Source Records 1-6, 1968-1971

Pogus 21050

Source Records, 1968-1971

 

 

Source Records 1-6

Music of the Avant Garde, 1968-1971

The digital reissue of the Source LP’s on compact discs

 

An introduction by Larry Austin

 

In 2004, Al Margolis, of Pogus Productions, proposed to me the digital reissue on Pogus of a compact-disc set of three cd’s of the six ten-inch LP Source Records, issued and included as part of the seminal new music journal, Source: Music of the Avant Garde, Vols. 1-6, Issues 1-11, Source Records 1-6, 1967-1973. The co-owner/editor/founders of Source, Larry Austin and Stanley Lunetta, have fully supported this initiative, as have the composers and performers in the recordings. We are gratified that the Aaron Copland Fund for Music has provided funding to reissue these historic recordings. Most of the original tape masters for the records, after over forty years, have vanished or have seriously deteriorated; hence, we have carefully transferred, noise-reduced, and crackle-removed all the actual LP record tracks to the digital medium, then mastered to the compact disc format for this reissuance: the result is an authentic recreation of the original LP, characteristic sound.

Source ended publication in 1973, having published, since 1967, contemporary musical materials, scores, articles, interviews, photo essays and recordings over seven years, with up to 2000 subscribers to the semiannual journal: the subscribers avidly anticipated receiving two new and critically acclaimed issues each year during that period. There was, in 1974, a small inventory left of available back-issues. But gradually, through the years, the inventory—through attrition and back-issue sales—was virtually exhausted. Further, the LP-record format itself had long been superceded by the compact disc, which had become the viable recording format for recordings of new music. Thus, there was seen a need to reissue the Source recordings on compact discs, so that today’s new music aficionados, scholars, students, collectors, and professionals can have ready access to the important experimental music of the ‘sixties to mid-’seventies. Following are the programs for the three compact-disc set:

Compact Disc One Source Records 1 and 2

1. Robert Ashley, The Wolfman (1964), 15:29, performed by Robert Ashley, vocalist, assisted by Gordon Mumma, electronics, in concert at the First Festival of Live-Electronic Music, 1967, University of California, Davis.

2. David Behrman, Wave Train (1966), 15:31, performed by David Behrman and Gordon Mumma, electronics, in concert at the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts, Buffalo, New York, 1968.

3. Larry Austin, Accidents (1967), 17:05, performed by David Tudor, electronically prepared piano, assisted by Larry Austin, electronics, recorded at the University of California, Davis, 1968.

4. Allan Bryant, Pitch Out (1967), 17:43, performed by Barbara Bryant, Carol Plantamura, and Frederic Rzewski, guitars, assisted by Allen Bryant, electronics, in the studio of Musica Elettronica Viva, Rome, 1968.

 

Compact Disc Two Source Records 3 and 4

1. Alvin Lucier, I am sitting in a room (1970), 14:56, realized by Alvin Lucier, speaker and electronics, in Middletown, Connecticut.

2. Arthur Woodbury, Velox (1970), 10:06, realized on the PDP-10 computer with final electronic processing on the Moog Synthesizer.

3. Mark Riener, Phlegethon (1970), 5:04, realized by Kurt Bischoff, Ken Horton, and Jeff Carl, University of California, Davis.

4. Larry Austin, Caritas (1971), 15:03, realized on the PDP-10 computer with final electronic processing on the Buchla Electronic Music System.

5. Stanley Lunetta, moosack machine (1971), 15:10, realized with the composer’s analog/digital computer music system.

 

Compact Disc Three Source Records 5 and 6

1. Lowell Cross, Video II (B)/(C)/(L) (1965), 15:24, realized by Lowell Cross at the University of Toronto Electronic Music Studio.

2. Arrigo Lora-Totino, english phonemes (1971), 14:57, realized by Christina Curiale and Kim Loughran at the studios of Sveriges Radio, Stockholm.

3. Alvin Curran, Magic Carpet (1971), 14:50, recorded by Alvin Curran at the Gallery Arco D’Alibert, Rome, Italy.

4. Annea Lockwood, Tiger Balm (1971), 10:26 realized at the Tangent Studio, London, and at the Electronic Music Studio, University of London, Goldsmith College.

