Ubuweb Goodies

From time to time there's some excellent stuff turning up on Ubuweb. This "discussion" is an attempt to gather some of these.
- Feel free to chip in.
Delia Derbyshire - Dreams (1964)
"Dreams" was made in collaboration with Barry Bermange (who originally recorded the narrations). Bermange put together The Dreams (1964), a collage of people describing their dreams, set to a background of electronic sound. Dreams is a collection of spliced/reassembled interviews with people describing their dreams, particularly recurring elements. The program of sounds and voices attempts to represent, in five movements, some sensations of dreaming: running away, falling, landscape, underwater, and colour.

Delia Ann Derbyshire (5 May 1937 - 3 July 2001) was an English musician and composer of electronic music and musique concr


  • Thanks brighternow, I was ignorant of UbuWeb, and and overwhelmed by the selection of experimental material available there. Many hours of pleasure will ensue.
  • edited April 2010
    " I was ignorant of UbuWeb""
    Really ? - does this mean you don´t read Kargatron's experimental thread ? ;-)

    Anyways, one of my favourites on Ubuweb film is Chris Cutler's amazing drum performance on a drum kit extended with various electronic devices, singing bowl, ping pong balls, electric toothbrush and plastic roses.
    - Chris Cutler is the founder of Recommended Records and has played with Henry Cow, Art Bears, Fred Frith, The Residents and Pere Ubu.
    - My Chris Cutler List
  • There are a few things I'll get around to pointing out, but am surprised and happy this is there: Anthony Braxton's Quartet (Dortmund) 1976, one of his most justly famous records, an incredible quartet performance with George Lewis. Sold out again from hatology, so grab this if you somehow like (non-mainstream) jazz but don't have this.
  • >Really ? - does this mean you don´t read Kargatron's experimental thread ? ;-)

    Yes, that is exactly what that means. I listened to alot of electronic in college, and when I first joined I grabbed alot of the experimental / ambient / drone type stuff, but have not pain much attention to it in years. A little bit of burn out, overindulgence, etc., coupled with the Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome (ie., is this good art, or am I just pretending to like it to be trendy and modern?)
  • edited April 2010
    "but have not pain much attention to it in years"

    A Freudian slip expressing your true feelings about this genre?
  • "but have not pain much attention to it in years" - A Freudian slip?

    Just the Merzbow.
  • edited October 2020
    Vladimir Ussachevsky - Film Music
    A leading catalyst behind the rise of American electronic music, composer Vladimir Ussachevsky was born November 3, 1911 in Hailar, Manchuria; he emigrated to the U.S. in 1930, and after graduating from Pomona College went on to study at the Eastman School of Music. There he composed his first major works, among them 1935's Theme and Variations and 1938's Jubilee Cantata, as well as various other pieces for piano, vocal, choral and orchestral performance. Upon earning his Ph.D. in 1939, Ussachevsky joined the faculty at Columbia University in 1947; around this time he began making his first forays into electronic music, culminating a few years later with his acquisition of an Ampex tape recorder. In 1952, he and colleague Otto Luening presented the first tape music performance ever given in the U.S., where among the pieces premiered was Ussachevsky's musique concr
  • edited April 2017
    Jean-Claude Risset - Sud

    - This is also on the INA GRM album:
    Jean-Claude Risset - Sud, Dialogues, Inharmonique, Mutations.

    Jean-Claude Risset is a French composer, best known for his pioneering contributions to computer music. He is a former student of André Jolivet and former coworker of Max Mathews at Bell Labs.

    Arriving at Bell Labs, New Jersey in 1964, he used Mathew's MUSIC IV software to digitally recreate the sounds of brass instruments. He made digital recordings of trumpets and then studied their timbral composition using "pitch-synchronous" spectrum analysis tools, revealing that the harmonics of these instruments would differ greatly depending on pitch, duration and loudness. He is also credited with performing the first experiments on a range of synthesis techniques including FM Synthesis and waveshaping.

