Ron Kuivila & Nicolas Collins

Nicolas Collins
01 Killed In A Bar When He Was Only Three (4:11)
02 Little Spiders (4:49)
03 Second State (3:59)
04 Is She/He Really Going Out With Him/Her/Them? (7:09)

Ron Kuivila
05 Fast Feet, Slow Smoke (5:59)
06 In Appreciation (10:10)
07 Alphabet (4:05)

Total time 40:18
LP released on Lovely Music, 1982
B&w pic: Nicolas Collins ca1980s ; color pic: Ron Kuivila ca2000s

In the seventies Nicolas Collins and Ron Kuivila were both students of Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University, though I think their respective musical styles are rather linked to David Tudor’s electronic works. As Leonardo Music Journal’s editor-in-chief, Nicolas Collins devoted an entire issue to David Tudor (LMJ vol. 14: ‘Music After Tudor’, 2004) to which Kuivila contributed an article and curated the companion CD. Though he’s known today as a circuit-bending sorcerer, back in 1982 Collins’ music was the result of a feedback process of one kind or another: either feeding a recording device with excessive inputs or letting the process itself (a cheap tape recorder, a computer) select the output. Nicolas Collins: “With my first microcomputer I experimented with processing feedback by modulating filters at very fast rates, producing rich sidebands and unstable shearing textures (“Second State”, 1981).” Ron Kuivila’s 1st and 3rd tracks use speech synthesis in a style familiar from his Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine contributions in issue #9 and 22. The longer ‘In Appreciation’ is like a sound installation using a rotating fan, ‘ultrasonic fields’ and a fireworks recording collage. Apparently both composers consciously avoided the use of the ubiquitous synthesizer, as if anticipating the 1980s synth overdose. While the process itself is not what will catch our ear today when more or less all music is processed/channeled through computer, it is the sheer musicality of these pieces that stood the test of time. The real time processing ensures a feeling of live recording to the music on this disc, something often missing from electronic music’s pre-conceived and calculated moves.


11 Responses to “Ron Kuivila & Nicolas Collins”

  1. 1 sam October 31, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    this is awesome to see up here.

    and I think Tudor’s past/remaining influence is clear when this is taken into account.

  2. 2 continuo October 31, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Interesting link, Sam, thanks. Though these are only pictures from Tudor’s self build devices, it’s clearly in line with some of Collins’ own stuff.

  3. 3 rippost November 3, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks Continuo. This is p.somniferum. I’ve started a new blog on WordPress (much better than blogspot)–not much in the way of music as of yet, but perhaps eventually. I got chewed out by Family Vineyard back when I was running my old blog, so I dunno what I’ll do yet.

  4. 5 continuo November 5, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Hey! Long time no see! Good to see Old Chaps still reading my blog. Rip Post, you’re right: WordPress is better than Blogspot, though I noticed you complain about lack of layout originality on your blog.

  5. 6 jardim November 6, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I’m a loyal Continuo follower. I’ve not been communicating that much – for which I apologize – but I never fail to check your superb sonic shares :)- Cheers.

  6. 7 continuo November 6, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Actually, I was kidding. I know I have dedicated followers, including in Portugal. Thank you Jardim.

  7. 8 ppttrr March 18, 2009 at 7:22 am

    thanks for posting this. i was beginning to think i’d never get to hear it without shelling out in a big way. now to check put the rest of the blog!

  8. 9 continuo March 18, 2009 at 9:22 am

    You’re wweellccoommee.

  9. 11 Max November 5, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Cheers! Thanks for the dl

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