 

 

The composers, the performers, the pieces

 

Note: full scores and descriptions of the pieces can be found in cited Source issues and/or

The Source Book, to be published by the University of California Press in 2009.

 

Robert Ashley, composer, The Wolfman, Source Record No. 1, Vol. 2, No. 2, Issue 4, July, 1968, performed by Robert Ashley, vocalist, assisted by Gordon Mumma, electronics, in concert at the First Festival of Live-Electronic Music, 1967, University of California, Davis. Recorded by Rudolph De Grood and engineered in Columbia Recording Studios, New York, by Rusty Paine.

 

Robert Ashley was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1930 and educated at the University of Michigan and the Manhattan School of Music. His musical development was influenced by the ideas and compositions of John Cage, and his early works reflect attempts to invoke this spontaneity. The late ‘50s and early ‘60s were a busy time for Ashley as he explored the experimental world of multimedia, intermedia, and “happenings”. From 1957 to 1964, he collaborated with visual artist Milton Cohen on Space Theater productions involving light projections, dance, sculpture and electronic sound improvisation. He co-founded the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music in Ann Arbor and during the ‘60s organized and directed the ONCE Group, a music-theater collaborative that toured the United States. In 1969, Ashley settled in California and served as the Director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College in Oakland until 1981. He has since based his composing/performance career in New York City.

Ashley has found television to be the artistic medium best suited to large-scale collaboration. He states that “...the possibility of a profound level of collaboration among a large group of individual artists without the umbrella of an institutional organization is crucial to what is happening in the performing arts in the United States today, and it is especially encouraging in the present development of television as an art medium.” Ashley’s first opera for television was Music with Roots in the Aether (1974), which has since been shown worldwide in closed-circuit installations.

Describing The Wolfman in Source, Ashley wrote: “The Wolfman, for amplified voice and tape, is an improvisation on four components of vocal sound, to be performed simultaneously with either The Wolfman (1964) (six minutes, monaural, tape composition) or The 4th of July (1960) (18 minutes, monaural, tape composition). The vocal sounds and the tape composition are to be amplified in performance by separate, monaural, amplifier-loudspeaker systems capable of producing extremely high sound-levels throughout the performance space.” Ashley explained further, “The physical aspects of the production of the vocal sounds suggest both the title of the composition and an effective, theatrical approach to presenting the piece in performance: The Wolfman as a sinister nightclub vocalist, spotlight and all.”

 

 

David Behrman: Wave Train, Source Records, No. 1, Vol. 2, No. 2, Issue 4, July, 1968, ­performed by David Behrman and Gordon Mumma, electronics, in concert at the Center of the Creative Arts, Buffalo, New York. Recorded by Joseph Romanowsky and engineered in Columbia Recording Studios, New York, by Rusty Paine.

 

David Behrman has been active as a composer and artist since the 1960’s. 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. Behrman’s sound and multimedia installations have been exhibited at the Parochialkirche in Berlin, Stanford University’s LaSuen Gallery, the Whitney Museum in New York, 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.

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. (Note: Source Records 1 and 2 were produced by Columbia Records with Behrman as primary producer.) 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 also taught 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.

Of Wave Train, Behrman writes: “Looking back on Wave Train now from the 21st Century, I think it marked the moment when something radical in the spirit of the Nineteen-Sixties first came through to me. Wave Train was one of those pieces in which established techniques were thrown away and the nature of sound was dealt with from scratch. Wave Train linked an old thing - the resonant characteristics of a grand piano - and a new thing, feedback. The score consisted of a description, with diagrams, of how to set up and do the piece. In performance, one places guitar microphones at various locations on a piano’s strings, then slowly raises the gain on the microphones’ amplification until feedback growls forth and excites the strings; then, like a surfer riding an ocean breaker one tries to keep the situation under control. By modulating gain controls and repositioning the microphones in intervals when the gain is off one tries to shape the raw feedback force into large, resonant, overlapping waves. Each performance is dependent on site-specific characteristics: the piano, the sound system, the placement of loudspeakers and the resonant characteristics of the hall. With its guitar microphones resting directly on the piano strings and buzzing a bit when the strings vibrate, Wave Train’s configuration can be thought of also as an electronic extension of prepared piano techniques developed by John Cage in the Nineteen Forties.”

