Tellus #22 ‘False Phonemes’, 1988

Tellus#22 cover

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‘The whistles of the birds in our nose, the creaking door which closes a phrase, the measured pause preceeding a two-beat putdown all underly the choice and order of our words.
These are the ghosts in grammar’s basement.’

Paul De Marinis (from the booklet)

Side A

  1. Remko Scha ‘Katadeedo daynatadoh’ (0:47)
  2. Larry Wendt ‘Galaxy Love’ (8:59)
  3. Brian Reinbolt ‘Brain Monkey’ (4:12)
  4. Mark Rudolph ‘Beautiful but marred by the blemish of a perpetual dissatisfaction’ (5:42)
  5. Alice Shields ‘Mass for the Dead (excerpt)’ (3:51)
  6. Paul De Marinis ‘Mind Power’ (4:06)
  7. Remko Scha ‘French Recitatif’ (1:30)

Side B

  1. Paul Lansky ‘Not Just More Idle Chatter’ (7:54)
  2. Jon English/Jim Pomeroy ‘The Hartford Address’ (2:18)
  3. Ron Kuivila ‘Linear Predictive Zoo ‘(10:40)
  4. John Cage ‘Writings through the Essay: On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (excerpt)’ (8:58)


Download link.

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EZweigExtraordinary cassette curated by Ellen Zweig (pictured left. Thanks Ellen!) – who incidentaly was working on an adaptation of Raymond Roussel’s ‘Impressions of Africa’ at the time, hence maybe the two Remko Scha tracks being excerpts from this project. ‘False Phonemes’ is based on computerized human voice – ‘cybernetic fleshy abstractions’, says Zweig. So electronicaly processed voices abound in all tracks, complete with drum machine and synthesizers, or merely sound effects. Mark Rudolph succeeds in melting heavily processed enigmatic voices into a coherent ‘voicescape’. The kyrie in Alice Shields’ Mass is so unexpected it’s almost shocking in the context of avantgarde. The Paul Lansky track is a computerized party chatter morphing into an electronic hymn. Ron Kuivila is electroacoustic music from human voice samples. John Cage is reading through his beloved Thoreau once again – multitracked low, hushed and inscrutable voices.

Remko SchaLarry WendtBrian Reinbolt

Alice ShieldPaul DeMarinisPaul Lansky

Jim PommeroyRon KuivilaJohn Cage

From left to right:
Remko Scha, Larry Wendt, Brian Reinbolt,
Alice Shields, Paul DeMarinis, Paul Lansky,
Jim Pommeroy, Ron Kuivila, John Cage.

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Above: Alice Shields ‘Study for voice and tape’, 1968

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This post is dedicated to J. H. Chunko, a distinguished phonemes manipulator.

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