Archive for the 'continuumix' Category

Continuumix #13

Continuumix #13 - Transwonderland

Continuumix #13 – Transwonderland
Mix by Continuo – May 2012
Total time 93:30

Named after Noo Saro Wiwa’s book Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria, published by Granta in 2012. Artwork after Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome, as reconstituted at Art Basel Miami Beach, December 2011.

Download (205Mb @320kbps)

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00:00 | Atom™ – Cold Memories Part 1 (1994)
Composed in 1994 by Uwe Schmidt for Helsinki’s Museum of Contemporary Art “Ambient City Radio” program. Released as a 2xCD set on Sähkö Recordings, Finland, 2012.

04:25 | Stuart Dempster Didjeridervish (1976)
Shouts and didjeridoo droning sound recorded by trombone player Dempster inside the resonant Abbey of Pope Clement VI in Avignon, France, in 1976. The “didjeridoo” is actually a plastic sewer pipe. Excerpt from the B-side of the legendary In The Great Abbey Of Clement VI LP published by Arch Records in 1979.

09:29 | Eternal Music application
Using the yellow, blue, pink and green dots, anyone can produce enchanting chiming tonalities.

11:58 | Alexander Zhikharev Bronze Flat Bells
Moscow composer and bell ringer Zhikharev, born 1951, created and fine tuned these flat bells in 1988, with specific resonances. He plays them often at the Kolomenskoe monastery, near Moscow. [source]

16:52 | Albert Mayer Proposta Sonora X (1966-69)
Italian composer Albert Mayer conceived his Proposta Sonora experiments from 1966 to 1969 in Pietro Grossi’s own Studio Di Fonologia Musicale Di Firenze, and using the same basic electronic tonalities sourced from elementary sine waves and enveloppe generator. From the “Proposte Sonore” CD on Ants, 2004.

18:09 | Steve Reich New York Counterpoint (2005)
Interpreted and arranged by Swiss duo One Plus One (Anne Gillot on recorders and Laurent Estoppey on saxophones), this 10-inch record wa published by Lausanne contemporary art center Circuit in 2005. One Plus One also made a great Philip Glass LP in 2006.

27:30 | Masayoshi Urabe デュオ (2008)
In this excerpt from the Flag Of Midsummer CD on PSF, 2008, Japanese radical saxophonist Masayoshi Urabe is heard on harmonica, accordion and found objects, with assistance from Kuwayama Kiyoharu on found objects.

32:30 | Roland Moser Stilleben mit Glas (1970)
Mostly based on glass sounds, this musique concrète piece was created in 1970 by Swiss avantgarde composer Roland Moser, born 1943, in the Studio für Elektroniche Musik der Hochschule in Köln. From the Ensemble Neue Horizonte Bern 2xLP published by Jecklin, Switzerland, 1977.

40:56 | AstreyaDolcissimo & Death Valley (excerpts) (1988)
Astreya (Viacheslav Artiomov, Sofia Gubaidulina, Victor Suslin) with Californian electronic musician Miles Anderson. Recorded 1988. From the Astreja retrospective CD on SLYD Records, ref. SLR0027, 1994. On Artiomov and Astreya, see previous post.

49:22 | Friedrich GlorianNuzheng Miniature (2012)
German composer and improvisor Friedrich Glorian started playing in kraut rock and jazz bands in the 1960s, before turning to Indian classical music, special intonation and self build instruments. This track is played on a guzheng, a Chinese traditional string instrument, with live loop and sound effects [source].

53:07 | Excerpt from Hüört ens! Songs aus Solingen Vol. 2 (2012)
Unidentified excerpt from Vol. 2 of a compilation celebrating artists from Solingen, a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The compilation comes with a rare appearance of German art rock/NDW band S.Y.P.H. [source]

58:22 | Hentai Improvising OrchestraCoelacanth remix (2011)
Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, Hentai Improvising Orchestra are Terry Horn, Matt Hickey and Ken Shimamoto. On this track, electronic artist Coelacanth remixes some H.I.O.’s live performance at Doc’s Records, a Fort Worth record store, with the addition of Chris Vaisvil’s fretless bass.

65:51 | Pascal ComeladeLa Coquille et le Clergyman (2009)
In 2009, Comelade was commissioned a new soundtrack to Germaine Dulac‘s Surrealist silent film realized in 1927, published as a DVD by Éditions Light Cone in 2009. The score was written for a re-formed Bel Canto Orchestra with Comelade at the grand piano.

72:14 | Ezra PoundOn Cantos
Archive recording of Pound himself reading from his Cantos cycle. From American experimental webcast Cytopicus and sister project Saxonian Folkways blog. Also highly recommended is their Decline of Poetry in 20th Century mix of atonal contemporary music ala Xenakis with unidentified poetry readings, possibly Yeats, Pound and others.

74:15 | Charles CurtisUltra White Violet Light (1999)
US classical cellist Curtis, b.1960, collaborated with La Monte Young in the 1990s, performed within the Dream House and premiered a La Monte new composition in 2003, as well as a piece by Eliane Radigue in 2006. Ultra White Violet Light is for two cellos, sine wave and sustained electric guitar. From the double LP on Beau Rivage, originally published 1998, reissued by Squealer Music in 1999. This is side A, but I noticed all 4 sides are available on YouTube.

