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.
The fourth Volume is lighter on the early landmarks, though there are some gems here, including one of Halim elk Dabh's prescient 1944 wire recorder experiments, Olivier Messiaen's 1937 Oraison for an ensemble of Ondes Martinots, Gottfireid Michael Koenig's remarkable 1967 Funktion Grau, Steve Reich's Pendulum Music a short 1958 electronic work by Ligeti, a rare appearance from Beatriz Ferreya (1967) and a Broken Music piece by the groundbreaking Milan Knizak. There are also some interesting '70s pieces by Laurie Speigel, Alvin Lucier and Francois Bayle (this with Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers). The rest, for the most part, are more recent pieces which stand closer to the industrial noise aesthetic, though carefully selected. Stephen Vitiello (2003), and James Whitehead (Air Attack over Kabul Airfield, 2005) both stand out. Another important collection.
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]
Fifth in this important series which, by mixing early historic electronic music recordings with more contemporary laptop and ensemble pieces, takes an unusually broad view of its topic, leaving it to the listener to make theoretical and aesthetic judgements. The works featured here date mostly from the '60s and '70s, however. Of special interest are Francois-Bernard Mache and Andre Boucourechiliev (1959), Wolf Vostell (1968), Josef Anton Riedel (1963), two rare electronic works by Helmut Lachenmann and Claude Bailiff (1962) and Kagel's Antithese. Mayakovsky and Hausmann represent earlier experiments and Pere Ubu and Ground Zero more recent abstract/noise experiments by bands. Other early works featured are by Richard Maxfield, Charlemagne Palestine, Alireza Masheyekhi (Iran, 1966), Jil Josef Wolman, Leo Kupper, Henri Chopin and a very interesting long piece by Dub Taylor (1972). Later works are by Rogelio Sosa, Christian Galaretta, Dickson Dee and Dajuin Yao (China), Yamaaki Takushi, Sutcliffe Jugend and Club Moral. The aesthetic and technological contrasts evident as the CDs unfold tell their own story, and this volume is a useful addition to an already critical and in some ways definitive collection. This is a resource and not everyone will like every track - though all are informative and many appear here for the first time. Comes with useful notes.
Early Electronic music from Brazil. Starting in 1961 with a piece that uses only the stop, record and pause buttons Antunes went on to invent independently many of the techniques of electronic music and musique concrete and to develop a synaesthesic colour-sound theory which he utilised in later works. This collection follows through to 1970 with solid pieces, imbued with the burbling, droning, swooping character of much of the electronic music of the period. Largely unheard, this is a valuable historic collection that adds to the general reconstruction of the roots of electronic music.
For an electric orchestra of 42 sound producing modules... violin scrape and pizzicato type sounds mostly, piling up like the sounds of amplified rain on a resonant roof. Then another piece, similar but with tunnel reverb, motorcycles and other sounds added. A second version of this with different, longer sounds added and for only one string player with gated reverb. A seventies classic by one of the unfileable composers who changed the rules. With notes and diagrams by the author written in 1999.
Pieces from 1967 and 1976.'Spaces' is an early work, remixed here, but from the original; Camera is a recent revision of an early piece. Both use mainly concrete, manipulated materials and both have the early clarity and excitement of much of the pioneer work, making the most of every sound and of its spatial placement. These are classic works.
A very welcome reissue of the long out of print and seminal ARCH LP featuring mainly mid '70s works by Johanna Beyer, Annea Lockwood, Pauline Oliveros, Laurie Spiegel, Megan Roberts, Ruth Anderson and Laurie Anderson - i.e. all women (although the original release didn't draw attention to the fact, the CD does). This is a classic, excellent, highly varied collection which is idiosyncratic, intense and surprising by turns - but then these works do date from the highly productive decade, from the late sixties to the mid seventies (except for one prescient Beyer piece written in 1938, and recorded in 1977 - itself an important historical document, and one of the only recordings available of work by this rarely heard but significant composer). Lockwood, Oliveros and Spiegel are represented by their best; Megan Roberts is a blast of fresh air. The Laurie Andersen pieces (there are two) are early and fresh. Every piece in this collection is a gem, and every piece is very different. Comes with very thorough and useful sleeve-notes. Altogether a fine release.