 

Larry Austin, composer, Accidents, Source Record No. 2, Vol. 2, No. 2, Issue 4, July, 1968, performed by David Tudor, electronically prepared piano, assisted by Larry Austin, electronics, at the University of California, Davis. Recorded by Rudolph De Grood and engineered in Columbia Recording Studios, New York, by Rusty Paine.

 

Larry Austin (b. 1930, Oklahoma), composer, was educated in Texas and California, studying with Canadian composer Violet Archer (University of North Texas), French composer Darius Milhaud (Mills College), and American composer Andrew Imbrie (University of California-Berkeley). He also enjoyed extended associations in California in the ‘sixties with composers John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and David Tudor.

Highly successful as a composer for traditional as well as experimental music genres, Austin’s works have been performed and recorded by the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and the National Symphony orchestras, as well as many other major ensembles in North America and Europe. Austin has received numerous commissions, grants, and awards, his works widely performed and recorded, including the 1994 premiere performance and recording by the Cincinnati Philharmonia, Gerhard Samuel, conductor, of Austin’s complete realization of Charles Ives’s transcendental Universe Symphony (1911-51), that performance followed at the 1995 Warsaw Autumn Festival by the National Philharmonic of Warsaw and, in May, 1998, a festival performance in Saarbrucken, Germany, by the Saarland Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester, that recorded performance released on a col legno compact disc in 2004. In December, 2005, the Noord Netherlands Orkest, performed Austin’s realization in a three-city tour. Reviewing the compact disc recording of Austin’s completed realization of the Universe Symphony, Richard Taruskin wrote in The New York Times, “Nothing I can write will give you an idea of the experience you are in for. All I can do is urge it upon you....Whoever [Ives] started it or finished it [Austin], the work is what it is, and it is wonderful....it is sheer metaphysical sorcery.....”

Since 1964, Austin has composed more than eighty-five works incorporating electroacoustic and computer music media: combinations of tape, instruments, voices, orchestra, live-electronics and real-time computer processing, as well as solo audio and video tape compositions. In 1996, Austin was awarded the prestigious Magisterium prize/title in the 23rd International Electroacoustic Music Competition, Bourges, France, for his work BluesAx (1995-96), for saxophonist and computer music/electronics and for his work and influential leadership in electroacoustic music genres through over forty years. Austin was the first American composer to be awarded the Magisterium.

From 1958 to 1972 Austin was a member of the music faculty of the University of California, Davis, active there as a conductor, performer, and composer. There, in 1966, he co-founded, edited, and published the seminal new music journal, SOURCE: Music of the Avant Garde. Subsequently, he served on the faculties of the University of South Florida, 1972-78, and the University of North Texas, 1978-96, founding and directing extensive computer music studios at both universities. In 1986 he founded and served as president (1986-2000) of CDCM: Consortium to Distribute Computer Music, producer of the CDCM Computer Music Series on Centaur Records, with thirty-five compact disc volumes released since 1988. On the Board of Directors of the International Computer Music Association (1984-88, 1990-98), Austin served as its president, 1990-94. http://www.music.unt.edu/cemi/larry_austin/index.htm.

Of Accidents, Austin wrote in Source: “Accidents (1967)—for electronically prepared piano, ring modulator, mirrors, actions, black light, and projections—was composed for performance by and at the invitation of pianist David Tudor. Austin recalls his own response to the commission, “But David, you don’t play the piano anymore...”, to which Tudor said, “Oh, Larry, you’ll think of something.” And Austin did: Accidents is a live-electronic piece for piano, where the pianist, seated at the keyboard, tries not to make a sound, as he silently depresses the keys. Austin wrote about the process of its performance in Source, “Accidents is an open form. The piece ends when the performer successfully completes every gesture in the piece. Sound is produced through accidental rather than deliberate action; i.e., all notes are depressed silently, and sound occurs only when a hammer accidentally strikes a string. Accidents occur, depending on the key action, the pressure applied to the keys (i.e., the velocity), and the preparation of the strings. The music is read in the conventional way, from left to right through ten ‘gestures’ and six systems in order. When an accident occurs, the player immediately stops playing that gesture and proceeds immediately to the next. Arriving at the last gesture and trying to complete it, the player returns to each of the gestures in which an accident occurred, always trying to complete them without an accident. The first performance of Accidents was by Frederic Rzewski in a 1967 concert in Rome by Musica Eletronica Viva, the second by David Tudor, later that year, in Davis, California, on the First Festival of Live-Electronic Music.”