    After the discrete Shepard scale Risset created a version of the scale where the steps between each tone are continuous, and it is appropriately called the continuous Risset scale or Shepard-Risset glissando.

    He has also created a similar effect with rhythm in which tempo seems to increase or decrease endlessly.
  • edited April 2015
    Hanson-Sten-01.jpg <img src="http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/104451157/The+John+Carter+song+book+Phono+Suecia.jpg"; alt="Picture of The John Carter song book"><div><br></div><div> <span style="font-size: 10pt;">Sten Hanson - The John Carter Song Book (Phono Suecia/1988)
    (320 kbps)
    This composition was inspired by a science fiction novel by Michael Moorcock. Realized at Fylkingen studios, Institute of Electro-Acoustic music, Radiohuset, Stokholm and at the studio of Brooklyn College, New York. Sten Hanson plays vibraphone and Buchla synthesizer.
    The John Carter Song Book @ eMu</span></div>
  • listening now - very nice, thanks!
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    Eliane Radigue - Geelriandre and Arthesis (1972)
    Geelriandre realized on the ARP Synthesizer in 1972; this version was recorded at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, December 1979. Arthesis realized on the Moog Synthesizer at the University of Iowa in 1973.
    Electronic composer Eliane Radigue has created lovely, meditative works based on Tibetan Buddhism using tape and an Arp synthesizer. After studying electro-acoustic music under Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaeffer in the late '50s, the Parisian learned to play the piano and harp and delved into classical music. She spent one year (1967-68) as Pierre Henry's assistant, one (1970-71) at New York University, then spent some time in residency at universities including California Institute of the Arts in the early '70s. By this time, Radigue was making her music with tape and an Arp synthesizer. After converting to Tibetan Buddhism in 1975, she took a four-year hiatus from music. The French composer's works have since included compositions for ballet and commissioned works on the life of Milarepa, an influential Tibetan poet and saint.
    — Joslyn Layne , All Music Guide
  • edited May 2010
    David Behrman - Wave Train (1981)
    - Performers : Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Christoph Caskel, David Tudor and David Behrman.
    David Behrman has been active as a composer and artist since the 1960s. Over the years he has made sound and multimedia installations for gallery spaces as well as musical compositions for performance in concerts. Most of his pieces feature flexible structures and the use of technology in personal ways; the compositions usually rely on interactive real-time relationships with imaginative performers.
    Unforeseen Events, Refractive Light, My Dear Siegfried... and Quick Silver are among Behrman's recent works for soloists and small ensembles. Recordings of his works are published by Lovely Music, XI, Alga Marghen and Classic Masters. XI has recently released a double CD set entitled "My Dear Siegfried."

    Behrman's sound and multimedia installations have been exhibited at the Parochialkirche in Berlin, Stanford University's LaSuen Gallery, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Hudson River Museum, The New York Hall of Science, the DeCordova Museum, The Addison Gallery of American Art, Ars Electronica in Linz and La Villette Science and Technology Museum in Paris, and other spaces. Some of these installations have been collaborative projects with George Lewis, Paul Demarinis, and Robert Watts.

    Together with Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma, Behrman founded the Sonic Arts Union in 1966. Sonic Arts performed extensively in North America and Europe from 1966 until 1976.

    Working at Columbia Records in the late 1960s, he produced the "Music of Our Time" series of new music recordings for Columbia Masterworks, which presented works by Cage, Oliveros, Lucier, Reich, Riley, Pousseur and other influential composers.

    Behrman toured as composer/performer with the Cunningham Dance Company in the early Seventies and again from time to time in more recent years. In the Sixties and Seventies he assisted John Cage with several projects. Merce Cunningham commissioned him to compose music for several repertory dances, including "Pictures" in 1984.