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Continuumix #12

Continuumix #12 – Slower ligh-years

Continuumix #12 – Slower ligh-years
Mix by Continuo, March 2012
Total time 57:26


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Jeremy Couillard
Over And Over Again (2012)
In this video from Brooklyn, NY, artist Jeremy Couillard,  your personal avatar will guide you through a supernatural, Second Life-like world inhabited by uncanny 3D artifacts. A staunch adept of reincarnation theory, the avatar narrates a progressive acquaintance with painful reminiscences from the past and memories from other people, all channeled through the artificial, genderless voice of the Google translator and text-to-speech routine.

Chris Vaisvil
Electronic Dream #1 (2002)
In addition to being a microtonal and Just Intonation music composer, American Chris Vaisvil likes to experiment with as many different instruments as possible, from modified guitar, synthesizer or piano, to self-build instruments, among others. This scintillating ambient electronic track uses the Casio CZ-101 and Korg MS2000 synthesizers only, and was recorded live in 2002. Chris offered the mp3 on his blog in 2011.

Jean-Marc Montera
– guitar solo (1987)
Great, if short, guitar solo from Jacques Diennet’s Mante LP, 1987, as posted earlier on the blog.

Harri Hertell
Isät Levällään Maailmalla (2011)
Finnish poet Harri Hertell spreads his poetry through readings, slam contests, collaboration with rock bands and YouTube videos, like this wonderful reading with electronic accompaniment. He’s a familiar figure of the Helsinki Poetry Connection public readings.

La Chambre de Swedenborg
Le Long Couloir Blanc (2012)
La Chambre de Swedenborg is the reunion of Swedish vibraphonist Linda Edsjö, Danish singer Birgitte Lyregaard and French multi-instrumentist Jean-Jacques Birgé (formerly of Un Drame Musical Instantané). Named after Swedish, Christian mystic Swedenborg, the trio was introduced during a live performance as part of the Europe and the Spirit World exhibition in Strasbourg, France in 2012. The excerpt (archived on features the voice of Jean Cocteau reading his occult manifesto Le Discours du Grand Sommeil (full text in French here), in which a dead man explains how he can have contact with feverish, sick livng beings, as their internal speed has slowed down to that of deceased people.

J’ai une grande nouvelle triste à t’annoncer : je suis mort. Je peux te parler ce matin, parce que tu somnoles, que tu es malade, que tu as la fièvre. Chez nous, la vitesse est beaucoup plus importante que chez vous. Je ne parle pas de la vitesse qui se déplace d’un point à un autre, mais de la vitesse qui ne bouge pas, de la vitesse elle-même.
Jean CocteauLe Discours du Grand Sommeil, 1922
[I came with important, sad news: I am dead. I can speak to you this morning because you are dozing, because you’re sick and feverish. Our speed is much higher than yours – not the speed from one point to another, but motionless speed, or speed itself.] (own translation)

Georgios KaramanolakisFor Cello and EMS Synthi E (2010)
The duo of Greek experimental music composer Karamanolakis with cellist Aigli Drakou (nice video here), this track is a mindblowing exploration of radical cello tonalities ala Xenakis with noisy and psychedelic sounds from an EMS Synthi E. Via SoundCloud.

Aidje Tafial
Symphonie Diagonale soundtrack (2008)
Svenska Filminstitutet commissioned this new soundtrack to Symphonie Diagonale, Helmuth Viking Eggeling’s visual music masterpiece, to French percussionist Aidje Tafial, who composed a wonderfully intricate web of small percussion, drums and mysterious vocal samples.

Per NørgårdA Light Hour (2008)
A Light Hour is an hour-long composition for percussion by Danish composer Per Nørgård (born 1932), here interpreted by ensemble Percurama on a 2010 Da Capo CD. The 4 movements also include improvised parts.

Christian PegandLa Carmensijazz ( 1982)
Rock solid drum solo from a RCA April Orchestra LP (vol. 46) titled La Carmensijazz, by Christian Pegand and Thierry Mineau. This is the drum solo from the title track, with Pegand on drums.

Unidentified (date unknown)
Great techno effort from a single-sided, 10-inch single found in a second hand record store. The flip bears a multitude of hand-written engravings, but no record label name or track title I could identify.
[Actually, artist name is: Pnau, and track title is: Again. See Discogs. Thanks to reader A Cheffe, who identified this in the comments]

Victoria Vinamaragui  – Secretos
A Mexican artist born in 1987, Vinamaragui‘s work encompasses various techniques, be it drawing, painting, installation or film. Despite her young age, she already launched an art gallery titled La Galeria de las Pistolas, or The Gun Gallery, in her hometown Ciudad Juárez. Secretos is a sound installation based on intimate secrets told by volunteers on small pieces of paper, and read aloud to form a tapestry of confessions.

Supersilent10.3 (2010)
In 2010, after the departure of drummer Jarle Vespestad, Norwegian supergroup (!) Supersilent was reduced to a trio. Their music then took a more chamber-like orientation, especially thanks to the collaboration with pianist Ståle Storløkken. On this evanescent excerpt from album #10, both piano and syntesizer evoque Olivier Messiaen, with almost exact quotes from Fête des Belles Eaux on synthesizer and Catalogue d’Oiseaux on piano.