 

Allan Bryant, composer, Pitch Out, Source Record No. 2, Vol. 2, No. 2, Issue 4, July, 1968. Performed by Barbara Bryant, Carol Plantamura, Frederic Rzewski, guitars, assisted by Allan Bryant, electronics, in Rome at the studios of Musica Elettronica Viva. Recorded by Allan Bryant and engineered in Columbia Recording Studios, New York, by Rusty Paine.

 

The American new music and avant-garde composer Allan Bryant began his career during the 1960s in the Rome-based ensemble Musica Elettronica Viva, alongside Alvin Curran and Frederic Rzewski. He took the electric guitar out of the rock context and used as a source generator of rich and complex harmonic music. Similarities to Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, and Phill Niblock’s music stem from their shared infatuations with the power of the amplified six-string guitar and their will to exploit the less frequently explored sonic palette of the instrument. Bryant creates drone-based work of astonishing and powerful proportions that, while shamefully overlooked in the gamut of avant-garde music, is clearly an influence on Sonic Youth and Elliott Sharp’s textured soundscapes.

Of Pitch Out, Bryant wrote in Source: “To perform Pitch Out, each of the four players must have an instrument made of eight mandolin strings mounted on a board. The strings should be just tight enough to produce a tone when plucked, and close enough together at the tightening-peg end of the instrument to allow the magnetic guitar pickup to fit under all of them. Two of the players use a second instrument, one having electric guitar strings and the other having electric bass-guitar strings....Pitch Out was written with a particular type of “surrounding sound” in mind: a very similar, yet slightly different, sound being produced by four similar instruments, each coming through a speaker in a different corner of the auditorium. The performers sit together, either in the center or at one end of the auditorium. The piece can, however, be performed with three players if absolutely necessary....The duration of the piece varies from nine to fourteen minutes, depending on the common-felt tempo during the performance. The different sections of the piece should flow together smoothly without paying too much attention to precise ensemble entrances....”

 

Alvin Lucier, composer, I am sitting in a room (1970), Source Record No. 3, Vol. 4, No. 1, Issue 7, July, 1970, duration, 15:15, realized by Alvin Lucier, speaker and electronics, in his living room at 454 High Street, Middletown, Connecticut. Recorded by Lucier, edited and engineered by Rudolf De Grood.

 

Alvin Lucier was born in 1931 in Nashua, New Hampshire. He was educated in Nashua public and parochial schools, the Portsmouth Abbey School, Yale, and Brandeis and spent two years in Rome on a Fulbright Scholarship. From 1962 to 1970 he taught at Brandeis, where he conducted the Brandeis University Chamber Chorus, devoting much of its time to the performance of new music. Since 1970 he has taught at Wesleyan University where he is John Spencer Camp Professor of Music. Lucier has pioneered in many areas of music composition and performance, including the notation of performers’ physical gestures, the use of brain waves in live performance, the generation of visual imagery by sound in vibrating media, and the evocation of room acoustics for musical purposes. His recent works include a series of sound installations and works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, and orchestra in which, by means of close tunings with pure tones, sound waves are caused to spin through space. Lucier performs, lectures and exhibits his sound installations extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia. He regularly contributes articles to books and periodicals. His own book, Chambers, written in collaboration with Douglas Simon, was published by the Wesleyan University Press. In addition, several of his recordings are available on Cramps (Italy), Disques Montaigne, Source, Mainstream, CBS Odyssey, Nonesuch, New World Records, and Lovely Music.