    He was co-director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College in 1975-1980 and has taught also at Cal ARts, Rutgers, and the Technical University in Berlin. He has been a member of the Avery Graduate Arts Program faculty at Bard College since 1998.

    Behrman has received grants from the NEA, NYSCA, and NYFA, and residencies from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission and the DAAD (Berlin). From the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts he received two grants, one for music in 1995 and the John Cage Award in 2004.- Lovely Music
    David Behrman homepage.
    David Behrman on Emusic

    Very much recommended on Emusic:
    On the Other Ocean
    - Enjoy !
  • edited June 2010
    Stephen Vitiello @ ubuweb
    "Electronic musician and sound artist Stephen Vitiello transforms incidental atmospheric noises into mesmerizing soundscapes that alter our perception of the surrounding environment. He has composed music for independent films, experimental video projects and art installations, collaborating with artists such as Nam June Paik, Tony Oursler and Dara Birnbaum. In 1999 he was awarded a studio for six months on the 91st floor of the World Trade Center's Tower One, where he recorded the cracking noises of the building swaying under the stress of the winds following Hurricane Floyd. As an installation artist, he is particularly interested in the physical aspect of sound and its potential to define the form and atmosphere of a spatial environment." (Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain)

    Stephen Vitiello is an electronic musician and media artist. Since 1989 he has collaborated with numerous artists, including Tony Oursler, Scanner, Pauline Oliveros, Nam June Paik, Tetsu Inoue and many others. CD releases include Bright and Dusty Things (New Albion), Scanner/Vitiello (Audiosphere/Sub Rosa) and the forthcoming collaboration with guitarist David Tronzo, Scratchy Monsters, Laughing Ghosts (Elision Fields). Stephen's sound installations have been presented at the 2002 Whitney Biennial the Cartier Foundation, Paris in solo exhibitions at The Project, NY and Los Angeles. As a curator, he organized the Sound Art segment of 'The American Century: Art and Culture 1950 - 2000' for the Whitney Museum, and organized 'Young and Restless', a video program which toured to over 40 venues internationally, for the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the 2004 Kitchen Benefit featuring legendary composers including, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson and Meredith Monk. He was recently acknowledged as one of 25 "Movers and Shakers" in the art world by ARTnews Magazine.
    - ubuweb.
    - Recommended for starters:
    Performance - Steve Roden and Stephen Vitiello at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX from September 2007 .

    Stephen Vitiello @ eMusic
  • edited July 2010
    Kenny Graham and his Satellites - Moondog and Suncat Suites (1957)
    Kenny Graham
    One of Britain's foremost jazz composers and arrangers; a large red-bearded, soft voiced, strong man with a penchant for spending the greater part of his free time in a loose sweater refusing to conform. Mint example of that rare character, the artist who really does have talent but who genuinely refuses to have any truck with commercialism or to write anything bad just because it pays well. Mercurial temperament which ideally suits almost surrealist life he leads in Soho and elsewhere. Born July 19th --"At eight O'clock on a Saturday morning: the earliest I ever got up," says Kenny.

    The Personnel:

    Kenny Graham (tenor, percussion, whistle)
    Stan Tracey (piano, vibes, accordion, celeste)
    Phil Seamen (drums, percussion)
    Ivor Slaney (oboe)
    Sammy Stokes (bass)
    Don Lawson (percussion, drums)
    Danny Moss (bass clarinet)
    Jack Ellory (flute)
    Eddie Taylor (Percussion)
    Martin Slavin (xylo, marimba, vibes)
    Sammy Stokes (bass)
    Vic Ash (clarinet)
    Yolanda (vocals)