Tony McPheeThe Hunt (1973)
Guitarist with British blues-rock band The Groundhogs since the 1960s, Tony McPhee also has a prolific solo career with a dozen albums under his name. The B-side of the 1973 “Two Sides of Tony McPhee” LP is an epic, side-length composition for synthesizer and voice, of which some of the electronic rhythms sound more like 1978 than 1973. Included in this mix are 3 excerpts from the 18-mn track The Hunt.

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Continuumix #11

Continuumix #11 - Europäischen Fetzen

Continuumix #11 – Europäischen Fetzen
Mix by Continuo

Total time 71:35

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Keith Jarret
Overture, from the Ruta+Daitya LP, ECM, 1973. One of the first Jarret LPs for ECM, with the pianist on electric organ and Jack De Johnette on drums.

Yves Pacher
– excerpt from a cassette titled Musique des buissons, des sentiers, de l’imagination, (Music from Bushes, Trodden Tracks and Imagination), released by UPCP/Geste Paysanne, Poitiers, France, 1983. A regionalist/ environmentalist cassette teaching children how to build music instruments from wood, plants or grass blades, as is the case here.

Eero Koivistoinen
– excerpt from Muusa ja Ruusa, 1971, an electronic, free jazz opera for children by Finnish saxophonist Koivistoinen. Extremely rare LP of which an excerpt is available on Extra Edition blog.

Eduard Artemiev
Motion, a collaboration with Yury Bogdanov, from the 1982 Melodya LP Metamoprhoses. Soviet film music composer Artemiev is better known for the Andrei Tarkovsky soundtracks, Solaris and Stalker.

Sven Grünberg
Rohelised Leed, from Mess, 1975-76. Founded in the early 1970s by keyboardist Grünberg and a group of Estonian musicians, Mess was a progressive rock band from Estonia who were never allowed to release their music on state label Melodya. The album finally surfaced in 1995, with a CD release on Bella Musica, Germany.

Arne Nordheim
I Auroheimen, or In the Other Home, from the opera Draumkvedet, CD, Simax records, 2006. Nordheim’s masterpiece Draumkvedet, or The Dream Ballad, was commissioned for the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lilehammer, Norway. The opera blends traditional and contemporary styles and techniques. It includes untrained folk singers, medieval language, electronic music, orchestra and chorus.

Steve Waring
Image, from the 7” single titled Mirobolis on Le Chant du Monde, France, 1978. American guitarist Steve Waring made a career in France since 1965, championing fingerpicking guitar and jamming with many French guitarists. From the late 1970s, he specialized in children’s songs and released several records on Le Chant Du Monde, of which Mirobolis might be the first one. Backing musicians are Workshop de Lyon members Louis Sclavis on clarinet and sax, Maurice Merle on alto sax, Jean Bolcatto on bass and Christian Rollet on drums.

Cory Allen
– track #5 from Hearing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Hears, CD, Quiet Design, 2009. Texan composer Cory Allen runs the Quiet Design label and releases intricate, minimalist electronic music compositions that both soothe and mesmerize.

Luciano Berio & Bruno Maderna
– excerpts from the 1st part of Ritratto di Città, or Portrait of the City, 1954. A poetical sound portrait of Milano, Ritratto… was a radiophonic, electroacousitc composition, inaugurating the newly launched Studio di Fonologia Musicale in Milano. The text was written by Roberto Lyedi, readers are Nando Gazzolo and Ottavio Fanfani. Electroacoustic and electronic sounds by Bruno Maderna and Luciano Berio. Sound from YouTube video.

Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras
– Soon–Kink Remix, 2009, Macro, Berlin. From the Macrospective 2011 2CD-set. After nearly two decades of presence, it seems Berlin minimal techno is part of Europe’s genes, now, and the genre is alive and kicking.

Dariusz Mazurowski
– excerpts from Divertimento, from the “Pseudaria/ Divertimento” CD on Acte Préalable, Poland, 2011. Based on his fascination for early electronic music pioneers, Polish composer Mazurowski’s music blends analog recording technique with a digitial editing process, for what could pass for an homage to Elecktronische Musik.

Belgrade art students –
Story On Copy, texts on copy in art written and read by Belgrade art students. Inspired by Manhattan gallery Salon de Fleurus, dedicated to copy and fake paintings, named after Gertrud Stein’s address in Paris, Rue de Fleurus. Apparently part of an exhibition on “The Case of Students’ Cultural Centre in the 1970s”.

Chunky MoveMortal Engine, 2008. Soundtrack by Ben Frost for the multimedia dance performance by Australian company Chunky Move, directed by Gideon Obarzanek.

ZsAcres of Skin, from the New Slaves CD, 2010. With New Slaves, Brooklyn trio Zs have produced their most radical record to date, an intimidating mix of math rock guitars, shrieking saxophone and stubborn, metronomic drums.

