Monday 29 June 2009
Friday 26 June 2009
- Roger Noake, Animation Techniques, Secaucus, Chartwell Books Inc., 1988.
Music by Janusz Hajdun
Thursday 25 June 2009
Side B, by contrast, features synth-washed prog experiments by the Soviet band Boomerang (Бумеранг). This short-lived group includes Edouard Artemiev (better known for his soundtracks for Tarkovski's Solaris and Stalker) and Yury Bogdanov on the synths, backed by drums, bass and guitar, oscillating between more straightforward prog and ambient-like pieces. Tracks A7 and B5 are also played by the USSR State Cinema Orchestra, Révélation being one of the most interesting scores included here. While it may be strange, but not necessarily bad, to see a "world music" label like Le Chant du Monde releasing prog music, it is to be regretted that so little info is included in this edition.
Tuesday 23 June 2009
Recorded in 1951-52.
Sunday 21 June 2009
Moebius & Plank - synthesizers, keyboards
Mani Neumeier - drums
Deuka - vocals on "Recall"
Thursday 18 June 2009
A2. The Ballad Of The Durable Grey Goose
A3. The Laughing And The Crying Man
A4. Lightning Over Moscow
A5. Imagine You're A Dolphin
B1. On Suicide
B2. Le Rappel Des Oiseaux
B3. The Peking Opera
B4. At Last I Am Free
Tuesday 16 June 2009
That quote is the inspiralion behind lhe title of George Russell's Electronic Sonata For Souls Loved By Nature, but it also, in some way, describes the composer. George Russell does not give in to the accepted norms of music. This stubbornness, if you will, this constant searching for new ways of musical expression has led to two important musical concepts - The Lydian Chromatic Concept and the Concept of Vertical Forms. At their simplest, the Lydian Chromatic Concept is based on the Lydian scale (a scale wilh a raised fourth - ie, C, D, E, F #, G, A, B) and the idea of Vertical Forms is the experiencing of layers of rhythmic modes (like standing on a crowded street comer and listening to all the sounds around you without focusing in on any one).
"I remember a musician who heard some of my music in Europe who said, 'You're an architect.' And that's what I am. I build structures. My focus is on the vertical evolution of a form, not necessarily on the horinzontal/linear exposition of that form. Music is architecture. Buildings go up - they're vertical forms."
This is how George Russell describes the musical idea which he has been working on since the late 1950's - the vertical form. And this is how he describes the basis for Electronic Sonata. Commissioned by the Norwegian Cultural Fund, the work was composed in 1968. The basis for the work was a tape made a year earlier composed of fragments of many different styles of music, avant-garde, jazz, ragas, blues, rock, serial music, etc, treated electronically upon which non-electronic musical statements of a pan-stylistic nature could be projected.
"This came about through my own compositional approach" says lhe composer. "The fact that I wanted to reflect the world cultural implosion at the time. This in 1968, don't forget. A long, long time ago. "Much is improvised, much is controlled improvisation, which is just what the Vertical Form technique is all about. The composer states a theme and suggests various tempos that the theme be played in. The band then plays the theme in those various tempos against, usually, a set or tonic tempo. So all of that is written -all ensembles are written, all solos are not written. But they may have a road to improvise on. So the composer is exercising varying degrees of control. But he's always in control. You never abandon control." The resulting piece is a melange of numerous musical styles. There are some funky bass riffs, some Eastern voicings, a bit of heavy rock guitar, a number of full-bodied tenor solos in a free bop vein, some African percussion and much space-age blips and beeps.
George Russell is heard here mainly on organ, as well as on the 13-year old tape which is the foundation for Electronic Sonata. "The tape was prepared at the electronic music studios of the Swedish Radio Ensemble on a huge computer. There are many things involved. The thing that sounds like a marimba is actually an old African man and his two sons. I have a friend who went to Uganda for the United Nations Relief Fund in 1967 and he brought me a tape of that Ugandan folk music. So we just run that through some remodulators and what not. The tape is fairly integrated with the orchestra. I think it may be the first example of that. There are three people playing at once on that tape, but the tape is so integrated with the other electronic material it's hard to distinguish what's what. For example, I spent some time on an organ in one of the old Norwegian churches and a friend of mine taped this and that was the basis of the material that this whole tape is based on - in conjunction with this African music which fits into this whole idea of a cultural implosion."