    Recorded between 02.07.56 and 11.07.56
    Engineer on all sessions JOE MEEK
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    John Oswald - Mystery Tapes
    What records would i take along to a desert island? If one sacrifices oneself to the process of the journalistic interview, this hypothetical quandary is likely to be presented. I've been asked this question many times. My impulsive and very honest answer is that i would first of all take the records i myself have created, plus one or two of the ones i've produced ( the list is short - Alto Sax, Plunderphonic, Elektrax, Discosphere, Plexure, Grayfolded, Gordon Monahan's This Piano Thing, a couple of Mystery Tapes and Musicworks cassette magazines which i edited [...]. My list is obviously a monument of egotism, but there is also a reasonable argument which makes this selection inevitable. My recorded releases are made entirely to fulfill my own personal listening desires. I've often stated that these recordings were made to fill the most annoying gaps in my record collection. By assuming the stance of the listener in producing these things i can at-the-best-of-times come up with something that i don't hear as my-music but rather as music-exactly-as-i-want-to-listen-to-it. Experience has indicated that these things that i like are also things that others like, which is the reason i will sometimes make more than one copy of a recording.

    Missing from the list are almost all of the recordings on which i play live or improvise, including those which i may have produced or edited. In fact, as much as i can rationally justify their existence, i hope that these items will land on some desert island other than the one i'm inhabiting. These recordings give me the same uneasy feeling that most people seem to have listening to tapes of their own speaking voices. The exception to this queasiness is my 1980 solo album Alto Sax which i inexplicably like very much.

    There's another angle to my desert island listening desires, which goes back to my pre-teen years; long before i made my first record. At that time i felt there were too many extra-musical influences on my impressionable youthful mind. Record covers revealed either attractive or goofy looking individuals in their most groovy attire; these records were categorized in stores mostly according to the race, gender and musical education of these individuals. Publications that focused on a certain age group or race were full of opinions about the quality or social importance or the timeliness of this music.

    I thought that the following solution would provide a more pure and satisfying listening experience: Upon being banished to the hi-fi equipped desert island that i'd been hearing about, i would begin to receive shipments of specially prepared records, sent by an individual or consortium who had a love of a broad variety of music. These records would come in blank jackets and all the information on the disc labels would be whited out. All i would have to go on is what i could hear. It would be in some cases impossible to decipher how old the music was, or what color the musicians were or what they liked to wear. I would subscribe to no music magazines. This would be my ideal desert island listening experience.

    Years later i got involved in Mystery Tapes which was an attempt to replicate this idea without having to be exiled, and also Pitch, which are concerts of live and recorded music taking place in absolute darkness, thereby also alleviating appearances from the musical experience.

    -- John Oswald [8/23/98]

    I think this has been my favorite ubuweb discovery so far, but I go through them at a much slower rate than brighternow.

    Thanks for keeping this up brighternow. That Kenny Graham looks great.
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    David Toop & Max Eastley - New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments

    Max Eastley: Hydrophone, Metallophone, Centriphone, Aerophone
    David Toop: voice, Prepared Electric Guitar, Bowed Chordophone, flute, water
    Frank Perry: percussion
    Paul Burwell: Bass Drums, Lorry Hub, String Fiddle
    Brian Eno: Prepared Bass Guitar, vocals
    Hugh Davies: grill harp
    Chris Munro: vocals
    Phil Jones: vocals
    LP released on Island Records, Obscure #4, 1975.
    In 1974, David Toop published a book titled 'New/Rediscovered Instruments', a survey of self-build instruments in the UK, including articles on the likes of Hugh Davies, Paul Burwell, Evan Parker, Paul Lytton, David Toop and Max Eastley. From 1972, he ran a BBC radio show co-hosted with Eastley, mixing ethnic music with home made field recordings, a novelty at the time (information above from Toop's book Ocean Of Sound, 1995). 'The Divination Of The Bowhead Whale' is structured by Frank Perry's sparse gong reverberations, the ensemble resuming playing only after the end of a specific gong strike. Perry played percussion on the legendary 1973 Ovary Lodge LP with Keith Tippet. The track also embarks Hugh Davies' grill harp and a bowed guitar. The music sounds like a field recording from a zen garden ceremony. Toop's opening and closing tracks explore the fragility of his hushed falsetto, be it backed by sparse instruments on 'The Chairs Story', or acappela with a few chorus interjections from Eno, Munro and Jones on the finale. Using nature and natural elements as musical source and/or instruments is one of Max Eastley's most striking skills. His self-build hydrophone, for instance, produces a striking banshee-like whining sound, complete with the river stream and wind recording. The comparison with Henry Cowell's 'The Banshee' (1925) and 'The Aeolian Harp' (1923) is interesting (listen here). Besides, there's something gothic and unsettling in the sounds here, not unlike some Walter Scott ghost story. The Elastic Aerophone is a wind-propelled instrument similar to the one featured in the gorgeous video below. The whole LP is quite unique and hard to categorize.
    - Continuo
  • edited February 2015
    @amclark2. . .
    Thanks for the Mystery Tapes rec. The Kissing Jesus in the Dark is an amazing piece of plunderphonics.

