Robert Ashley – Wolfman (1957-1964)

“This edition introduces us to the most extreme experimental side of the famous American composer. The program starts with ‘The Fox’ (1957), the first electronic music work by Robert Ashley which already displays the future electronic music theatre style. Dark atmospheres and primitive tape collage techniques recorded at home, mixing the electronic tape and the voice in a single ‘live’ pass. The title track, ‘The Wolfman’, was composed in early 1964 and first performed on Charlotte Moorman’s festival of the avant-garde in New York in the fall of the same year, gaining considerable reputation as a threat to the listener’s health. For the occasion instigated by Feldman, Robert Ashley composed a piece of tape music, ‘The Wolfamn Tape’, to be played along with the vocal performance of ‘The Wolfman’. The idea of a tape composition, which is to come out of the same loudspeakers as the voice and the feedback (the main sound source for this composition), is to fill-in the ongoing performance sound and to transform the performance into an elaborate version of the ‘drone’ under the influence of electronics. The choice of what sounds should be on the tape is determined by the need to have the whole range of frequencies brought into the feedback, but to give those sounds a short duration-in other words, a blizzard of very short sounds across the whole frequency range-so that the illusion of the sounds coming from all parts of the room is preserved. For the performance of ‘The Wolfman’ recorded here, produced at the University of California at Davis, Robert Ashley used an earlier (1960) tape composition entitled ‘The 4th of July’. That composition changes gradually from a parabolic-microphone documentation of a backyard party into a layering of tape loops and tape-head feedback. ‘The Wolfman Tape’ (1964) is, as descibed above, a tape composition made for a short performance of ‘The Wolfman’. It uses tape-speed manipulation and mixes of many layers of ‘found’ sounds, both from AM radio and from recordings made using different kinds of microphones. ‘The Bottleman’ was composed in 1960 as music for an experimental film by George Manupelli. The 40 minutes long version preseted here involves contact microphones on a surface that holds a loudspeaker some six feet away. The loudspeaker is broadcasting open-circuit ‘hum’ (at the American standard of approximately 60 hertz). That pitch is raised slightly through tape manipulation and the result is mixed with vocal sounds and other ‘found’ sounds played back at various tape speeds. All compositions previously unreleased. The digipak CD comes with a 12 pages booklet including liner notes written by the composer and the complete score of ‘The Wolfman’, first issued in Source magazine.” [Source]













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Georg Friedrich Haas – In Vain (1st Dark Section) (2002)

Georg Friedrich Haas: In Vain (1st Dark Section)

Georg Friedrich Haas (born 16 August 1953 in Graz, Austria) is an Austrian composer of spectral music. [source]

Composition for 24 Instruments
Album: In Vain
Released on Kairos Records
Composed by: Georg Friedrich Haas
Performed by: Klangforum Wien Ensemble
Conductor: Sylvain Cambreling
Genre: Classical
Style: Avantgarde, Microtonal

This composition has been conceived to be performed in a specific light environment of the concert hall, changing gradually as the movements of the composition unfold. This is the first dark section, after the opening movement in which the lights are gradually turned down signaling a shift in the atmosphere while the instruments abandon equal-tempered tuning and follow the overtone series. The section is primarily comprised of a series of duos (one string instrument and one wind instrument), whose entrances are overlapped and chained together. The duos begin on a unison pitch, but the string instrument immediately slides the pitch up or down by a half step, concurrently overtaking the corresponding woodwind in volume. This section is performed in complete darkness as the performers have memorized the score. As this section reaches its ending the concert hall lightning gradually increases while the piece continues to the next movement.
There are two dark sections on the entire composition while the first (this one) is meant to be played in complete darkness, the second dark section is played in dark while there are strobes of flashing light through its duration.
Dark Sections:
First Dark Section: 5’30″
First Dark Section Ends: 11’02″
Second Dark Section: 42’15″
Strobe Flashes Begin: 48’20″
Second Dark Section Ends: 56’35″

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John Cage – Dream (1948)

Piano solo performed by Stephen Drury.

Dream, in fact, was composed at the request of Cage’s longtime collaborator, dancer/choreographer Merce Cunningham. As was his usual practice, Cage began work on Dream only after the dance was completely planned and Cunningham had given him a list of the metric patterns for each dance as a template from which Cage could proceed. source

 

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