Some of you will have his Garland Hirschi's Cows. This collection follows in the same wry, storytelling vein, using found sounds, electronic music techniques, interview recordings and instrumental scorings (large and small) to form exquisite, non-academic, pieces that fall between all genres (he calls it alternative classical) and appeal to a very immediate human interest in other people's lives and memories. Rich in atmosphere and nostalgia, these modest gems speak of a world that is lost and will never return. In other words these works are not merely musical; they are meditations and invocations of life already faded into myth.
Three compositions, the first and to my ears the most important dating back to 1960-61 - for Orchestra and tape (conducted here by Bruno Maderna in 1963 for WDR in Germany). Pure '60s, complex and eventful. Impressive. The second piece is from 1989, again for orchestra with violin and cello soloists; more conventional, more diffuse. The third a contemporary piano piece; difficult, good but familiar. It's the first piece that is an important recovery from a crucial period.
Normal-sized CD in LP-style sleeve with a seventeen and a half minute piece made in 1974 using raw and prepared piano material, strongly transformed through tape manipulation, and thus retaining many of the performative and musical qualities of the original material. An extremely good example of the aesthetic and imaginative qualities of this genre at a time when it was still marginal and attracted interesting people with ideas. It works because of - and not despite - its limitations, exploring a narrow field with rigour and elan. A modest gem.
A riveting assembly of pieces carefully made from field recordings of wild, ruined and abandoned pianos - mostly found out in the wilds of Australia. Seriously microtonal, nicely paced, and carefully focused on every individual sound, this is a CD that asks for concentration, and over-all rewards it. An early requiem for the cultural hopes of the18th, 19th and early 20th centuries; new life snatched from the jaws of desuetude. May I suggest you play this quite loud; it will benefit: there is a lot of fine detail here that needs some power behind it. Occasional wildlife comes with the locations in which the source materials were recorded.
27 tracks that combine binaural field recordings of urban and rural environments, and traditional musics, from Cuba, Bali, The Philippines, Istanbul, Hawaii, Holland, New York, California and Montreal, with 4 channel, layered, polyrhythmic electronic and instrumental improvisations. It's a very complex set-up, and to make matters more complex still, this recording is made from original materials and processed installation materials. The result is interesting - especially the urban sections - and startlingly binaural: there's real space here. A fascinating project (explained fully in the notes).
An important release by one of the pioneers of electronic music, much referenced but seldom heard. Born In the UK, he started to experiment independently with electronics in the late '40s, founding the electronic music studio at the Royal College of Music in 1967. He was also a founder Director of EMS and co-designer of the legendary VCS3 Synthesiser. In 1979, he emigrated to Australia, taking his studio with him. CD one contains pieces for Tape made between 1955 and 1978 covers a lot of ground, including two concert pieces (made for the first ever major public concert of British Electronic Music in 1968) and 3 radio pieces: a very early work (1955) for the BBC play 'The Japanese Fishermen' (about America's Pacific bomb tests here reconstructed from acetates, and the 1978 'Steam Music' which follows in the great concrete tradition of deriving pieces from recordings of trains. CD 2 features computer and synclavier compositions made between1979 and 1996, and finishes with Cary's tribute to Conlon Nancarrow.
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.
Important works by Bulent Arel, Charles Dodge, Ilhan Miramoglu, Ingram Marshall, Daria Semegen and Alice Shields - who edited the collection and wrote the extensive and highly informative booklet notes. An excellent collection of characteristic works from one of the most important American University experimental studios.
A student of Berio and Boulanger; a former director of the Centre for computer music, and the inventor of musical hyperrealism, Creshevsky unusually works only with found sounds, seldom processing or treating them - his pieces are less like tape music as we know it than scratch and sample, or sound collages. The sounds (musical - orchestras, instruments - voices and environmental sounds) essentially come as they are and are then chopped up, layered, juxtaposed and mixed into complex, laminates - some satisfyingly hectic (Drummer), some political (Strategic Defence Initiative), some funny/absurd (Great Performances) and some eerily uneasy (In Other Words - spoken by John Cage). Creshevsky avoids all genre classifications, working as close to post-rock as he does to contemporary music. Covering 21 years, these pieces are all very different and all very listenable - entertaining even: eccentric but absolutely coherent. The latest has strong echoes of some of Zappa's later Synclavier pieces. A maverick Creshevky's work is a catalogue of plunderphonic techniques and non-art applications. Very interesting work. Japanese release, limited quantity, notes mostly in Japanese with English islands. Sorry about the price.