Wolf BiermannWie Ich Ein Fisch Wurde, from the Hälfe des Lebens LP, CBS, West Germany, 1979. After a poem by Günter Kunert, How I Becam A Fish, written 1963. Born 1936 in West Germany, Biermann relocated to East Germany in 1965 to experience Socialism in the flesh. A folk singer, poet and political activist, he instilled his Marxist ideas in LP records published in the West. On his 1978 LP Trotz Allerdem!, free jazz saxophonist Albert Mangelsdorff and Heiner Goebbels both contribute, the latter on accordion. Biermann’s daughter Catharina Hagen is better known as Nina Hagen.

Ed CoxThe Triumphant March of Piaf, from the Hardcordian EP, 2006 (sound from MySpace). Cambridge-based Ed Cox plays a hybrid form of musette accordion with robust Jungle rhythm machine. A street musician, he also plays outdoor during free parties – but always dressed as a clown, as if to break barriers with passers-by. The Triumphant March of Piaf is a wonderfully optimistic and uplifting anthem, perhaps inspired by French singer Edith Piaf.

Jean-François Charles – Zygomatic. A piece for laugh and live electronics by French composer Jean-François Charles, interpreted by soprano singer Isabelle Jost, with live interaction through Max/MSP and Jitter softwares.

Fatima MirandaEl principio del fin, from Concierto en Canto CD on El Europeo Música CD, Spain, 1994. An exquisite sound poetry lullaby for onomatopeia and kisses by the ever playful Fatima, Ultimately, everything ends with kisses, as it should be.

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Some of the records used:

Keith JarretYves PacherEero KoivistoinenSven GrünbergCory AllenEduard ArtemievArne NordheimPatrick Cowley & Jorge SocarrasSteve WaringDariusz MazurowskiWolf BiermannFatima Miranda

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Continuumix #10

Continuumix #10

A post-colonialist meditation
Mix by Continuo
Total time 47:21

My father served as an officer in the French army at a time when France was a colonialist country – he’s the white man on the photo above. Inspired by his photo album from when he lived in Cameroon, Congo and Ivory Coast in the late 1950s to 1960, this mix attempts to re-create his sound world and environment from various recordings of nature, animals, dialects, music and songs. As well as dreaming about his sound environment, I felt like meditating on an era when France was administrating several West African countries as colonies. Perhaps as a consequence, I tend to consider most “ethnic music” recordings as colonialist artifacts, at best patronizing, if not mere pilfered music. Yet, I hope the mix also celebrates the beauty of dialects, voices and song art of a few Central African countries.


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José Pivin – various excerpts from Opéra du Cameroun (+ several mbira interjections from Shona Mbira Music, see below). Based on environmental and nature recordings collected during a trip to Cameroon in 1976, Opéra du Cameroun was published by Ocora (Office de COopération RAdiophonique) in 1978 by French radio producer Jean Pivin.

Shona Mbira MusicNhemamusasa by Hakurotwi Mude (voice+mbira), Cosmas Mayaga (mbira), Ephram Mutemasango (hosho). LP released in 1977, recorded 1975 in Salisbury (now Harare). One of the many extraordinary recordings made by Paul Berliner in Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) for Nonesuch’s Explorer series documenting the mbira music of the Shona people (see also below The Soul of Mbira).

Sahel SoundsBelibul 1 + VOSIM Sound Example v2. Humming and babbling song by children, recorded by Christopher, who maintains the blog Sahel Sounds from his home in Mauretania. Contrasted with electronic bleeps from Tom over at These sounds emulate Werner Kaegi‘s VOice SIMulator program.

Musiques AfricainesChant Patri pour la Place Mortuaire (or Mourning Patri tribe song). + noises from Opéra du Cameroun. Part of a series titled Musique de Tous Les Temps (Music of all times), this book with accompanying 7 inch record, published in France in 1967, is an introduction to traditional music of Central African Republic.

Robert ArnautMix d’ambiances africaines, from the Une Afrique En Radio 3xCD set produced by Thomas Baumgartner, released by Frémeaux & Associés, 2010. Robert Arnaut has been a radio producer on French national radio since 1953. He made many trips to West and Central Africa. His recordings focus on interviews, religion, social life and (as is the case here) ambiance and field recordings.

Listen to AfricaIsland Waves + The pirogue to Orango, recorded in Guinea-Bissau’s Bijagos archipelago. The Listen to Africa website documents a 2-year bicycle trip through Africa by British Rebecca Sumner and Huw Williams from 2009 to 2011. From their archive of field recordings.

David Monacchi – short loop from Sounds from the Bai Hokou forest + sound effects (a lot!). David Monacchi maintains the Ear to the Earth website to document his high resolution field recordings in Central African Republic in 2009, among other trips.

Robert Arnaut – lullaby by two Aka pygmy children (from Mix d’ambiances africaines in Une Afrique En Radio).

Robert Arnaut – Rituel du Mbwiti (or Mbwiti ritual) + short sample of metallic instruments from Niger – Musique des Griots, Ocora, 1964. The secret Mbwiti or Bwiti ritual is an animist initiation ceremony which takes place in a dedicated hut and involves narcotics. The Musique des Griots LP is one of the masterpieces of the entire Ocora series.

