AMN Reviews: Jorge Antunes – “Música Electrónica” [MENT007]


The vinyl reissue craze continues and many experimental, electronic and free jazz recordings are being reissued on LP. If you are a fan of the LP and of contemporary electronic music, musique concréte and contemporary classical music then “Música Electrônica” will be of interest to you.

Jorge Antunes (b. 1942, Rio de Janeiro) is a pioneer in the development of electronic music in Brazil. In 1961 Antunes attended the first concert of electronic music in Brazil, which included “Scambi” by Henri Pousseur and “Essai” by Gottfried Michael Koenig. This music so inspired the nineteen year old radio technician that he built his own gear and set up a little electronic music studio in his parents living room. Two of the five compositions on this LP were recorded in this home studio between 1962 – 1970.

Antunes studied violin, composition and conducting as well as physics at the University of Rio de Janeiro. By 1965 he had established himself as a leader in the Brazilian avant garde and began his research into the correspondence between sound and color. In 1970 Antunes left Brazil to continue this research at the Institute of Sonology at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. While at Sonology he began to specialize in Computer Music under the guidance of Gottfried Michael Koenig. In 1972 -73 he attended the musique concréte course and worked at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris. Jorge Antunes is currently the director of the Electroacoustic Music Studio at the University of Brazil.

The pieces on “Música Electrônica” are striking in that Antunes makes extensive use of what were undiscovered and new techniques such as various waveform oscillators, noise, feedback, loops, tape manipulation, treated vocals, glitches, turn-table manipulation and so much more. He did almost all of this in his parent’s living room between 1962-1970, often on equipment he built himself.

“Valsa Sideral” is the first electronic work produced in Brazil. It was composed in 1962 at the composer’s home studio. As the title suggests it is a kind of waltz. It is a remarkable piece that uses a minimalist sounding tape loop of three rhythmic pitches as an ostinato while improvised sine and saw tooth melodies glissando over it with echoes and reverberations. It reminds me a little bit of the early pieces by the Barons for “Forbidden Planet”.

“Contrapunctus Contra Contrapunctus” was realized at the composer’s home studio in 1965. By this time Antunes’s technique had really grown, particularly in the ability to assemble lots of very small tape edits into smooth sections of sound. The work makes use loops of pitched material and treated voices. As the title suggests the loops are used in counterpoint against each other as treated sine and sawtooth melodies float over them, joined by occasional blasts of filtered noise.

“Cinta Cinta” was composed in 1969 during a visit to the Electronic Music Laboratory of the Institute Torcuato Di Tella, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is Antunes’s first piece realized in a professional studio. The material in this piece is primarily filtered noise and additive synthesis sounds that bump up against each other in washes and chaotic rhythms till they disintegrate into silence.

“Auto-Retrato Sobre Paisaje Porteño” is an incredibly innovative piece composed during 1969/70 in Buenos Aires. In this piece Antunes “samples” a found object – a record of a tango by Francisco Canaro. A scratch in the record skips to create a loop that transforms the tango sample into a kind of samba. This sample is then used as material for additional processing and manipulation in series of loops overlaid with additional electronic sounds into what sounds like what might be the very first pure electronic dance piece, but just as it settles into the groove, abstraction intervenes and the piece transforms into more and more abstract sounds. The abstract sounds then give way to treated, sliced and cutup overlapping vocal and speech sounds. This is followed by a short return to the tango sample samba, only to be interrupted by speech with low percussive sounds and low evolving filtered sawtooth sounds. This continues to develop till the piece ends with a long evolving crescendo that is a mix of all of the different sound types used in the piece.

“Historia de un Pueblo por Nacer ou Carta Abierta a Vassili Vassilikos y a todos los Pesimistas “ was composed in 1970 in Buenos Aires. The piece was inspired by the novel and film “Z” by Vassili Vasilikos. It is in three sections with a coda. Each of the sections begins in silence and slowly builds a noisy texture to a loud intensity and then is crushed by a single pitched sound. The coda uses a fragment from the “International” in a canonic texture, which closes the piece.

