August Point of Departure

I’m not sure how it happened but we missed last months Point of Departure. So we’re making up for that now.

Bobby Bradford @ 75: an appreciation by James Newton

Page One: a column by Bill Shoemaker

What’s New?: The PoD Roundtable

The Book Cooks: Fear Of Music: Why People Get Rothko But Don’t Get Stockhausen
by David Stubbs & Wicked Theory, Naked Practice: A Fred Ho Reader, Edited by Diane C. Fujino

Far Cry: a column by Brian Morton

Moment’s Notice: Reviews of Recent Recordings

Ezz-thetics: a column by Stuart Broomer

Travellin’ Light: Ab Baars Ig Henneman

Future Shock: a column by Kevin Patton

Parisian Thoroughfare: curated by Alexandre Pierponte

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Stockhausen’s Aus den Sieben Tagen Available For Free Download

Karlheinz Stockhausen at Old Billingsgate Mark...
Image via Wikipedia

From Insubordinations:

Aus den Sieben Tagen is a collection of pieces to be improvised after the very concise and apparently metaphysical instructions of the Master. But far from delivering us a strange joke or an esoteric manifesto, Stockhausen explores in fifteen pieces the main questions of composition, improvisation, art, its transmission and its origin, the status of the artist, his way of life and thought, the stage, etc.

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SICPP Review

From The Boston Globe:

How to generalize a 36-piece, eight-hour sweep? Much of the program seemed compositionally less concerned with advocating particular vocabularies (tonal/atonal) or concepts (minimalism/serialism) than with exploring the means of production, the various orthodox and unorthodox ways instruments can make noise. Results were often mobile-like, artfully arranged rather than intensely plotted. Flutist Ashley Addington and guitarist Mark Wilson deftly placed the stop-and-go Impressionism of Toru Takemitsu’s “Toward the Sea.’’ Karlheinz Stockhausen’s “Refrain’’ uses the decay of vibraphone, celesta, and piano (John Andress, Christopher Lim, and Stephen Olsen) to chart loose, ringing constellations. Lukas Foss’s “Ni bruit ni vitesse’’ explores the far reaches of two pianos – Lim and Leah Kosch at the keyboards, percussionists Victoria Aschheim and Masako Kunimoto working inside the instruments’ cases – and the combination of clanging, buzzing, and slow-rolling scales was mysterious and magical.

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Sound Sculptures Recording Available for Free

Pierre Boulez in 2004
Image via Wikipedia

From UbuWeb:

Published by Wergo in 1985, Sound Sculptures is a gorgeous, state-of-the-art overview of Austria and West Germany’s instrument builders and sculptors curated by composer and music critic Klaus Hinrich Stahmer. A German equivalent to Bart Hopkins’ Experimental Musical Instruments compilation CDs, though the concept here being that composers/interprets will use someone else’s sculpture or sound construction to create their soundwork. The title’s double-entendre is perfectly maintained throughout the album: sound producing actual sculptures and soundcrafting as an artform. Particularly striking is the variety of sonorities emited, from angklung-like metallophones to interactive electronic sensors, from industrial bleak soundscapes to subtle microtonal nuances, from improvised free music to drone-a-thon. This is rather un-classifiable music only occasionaly sounding like Stockhausen or Boulez solo percussion pieces.

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Musique Machine Reviews

From Musique Machine:

Stirborg – Perceiving The World with Hate
Perceiving The World with Hate is the next grim yet creative sonic chapter in Stirborg’s distinctive take on the black metal genre, it shows Stirborg repeating old tricks effectively but adding in a few new ones to the blacked pot too.

Various Artists – Adventures in sound
Adventures in sound is a rather splendid compilation that focus in on early electronic & Electro-Acoustic composition, musique concrete, and avant- grade composition. Collecting together tracks from: Stockhausen, Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Henry and Edgard Varese. Making this an highly enjoyable, varied primer and introduction to these old avant-garde masters

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Hathut Sales at the Jazz Loft

Hathut is having a HUGE sale at the Jazz Loft, basically, at $3.50 per CD, to celebrate their 35 years in business.

