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.