George Russell has been creative force in jazz ever since leaving his hometown Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was born, in 1923. He wrote his first arrangement, New World, as a drummer for Benny Carter's Band. The Lydian Chromatic Concept was developed during a 16-month stint in a New York City hospital, in the mid-40's. His first hit came with the introduction by Dizzie Gillespie of Cubana-Be and Cubana-Bop.
Russell spent much of the 50s working on his theories. He formed his own unit in 1960 which evenlually took him to Europe, where he taught in Stockholm and toured extensively. It was while in Europe that Russell developed and perfected his concept of Vertical Forms. Since then his time has been split between playing and teatching. ln the fall of 1980 he began his 11th year as a full-time professor at Boston's New England Conservatory. He is also currently revising his books on the Lydian Chromatic Concept. "I am aIso going to start a band in New York with the newer music that I've been writing," says George. "I'm going to perform as much as I can. With a new band and newer music and still further extensions of this idea of Vertical Form."
Russell was at the helm of a promising big band in the summer of 1978, but he gave it up "because most of our music was old music, although it wasn't old to the people who came to hear it. I want to have a band with one, concise, newer direction, the 1980s George Russell, not necessarily the whole. I still like the idea of presenting an "All About Rosie" with newer pieces, but need more newer pieces in the repetoire. That was a joy to do and I hope to be doing it again."
ln the meantime. there's Electronic Sonata For Souls Loved By Nature - a diverse, musical extravaganza. The piece is divided here into 14 "events". Each event represents a certain combination of rhythmic modes and, to Russel, " really expresses the whole Vertical Form idea. " The idea of the Vertical Form isn't new. An African drum choir has drummers laying sophisticated patterns, which are only sub divisions over the tonic lempo set by the principal drummer. It's really hard to verbalize something like this."
There is no need to verbalize - just play Electronic Sonata for yourself. Like all music, it is perfectly self-explanatory. From the blazing rock guitar of Comer to the pulse oft he African drummers to the gutsy solos of Soloff and Moore to the electronic wizardry of the leader to the rock steady rhythm of Copeland and Clark, this is another example of the genius of George Russell. A man who must be adored by nature. but not free of nature. "There's no such thing as free music", says George Russell, "because nothing under the sun is free. There's no such thing as freedom. There may be higher law, but everything is under law, under some kind of law. Even chance is under law." Electronic Sonata For Souls Loved By Nature is not chance.
LEE JESKE, from the inner cd booklet
1. Events I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII (23:45)
2. Events VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV (24:28)
** Recorded June 9 & 10, 1980 at Barigozzi Studio, Milano **
All compositions by George Russell, except Events VII, XII, XIII by Jan Garbarek.
Engineer - Giancarlo Barigozzi
Producer - Giovanni Bonandrini
Bass - J.F. Jenny Clark
Guitar - Victor Comer
Percussion - Keith Copeland
Piano, Organ - George Russell
Saxophone - Robert Moore
Trumpet - Lew Soloff
Sunday 14 June 2009
1. The Way On
2. Automat Hi-Life
5. Dum Fellow
6. The Little Girl And The Workers
7. You Speakin' Chinese?
8. Cold, Cold, Ground
9. You Me Saturday Night Car Fun
10. Ear Chrome
12. Mr. Csodor
13. La Cucana
14. Was, Is
15. Pipe Dream
16. Deux S.V.P
17. The Golden Handshake
19. Al -A-Din's Lamp. Lamp?
20. And The Waited
21. Workers Leaving The Factory
23. Wolf Trap
24. First Ride On The Staten Island Ferry
25. More Workers
27. Vegetable Kingdom
28. Debt-Equity Swap
29. The Chromolodotron Turns A Fancy Step At The Factory Social
30. Praha 4
31. Misty Dawn
Jeff Noble - bass, delay
Eric Rosenzveig - guitar
Phil Giborski - digital and acoustic drums
Recorded in Czecholosvakia in Sept 1990.
