Friday, May 31, 2013

Barry Truax - Androgyne: Electroacoustic and Computer Music By Barry Truax (Melbourne, 1981)

Barry Truax is a Canadian composer and professor of electroacoustic music. He is probably best known for his pioneering work with granular synthesis in the mid '80s. His compositions utilize tape music, electronics, and computer synthesis. Truax describes the distinctions as follows:

         In tape music, one begins with live-recorded (or concrète) sounds, which are then manipulated and transformed; in electronic music, the sound sources are oscillators which produce audio signals by generating oscillating voltages; and in computer music, the sound material is synthesized by a numerical description of the desired sound waves, and organized through the composer's interaction with computer programs that manipulate the data structure, or "score", of the composed sound.

Androgyne features six works. "Love Songs" and "The Blind Man" were written for tape and mezzo-soprano and vocal recitation respectfully; "Arras", "Aerial" and "Androgyne" are performed on computer synthesizers; "Ascendance" was written for two-channel tape. This is a personal favorite of mine and comes highly recommended. Enjoy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

V/A - New Music for Electronic & Recorded Media (1750 Arch Records, 1977)

New Music for Electronic & Recorded Media is a showcase of works by female composers. It features pieces by Annea Lockwood, Ruth Anderson, Pauline Oliveros, Johanna M. Beyer, Laurie Spiegel, Megan Roberts, and most notably two early compositions by Laurie Anderson. Taken from the back cover-

          The music on this album exhibits an exciting, wide-open, free-wheeling approach to the medium of electronic music which has come to be typical of this genre in the late 1970`s. No longer are composers obsessively concerned with the agonizing, expressionistic, and purely "electronic" (synthesized) sound formulas which marked much of this music composed between the mid-Fifties and the late-Sixties. Instead, today we have composers willing to mix media and sonic materials in thoroughly inventive ways to achieve ends which are new-sounding, and often more engaging, than that of the "academic" avantgarde.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May '13 Update

If anyone is counting, you know my posts have been far and few as of late and for this I apologize. It's been a busy spring and that's all I can say in my defense. Hopefully, though, no one has lost interest because I have a few titles which I am really excited about that should be making their way to the blog shortly. Here's a taste:

- New Music for Electronic & Recorded Media (all female composers)
- Pataphonie's first album
- Compositeurs de musique électrouacoustique du Canada, e.g. Jean Piché, Barry Truax, etc.
- Stockhausen on Candide!
- Percussion!

Also, odd private pressings and probably some more Opus One titles. Please stay tuned!