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Thread: Electronic/Tape/Music Concrete/Noise Pioneers

  1. #1
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Electronic/Tape/Music Concrete/Noise Pioneers

    Hello Gang, please correct me if there's already an appropriate thread or this doesn't belong on the main board, but I'd be interested in your thoughts on the early electronic/tape/experimental works of the last century from Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry to Ligeti and Cage, to Stockhausen, Conrad Schnitzler etc. There are many all over the world who produced interesting works before conventional synths and digital techniques were widely available.

    To get started, here's a composer I never even heard about until recently:

    Tod Dockstader

    "A pinnacle of this technique was the album Water Music, released in 1963. For the album, Dockstader collaged dripping sounds caught from sewers, kitchen sinks, toilets and other unlikely places into a fascinatingly rich, complex work of music. The album still sounds new and relevant today. In addition to water, Dockstader listed "toy gong-rattles, Indian finger bells, sheet of metal, two test generators (rewired for instability), two water glasses, a Coke bottle, a metal garbage can (to hold the water), [and] a nail" as his sound sources, according to the liner notes."
    https://www.wired.com/2012/06/tod-dockstader/

    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

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  2. #2
    This piece by Turkish composer İlhan Mimaroğlu has long been a favorite:

    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  3. #3
    This is back in stock and of considerable interest to anyone who digs Docstader:

    https://boomkat.com/products/l-oeuvre-musicale

    On the "almost proto-ambient and LONG WINDED" side of things, I strongly suggest Roland Kayn:

    https://boomkat.com/products/scanning-1982-1983

    I love Boomkat hence the links although you can find their work elsewhere (Kayn's a little harder to find but Parmegiani gets fair love here and there).
    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  4. #4
    Vlad, Not The Impaler. I'm speculating. He very well could have impaled things.


  5. #5
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Great stuff so far, haven't heard either Mimaroğlu or Parmegiani and that box set looks tempting. I had earlier made a post about Kayn in another thread and was thinking about maybe acquiring the "Little Electronic Milky Way Of Sound". Good call on Ussachevsky, he's definitely a seminal figure.
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

    Rescued from Oblivion
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  6. #6
    Norway's very own pride and joy in academic avant-garde music, Arne Nordheim - here his seminal "Epitaffio for Orchestra and tape" from 1963:

    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    ^^^ Thanks, listening now. This one's bringing Ligeti to mind for some reason (well at least the first part). Some amazing soundscapes in this one. I have and dig his 1970 album "Electric" as well as "Dokeka" which is a collection of pieces culled from source material created while working in Warsaw from 1967 to 1972. Norway should take pride and joy in him. For me, Mr. Nordheim is one of the more interesting and entertaining in the "genre". Close-your-eyes pictures and adventures IMO.
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

    Rescued from Oblivion
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    Member helicase's Avatar
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    Lots of goodness on this compilation:
    https://www.discogs.com/Various-OHM-...release/597905

  9. #9
    One of my favourite albums.

    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  10. #10
    ...and the greek holy grail of musique concrete

    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  11. #11
    Dockstader’s 2004 collaboration “Pond” with David Lee Myers (Arcane Device) is highly recommended.
    I actually had a telephone conversation with Dockstader around 2007 or 2008 about possibly playing the Wash DC Sonic Circuits festival. He was a warm and friendly guy but had retired from live performances at that point.

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    Member Mr.Krautman's Avatar
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    There really is a lot of very interesting artists/musicians to discover in this area, actually too much to list here.

    You should definitely start exploring the SUB ROSA catalog, a specialized label they're doing a fantastic work in this genre, especially their Anthologies Series
    For a general overview I would start with their "An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music" in seven volumes totalizing 15CD's and hundreds of artists (including short biographies for each of them in the booklets), from the (less)know ones to the most obscure... An absolute must which wil open many doors, be prepared for a fascinating journey (years) of sonic discoveries...

    https://www.subrosa.net/en/catalogue...E3F6BA08976ED2

    I don't have any personal interests or affiliation with this label but if you're into experimental/avant-garde/concrete/noise electronic music DON't MISS THEM ! Highly Recommended.
    Last edited by Mr.Krautman; 5 Days Ago at 08:05 PM.

  13. #13
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Did Roger Waters do album called The Body regarding a bunch of disgusting body noises?

  14. #14
    That was with Ron Geesin.
    It remains a rather polarizing album in PF fandom, lol.
    It has its moments, imo but not everyone’s cuppa.

  15. #15
    There’s also “I of IV,” an early piece by Pauline Oliveros. It’s interesting because what you’re actually hearing are interference frequencies (at this early stage, she was very interested in “heterodyning,” like her friend and colleague Alvin Lucier). Apparently the sine wave oscillators she used (with a Hammond organ keyboard to control them, apparently) were tuned to frequencies outside the range of human hearing, so all the stuff in the audio range the tape picked up was second-hand.