Released on vinyl by Rachot Records in 1990.
CD release by ReR in 1991.
Wednesday 10 June 2009
Lukasz Andrzej Szalankiewicz is a Polish digital sound designer and multimedia collaborator who has worked since 1994 under the name Zenial and, later, also as Palsecam. Continuing the tradition begun with last year's (highly recommended) "Reworked" for Black Faction, a collection of artists from around the world have a go at Zenial's original material.
Here the tracks run the gamut from minimalism to noise. The first few, collaborations with Kasper T. Toeplitz and Maciek Szymczuk, are subtle enough - full of digital crickets, restrained noise and melodies, glitch rhythms and steady electronic hum. Then KK. Null rudely awakens anyone who might have been lulled to sleep with an unforgiving swathe of noise. Andrew Lagowski's first track offers more blips, smears and bass but the second (as well as the following Andrew Duke & Zenial track) moves into subliminal ambient territory. Vidna Obmana wraps windy textures around a repetitive bass/rhythm line while Amir Baghiri's near ten minutes gradually becomes one of his own "Yalda" tracks replete with tribal drumming and seething washes.
Two of Zenial's tracks (three are credited solely to him) are relatively tame, crackling and cooing tiny rhythmic melodies and murmurs while the other juxtaposes truncated Hip-Hop samples with electronic abstractions. Jason Wietlespach & Jon Mueller (both of the Crouton Music collective) add saxophone and found sound sort of percussion to the electronic sputtering while Tetsuo Furudate plays with deep gong-like tones. Vivo are a label to watch from here on [brainwashed.com]
1. Kasper T Toeplitz & Zenial - Van Helsing Froz
2. Maciek Szymczuk & Zenial - Zenial's Theme Remix
3. K.K. Null - Echoes From Lamberton Remix
4. Andrew Lagowski - Cyclosynapsia Remix
5. Andrew Lagowski - Aktyb7ff Remix
6. Andrew Duke & Zenial - IB7: Ludojad
7. Vidna Obmana - Palsecam Theme Recycled
8. Amir Baghiri - Ilustracja #1 / E-nimalic Remix
9. Zenial - Sanok 13
10. Zenial - Zenzo
11. Jason Wietlespach, Jon Mueller & Zenial - Angst
12. Zenial - Hippi
13. Tetsuo Furudate - Hamlet Remix
14. Zenial - Untitled
15. Zbigniew Karkowski - Sunset Remix [multimedia avi by Neon/Piotr Nierobisz]
Design by Krzysztof Slaby
Released by Vivo Records in 2003
Sunday 7 June 2009
Ussachevsky's score for No Exit is a traditional soundtrack in that the music was meant to be a background to spoken words. Line of Apogee is quite different: There are only a few spoken words, and the images on screen shift quickly and wildly between weird, dreamlike sequences and partial animation. Here, Ussachevsky's music becomes the primary organizing element, as the various sections of music flow into one another smoothly, easing the shocking effect of the visual changes.
In both film scores we hear Ussachevsky's favorite musical form: variations on several alternating themes. His themes are significantly different from those of his serialist colleagues, who often choose themes consisting of the same pitch material they would write for traditional musical instruments. Ussachevsky instead chose themes that often do not have traditional pitch or timbral characteristics. In No Exit, for example, he used three main sound sources: electronic, vocal and concrète. The electronic sounds range from searing and slicing noises, to the ominous, bell-like tolling at the end. Here his use of the human voice is especially effective, starting with the torturous, electronically manipulated screams of the opening scene, through the voices of distant children, a woman humming, echoing male voices, and at the end, men laughing—suddenly silenced by rifle fire. The concrète sounds in No Exit include a threatening, pulsing loop of hog sounds (which appear in varied form in Line of Apogee), the rising wind (also developed in Line of Apogee), the crackling of fire, a cloc ticking, and the rifle fire.