In 1975, Werner X. Uehlinger founded HatHutRecords simply in order to document the artistry of a musician he heard through a chance encounter-saxophonist / trumpeter Joe McPhee. Today, over twenty-five years and more than 300 LP and CD releases later, HatHut stands as one of the most adventurous and important independent New Music labels
in the world. It has grown from an out-of-pocket venture to an established enterprise, from small press runs of black vinyl to a line of beautifully (and ecologically responsible) packaged CD-only releases. From the beginning, the label has shown a high regard for graphic design, cover art, and program notes, striving to create not just a musical artifact but a multifaceted work of art with each new release.

Though HatHut began as a label with undeniable jazz roots (although primarily of the avant-garde variety), its catalogue now boasts such recognized Classical / New Music names as Stockhausen, Cage, Scelsi, Haubenstock-Ramati, and Tenney, and the label has been widely acclaimed as one of the key reasons for the rediscovery and renewed popularity of Morton Feldman because of its many highly praised recordings of that composer’s music. But the label especially prides itself on the many musicians it has documented and grown with, who were lesser known or unknown at the time. Though in this regard HatHut has long been devoted to music far from the commercial mainstream-the jazz or classical mainstream-the label has more than survived, it has artistically flourished.

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Blues in Space is a heavy avant-rock group from New York worth a listen or two. Luup is an experimental group from Greece. Pavonine has a new ambient release out for free download. Locrian is an experimental duo with influences including John Cage, Suffocation, Glen Branca, power tools, Brian Eno, Obituary, Stockhausen, broken records, sirens, empty buildings, television static, Throbbing Gristle, air through vents, mouth breathers, field recordings. Esa Pietila has a new release coming out soon.

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Yvonne Lee in Seattle


8:00 PM; $5-$15 sliding scale donation at the door (WCF members attend one concert in the Transport series free). Presented by Washington Composers Forum, Nonsequitur, and Jack Straw Productions. WCF’s Transport Series is sponsored by 4Culture.

Pianist Yvonne Lee performs music by modern masters: Anton Webern‘s Variations, Opus 27; Elliott Carter‘s Retrouvailles and 90 ; Morton Feldman‘s Palais de Mari; and Helmut Lachenmann’s Ein Kinderspiel and Serynade. Also, Unsound Grounds by young composer Trevor Gureckis.

Yvonne Lee is a Boston-based pianist and composer. She has recently appeared at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Germany, JD Robb Composers’ Symposium in New Mexico, Banff Centre, Music Academy of the West, Boston’s WGBH studio and Jordan Hall, and the REDCAT space in Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. As a pianist, Yvonne has been hailed as “particularly forceful” by the San Diego Tribune and “enrapturing” by the Boston Music Intelligencer. Recent collaborations include a recording with violinist János Négyesy of the complete Mozart Violin and Piano Sonatas and performances of Messiaen’s Visions de L’Amen and Stockhausen’s Mantra. Yvonne’s compositions will next be featured in April as part of the SWAN festival in Boston.

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Bay Area alive with new music

New music in the San Fran area is reviewed.

In the ’60s and ’70s, the Bay Area was a new music mecca. Minimalism was forged there. East mingled with West. Electronic music came of age. Such European avant-garde composers as Luciano Berio, György Ligeti and Karlheinz Stockhausen joined the scene. After graduating from Harvard, John Adams hopped in a Volkswagen bus and headed for Northern California.

Our current century rejects headquarters. San Francisco is now but one of many centers in a multi-centered universe. But pick a good weekend and the Bay Area still hops. Last weekend was a good weekend — as well as something of a preview of upcoming concerts in Southern California — and here is a diary of a writer trying to get a handle on it all.

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