Saturday, August 29, 2015

Alvin Curran - Canti e Vedute del Giardino Magnetico (Ananda [Italy] 1975)


What better way to revive this blog than with its namesake! Not to mention this is a personal favorite of mine.

Alvin Curran, b. 1938 Providence, RI, studied composition at Brown University and then at Yale under Elliot Carter. In 1966, he relocated to Rome where he formed the acclaimed experimental ensemble Musica Elettronica Viva with Frederic Rzewski and Richard Teitelbaum.

Songs and Views from The Magnetic Garden was Curran's first solo release. He engineers and performs the entire recording, playing instruments including but not limited to synthesizer (Synthi A), amplified cymbal, nose harp, kalimba, plastic tubes. The engineering, as Curran admits in the liner notes, was often done while playing. This technique lends a very intimate and somewhat stream-of-consciousness character to the music. On side A, the structure is laid out in phrases that blend into one another. On Side B, a swirling synthesizer (highly reminiscent of Terry Riley) interacts with prerecorded sounds from nature to great effect, a technique that would be over stylized by many new age artists a decade or so later.
This is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Get it here.


  1. a sad lack of comments on these posts...sure they're being appreciated though.They certainly are by me having just discovered you restarted this blog last year, some fantastic stuff, this one looks amazing! many thanks

  2. great site, i have this one on vinyl. i had been looking gfor the garrett list. thanks you.
    i will check out other pieces here that i don't know as well. i even noticed the english folk music gay and terry woods and nic jones. not too many blogs with that mix. thank you for that