Jean RouchCocorico Monsieur Poulet. The title song from the Jean Rouch film of the same name, released 1974, a road trip across Niger.

Chasseurs PygnéesWomen’s Song with musical bow. From a rare 1982 LP on the French Selaf-Orstom label, a state funded ethnomusicologist organism based in Paris. The first side features 15mns of animal imitations and decoys by Pygmy hunters in the forest, but this excerpt is a more peaceful welcome back song to celebrate the return of the same hunters to the village. Recorded in Central African Republic, 1975-79.

The Soul of Mbira Nyamoropa Yevana Vava Mushonga, by Muchatera Mujuru, voice and mbira + crickets from Opéra du Cameroun. Another Paul Berliner stellar release from 1973, this disc introduces several mbira virtuosos, but this poignant song is played by a very old man on a specially low-tuned instrument.

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Below: some of the records used

Opera du Cameroun LPShona Mbira Music LP
Robert Arnaud CDListen to Africa website
Musiques Africaines book+7inchMusique des griots LP
Chasseurs Pygmees LPThe Soul of Mbira LP

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Continuumix #9

Continuumix #9 - Musique innocente

Continuumix #9 – Musique innocente
Mix by Continuo
Photograph by Gordon Tenney from a Life magazine article titled The Struggle to speak in a Silent World, on New York’s Lexington School for the Deaf, early 1960s.
Total time 51:02

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Paul Hindemith
Wir bauen eine Stadt, published by Eterna, DDR, 1957. A play for children, We’re Building a City was composed for piano and voices in 1930. Here are several excerpts from East Germany’s Eterna label 1957 version for orchestra. Children choir from Leipzig with instrumental ensemble under the direction of Hans Sandig.

Vernon ElliottIvor the Engine (several excerpts) 1958. Music for the children television program by Oliver Postgate, 1958-1977. Music by composer and bassoonist Vernon Elliott. From the Trunk Records LP, UK, 2007.

Peter Janssens Das weite Meer, from the Ich suche einen sinn heraus LP, Peter Janssens Musik Verlag, Germany, 1975. Peter Janssens (1934-1998) was a German composer of film, stage and children music, fondly remembered today for his Christian rock albums with great backing band including fine guitarist Gerd Geerken. As befits a Christian rock LP, the album’s title means: I’m looking for meaning.

Denis TaguRitournelle Grenouillesque. Background music for a website dedicated to obscure French writer Jean-Pierre Brisset. Tagu is a founding member of Hellebore and Toupidek Limonade and the director of music label In-Poly-Sons.

Y Stand DruffD’Stainlemer from the Y Strand Druff LP, HBL, Switzerland, 1968. Recordings from the 1968 Basler Fasnacht or carnival with comedy and various drums+fifes orchestras or cliques (Schnitzellbangg, Central Club, Barbara Club, etc) playing the Guggenmusik.

MummenschanzDie Schöne und der biest (The Beauty and the Beast). From YouTube video. Drum sounds by unidentified drummer accompanying one of the Swiss duo‘s mime plays. See official Mummenschanz website.

HornrohAdieu O(H) W(Eh), from Zirp, CD, MGB, Switzerland, 2002. Swiss quartet from Basel who brought the ancestral, pastoral alphorn into avantgarde territory. See official website.

Werner Kaegi Vom Sinuston Zur Elektronischen Musik, 7”, Verlag Der Elektroniker, Switzerland, 1971. Swiss electronic music composer Werner Kaegi, born 1926, studied with Paul Hindemith. He was one of the key figures of the Utrecht Instituut voor Sonologie where he recorded many electroacoustic pieces. He conceived the music for the Swiss pavilion at Osaka world expo, 1970.

Marran GosovFerne Nahe, from the Vocoding Life/Psycho-Akustik LP, published by Kuckuck, West Germany, 1980. Film director and film music composer Marran Gosov was born in Bulgaria in 1933, but made his career in Germany – see also his official website. Sound file from Japanese record seller Organic Music.

Dieter Süverkrüp und Wolfgang DaunerFließbandlied I, from Das Auto Blubberbum, Verlag Pläne GmbH, Dortmund, West Germany, 1976. A play for children by German composer Dieter Süverkrüp, also including German free jazz musicians Wolfgang Dauner, Albert Mangelsdorff and Eberhard Weber. In this excerpt, Dauner is on synth with singer Inge Brandenburg as Ella.

Hans Werner HenzePollicino, CD, Wergo, Germany, 2003. Several excerpts from an opera for children written in 1979-80 for the children of Montepulciano in Italy, near the place where Henze was living.  On this 2003 version, a German choir and young students from various Berlin music schools are directed by Jobst Liebrecht.

Holger Hiller & Thomas FehlmanIch bin ein Schaffner, from Wir bauen eine Stadt, Ata Tak cassette, 1981 (Gagarin LP reissue, Germany, 2006). Electronic realization of Hindemith’s children opera.

Henri GhysAir Louis XIII – Amaryllis. From Look, Listen and Sing volume 1, CBS Records, USA, 1977. a series of classical music recordings for the classroom and dance workshops. Anonymous arrangement for guitar, bass and electric organ of a melody attributed to Louis XIII, King of France, popularized by Henry Ghys as a piano piece in the 19th century. Ghys (1839-1908) was a French composer and music teacher whose many students included Maurice Ravel.

