Joan La Barbara is an American composer whose career has been devoted to exploring the human voice as a compositional tool. She is married to legendary electronic music composer Morton Subotnick, with whom she has worked alongside since the late '70s. She has also worked with other influential composers such as Phillip Glass, Robert Ashley, John Cage and Morton Feldman.
Reluctant Gypsy features four compostions for multi-layered tape. La Barbara creates all sounds with her voice and utilizes Buchla modules for movements in one piece. Taken from the back cover-
"This album represents an aspect of my compositional activity during the late '70s utilizing expanded and traditional vocal techniques. Ten years ago I decided to make my living as a performer and composer unattached to a specific institution and began traveling to do concerts and to make pieces. These can be categorized as: (1) multilayered tape works usually commissioned by and produced at radio stations (Shadow Song, composed in Ampleforth, England, and Klee Alee, written partly in Cologne, were commissioned for radio and completed in West Berlin); (2) sound installations (for art galleries and museums); (3) solo performances of music for voice with and without tape. All sounds on Reluctant Gypsy were produced by my voice; Buchla synthesizer modules were used to accomplish movement in the soundances and to modify verbal material in Autumn Signal."
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