, Jonty Harrison, Roger Marsh, Dominic Muldowney, Bernard Rands and Jan Steele).
Red Bird (a political prisoner's dream) is the 1977 work where 'birds, animals, words and mechanisms' are 'orchestrated and transformed into one another'. A classic introduction to Wishart's trademark morphing procedures, as well as being a powerful and extraordinary creation. And unique in the catalogue of electronic/concrete/electroacoustic works. Anticredos, for six amplified vocalists, was reviewed (see website) when previously released. It is also available separately on Trevor's own imprint. Classic.
A collection of a few historic and otherwise mostly contemporary works from the Institute of Sonology (founded 1960) in Utrecht. Xenakis's Concret PH and Varese's Poeme Electronique - both recorded at the Phillips laboratory of the natural sciences (precursor of the Institute) - appear here reconstructed for the first time from rediscovered original masters. Otherwise, the highlight must be Logos Protos, a substantial new work from old hand Konrad Boehmer, apocalyptic both in form and content. Another interesting rarity is Ligeti's 1958 score, impossible to complete at the time (because the technology wasn't up to it), in a newly realised version (1996). Otherwise the works here are all products of the Institute by young composers produced in the last 5 years. A useful compilation.