Hugh Davies was a quiet pioneer. In 1964 he replaced Cornelius Cardew as Stockhausen's personal assistant and then on his return to England became a moving force in the first British electronic performance ensemble Gentle Fire, as well as joining MIC (with Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and Jamie Muir). Soon he was quietly turning up everywhere, but never joining any generic musical faction. He was also a walking encyclopaedia, a prolific author and a valued teacher, omnipresent in the worlds of electroacoustic music, instrument design, and sound art. Here, at last, is a CD of his electronic pieces, made between 1976-1987. The earliest, Natural Images, for concrete sound and tape manipulation, is the strangest; Celeritas, made on an early Fairlight is in the Davidovsky/Mumma vein, exploring Stockhausen's division of 28 semitones into 25 equal parts (no octave) and the idea of speed; Tapestries, made in an electronic studio for dance sets up an equipment chain and algorithms and manipulates them in real time; From Trees and Rocks uses concrete sounds of sawing and chiselling alongside manipulations of the saws and chisels used as musical instruments - a very unusual and enigmatic piece, and also I think the real gem of the collection - and finally, Vision, also using the Fairlight, follows Celeritas in its employment of bell-like tones and microtonality - even more obvious here, because taken more slowly. A varied collection and much appreciated. With a useful biography by David Toop.
The legendary collaboration between a leading American Musique Concrete composer and an instrumental ensemble directed by James Reichert where, for I think the first and to date only time, there was full integration of the written, played and manipulated sounds. The instrumental parts were derived from ╬cells' of concrete sound and in turn were electronically transformed (in Robert Moog's then state of the art studio), Then the whole mass of material was organised together. A true hybrid, and a one-off. Long out of print since it's appearance on vinyl in 1966. With two extra pieces by Tod Dockstader a new stereo version of No.7 (from the 1961 ╬8 Electronic Pieces' and very late and very different - piece from 1990 which has never escaped his studio until now. A classic and a milestone in the evolution of electronic, mediated sound.
First part of a trilogy begun in the 1990s working with short-wave between-station noise: sound gathered literally from the aether (a part of the work in progress appeared on our 'Omniphony' a couple of years ago). This is slow, subtle shifting atmospheric noise for the most part, steeped in that sense of distance and vastness that comes with radio static (I don't know why, it seems to be in C20 genes). Part one comes in a slip case with space for parts two and three when they follow.
The third in the set for those of you who have been collecting from the beginning. This CD is also, in my opinion, the one to have if you only have one. Made from between-channel radio sounds collected over many years, then assembled and processed over more, these are complex, deep and rather human pieces, neither synthesised nor acoustic - musique concrete without the concrete; sounds no one has made, plucked from nowhere; unwanted interference that exists only as cross-contamination, cosmological noise or leakage: Sternklang - sounds that only radios can hear....The entire 240 minute 3 CD work is, in a strangely fractal way, wholly represented in this final volume, so if you haven't dipped in yet, now is the time.
Reissue of Dockstader's crucial and remarkably advanced early concrete pieces, originally released privately and then reissued by Folkways in 1961 - with a recent interview with Dockstader himself and his original notes, which themselves make this release invaluable. These are 8 classic pieces from the time when the form was being created and extended by one of its great practitioners. The range and detail of sounds and applications is prodigious. A classic.
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.
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.
Reissue of the legendary 1960 vinyl release of a piece originally made for radio. Fasset, a radio presenter and administrator, painstakingly pieced together this composition using only fragments of bird-call recordings, altering the speeds, editing and layering them into a three part composition. Its value is historic, though it is also fascinating to listen to - and to think about: a window on another and alien world: the almost immediate past. With a fat book, mostly in Japanese with a facsimile of the LP back with the liner notes in English, and with some quotes and notes in English scattered throughout the book. Many rare and wonderful pictures. Import. Limited number. Sorry about the price.