    This reminded me of another plunderphonic masterpiece I grabbed from ubuweb quite a number of years ago:
    DJ Food - Raiding the 20th Century - Words & Music Expansion
    (starring Paul Morley and a cast of thousands)

    - With a complete list of samples used (way to many to post here).
    'Everything Has To End...'

    "On January 18th 2004, Strictly Kev premiered the original 'Raiding The 20th Century' on XFM's 'The Remix' show in London. It was a 40 minute attempt to catalogue the history of cut up music - be it avant garde tape manipulation, turntable megamixes or bastard pop mash ups. It rapidly spread throughout the web and managed to cause a full scale server crash on boomselection.info when they hosted it due to the volume of net traffic.

    Shortly afterwards he read Paul Morley's recently published book 'Words & Music' and was amazed that certain chapters mirrored parts of his mix. Apart from the fact that the title, 'Raiding the 20th Century' was coined by Morley 20 years before for a future Art of Noise project, he also featured Alvin Lucier, who - purely by chance - was sampled on the opening track of the mix.

    Kev decided to expand his idea to make the defnitive document on cut up music including many other parts, omitted by the constraints of the original radio session. After months of further research he tracked Morley down and they recorded passages from 'Words & Music' specially for this mix in an attempt tomarry the two and finish something that neither of them actually started. A year to the day of the original airing, the newly expanded version is ready."
    DJ Food website
    DJ Food @ eMusic

    The samples list is far from complete, it's just headlines.
  • edited October 2010
    The Poetics - Critical Inquiry In Green (1997)
    Mike Kelley and Tony Oursler reunited in 1997 to make this recording to coincide with the opening of the Poetics Project installation at Document X. All new material; 19 tracks. Dreary background music for the era of the personal computer. Features musicians: Art Byington, Dave Muller, Steven Vitiello, etc.
  • edited October 2010
    R. Murray Schafer - RA (1983)
    Raymond Murray Schafer’s RA is a sundown to sunrise outdoor musical and theatrical ritual performance, commissioned by the COMUS Music Theatre who premiered it at Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, in May 1983. RA was later added by Murray Schafer as Part 6 of his month-long Patria cycle, whose hero is Theseus the Wolf, appearing in RA as Anubis. The outdoor performance of RA is devised for solo singers, chorus, actors, musicians and 75 robed and masked attendees Murray Schafer calls Initiates, who are invited to revive Ra’s descent to the Netherworld as described in The Egyptian Book of the Dead. They are supposed to feel exhausted after their nightly journey, until they revive when the new day finally comes, experiencing a kind of rebirth. During the night, they’ve been offered tea and food, as well as quieter moments called Suspension:

    At approximately 2:40 a.m., the Initiates are left alone, in darkness, for nearly an hour, to rest, perhaps to meditate. At the end of this period, called Suspension, the Initiates are gently roused and served small cups of tea. At the same time (around 3:30 a.m.), the voice of Amente-Nufe (‘Beautiful West’) is heard, accompanied by the tolling of 75 varied gongs and bells (corresponding to the 75 magic names of Ra). [from Murray Schafer's liner notes]