Jorge Antunes is an electronic music pioneer and this LP reissues his earliest electronic music. The compositions on “Música Electrônica” despite their age are imaginative and innovative making “Música Electrônica”essential listening for electronic music fans. For more information visit:

Chris De Chiara

Big Ears Festival 2017 Lineup Announced

English: Arve Henriksen, moers festival 2010

Source: Big Ears Festival, which has become the most extensive and diverse experimental music festival in the U.S., has announced its lineup for March 2017. Great artists, and no doubt an impressive event will take place. I’ll let the announcement speak for itself.

Several of the most highly regarded and influential artists of the past half-century will perform: jazz pianist / composer Carla Bley (performing twice, once with her trio and once with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra); British composer Gavin Bryars (astonishingly performing for the first time ever in the USA with his own ensemble); the great jazz bassist Henry Grimes with his quartet; eccentric American folksinger Michael Hurley; “magician of the voice” Meredith Monk with her ensemble; Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, and Richard Teitelbaum, performing together in their almost mythic improvisational group Musica Elettronica Viva as well as presenting their own individual performances; plus composer / reedman Henry Threadgill (winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music) with his band, Zooid.

Wilco will hold down the alt-rock foundation while Stephin Merritt & the Magnetic Fields will perform Merritt’s new 50 Song Memoir over two evenings; Icelandic composer (and Golden Globe winner) Jóhann Jóhannsson will present Drone Mass featuring ACME; also featuring ACME, Blonde Redhead will perform their classic Misery Is a Butterfly; the “cello goddess” Maya Beiser will return with two new programs, including David Lang’s powerful World to Come; composer / pianist Rachel Grimes premieres her new “folk opera” The Way Forth, with Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg; composer Sarah Kirkland Snider’s beautiful song cycle Unremembered will be sung by Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond), Padme Newsome (Clogs, The National) and DM Stith; saxophonist Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire, Bon Iver) will present Sorrow, his “reimagining” of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony; saxophonist / composer Steve Lehman will bring his international jazz / hip hop project, Sélébéyone; Junun, the extraordinary collaboration featuring Israeli composer / singer Shye Ben Tzur and the Rajasthan Express, will perform; the groundbreaking choral group, The Crossing, will perform David Lang’s stunning The Little Match Girl Passion (which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music) in a second concert, in addition to Gavin Bryars’ choral meditation, The Fifth Century.

Two other special projects will showcase the work of two late composers, whose influence on contemporary music continues to grow. Matmos will perform their staging of three key sections of the late Robert Ashley’s “opera for television” Perfect Lives (Private Parts) for the first time in the US, and producer Jace Clayton (DJ/rupture) will present his engaging Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner, celebrating the troubled and neglected African-American composer Julius Eastman, whose legacy grows stronger than ever a quarter of a century after his tragic death.

Norway’s improvisational supergroup Supersilent will give their first US concert since 2004, with master trumpeter / vocalist Arve Henriksen and keyboardist Ståle Storløkken performing separate concerts. Helge Sten will also deliver a rare Deathprod performance. In addition, Norwegian hardanger fiddle master Nils Økland will give his first concert ever in the US, performing with his band as well as in a more intimate setting. Also from Norway, the accordion virtuoso Frode Haltli will present his powerful piece The Border Woods, weaving traditional Scandinavian folk traditions with Middle Eastern influences.

There’s so much more: indie heavy hitters like Deerhoof, Læticia Sadier (Stereolab), Colleen, Dave Harrington (Darkside), My Brightest Diamond, Xiu Xiu and Tortoise; international voices like Ukraine’s DhakaBrahka, Chinese guzheng master Wu Fei, and African urban Tuareg band Imarhan; groundbreaking contemporary classical artists like cellist Oliver Coates (deemed Radiohead’s “secret weapon” on their latest record); pianist Lisa Moore; percussionist (and Wilco drummer) Glenn Kotche; flutist and music entrepreneur Claire Chase; composer and producer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith; vocalist Theo Bleckmann; ensembles American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and Theatre of Voices; underground legends Ahleuchatistas, Rangda, Sir Richard Bishop, Six Organs of Admittance, and turntablist Philip Jeck; Baltimore rockers Horse Lords; young jazz guitar wizard Julian Lage with Punch Brothers’ picker Chris “Critter” Eldridge; plus folk singers Aoife O’Donovan and Joan Shelley.

