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DOWNES, BOB: Episodes at 4 AM
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).