    As RA is conceived as a night-long piece, this LP merely offers key moments of the performance, and is therefore entitled RA – Selections. Said selection highlights a number of vocal pieces that might not be representative of the entire work, which also included periods of silence and various processions with instrumental accompaniment, including “Egyptian music” written by qanûn player George Sawa. In a final analysis, the disc offers yet another example of Murray Schafer’s mastering of vocal and choral music, with two of the lead singers having performed with COMUS before, namely contralto Maureen Forrester (#2) and soprano Katherine Terrel (#4). The lyrics are entirely based on the Ancient Egyptian text established with University of Toronto Egyptologist D.B. Redford. The music is essentially provided by percussion instruments, with the exception of violin and qanûn. Some sections with qanûn part reminds Soliman Gamil’s music, while the percussion sometimes sounds like a Chinese opera’s liveliest moments. The score of RA is beautifully illustrated by Murray Schafer’s drawings.
    120px-Scheafer.jpg - R. Murray Schafer @ eMusic

    Born in Sarnia, Ontario, he then studied at the Royal Schools of Music in London, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the University of Toronto. At the latter institution he was a pupil of Richard Johnston.

    His music education theories are followed around the world. He started soundscape studies at Simon Fraser University in the 1960s.

    In addition to introducing the concept of soundscape he also coined the term schizophonia in 1969, the splitting of a sound from its source or the condition caused by this split: "We have split the sound from the maker of the sound. Sounds have been torn from their natural sockets and given an amplified and independent existence. Vocal sound, for instance, is no longer tied to a hole in the head but is free to issue from anywhere in the landscape." Steven Feld, borrowing a term from Gregory Bateson, calls the recombination and recontextualization of sounds split from their sources schismogenesis.

    In 1987 he was awarded the first Glenn Gould Prize in recognition of his contributions. In 2005 he was awarded the Walter Carsen Prize, by the Canada Council for the Arts, one of the top honours for lifetime achievement by a Canadian artist. In 2009, he received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

    Schafer is particularly famous for his situational opera The Princess of the Stars.
  • edited October 2010
    Christopher Hobbs/John Adams/Gavin Bryars - Ensemble Pieces - (LP released on Island Records, Obscure #2, 1975)

    01 Christopher Hobbs ‘Aran’ (3:52)
    02 John Adams ‘John Philip Sousa’ (4:24)
    03 John Adams ‘Christian Zeal And Activity’ (11:38)
    04 John Adams ‘Sentimentals’ (2:49)
    05 Christopher Hobbs ‘McCrimmon Will Never Return’ (9:19)
    06 Gavin Bryars ’1, 2, 1-2-3-4? (14:56)

    Produced by Brian Eno.
    This ‘Ensemble Pieces’ LP gathers 3 veterans of systems music and reads like a manifesto for things to come on Obscure. Christopher Hobbs was a member of AMM circa The Crypt and Laminal LPs. His 2 contributions are cheerful repetitve carolls on organ, bells and toy piano, closer to what he did with Promenade Theatre Orchestra than AMM. According to Wikipedia Aran is based on ‘a knitting pattern for an Aran sweater, with its different stitches, [determining] the pitches chosen and the instruments to play them’. John Adams contributes 3 austere and slowly evolving instrumental pieces from a live recording with his New Music Ensemble, San Francisco. Gavin Bryars‘ ’1,2, 1-2-3-4? is an extraordinary set up for ensemble where each interpret listens to a cassette on headphones and mimick the sounds he hears on his own instrument. All players hear the same music but play their specific part only, at the specific speed of their own cassette player and at the pace their skills and ability allows them. The basic composition is lounge/jazz music. Shifitng occurs early in the recording and soon the music sounds aleatoric. Musicians for this session are top notch players, like Derek Bailey, Cornelius Cardew or Bryars himself on bass. The wind parts are gorgeous, especially the trombone. A real treat.
    > Continuo.
  • - This time from Ubuweb film:
    Ernst Reijseger - Do You Still? (2008)