Of the process for creating I am sitting in a room, Lucier wrote in Source: “Choose a room, the musical qualities of which you would like to evoke. Attach a microphone to the input of tape recorder #1. To the output of tape recorder #2 attach an amplifier and loudspeaker. Use...a text of any length, recording your voice on tape through the microphone attached to tape recorder #1. Rewind the tape to its beginning, transferring it to tape recorder #2, playing it back into the room through the loudspeaker and record a second generation of the original recorded statement through the microphone attached to tape recorder #1. Rewind the second generation to its beginning and splice it onto the end of the original recorded statement on tape recorder #2. Play the second generation only back into the room through the loudspeaker and record a third generation of the original recorded statement through the microphone attached to tape recorder #1. Continue this process through many generations. All the generations spliced together in chronological order make a tape composition the length of which is determined by the length of the original statement and the number of generations recorded....”

 

Arthur Woodbury, composer, Velox (1970), Source Record No. 3, Vol. 4, No. 1, Issue 7, July, 1970, duration, 10:15, realized on the PDP-10 computer with final electronic processing on the Moog Synthesizer, engineering by Jack May and Rudolf De Grood.

 

Of Velox, Woodbury wrote in Source: “The basic sounds for Velox were produced by the PDP-10 Computer at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Project, Palo Alto, California. During the subsequent process of tape manipulation, octave transpositions of the original source material brought the sound of the computer sampling rate into an audible range. To this sound complex were added several sine and one triangle wave from the Moog Synthesizer, filling out the sustained sonority. During the final recording process, small amounts of reverberation, filtering, echo and pan-potting were also added....”

 

Mark Riener, composer, Phlegethon, Source Record No. 3, Vol. 4, No. 1, Issue 7, July, 1970, duration, 5:05, realized by Kurt Bischoff, Ken Horton, and Jeff Karl, recorded, edited, and engineered by Rudolf De Grood.

 

Of Phlegethon, Riener wrote in Source: “The score of Phlegethon is a set of directions enabling one to construct the instrument that is to be used in performance. First, a wire coat hanger is cut and bent so that it can be hung from the ceiling while supporting a mobile. Fold one yard of “Handi-Wrap” or “Scottwrap” (polyethylene) lengthwise four times, and twist it until it appears tight. Next, holding one end in each hand, pass the twisted plastic film slowly over a match or gas flame until it softens and sticks together, preventing it from unraveling when you let go of the ends. Do not do this too slowly, or the strand will very quickly burn through. Fasten one end to a holder on the previously made hanger-mobile and light the bottom end with a match. The shape of the instrument determines the form of the piece....The audience should be surrounded by the mobiles, lights being turned off before the instruments are ignited.”

 

Larry Austin, composer, Caritas, solo computer music, Source Record No. 4, Vol. 4, No. 2, Issue 8, July, 1970, duration: 15:05, 1969, realized on the PDP-10 computer with final electronic processing on the Buchla Electronic Music System, recording engineered by Rudolf De Grood. (See Austin biography above.)

 

Of Caritas (1969), Austin wrote in Source: “The original electronic sound materials for Caritas were realized on the PDP-10 computer music installation at the Artificial Intelligence Project, Stanford University. The resulting audio source tape was then processed and modified, primarily utilizing modulation, filtering, and sequencing modules in an electronic music system designed for the composer by Don Buchla. The original tape composition employs ten separate channels, each routed to its own aluminum “sculpture-speaker,” each of which is activated by transducers. These giant aluminum sculptures were created by Father Lee Lubbers, S.J., as part of a collaborative composition with Austin, called Agape. The accompanying recording is an excerpted composite of the original ten-channel, 32-minute composition....”

 

Stanley Lunetta, composer, moosack machine (1970), solo electronic music, Source Record No. 4, Vol. 4, No. 2, Issue 8, July, 1970, duration: 15:10, 1969, realized by the composer’s analog/digital computer music system, recording engineered by Rudolf De Grood.

 

Stanley Lunetta gained his Masters Degree from the University of California, Davis, in 1967. He has been principal timpanist for the Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Opera, the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra, and the Sacramento Music Circus. He has appeared as soloist on various contemporary music series of in the San Francisco and Northern California area, premiering new works (most notably the West Coast premiere of Stockhausen’s Zyklus). An avid composer, Stan has been commissioned by many performing groups and is currently working with lyricist Kenneth Horton on a musical review tentatively titled Songs o’ de Shimp.

