ee²: a sound album by elaine barkin


O P E N S P A C E 12

ee2 : a sound album
by elaine barkin
sounds words music collages
elaine barkin
tildy bayar
renee coulombe
and collaborators

At home, in a small bedroom, on a deskhigh 11 footlong wall-to-wall shelf, sit 36 chronologically arranged photograph albums occupying a length of 6 feet. Albums differing in size, shape, color, binding, number of pages, and page types; albums whose black now-smelly-and-crumbly-55-year-old-con­struction-paper pages are filled with black&white photos mounted with what are now called “archival photo corners” —my corners are pink & blue, green & tan, and black; albums with multi- or cream-colored paper pages; newer albums with unsmelly plastic pages whose sheets you peel in order to place the photos on an adhesive surface or on “PVC & acid free” pages with “see-through slip-in pock­ets”. Photo sizes vary from 2x2 to 8x10; black&white isn’t swapped with color until the late 1960s. Albums are knotted or tied with cord, or spiral bound, or loose-leafers; most are intact, but some photos do slip out as soon as their album is taken from the shelf. Documents for intimate circles, these albums are a visual record of my life, from infancy on up to my latest adventure. My parents were avid family-photo-takers and possibly as early as the 5th grade, back in P.S. 95 schooldays, I first put together my own albums. (I also made albums in which I collected picture postcards, stamps, cigarbands, leaves from Van Cortlandt Park South trees, WW II battle headlines—all of which disappeared during a storage bin mis-removal.) Now, while writing these notes, I recall having made a box camera in 7th grade shop class which I took instead of cooking class. (High school shop projects included a hot dog roaster and a glass xylophone.) There’s a magic these treasured photo albums still hold for me, and I’m constantly on the lookout for fire retardant materials in which to enwrap them. Albums into which I can dip to see all prior stages of my family history, my life, alone, or with parents, brother, other relatives, old-new-&-lifelong girl&boyfriends, friends of friends, teachers, colleagues, students, husband, sons, grandchildren, strangers; photos of sites, occasions, locales, times of day, and all kinds of creatures; people with whom I’ve played and worked or met somewhere wayback when or just last week. Some posed, some candid, definitely taken by an amateur (or amateurs) who every so often produces a truly smashing image. Nothing and everything is real in these albums; nothing and everything is fictional; everything is both true and false; experience and history are reinforced; memories linger or are re-invented; frozen in time, past life is recalled; for sure, I recognize myself in those former times, but I cannot say for sure that I knew how I would turn out later on; what was then and isn’t now; although now those gradual ongoing processes of change seem so obvious.


..Likewise, these 3 CD ‘record albums’ document a score of time in my music-life; works chosen from shelves and drawers full of LPs, reel-to-reels, cassettes, DATs, and CDs, here digitized and cleanedup as much as possible (although here&there a few hisses and echoes loiter). You’ll hear performers who give their all, who enliven the connection between conceiver and realizer; you’ll hear interactive, collaborative, partnered work; and works by two younger composers—Tildy Bayar and Renee Coulombe—, women whose histories and expressive sensibilities differ from my own. Our recordings and collages were made during live performances or at home in private ambiances or in studios by professionals and nonprofessionals. Our many different ways of hearing and sounding are gathered here for you to listen to and hear..

My music—1, tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, & 6 and 2, tracks 2, 4, & 5; their music—1, tracks 7, 8, 9, & 10 and 2, tracks 1 & 6; our music—1, track 5; 2, tracks 2, 3, & 5; and 3, track 1; simply ordered chronologically.


Unlike in photo albums, sound albums are devoid of people, sites, objects, yet experienceable as the present, alive in the ether forever encircling the universe. Unlike in the images that our photos re-present, our musics once never were, had to have been imagined, conjured up, made real, heard.

Unlike in our photo-images, those resemblances of someone and something that once was but isn’t that way now, heard music always is for us now, no matter when conceived. Like our photo albums, these sound albums document and re-animate parts of our pasts, not thought of then as prologue for our futures. Despite change and time-passing we recognize and hear ourselves: with and through all

those others; images of a time, of times, held in focus, then, now, afterward. Acknowledgment of my & our mortality may have motivated the making of this anthology: Making tracks for you now, leaving traces for others later.

Valley Village, CA
April & August1999

CD 12/1

[1] Sound Play (September 1973-March 1974) 7:51
Nancy Cirillo, violin
[2] Two Emily Dickinson Choruses. (1976) 5:38
New England Conservatory Chorus
Lorna Cooke deVaron, conductor
[3] Plein Chant (1977) Harvey Sollberger, alto flute 7:05
[4] at the piano (August 1982) Dan Poynton, piano 11:33
[5] In Deep with PAUL HUMPHREYS (from a May 7, 1984 session) 10:51
[6] 3 Rhapsodies (May-July1986) 6:31
Mark Carlson, Sheridon Stokes, flutes; Gary Gray, clarinet
Three Readings (1988) 8:00
Tildy Bayar, reader; 4-track tape collage
[7] one past of “past is part of...” by Elaine Barkin
[8] “she cannot be a conversation.....” by Jill Borner
[9] “an essay urging movement” by Penelope Hyde
[10] The Complexities of the Situation (1989) 7:07
Tildy Bayar, piano and metal rod.

CD 12/2

Piano Outtakes (Piano Take-Out) (1990) for two-channel tape 2:03

Soundtext for J. K. Randall (May-October 1990) 20:40 4-track tape collage: J. K.Randall, piano;
excerpts from an ERB/JKR session, August 3, 1981
ERB, reader
(April 17, 1991) Players: ERB, Benjamin Boretz, Lindsay Clare, 9:14
David Jones, Jay Keister, Grace M, Ben Thigpen
[4] exploring the rigors of in between (August 1991) 2:56
Players: Alice Macgonigal, flute
Louise MacGillivray, French horn
Marcy Dicterow-Vaj, violin
Lynn Lusher Grants, viola
Erika Duke Kirkpatrick, violoncello
Daniel Kessner, conductor
[5] Gamélange (July 1992-April 1993 13:56
Sue Carole DeVale, harp
gamelaners: Michael Bakan, ERB, Wanda Bryant,
Lindsay Clare, Alice Hunt, Jay Keister, Grace M,
David Martinelli.

Bounce (1996) 6:07
Renee Coulombe and Scott Walton, two pianos
CD 12/3
..twine / improvising keyboard session (July 3, 1982) 30:00 ERB, piano; Benjamin Boretz, synthesizer

Sound Play and Plein Chant are published by Mobart Music Publications; Two Em­ily Dickinson Choruses and at the piano are published by the Association for the Publication of New Music; Two Emily Dickinson Choruses and Plein Chant P 1982, 1984, Composers Recordings, Inc., used with permission; Soundtext for J. K. Randall was first recorded on Perspectives of New Music CD 30, Vol. 30, No. 1, 1992. Bounce was first recorded on Sonic Comix, Nena Dreams Music, 1998; ..twine first appeared on Inter/Play, No. 32A.

29 sycamore drive
red hook ny 12571