Tellus #24 ‘FluxTellus’

Barbara Moore's essay: 'The Sound Of Music?'Tellus #24 front-cover (picture shows a Yoko Ono performance, 1965)George Maciunas performing 'Carpenter's Piano Piece', 1964Tellus #24 cassette

01 Tomas Schmit ‘No. 13 [from Sanitas – 200 Theatre Pieces, 1962]’ (0:07)
02 George Brecht & James Tenney with George Maciunas ‘Entrance… (excerpt)’ (1:46)
03 Emmett Williams ‘Voice Piece for La Monte Young’ (0:04)
04 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
05 Joe Jones ‘Flux Music Box’ (2:36)
06 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
07 Jackson Mac Low ‘A Piece for Sari Dienes’ (10:03)
08 Tomas SchmitNo 13′ (0:07)
09 La Monte Young ’89 VI 8 c. 1:42-1:52 AM Paris Encore’ (10:33)
10 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
11 Philip Corner ‘Carrot Chew Performance’ (3:29)
12 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
13 Dick Higgins ‘Danger Music Number Seventeen’ (0:26)
14 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
15 George Brecht & James Tenney with George Maciunas ‘… Exit (excerpt)’ (1:45)
16 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
17 George Maciunas ‘Solo for Lips and Tongue’ (1:36)
18 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
19 Yasunao Tone ‘Anagram for Strings’ (6:58)
20 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
21 Alison Knowles ‘Nivea Cream Piece – for Emmet Williams’ (2:41)
22 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
23 Takehisa Kosugi ‘Micro 1’ (2:40)
24 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
25 Emmett Williams ‘Cellar Song for Five Voices’ (12:32)
26 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
27 Larry Miller ‘Lullaby for George Maciunas’ (2:58)
28 Tomas Schmit ‘No 13’ (0:07)
29 Robert Watts and Larry Miler ‘Laff Trace (excerpt)’ (0:53)

Total time 60:00
Cassette curated by Barbara Moore, released by Harvestworks, 1990
(comes with Takako Saito‘s Sound Box, 2 steel ball bearings inserted in the cassette holes, making rattling sounds when shaken)

This is where the Tellus founders paid their dues to LaMonte Young – to whom both Joseph Nechvatal and Carol Parkinson had been assistants – a man who would not let himself be pigeon-holed into Minimalism bullshit or any other genre, while opening doors to Fluxus performances, avant-rock and working hard to make American piano music sound fresh again. The first Fluxus performances and exhibitions took place in New York ca 1961 at George Maciunas’ AG Galery on Madison Avenue, including LaMonte Young, Yoko Ono and Toshi Ichiyanagi. In a way, Fluxus performance art can be considered a tentative to bring avant-garde music out of the concert hall and into the art galery, possibly for mere economical reasons: you’re not gonna sell a lot of avant-garde records, but an art piece can bring an income to the artist. In a Fluxus sound piece, you will experience musical jokes, un-musical sounds from classical instruments, boring situations lasting longer than necessary, (almost embarassing) indetermination, untrained interprets, awkward performances, sarcastic attacks on music establishment. Day-to-day life is brought to you in the art galery: eating an apple or a carrot, moving chairs, coughing, a crying baby, Nivea Cream, cleaning or generally breaking a lot of stuff (all featured in Tellus#24). Some Fluxus composers stick to traditional instruments, but in a way amplifying their out-of-date status or mocking their respectability. Tellus #24 FluxTellus is the Question Marks issue, with key topics like: what is music? what sound is suitable for a music piece? what is Fluxus without Maciunas? (1931-1978). The cassette is structured through Tomas Schmit‘s No.13, a series of blunt announcements from a speaking clock (known in the US as ‘Time-of-Day’ service). Interspersed within these 14 excerpts are various Fluxus historical performances by Fluxus original members. Some of them can be regarded as classical music today, like Alison Knowles‘s Nivea Cream Piece, Joe JonesMusic Box, Yasunao Tone’s Anagram for Strings, or Emmett Williamss monumental Cellar Song for Five Voices, a fascinating sound poetry piece, based on repetitive verses recited by 5 male performers, where the irony of the text is overtaken by the mantra-like quality of the performance.


5 Responses to “Tellus #24 ‘FluxTellus’”

  1. 1 Ludwig Vanessa March 29, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Dear Continuo;

    First of all my congrats for the amazing blog, it’s an excellent work what you’re doing here, thanks a lot!!
    I’ve browsed around and made a few downloads already and will be, for sure, a regular visit :-)

    A special word for this extraordinary document of the Fluxus movement, it’s indeed a rarity of a special kind for it’s a document that witnesses original performances and pieces from significant artists of Fluxus, which, as it is known, have influenced successive generations of musicians and have also contributed for the creation of new transdisciplinary artistic approaches, as performance art or intermedia art.
    A must!

    Thanks again, and keep on with the marvelous work!

    Ludwig Vanessa

  2. 2 continuo March 29, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Thanks a lot ‘Ludwig’ for your comment. I’m glad you can find interesting music on this blog. You’re right regarding the FluxTellus: it documents historical performances by original Fluxus artists.

  3. 3 Acousmata June 3, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    I regret to report that the download link is dead.

  4. 4 Gizah June 30, 2009 at 2:15 am

    Dead link, mind reuploading?

  5. 5 continuo June 30, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Sorry, no reupload. Mp3s for this cassette are available on Ubuweb.

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