Wolfgang MüllerIch hab sie gesehen, excerpt from Mit Wittgenstein In Krisuvík LP, A-musik, Germany, 2003. A collection of twenty-two Elf songs inspired to Wolfgang Müller (of Die Tödliche Doris fame) by Icelandic medium Erla Stefánsdóttir and Wittgenstein’s stay in Iceland in 1913.

Sonic Rush Bomber Barbara, from the soundtrack to the Nintendo DS TRAX game, Japan, 2005 (from unofficial website). Composed by a ‘Sonic Team’ including such musicians as Hideki Naganuma and Teruhiko Nakagawa .

The Yip Yips, of Sesame Street fame. From their vintage classics The Computer and The Clock.

Herbert EimertMusik und sprache, an excerpt from Einführung in die Eletronische Musik, Wergo, West Germany, 1963, as posted earlier.

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Below: some of the records used

Paul Hindemith - Wir bauen eine StadtVernon Elliott - Ivor the Engine
Peter Janssens - Ich suche einen sinn herausY Stand Druff
Werner Kaegi - Vom Sinuston Zur Elektronischen MusikMarran Gosov - Vocoding Life / Psycho-Akustik
Dieter Süverkrüp und Wolfgang Dauner - Das Auto BlubberbumHans Werner Henze - Pollicino
Wolfgang Müller - Mit Wittgenstein In KrisuvíkSonic Rush Adventure - Bomber Barbara

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Continuumix #8

Continuumix #8 artwork

Continuumix #8 – The Tweeters Parade
Total time 62:45
Mix & paper-cutting by Continuo


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Marcus Coates Yellow Hammer imitation. In his 2007 film Dawn Chorus, British artist and birder Marcus Coates makes people sing bird songs at low speed, then speed it up to reveal the potential bird in the human voice. In this excerpt, from The Guardian, he demonstrates the process.

The Japanese 2008 Moonbell Project interprets topographical lunar data transmitted by lunar orbiter Kaguya during the 2007 SELENE lunar mission explorer, into MIDI sounds. Whatever the math, the results sound wonderful, as this excerpt amply demonstrates. This is sample #6 from the Moonbell official homepage (bottom of the page).

British Song Thrush recorded in Dorset, UK, 2008, by YouTube user and animal photographer Richard Austin.

DJ Ordeal Birdwatching. Very ironical mashup of bird songs, Chinese bird market recordings and any kind of loops and manipulation of (not necessarily pleasant) bird sounds. From the DJ Ordeal-curated, 2010 compilation cassette on Entr’acte (#E87), also including tracks by Deepkiss 720 and Vitamin B12, a.o.

Ergo Phizmiz The Cassowary. Emblematic song from Chunk #4 of The Faust Cycle, completed 2010. Not much a song about birds as such, but the whole 3-hour mix is a fantastic contribution to bird music. Free release on Headphonica.

Song of The Sablaran. From Xamanismo, a page dedicated to Brazilian avifauna. The link in the Aves section says: Sablaran – Canto de Sabia, yet I couldn’t precisely identify the bird.

Agencement Untitled. An excerpt from side A of Agencement’s first LP (Pico 01, 1986), posted by Stalking Duppi. Hideaki Shimada’s violin bow remarkably sounds like a bird erratically hopping on the strings. Almost as if the bow was a bird, in fact. A striking occurrence of devenir-oiseau (becoming-bird) – a term Gilles Deleuze coined to describe the hands of a pianist playing Liszt, as opposed to devenir-insecte (becoming-insect), his interpretation of Xenakis’ music.

Jean Wiener Concerto pour Rossignol et Orchestre (or Concerto for Nightingale and Orchestra), from the soundtrack to Julien Duvivier’s film Voici Le Temps Des Assassins, 1956. The music, mixing a chamber ensemble with a bird recording, was exhumed by Jean Laroche from a radio broadcast. French pianist and composer, Wiener (1896-1982) is famous for his live performances  in Paris between the wars, mixing classical music, jazz and improvisation. He premiered many works by Poulenc, Stravinski and Schönberg, ao. He was once asked to create an electronic version of Erik Satie’s Parade (probably for Ondes Martenot), which sadly never materialized.

Pigeon whistles recorded by Fausto Caceres. Recorded in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in the northwest side of China, where Caceres lived for 2 years, as documented on his blog. Equipping flock of pigeons with whistles is a very ancient Chinese tradition (see also here).

Dave Sag Plane. A programmer, photographer and occasional composer, Brisbane-based Dave Sag used sounds from an answering machine, a modem connecting, wine glasses and processed pelican cries to create this electroacosutic composition. Sag calls the method he used “an experiment in fractal music making”. Also included in September Mix, an Australian Experimental Music mix by Anbis (aka Andrew Bishop) on SoundCloud.