    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  16. #16
    Member Mr.Krautman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    There’s also “I of IV,” an early piece by Pauline Oliveros. It’s interesting because what you’re actually hearing are interference frequencies (at this early stage, she was very interested in “heterodyning,” like her friend and colleague Alvin Lucier). Apparently the sine wave oscillators she used (with a Hammond organ keyboard to control them, apparently) were tuned to frequencies outside the range of human hearing, so all the stuff in the audio range the tape picked up was second-hand.
    I don't think she invented it, the Theremin (1920) works on the same basic principle :heterodyning two high frequency (well beyond the human hearing range) sine wave oscillators, as well as most early low frequency (audio) lab generators.
    Last edited by Mr.Krautman; 4 Days Ago at 11:59 AM.

  17. #17
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Thanks for the continuing input, I'll have to check out Sub Rosa.

    Otto Sidharta is an interesting composer from Indonesia, I picked up the two-CD compilation from Wayside a while back and enjoyed it. He blends electronic sounds with his own field recordings of natural and urban sounds.

    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    There’s also “I of IV,” an early piece by Pauline Oliveros. It’s interesting because what you’re actually hearing are interference frequencies (at this early stage, she was very interested in “heterodyning,” like her friend and colleague Alvin Lucier). Apparently the sine wave oscillators she used (with a Hammond organ keyboard to control them, apparently) were tuned to frequencies outside the range of human hearing, so all the stuff in the audio range the tape picked up was second-hand.
    I don't know what prices it's changing hands for these days, but there's a big boxset of Pauline's 60's era works, virtually all of which had never been released before teh set came out about a decade ago. It's something like 10 or 12 CD's, including most of the "...Of IV" pieces.

    https://www.discogs.com/Pauline-Oliv...elease/3653950

    There's also two other CD's, one is called, I think, Electronic Works, I think that's the one with I Of IV on it.

    http://https://www.discogs.com/Pauli...e/544162?ev=rr

    And there's two other albums of her electronic work from that era that I have:

    https://www.discogs.com/Pauline-Oliv...release/350220
    https://www.discogs.com/Pauline-Oliv...e/345089?ev=rr

    If I remember correctly, there's no overlap between any of these. On some of these pieces, she's using a tape delay system very similar (but actually, I think, a little more sophisticated) than the set up that some guy from Dorset later referred to as "Frippertronics".

    There's also Morton Subotnick:



  19. #19
    Member Burley Wright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helicase View Post
    Lots of goodness on this compilation:
    https://www.discogs.com/Various-OHM-...release/597905
    Another lovely compilation when you can find it: https://www.discogs.com/Various-Arch...release/375844

  20. #20
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Tasty stuff on this 2 cd comp of solo and collaborative tracks from Christoph Heemann and Andreas Martin, in and outside of the sonic surrealist collective H.N.A.S.

    http://www.robotrecords.com/releases/rr20/

    A great composition from this 2 cd collection.This is a solo track by Christoph Heemann.

    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  21. #21
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Henry Gwiazda(the "i" is silent) is an American composer(he described himself as a "samplist").His cd "Not Notes Not Rhythms" is excellent and not austere or academic,imo.




    Gwiazda plays guitar on some of these tracks.
    Last edited by walt; 1 Day Ago at 09:46 AM.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  22. #22
    Ussachevsky and Dockstader are really the true pioneers. Mimoraglu and Subotnick followed shortly after. I remember getting those Nonesuch Records way way back when I was young. And then making my own, using 2 reel-to-reel recorders and recording sound over and over again- we did one of spoons being dropped that ended up sort of like SunnO by the time we were done, using my bass amp to project the music. :-) Those were the days.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  23. #23
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Erkki Kurenniemi was a Finnish designer, philosopher and artist, best known for his electronic music compositions and the electronic instruments he has designed. He is considered to have been one of the leading early pioneers of electronic music in Finland. Kurenniemi was also a science populariser, a futurologist, a pioneer of media culture, and an experimental film-maker. - Wiki

    I bought a compilation of his work several years ago and found it quite intriguing. He is also considered a pioneer of digital synthesis.

    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

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  24. #24
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    François Bayle is surely a seminal figure, In the 1950s he studied with Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Schaeffer and Karlheinz Stockhausen. He coined the term Acousmatic Music. There’s an excellent box set I picked up a few years ago. He’s a real soundsmithh and it seems like he’s still around and kicking. An earlier piece:

    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

    Rescued from Oblivion
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  25. #25
    You all might (or might not!) dig the soundtrack to Session 9 by Climax Golden Twins (which includes the Ussachavsky piece I posted earlier, otherwise music by Climax Golden Twins). Great film, too.


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