New Yodok III Releases From Tonefloat Records

Source: Tonefloat Records.

YODOK III is TOMAS JÄRMYR on drums, KRISTOFFER LO on amplified tuba & flugabone and DIRK SERRIES on elecric guitar.

(LP & CD, Tonefloat Records)
YODOK III’s amazing first appearance at Roadburn will now be released on 180gram black vinyl and cd – October 14th 2016. Listen to the album teaser on soundcloud.

(3CD box-set, Tonefloat Records)
When a reissue appears or music gets ‘the box set treatment’, it’s often an indication that a band has run its course, an artist has died or money needs to be made. In this case, it’s somewhat different. When Yodok III (TF138, 2014) and The Sky Flashes. The Great Sea Yearns. (TF144, 2015), both vinyl-only releases, came out, one could already hear a band that was unlike any other. Granted, the trio had some traits in common with kindred spirits in the realm of drone-, minimal- or post- whatever music, but there was a singular approach at work, further enhanced by the two tape releases (TF148 and TF149) that were added to the discography.

Seattle Scene: October 6-22, 2016

English: Frode Gjerstad, moers festival 2008

From Seattle’s Wayward Music Series:

Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center
4th Floor, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103 (corner N 50th St. in Wallingford)

Every month, Nonsequitur and a community of like-minded presenters and artists offer ten concerts of adventurous music in an informal yet respectful all-ages setting: contemporary classical, free improvisation, the outer limits of jazz, electronic music, microtonal/new instruments, sound art, and other extraordinary sonic experiences.

Coverdale + Van Hoen + Fischer
Thu. Oct. 6, 7:30 PM; $15 online or at the door

Classically trained keyboardist Kara-Lis Coverdale creates works that “blur the boundary between the human and the electronic machine”. Mark Van Hoen is a British electronic musician based in LA with releases on R&S/ Apollo, Touch, CCO & eMego. Marcus Fischer’s work centers around memory, geography and the manipulation of physical audio recording media. Advance tickets via PayPal c/o

Earshot: Georg Graewe
Wed. Oct. 12, 8 PM; $18/$16/$10

One of the most gifted improvisers in any kind of music, the remarkable German pianist Georg Graewe returns to the pristine Chapel space for an unforgettable solo piano concert.
Presented by Earshot Jazz Festival with support from the Goethe Institute.

THU. 10/13 – Loop 2.4.3 with Thomas Kozumplik and percussionists Denali Williams and Melanie Voytovich

FRI. 10/14 – Earshot Jazz Fest presents saxophonist Ingrid Laubrach and drummer Tom Rainey

SAT. 10/15 – Percussionist Melanie Voytovich performs works she’s commissioned by Ivan Trevino, Benjamin Marx, Bradley Hawkins, Elliot Cole, David Molk

THU. 10/20 – Earshot Jazz Fest presents Norwegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and bassist Jon Rune Strøm

FRI. 10/21 – Earshot Jazz Fest presents Romanian pianist Lucia Ban and violis Mat Maneri

SAT. 10/22 – Japanese saxophonist Kastura Yamauchi + Blue Moon Raga

The Free Jazz Collective Reviews

Source: The Free Jazz Collective.

J@K@L with Michael Attias – Static Adieu (1980 Records, 2016) ****
Trio Red Space – Fields of Flat (Relay Digital, 2016) ****
Naftule’s Dream – Blood (Naftule’s Dream Recordings, 2016) ***
Porta Palace Collective – Neuroplastic Groove (Rudi Records, 2016) ****
Jean-Marc Foussat w/Joao Camoes and Marialuisa Capurso
João Camões & Jean-Marc Foussat – À La Face Du Ciel ‎(Shhpuma, 2016) ****
Marialuisa Capurso & Jean-Marc Foussat – En Respirant (Fou, 2016) ***½ Dan Sorrells
Thomas Borgmann Trio: One for Cisco (NoBusiness, 2016) ****