In Line of Apogee, Ussachevsky used an intriguing variety of sources: Environmental: wind, footsteps, splashing water, telephone, creaking chair. Animal: hog, songbirds, owl. Vocal: infant crying and laughing, woman humming and laughing, choruses singing Gregorian chant; Jewish cantor intoning. Instrumental: piano (Ussachevsky improvising), flute, organ, brass, glockenspiel, drums. These sources were electronically modulated through such devices and techniques as the electronic switch, echo chamber, feedback, ring modulation, tape loops, speed variation, volume control, complex mixing and detailed tape editing.
Due to his choice of such timbres, what constitutes a “melody” in his tape music can vary from the tempered scale of the piano in Line of Apogee to the simple intervals of high, medium, or low in the “wind” parts of the same score. By using the medium of tape music for its unique capabilities, Ussachevsky extended the orchestral resources of his time just as composers have done in every century, by developing an instrument with previously unknown musical possibilities.
But perhaps Ussachevsky's most remarkable achievement is that he did not fall into the common trap of electronic composers: he did not become obsessed with technology as an end in itself. Instead he concerned himself with the musically expressive possibilities of a sound or technique. Clearly, he brought to the development of electronic music an ear highly skilled in the perception and expression of emotion in music. This may be attributed to his early and intensive training in Romantic music and Russian Orthodox choral music, both characterized by the powerful expression of emotion. Ussachevsky's uncannily sharp ear could detect the slightest technical defect in a recording. But more important, he would go to extraordinary lengths to remedy anything musically dissatisfying. Those of us who assisted him in the tape studio can attest to the often excruciating hours of work to which he would submit himself and us to gain the sublest increases in musical effect. As we worked with him in the studio, we saw the means by which he transferred such emotional expressivity onto the tape: in a word, he danced. As he turned the controls of a machine, his whole body moved in graceful choreography in response to his simultaneously listening and sculpting ear. Any machine under his sensitive hand became a fully responsive musical instrument. —Alice Shields
1- 6: Suite From 'No Exit' (1962)
7-13: Line Of Apogee (1968)
With Alice Shields & Pril Smiley (7-13)
Monday 1 June 2009
Played "to activate the growth of rice plants"
2. Kuranji Manis (Meratus)
A love song in which an old lady recalls being courted by a man who compared her with a soft flower called kuranji manis.
3. Ayun Suli (Meratus)
4. Belian - Slow (Meratus)
A ritual healing ceremony, sang by the healer. This particular song is slow because the disease is benign.
5. Penyamutan Adat (Benuaq)
A song performed to welcome strangers in the village
6. Ngasak (Benuaq)
A tune accompanied by female dancing at the time of rice sowing.
7. Belian - Fast (Meratus)
A fast healing song for a serious illness; drums are incessantly played to recover the healer's spirit.
8. Tarian Huddoo (Bahau)
Part of an agrarian/ancestor ritual, the dance uses masks to chase away evil from the rice crop.
9. Tari Sapeh Kariang (Bahau)
Played in sapeh, it is a welcoming piece.
10. Tari Belian (Benuaq)
A ritual healing ceremony, performed by one Sentiu Dukun.
11. Adtah Ulus Lagku-Ai-Ai (Kelabit)
A love song.
12. Arang Kadang (Kelabit)
Entertainment night music for women's chorus.
13. Tubung (Kelabit)
A call for prayer at the church.
14. Tutu Udan Nepara (Kelabit)
A rain song, asking for showers.
15. Rabu-Rabu Dadtam Kinih (Kelabit)
An excerpt of a song in which a woman courts a man. They finally join at dawn.
16. Sepuk Noge Kepulu (Benuaq)
A melody to attract and capture birds.
17. Muwankai (Tunjung)
Played for a buffalo sacrifice at a funeral ceremony
18. Uyan Tiga (Kelabit)
Played in the sapeh, this song was interpreted when returning from headhunting.
19. Lago Serimbung (Punan)
A welcome song for a guest.
20. Game Approach Technique (Punan)
An array of sounds played with the mouth to approach game when hunting and merge with the environment.
21. Mengahu (Punan)
A hunting song.