In the 1950’s Stan played jazz and gave drum lessons; in the ‘60s he was a founding member of the New Music Ensemble (NME), a group that pioneered new music and free-group improvisations. In the late ‘60’s he started to build “electronic sculptures” that were more or less self-modifying auto-performance units. Many of these “Moosack” machines, as Lunetta calls them, have been running without stop since then. He still works in this area today, though less active than before. Stan was a founding member of AMRA/ARMA, a group devoted to performing live electronic and percussion theatricals (now called performance art) in the ‘70s. He was one of the composer/editor/publishers of SOURCE: Music of the Avant Garde, an international periodical that published full scores of the latest in avant-garde music. The magazines contained LPs, slides, fur....

Lunetta wrote of moosack machine in Source: “The moosack machine is a sculpture that produces, mixes and processes electronic sound. In the present version, the machine routes these sounds to four speakers placed in corners of a room and also to an audio transducer contained in the sculpture in the center of the room. The moosack machine has two parts. The first, completely contained in the sculpture, consists of four variable oscillators, two power regulators, and a large number of input sensors. The input sensors detect changes in light, temperature, wind direction as well as movements of people around the sculpture. These components are assembled as a sculpture, using the resistors, capacitors, wires, etc., for their appearance as well as for their various electronic functions. The second part of the moosack machine contains four mixers, the fixed oscillator/frequency-divider unit, the relay box, the digital logic system, plus filters, phase shifters and reverb/tape-echo units. The variable oscillators, controlled by the input sensors, produce constantly changing output signals; e.g., continuously variable sweeps and/or disjunct leaps in either direction, amplitude and time-event changes, and on/off functions. The output of each variable oscillator is mixed with one of the outputs from the fixed oscillator/frequency-divider unit and is sent to the digital logic system....”

 

Lowell Cross, composer, Musica Instrumentalis: Video II (B)/(C)/(L) (1965), duration, 15:15, Source Record No. 5, Vol. 5. No. 1, 1971, realized by Lowell Cross at the University of Toronto Electronic Music Studio, edited and engineered for Source by Rudolph De Grood.

 

Lowell Cross, born 1938 in Texas, is a composer of electroacoustic and multimedia works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as an engineer and instrument builder. He studied electronic music with Gustav Ciamaga and Myron Schaeffer, ethnomusicology with Mieczyslaw Kolinski, media and society with Marshall McLuhan, and musicology with Gerhard Wuensch at the University of Toronto from 1964-68 on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. As an instrument builder, he designed the audio panning device, The Stirrer, for the simultaneous movement of four sounds in space, from 1963-65. He then constructed the 16-input/8-output electronic chessboard used by John Cage and Marcel and Teeny Duchamp in Reunion in 1968. He has also assembled numerous devices for laser light shows since 1968, all in collaboration with Carson D. Jeffries. Together with David Tudor, he gave the first public multicolor laser performance in Oakland, California, in 1969. Cross taught as Lecturer in Music at Mills College in Oakland in 1968-69, where he also served as artistic director of the Tape Music Center. He then served as both a teacher of and technical advisor in electronic music at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India, in 1970, on a John D. Rockefeller III grant. He taught art and technology, musical acoustics, recording techniques, and other subjects at the University of Iowa, where he was Professor of Music from 1981-2002.

Cross wrote in Source: “Musica Instrumentalis: Video II (B)/(C)/(L) are a series of works in which visual and aural images are produced simultaneously and interdependently. Music Instrumentalis is for live performance; its “score” is the accompanying set of color photographs of visual images. The Video pieces are generated from a 2-channel tape-recording or the stereo phonograph record....Except for Video II(L), all pieces require the interconnection of a stereo sound system to internally modified monochrome (black and white) and color television sets.

 

Arrigo Lora-Totino, composer, English Phonemes (1970), duration, 14:50, Source Record No. 5, Vol. 5. No. 1, 1971, realized by Christina Coriale and Kim Loughan, recorded by Ola Kejving at the studios of Sveriges Radio, Stockholm, Sweden. Edited and engineered for Source by Rudolph De Grood.