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.
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.
Collection includes Tod DOCKSTADER, Pal DRESHER, Philip BIMSTEIN, Charles AMIRKHANIAN, Joseph KASINSKAS, Joseph LUKASIK and Pamela Z. More toward the mditative than the industrial, some excellent pieces. A useful sampler.
A highly coherent radio piece that uses as source material 50 years of French radio archive recordings, here subjected to re-arrangement, layering, the virtual scissors, electronic and concrete music procedures, and the addition of performed Voice (Lucia Recio) and Electric Guitar (Alexandre Mayer). What is especially interesting is Garcia's willingness to use all possible types of musical thinking - all the way to a rock aesthetic, alongside more expected techniques. This is a fresh, focussed, complex, measured, economical and constantly surprising CD.
Although following The 5th Elephant in its musical organisation - around grids of pulses and highly crafted, rich sonorities - this work is more evolved, more focussed and more internally economic. Following a narrative thread this time, the whole is bound into a complex and ramifying exposition of repetition, transformation and evolution, where a return is no return and where perceiver and perceived are lost to time. Tightly bounded by speech-derived (but massively re-formed) sonic materials, as well as location recordings, this work enters a non-existent genre field that fuses and transcends contemporary complexity, C21 Musique Concrete, Horspiel, and a kind of post-techno investigation of the conflict between organic informational materials and manipulations. A gem.
Bilingual (English - German) documentation of the works and research highlights of the first ten "Edgard Varèse" visiting professors at TU Berlin: Travis Pope, Diemer de Vries, Gerhard Eckel, David Behrman, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Hans Tutschku, Trevor Wishart, Alberto de Campo, Daniel Teruggi and Kees Tazelaar. The book deals with the projects undertaken, each dealt with in a technical way with pictures and diagrams and mainly concerned with software design, speaker programming, interactivity, compositional methodology and occasionally aesthetics. Each has a different angle. There is an excellent CD with works by Daniel Teruggi , Hans Tutschku, Kees Tazelaar, Trevor Wishart and GM Koenig - this last particularly interesting, in that it is an orchestral score, played by an orchestra, but generated by a computer programme. It is not a crude systems piece or a random confection but has real subtlety and coherence. This is a rather specialised, but beautifully produced, hardback printed on fine paper, that flies under just about every public radar. It won't be in your local bookshop. But for those really interested in this field, a gem.
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.
I feel obliged to include this because it is probably a kind of watershed. There are 5 pieces, consisting of crackling, tones, extra high frequencies, pops and scratches - all very pianissimo and without obvious form. As journalists say 'a think piece'. Remarkable in concept and execution. For the historian, experimenter and those concerned with the very unusual.
A box containing reissues of 3 proto lounge music records featuring Samuel Hoffman, Hollywood's resident theremin player:' Music out of the Moon' (released in 1947 on 3 78 rpm records (a massive hit at the time), the 1948 'Perfume set to music' and 1950's Music for Peace of Mind' - here all presented as facsimiles of the early '50s LP reissues with a typical Basta booklet: 28pp of very thoroughly researched and illustrated material about the Theremin and Hoffman, including a filmography and discography. The music itself is light, loungy and exotic, arranged and conducted variously by Les Baxter and Billy May. A historic collection, of great interest to scholars, the curious - and lounge aficionados.
Pieces by Francois Donato, Adrian Moore, David Prior, Mario Verandi, Alvin Lucier, Ron Kuivilia, Tom Johnson, Martin Riches, Jose Antonio Orts, Ed Osborn, Ron Kuivilia, Christine Kubisch, Wolfgang Mitterer. 2 CDs of Studio and Installation soundart in ring-bound book (approx A4) with exhaustive text, notes, meditations on acousmatics, soundart and large (colour) pictures of the installations. Programme and document of the 2002 Inventionen festival, Berlin.