Joji Yuasa Music For The Main Pavilion Of The Okinawa Oceanic Expo, 1975, from the Omega Point CD. Joji Yuasa, born 1929, was a member of the Jikken-kobo experimental music workshop founded 1951 with Takemitsu and Akiyama. He joined TranSonic in 1972 with Ichiyanagi, Matsudaïra and Takemitsu. Music For The Main Pavilion is a colorful mix of indigenous birds, shamisen, Okinawan folk traditional, and orchestral music with accordion. The sounds intermingle in a dreamy and silky way, as in a stream-of-consciousness experience. [Thanks to Rainier for the suggestion]

Inuits imitating the cries of geese, from the Inuit Games and Songs Unesco CD, hosted on Ubuweb’s Ethnopoetics sound archive. Animal imitation is a practice resorting to shamanism among Inuits. Note how the singers focus on rhythm and two tone melodies.

Basil Kirchin Charcoal Sketch #3. From the unreleased 1970 jazz sessions published by Trunk Records, 2004. Heavy tape manipulations of bird songs recorded in Switzerland by Kirchin.

John Hudak Miss Dove Mr Dove. Radically, electronically processed dove recordings, originally intended as background music by Hudak, but actually worth focusing on sonic details and minute variations. Evoking P.B. Shelley‘s “profuse strains of unpremeditated art”, as the poet described the singing skylark, this magical music rather blurs the line between organic and artificial sounds. Excerpt from the CD released by Afe Records, 2008.

DJ Ordeal Seagulls. Ordeal’s obsession with birds is also well represented on the excellent Sea/Seagulls LP (Entr’acte E39, 2006). On Seagulls, Ordeal uses grotesque tape manipulations of human voices to produce vaguely resembling gull cries.

Konrad Sprenger Palendina. Multi-tracked tuba (or trombone) solo music from German composer Sprenger. From the gorgeous Versprochen, 2009 LP on Schoolmap. The album also has some bird recordings (Blinder Fleck), not included here.

Walter Marchetti The Bird of Paradise. A 20mn piece for various birdcalls recorded in 1997 in Milan. From the Alga Marghen one-sided LP, 2001.

Mother Mallard Anatidae 2a. Duck sounds (what else?) from David Borden’s Mother Mallard Anatidae 1985 LP on Cuneiform. David Torn is on guitar, Les Thimmig on saxophone, Borden on synth.

Boris Nikolayevich Veprintsev Eurasian Crane, (French title: Grue Cendrée – Grus grus), from Oiseaux des Plaines Russes LP, as posted earlier on the blog.

Boris Ivanovich Tischenko “The Window” (from Three Songs to Verses by Marina Tsvetayeva, Op. 48, 1970). Marina Karpechenko, soprano, with Daniil Kopylov, piano. A Chostakovich’s student, Tischenko (born 1939) composes symphonic, chamber and piano pieces. Tsvetayeva’s poem goes like this:

In the sweet, Atlantic
Breathing of spring
My curtain’s like a butterfly,
Huge, fluttering
Like a Hindu widow
To a pyre’s golden blaze,
Like a drowsy Naiad
To past-window seas.

5 May 1923
(translated by David McDuff. Russian version here)

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Continuumix #7

Continuumix #7
Snowforms graphic scoretitle=

Hieroglyphs of Ontario
Exploring the Music of Raymond Murray Schafer

Selection by Continuo
Total time: 54:35

This mix is intended as a tribute to a composer whose philosophy and music have deeply influenced the inception of this blog. Various pioneering aspects of Raymond Murray Schafer‘s oeuvre have been included: Soundscape and Acoustic Ecology, vocal and choral music, orchestral and chamber music with echoes of Ives, Webern and Shostakovitch, outdoor music performed in the open, graphic scores and spoken word. A track by Hildegard Westerkamp, Murray Schafer’s close associate in the World Soundscape Project, 1973-80, is also included, as well as sound poetry by his friend bp Nichol, whose death inspired the String Quartet n°4 in 1989. Both Murray Schafer and Westerkamp gave lectures at the Uses and Abuses of Sound conference that took place in Koli, Finland, last week (June 16-19, 2010).

All music excerpts from personal collection, except where noted. Color pictures above from Miss Mussel’s post on a Murray Schafer-inspired soundwalk, as part of Open Ears Festival 2009, Kitchener, Ontario. Poet Rae Crossman is seen with an oar. Snowforms graphic score from Musicworks journal #16, Toronto, 1981.