 

Arrigo Lora-Totina, born in 1928 in Turin where he lives, is internationally known for his experimental, sound and visual poetry. Together with other authors, he founded the literary magazine “antipiugi╦ś” (1959-1966) for experimental poetry and prose, and the magazine “modulo” (Genoa, 1966), the first issue of which he edited as an international anthology of concrete poetry. Together with the composer Enore Zaffiri and the painter Sandro de Alxandris, he founded in Turin the “Studio di Informazione Estetica” (1964), which carried on research on the interrelations between visual and sound poetry, electronic music, plastic art. For this period see the object-books “Infinito”, “Nonnulla”, “Busta Celeste”, “Cronofonemi” (1968-69). In the same period he begins the series of “Fonemi” (sound poetry). In the year 1969, with Dietrich Mahlow, he sets up and runs the exhibition of concrete poetry at the Venice Biennale. In 1978 he published an anthology in seven LP records , “Futura, poesia sonora” (Cramps Records, Milan) with an historical-critical introduction concerning the avant-garde sound poetry. Since 1974 he has been undertaking performances of “Gymnastic and Liquid Poetry” and a series of mimic declamations of avant-garde texts, from Futurism to Dadaism, Russian `Zaum’, Expressionism, Surrealism, Lettrisme and Concretism: about 180 performances in Europe and America.

Of English Phonemes, Lora-Totino wrote in Source: “...a verbophony organized in Stockholm for the fylkingen festival 1970 and for the sveriges radio...carries on and develops audiophonic research begun in 1966....the author had the intention (by fragmenting verbal events taken from one of his unpublished manuscripts called “in-constante”) of showing significant values when the verbal events were reduced to minimum sound quantities (phonemes), even though most of the fragments were reduced to mere sound compounds (noises)....noises have a simple sound character (an end in itself) and are musical material...phonemes, however, keep their peculiar semantic power and are sound transmissions of concepts.”

 

Alvin Curran, composer, Magic Carpet (1970), duration, 14:50, Source Record No. 6, Vol. 5. No. 1, 1971, recorded by Curran at the Gallery Arco D’Alibert, Rome, Italy, edited and engineered for Source by Rudolph De Grood.

 

Alvin Curran was born December, 1938, in Providence, Rhode Island. From five years: piano lessons, trombone, marching bands, Synagogue chants, jazz, and his father’s dance bands. Studies composition with Ron Nelson (B.A. Brown University 1960) and with Elliott Carter and Mel Powell ( M.Mus., Yale School of Music l963). Continues studies and friendship with Carter in Berlin (1964 Ford Foundation Grant), meets Stravinsky, Xenakis, Berio, Yuji Takahashi, Andriessen, Remo Remotti, and above all Rzewski. Goes to Darmstadt, hangs with Babbitt and Earle Brown, hears Stockhausen and Ligeti. Goes to Rome with Joel Chadabe and plays piano in bars on via Veneto, meets Franco Evangelisti and Cornelius Cardew. With a fortuitous bang, he begins his musical journey (1965 in Rome) as co-founder of the radical music collective Musica Elettronica Viva, as a solo performer, and as a composer for Rome’s avant garde theater scene. In the 70’s, he creates a poetic series of solo works for synthesizer, voice, taped sounds and found objects. Seeking to develop new musical spaces, and now considered one of the leading figures in making music outside of the concert halls — he develops a series of concerts for lakes, ports, parks, buildings, quarries and caves — his natural laboratories. In the 1980’s, he extends the ideas of musical geography by creating simultaneous radio concerts for three, then six large ensembles performing together from many European Capitals. By connecting digital samplers to MIDI Grands (Disklavier) and computers, since 1987, he produces an enriched body of work — an ideal synthesis between the concert hall and all sounding phenomena in the world. In 1990, he begins a visually striking series of sound installations, in collaboration with Melissa Gould. Throughout these years he continues to write a significant amount of music for acoustic instruments. From 1975-80 taught vocal improvisation at the Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica (Rome) and from 1991 to 2006 was the Milhaud Professor of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California. Currently teaching privately in Rome.