A rarity. Kirchin made jazz recordings 50 years ago and then suddenly two experimental LPs in the '60's - more referred to by the few than heard - otherwise only rumours, footnotes circulated. But he was a pioneer, and the marks pioneers make persist, as this recovered recording - thanks to Jonny Trunk, one of those specialists who went looking and found, not only the author, but unreleased work -demonstrates. Subtitled ' A journey through sound' and made between 67 and 71, this mixes, in a coherent but highly abstract way, environmental recordings (insects to trams), instruments (inc. sax - evan parker -, flugelhorn, marimaba, whistles, rock guitar, bassoon), histrionics, voices and swathes of sound into an evolving drama. Absolutely not dated; it still falls between all styles and boundaries into a fascinating sonic no man's land. Historic and a milestone.
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.
A pioneer of Darmstadt and the WDR electronic studios from 1954 on, then chairman of the Institute of Sonology after 1964, Koenig worked both with acoustic and electronic resources. This collection has two piano pieces, a string quartet, a long work for string trio, and electronic works dated 1967 and 1968. The acoustic music is serial and everything is extremely dry and austere and best listened to carefully and piecemeal, I think. For the acoustic music is more interesting, but in general I think it is an acquired taste, and is mainly now of historical value. Students, however, should be aware of this work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 1988, I received a tape from David Myers consisting of music made purely from the internal conflicts of machines; sounds made from no sound - no input, only output emerging from the unstoppable flow of electrons within and across machines plugged into one another the 'wrong' way; these outputs then being controlled by David in real time using a mixing desk. The sounds were exquisite: ethereal, glassy, powerful, gritty, rich and strange by turns - and surprisingly varied. Clearly too, this was no surprised experiment but a mastered and subtle new instrument. This CD reissues that historic release, along with extra contemporaneous material. And now that input-less music has re-emerged in Japan - though with a totally different aesthetic - it is informative as well as fascinating to revisit this earlier, and very different, work. This is great music: shifting strange masses of unidentifiable sound moving in mesmeric and organic waves as - unhindered by any originary impulse -electricity sings.
Pieces made for mixed synthesised and concrete resources between 1976 -2001. Cited in the literature, but marginal, the McLeans made and make evocative and personal synthesiser pieces. Rare. Japanese import, expensive. Notes in Japanese and some English.
Circa 1966-89, fascinating rhythmic contemporary electronic music that sounds more like a slightly straighter version of The Residents than anything else. Highly engaging skate across a lot of musical borders and a document of another maverick composer. One of a kind. LIMITED SUPPLY
At last a record - the first - to celebrate the work of the elusive Daphne Oram; moving force behind the establishment of the BBC's radiophonic workshop, author of the first electronic soundtrack for British Television, and inventor of the 'Oramic' system of electronic sound control through drawing. She soon left the BBC, working over the next decades on concert presentations, film, ballet and theatre music, as well (like Raymond Scott) on TV commercials to pay the bills. All are collected here, with excellent booklet notes and archive photographs. The collection covers the years 1959 -1977. You can hear, especially in the early works, the physical processes involved in the discovery of new sonic forms. It is heartening to see these important but forgotten works collected and made accessible, filling a small but vital gap in the record. Perhaps Delia Derbyshire will be next? Congratulations to Clive Graham and Paradigm Discs for ignoring fashion and miniscule sales and helping to recover an occluded part of British musical history.
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.
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!
This is from one of the pioneers of electronic music in the days when they took no prisoners. This is not, however, simply electronic music. Two complete works are featured: 1) 'Crosses of Crossed Colours' (1970) for (up to) five pianos (here there are three), speaking voice, two turntables, two tape machines and two radios. The text is a cut-up of a speech by Indian Chief Seattle (1855), with extracts from newspaper articles and bits of spiritual; 2) 'Jeu de Miroirs de Votre Faust' (1966) for 5 actors, four singers, twelve instrumentalists, multi-channel tapes and the audience. It works in layers and is full of musical cut ups, quotations and genre clashes. These are highly radical works by any standards, and important landmarks in Pousseur's highly unconventional career. Cathy Berberian appears on Miroirs, which is a truly great work.
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.
Founder of GMEM electronic studio and early computer music, composer Redolfi became famous for his underwater recordings and concerts, where sound is broadcast through water instead of air and listeners float. This excellent CD is a collection of 3 works made between 1991-2004 for a 60-channel installation at the Nausicca Sea Centre, using underwater and forest soundscapes mixed with crystal and conventional instruments - all very much transformed and electronically reshaped. Rich and engulfing and profoundly sonorous, these pieces achieve an extraordinary rapport between organic and acoustic complexity, and electronic depth. Highly recommended.
