Tuesday, 25 March, 2008

Robert Ashley & Paul de Marinis - In Sara, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Men and Women (1974)

"New definitive CD reissue of this original Cramps label album from 1974, an early classic from Robert Ashley (previous CD version on Cramps is now deleted). This deluxe slipcased version features a 110-page book, reproducing the original Wolgamot text along with fascinating liner notes explaining the whole project from Keith Waldrop and Robert Ashley. The CD features one long composition with Ashley reading a text by poet John Barton Wolgamot. The poem has 128 stanzas; each stanza is made up of the same phrase, into which are introduced four variables, three are names or groups of names or constructions of names, and the fourth variable is formed by the adverb of the active verb. The result is considered "one of the most unusual and difficult linguistic textures in the English language". The underlying music is supplied by Paul DeMarinis on Moog synthesizer. Ashley on DeMarinis: "Paul has elaborated seven different modular combinations, each of which can be controlled by programmed impulses. These derive from the sound of the reading of the poem passed through the regeneration high frequency filter and successively translated into a series of command impulses."

"This uniquely original work for voice and electronics dates from 1972. A 128-stanza poem by the legendary John Barton Walgamot traces a hidden story of social progress and influence within the gradual repetition of a single grand phrase. For example, "In its very truly great manners of Ludwig Van Beethoven, very heroically the very cruelly ancestral death of Sara Powell Haardt had very ironically come amongst his very really grand men and women to Rafael Sabatini, George Ade, Margaret Storm Jameson, Ford Madox Hueffer, Jean-Jacques Bernard, Louis Bronfield, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and Helen Brown Norden very titanically." In the other verses names are added and subtracted, and there occurs a subtlety organized variation of syntactical parts leading to further mysterious integration of meanings. The voice part is read with as few inflections and breaths as possible -- in the first realization prepared on tape, all pauses were removed, so that the voice has this eternal quality. (Gertrude Stein once mentioned that she aimed for this same quality while in the 1934-35 recording of her works, but had to settle for reading in long breaths). The voice activates electronic sounds that respond with inflected sounds; in the initial realization for records, electronic sounds designed by composer Paul DeMarinis were variously beautiful and humorous. The musical effect is that of an internal voice stimulating involuntary ideas and feelings. This piece, together with Ashley's "Automatic Writing" (1979), "The Wolfman" (1964), "Fancy Free, or It's There" (1970), "Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon" (1968, from The Wolfman Motorcity Revue) and "She Was a Visitor" (1967, from the opera That Morning Thing) offer a profound musical exploration of the relation between the physical nature of the voice and social/language behaviors". AMG

Synthesizer - Paul DeMarinis
Voice - Robert Ashley
Text - John Barton Wolgamot

CD reissue in 2002 by Lovely Music

Link removed by request.
See comments.


Frédito said...

Oh, this must be interesting. Looking forward to hear it. Thanks a lot JuJu !

la rose said...

Since this disc is not out of print, we at Lovely Music would appreciate you not giving it away for free.

Andrea La Rose
assistant label manager

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bravo for another lovely share.
I don't mean to intrude, but isn't this available at Ubuweb? What's the point here?

Grateful as usual

la rose said...

It is, but Kenny Goldsmith is a longtime friend of Bob's and got his permission to post a low-res version of it.

MJM said...

Same old story again...

As I suspected, it is not artists who oppose sharing. Most of them won't mind, and some even encourage, the dissemination of their music. It is label owners who usually make threats on sharity blogs such as this one, although they've been polite this time. A small-time blog like this one is not allowed to disseminate and publicize this particular cd, but if you own a huge project like ubu and you're friendly with the label owner, then it's ok. At least there were no arguments about "let's protect the artists", etc.

The rip provided by Bravo is @320. The one at ubu is @192. If that is a "low-res" version, is this really high-res? If so, then what would you call the resolution of the cd version? Truth is mp3s are but "samples" or "previews" of the music and nobody who is happy with them can be expected to buy that many cds.

I took the liberty of visiting your blogs and see what I found there:

"I’m optimistic that people all over the world are activating their own music tastes so much that they are creating serious new media force with mp3 blogs.

"I’m optimistic that access to music has become so rapid online that if I want to hear the new Joanna Newsom album I can do it in one second.

"I’m optimistic because even after listening to the whole thing on hype-machine I still couldn’t resist buying the album at a small record store in Greensboro.

"I’m optimistic that a lot of musicians aren’t being so precious about when and where they are releasing their music. Leaking tracks to blogs and posting works in progress on myspace all draws fans in more and let’s people into the process in a great way.

"The fact that the RIAA is hysterical about falling profits is good news for all the artists who have been and will be shut out of the Major Label Machine. The Internet is allowing those artists to market and distribute a lot more freely and effectively. The Internet is also making it more likely that the average Joe might listen to an independent act.

"And finally I think that the more music people listen to, the more variety and creativity they’ll desire. So the fact that more music is fitting into the same space in peoples’ lives is good news for anyone making music that is less than conventionally marketable. I hope that the chaos and innovation of online music culture actually goes hand in hand with more chaos and innovation in music making".

Wise words on the web.

bravo juju said...

enough talk. link removed.

FUCK THEM said...

These guys are plain STUPID.

Bravo Juju said...

I believe it is more appropriate to say "thank you" to the label for publishing a lot of great music, for kindly asking us to remove the link, and for providing it free @192 via UBU. Send them a hug.

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