LILBURN, DOUGLAS: Complete Electro-acoustic Works 1663- 1979 (3 CD set and DVD)
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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.