    Director: Jacques Goldstein
    Year: 2008
    Time: 42 mins
    Ernst Reijseger
    Larissa Groeneveld
    Frank Van De Laar
    Neither a live-film nor a bio-doc or a visual essay, but all that and more
  • edited November 2010
    Ellen Fullman - The Long String Instrument (Het Apollohuis / Apollo Records, 1985)
    Ellen Fullman (b. Memphis, Tennessee, 1957) is a composer. Known principally for music she has written for an instrument she invented, the long string instrument, Fullman studied sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute. She has performed with the Deep Listening Band and Paul Panhuysen.

    Tuned in just intonation, the long string instrument is played by walking along the length of incredibly long strings and rubbing them with rosined hands. This produces longitudinal vibrations, and her music explores the nodes of vibration. Her early pieces were notated with choreography.

    upperbody_below_rays.Fago.jpg HandsStringsHeadlnds2_JD_low.jpg capos_strings_Seaholm_low.jpg

    Ellen Fullman - Ellen Fullman @ eMu
  • been enjoying a few of these lately. the Gavin Bryars' track on Ensemble Pieces was really really really incredible. I'll have to check this one out too - I've been meaning to get something by her for a while now.
  • The Fullman looks fascinating BN. Downloaded last night and will be giving it a listen this evening. Thanks!

  • edited May 2014
    Mauricio Kagel, Acustica (1968 - 70)
    for experimental sound-producers and loudspeakers
    (Deutsche Grammophon 2707 059)

    «Acustica is perhaps the most refined example of Kagel's work within his invented genre of 'instrumental theatre'. The score notes that 'the piece calls for unorthodox musicians who are prepared to extend the frontiers of their craft' since few of the 'experimental sound devices' specified are conventional instruments and where conventional instruments are included they are to be played in extraordinary ways. Each instrumental action is, however, meticulously notated and the creation and/or modification of instruments are also shown in diagrams and photographs. What the score does not specify is the order in which the individual instrumental events are to be played; Kagel suggests instead that each performer should select the events that they want to perform and then discover in rehearsal how best to order them in combination both with the pre-recorded material and with the sounds of the other players. If the result owes obvious debts both to John Cage and to the theatre of the absurd, its subversive critique of received ideas on what constitutes music and musical instruments is above all typical of Kagel, contemporary master of irony».
    (Christopher Fox)
    - Pretty weird but also very intriguing, definitely worth a listen.
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    Charlemagne Palestine - Four Manifestations on Six Elements (1974)

    Pitchfork review of new Charlemagne Palestine reissue prompted me to check if there was anything on Ubu - and there is!
    Charlemagne Palestine (born Charles Martin or Chaim Moshe Tzadik Palestine in Brooklyn, New York) is an American minimalist composer, performer, and visual artist.

    A composer-performer originally trained to be a cantor, he always performed his own works as soloist. His earliest works were compositions for carillon and electronic drones, and he is perhaps best known for his intensely performed piano works. He also performs as a vocalist: in Karenina he sings in the countertenor register and in other works he sings long tones with gradually shifting vowels and overtones while moving through the performance space or performing repeated actions such as throwing himself onto his hands.

    Palestine's performance style is ritualistic: he generally surrounds himself (and his piano) with stuffed animals, smokes large numbers of kretek (Indonesian clove cigarettes), and drinks cognac.

    looks good to me.
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    Another Obscure records gem.
  • - Fantastic ! thanks.
  • Bingo !
    Obscure Records 9
    Recorded at Basing Street Studios, London, February 1977 Produced by Brian Eno.
    - Words by Continuo.
  • edited March 2012


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