From 'Electronic Music: from Razor Blades to Moog', originally released in 1970 on Folkways, with the title track taken from Typtich, also on Folkways - all by J.D Robb, this is a collection of pieces by an American pioneer seldom mentioned or reissued but whose eccentric approach is certainly worth a hearing. These are sketches, classic bloops and bleeps, lots of echo, science fiction trilling pulses and distressed melodies. And a piece called Les Ondes Martinot but not played on one.. Not earth shattering but a useful missing piece in the jigsaw.
Highly microtonal (he uses a 768 division to the octave system), unusually delicate and structured, these linked pieces come as close as you can get to the aesthetic of early computer music, while still being highly contemporary. This is a work also very much concerned with spatialisation (headphones or a double stereo layout - are recommended - but it works fine in stereo). Careful, intricate and sensitive work. A rare thing today.
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.
Privately issued by Siemens Kultur Programm in Germany in 1998 and never made available to the public, this collection of historical electronic music includes John Cage's "Imaginary Landscape No.3" (1942) for 6 percussionists and electronic sounds (the Kolner Ensemble fur Neue Musik under the direction of Mauricio Kagel); Kagel's own "Antithese" (1962); John Cage and David Tudor's "Klangexperimente" (1963); Henri Pousseur's "Ziele und Aussichten der elektronische Musik"; Dieter Schnebel's "ki-no - Nachtmusik fur Projektoren und Horer" (1963/67); Josef Anton Riedl's "Komposition Nr.3" (1965/67) for electronic and concrete sounds (with the voice of François Bayle), "Un chien andalou" (1959/75) electroacoustic music; "Folge von 4 Studien Nr. 59, 61, 62/I, 62/II"; "Komposition Nr.2" (1963/65) music of the VariaVision, "Unendliche Fahrt", "Sendezeichen" (1962), "Titelmusik" (1962) and "Leonce und Lena" (1963) for voice and electronically modified voice and instrumental sounds plus Ferdinand Kriwet's "JAJA - Hoertext 2" (1965) two excerpts for voice and electronically modified voices; Paul Portner's "Schallspielstudie 2"; Herbert Brun "Klange unterwegs" (1961); (1965) four excerpts for voice and electronically modified voices and Josef Anton Ried and Milko Kelemen "Judith" (1966) electronically modified orchestra sounds and electronic sounds. 20pp booklet with historical photos of the electronic music studio and essays in German.
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.
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.
Two classic works from the originator of American tape music and founder of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Centre, which he directed from 1959 to 1983. Mixing electronic and concrete techniques with occasional voices and conventional instruments, these two scores are particularly demonstrative of Ussachevsky's mature musical method. While the first score, for Sartre's 'No Exit' (1961) was used as incidental music (though here we have a coherent suite assembled from the material); the 1967 work, 45 minutes long, for 'Line of Apogee' formed the centre point of the film, which was mostly without dialogue, fast cut, dreamlike and strange. The work indeed is an aural film in itself, and a masterpiece of mixed media and emotive sonic montage. 'Line of Apogee' is a masterpiece.
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, ╬Weekend', 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 ╬exploration' 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 ╬ 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.