Of Magic Carpet, Curran wrote in Source: “The Magic Carpet happened quite naturally by chance. I saw a room of Paul Klerr’s String Structures in his home and immediately suggested to him that the whole thing should be made to sound—our collaboration was born. Fresh from a USA tour with Musica Elettronica Viva, I had been thinking about making environments of suspended-sonorous-objects, so I added the chimes, which further transformed the room into a musical instrument. We gave no suggestions or rules. The strings and chimes, “harps and guitars,” are there to delight the eye and ear—to be discovered, viewed, and played at will in an effort to bring people into harmony with the space itself and with each other....You walk into all this as if into a cobweb that is a musical instrument—you are inside an aviary for sound. Anyone may be lifted out of his daily life, become an artist or musician by moving and touching, creating his own cocoon of spaces, making his own amplified electronic music with depths and chimes inside the taut humming texture.”

 

Annea Lockwood, composer, Tiger Balm (1970), duration, 14:50, Source Record No. 6, Vol. 5. No. 1, 1971, recorded at Tangent Studio, London, and at The Electronic Music Studio, University of London, Goldsmith College, edited and engineered for Source by Rudolph De Grood.

 

Annea Lockwood was born in 1939 in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she received her early training as a composer. After completing a B.Mus (hons) she went on to study composition at the Royal College of Music in London, with Peter Racine Fricker (1961-63); at the Darmstadt Ferienkurs fur Neue Musik (1962-63); and with Gottfried Michael Koenig at the Musikhochschule, Cologne, Germany and in Holland (1963-64). Returning to London in 1964, she freelanced as a composer-performer in Britain and other European countries until moving to the USA in 1973. There she continued to freelance and teach, first at CUNY, Hunter College, then, from l982 and at present on the faculty of Vassar College, NY. During the 1960s she collaborated frequently with sound-poets, choreographers and visual artists, and created a number of works which she herself performed, such as the Glass Concert (1967), later published in Source: Music of the Avant-Garde, and recorded on Tangent Records, then on ¿What Next? CDs. In this work a variety of complex sounds were drawn from industrial glass shards and glass tubing, and presented as an audio-visual theater piece. In synchronous homage to Christian Barnard’s pioneering heart transplants, Lockwood created the Piano TranspIants (1969-72), in which old, defunct pianos were variously burned, “drowned” in a shallow pond in Amarillo, Texas, and partially buried in an English garden. During the 1970s and ‘80s she turned her attention to performance works focused on environmental sounds, life-narratives and performance works using low-tech devices such as her Sound Ball (a foam-covered ball containing 6 small speakers and a radio receiver, originally designed to “put sound into the hands of” dancers). World Rhythms (l975), Conversations with the Ancestors (1979, based on the life stories of four women over 80), A Sound Map of the Hudson River (l982), Delta Run (1982, built around a conversation she recorded with the sculptor Walter Wincha, who was close to death), and the surreal Three Short Stories and an Apotheosis (l985, using the Sound Ball) were widely presented in the US, Europe and in New Zealand. She turned to writing for acoustic instruments and voices, sometimes incorporating electronics and visual elements, in the 1990s, producing pieces for a variety of ensembles: Thousand Year Dreaming (1991) is scored for four didgeridus and other instruments and incorporates slides of the cave paintings at Lascaux; Ear-Walking Woman (1996), for pianist Lois Svard, invites the pianist to discover a range of sounds available inside the instrument, using rocks, bubble-wrap, bowl gongs and other implements; Duende (1997) a collaboration with baritone Thomas Buckner, carries the singer into a heightened state, similar to a shamanic journey, through the medium of his own voice. Much of her music has been recorded, on the Source, Lovely, XI, ¿What Next?, Rattle Records (NZ), Harmonia Mundi, CRI, Pogus, and Finnadar/Atlantic labels.

Of Tiger Balm, she wrote in Source: “a sound ritual/a tape running from ten to/forty minutes with score for live movement and live sound/dark hall/outdoors/fragments of ancient rituals/palm leaves or bamboo leaves sweeping through the air and across the ground/players blowing through grass blades/bare feet run on and on ever dusty ground/cool padding runner, padded sound/tiger purring tape/man, live, deep calm breathing spreads out...”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funded in part through a grant from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc.

 

This reissue was produced by Larry Austin and Al Margolis

 

Mastered by David Rosenblad, DRM Productions, Dallas, TX

 

Design by Matt Schickele