Re-edition, expanded of the classic collection of pieces spanning 1948-1980 (a couple of works - for Theremin and Ondes Martinot - were written earlier, but the recordings are recent). Excellently curated by Jason Gross to include most of the names you would expect to see: Pierre Schaeffer, John Cage, Herbert Eimert, Otto Luening, Hugh le Caine, Louis & Bebe Barron, Oskar Sala, Edgard Varese, Richard Maxfield, Tod Dockstader, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Milton Babbitt, MEV, Raymond Scott, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnik, David Tudor, Terry Riley, Luc Ferrari, Milton Babbitt, Francois Bayle, Jean Claude Risset, Iannis Xenakis, La Monte Young, Charles Dodge, Paul Lansky, Laurie Spiegel, Bernard Pamegiani, and others - chronologically arranged. A fascinating aural journey through a vibrant and exploratory period populated with many ideas and alternative approaches. A good number of the classics are represented here and, interestingly, the track order winds up telling another surprising tale - the last few tracks on the 3rd CD (representing the last years of the 70's) to me eloquently document a kind of entropy; a descent into species of drones. It also includes names stupidly added by Ellipsis for commercial rather than artistic reasons, not least those of Brian Eno (who with Jon Hassel and Klaus Schulze belongs to a different story and a world remote from that of the early pioneers). Eno was wheeled in to write the introduction too (anecdotal and anodyne, depriving us of a more useful one by the set's compiler), while his obligatory piece, shoehorned in, doesn't actually fall into the designated period. It's a shame - if typical - that Ellipsis, for the sake of shifting units, muddy what could have been a great historical document with mis-informative and irrelevant matter and exclude what would have been essential: a linking overview of the unfolding of the form. Sensibly, Jason commissioned the artists themselves - or people close to the artists, or informed commentators - to write the individual notes - all of which are good - but there is nothing to hold the whole story together. In lieu of contextualisation, Ellipsis spot the 114 page book with large-type quotes from DJ Spooky, David Toop, Thurston Moore, Bill Laswell, Peter Namlook, Simon Reynolds and other "name" commentators - a page each - which although fine in themselves, in light of their size and prominence and in the absence of anything else, seem to indicate that the pioneers were just the stumbling forbears of today's electronic dance and club aesthetics. However, the collection itself is indispensable and highly recommended. Even the evidence of the exhaustion of the form provides illuminating food for thought. New to this edition, the DVD contains 20 pieces - by Clara Rockmore (Theremin - with interview inc. Robert Moog and Dr. Hoffman), Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier (the justly celebrated and great brainwave piece: percussion 'played' by an immobile Lucier and electrodes) , Holger Czukay, Alice Shields, Paul Lansky (animation soundtrack, nice animation), Leon Theremin, Iannis Xenakis, John Chowning, David Behrman, Max Matthews, Mother Mallard, Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, Steve Reich, Morton Subotnik, and interviews with Bebe Barron, Robert Moog, Clara Rockmore and Milton Babbitt (about the old RCA computer). Indispensable, and remarkably cheap.
Currently the director of STEIM in Holland, Waisvisz was amongst the first to play with synthesizers on stage and very early developed and performed using gestural controllers. He also invented the notorious CrackleBox (feaured on 6 of the tracks on this CD). In 1978 he stopped recording. So this is a useful release that collects mostly informal recordings made between 1977 and 1995 and documents a legendary figure in the history of interactive electronics. A touch of Raymond Scott, lounge music, pop electronics, as well as more abstract, experimental pieces, this is a fascinating and listenable collection of formal and informal works.
Another landmark release from paradigm. Assembled between 1969-1971 this visionary work uses multiple recorded power station, factory and machine sounds (as well as air raids, radio noise, the Apollo landing, a Saturn rocket launch, the sea, body-sounds, exotic musics, a Palestrina mass and voices) to construct a dense, grounded, complex, organic and powerful unfolding of the clash - or infatuation - between humanity and technology as it was manifested in the white heat of technology/nuclear terror/Frankenstein years of the late '60s ands '70s. Aesthetically informed by the dreams of futurism and early modernism, and by the revolutions of electronic and musique concrete, this makes the industrial musics of the mid '70s through the laptop era seem rather one-dimensional. Get there early
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.
On CD 1, mostly large swirling, thunderous pieces for mass resources: ST/48 (1972) for orchestra, Polytope de Montreal (1967) for four similar orchestras, Nomos Gamma 1967-8) for 98 piece orchestra, Terretekorh, (1965-66) for 88 instruments - scattered about in the auditorium -, Syrmos (1959) for 18 strings and Achorripsis (1956-7) for 21 instruments. On CD2, electroacoustic tape music: Perseopolis - long, slow, swelling drones (re-mastered 2003) and Polytope de Cluny (1972) a sometimes ominous, sometimes dizzying, tinkling, mysterious, neurotic monster of a piece that stands out as a classic. Xenakis fans will be happy. And, as ever with RZ, it's nicely presented with an intelligent and informative booklet, and is beautifully mastered.