  • Nocturne for solo flute (1996)
    Ellen Waterman, flute. Recorded by Gayle Young at Wildcat Lake, Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, Central Ontario, 1998. From Musicworks magazine+CD #72 , Toronto, 1998.
  • East (1972)
    National Arts Centre Orchestra, Mario Bernardi, conductor. From the Transcription series LP published by Radio Canada International, 1973. Based on a text from the Isha-Upanishad.
  • Music for the Morning of the World (1969)
    For mezzo-soprano and magnetic tape. Kathy Terrell, mezzo-soprano. The excerpt is the 2nd half of the piece with prominent electronic sounds. Based on lyrics by Turkish poet Jalâl al-Din Rûmi. From the 2xLP Loving, Melbourne Records, Canada, 1979.
  • Kits Beach Soundwalk (1989) by HILDEGARD WESTERKAMP
    For spoken voice and tape. Field recording made on Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver. Based on Westerkamp’s mid-1980s Soundwalking radio show experiments. An excerpt from Iannis Xenakis’ Concret PH 2 is embedded at the heart of the piece. From the Transformations CD on Empreintes Digitales, Montréal, 1996.
  • The Vancouver Soundscape (1973)
    Urban sounds from Murray Schafer’s World Soundscape Project first LP. Recorded by Howard Broomfield, Bruce Davis, Peter Huse and Colin Miles. From the Cambridge Street CD reissue, Vancouver, 1996.
  • Here The Sounds Go Round (1980)
    Murray Schafer reads own text, from Sounds Unseen, flexidisc issued by Presentation House and Gallery Stratford, Ontario, 1980.
  • Howling wolves sounds from the internet.
  • String Quartet n°5 – Rosalind (1989). Excerpt features the Wolf Theme, a transcription of the animal’s howl. From the Quatuor Molinari 2 CD set on ATMA Classique, Québec, 2000.
  • Arcana (1973)
    Mary Morrison, soprano. Chamber ensemble conducted by Sydney Hodkinson. Based on Middle Egyptian hieroglyphs. From the Transcription series LP published by Radio Canada International, 1973.
  • Reflexions Sur Le Son (1980)
    Murray Schafer reads own text, in French. From Sounds Unseen, flexidisc issued by Presentation House and Gallery Stratford, Ontario, 1980.
  • Generations Generated (1977) by BP NICHOL
    From the Ear Rational: Sound Poems 1966-1980 cassette. Retrieved from PennSound.
  • Sun (1982)
    For a capella chorus. The Elmer Iseler Singers. From a compilation 2xLP titled Premiere, Canadian Music Center, Centrediscs, 1984.
  • Snowforms (1981)
    For chidren’s choir. Here interpreted by a woman’s choir, the Vancouver Chamber Choir. From A Garden of Bells – The Choral Music of R. Murray Schafer CD, Grouse Records, 2008. Snowforms‘ graphic score (pictured above) was conceived as an equivalent of a snow storm.

.   .   .

      * *

Continuumix #6

Mixed by Continuo
Total time 66:15

Continuumix #06
Augusto de Campos 'O Pulsar'

Augusto de Campos O Pulsar

Onde quer que você esteja/
Em Marte ou Eldorado/
Abra a janela e veja/
O pulsar quase mudo/
Abraço de anos luz/
Que nenhum sol aquece/
E o eco escuro esquece/

Wherever you are
in Mars or Eldorado
open the window and
see the pulsar nearly mute
embrace of light years
that no sun warms
and the dark echo forgets

  • Augusto de Campos ‘O Pulsar’, 1975, sung by Caetano Veloso. From this YouTube video. In this concrete-cum-morse code poem (pictured above), Portuguese vowels ‘o’ and ‘e’ are represented as dots and stars
  • Caetono Veloso. Another version of ‘O Pulsar’ and ‘Dias Dias Dias’, also by De Campos, 1979, both retrieved from UbuWeb, presumably from a 7” single. More De Campos poems here.
  • High Wolf ‘Shark Sacrifice 2’. From the ‘Ritual music from Kojara Islands’ CD-R released by Winged Sun Records, USA. Imaginary ethnic music from sampled assorted percussion.
  • Yoko Ono ‘The Paths’, 2001. A track from the companion CD to the catalog published by the Japan Society Gallery, New York, for the first official Ono retrospective, 2000-2001. On this track, Ono is credited for both music and vocals.
  • Karaja Indians, Central Brazil. Syllables excerpted from the opening song of the Brazilian Indian Music LP, Folkways Records, 1962.
  • Walter Smetak ‘Plágio’ from the 1979 Interregno LP (retrieved from this blog). Instrument builder and avantgarde composer Smetak is now recognized as one of Brazil’s most original innovator. See the official website (and this video) of the 2007 retrospective exhibition at Museu de Arte Moderna in Salvador, Bahia, curated by Arto Lindsay & Jasmin Pinho.
  • Boys and girls choir by Tukuna Indians of the upper Amazon region, from Brazilian Indian Music LP, Folkways Records, 1962
  • Gilberto Gil ‘Monangambe’ from Música Livre #1, 2005. Excerpts available on Musica & Poesia blog.
  • “Poesia = aphasia/diaphasia”. Short excerpt from a conversation between Augusto de Campos, Caetano Veloso and Arrigo Barnabé for a Brazilian TV show titled Fábrica do Som ( Sound Factory) on the TV Cultura channel, early 1980s.
  • Grupo Rumo ‘Canjiquinha quente’, from their 1981 Rumo Aos Antigos LP. From this blog.
  • Os Haxixins (The Hashisheens) ‘Preciso te deixar’ (from 2007 CD reissue). Psychedelic rock from the 1960s. From this blog.
  • Song of the legendary Uirapuru or Organ Wren (Cyphorhinus aradus) from the Brazilian forest. From this extraordinary collection of Brazilian birds songs.
  • Rafael Flores ‘Man Imitating Cloud’, YouTube video excerpt from an 8-hour long film with soundtrack by Flores, 2002. Flores, active during the 1980s with Spanish bands Commando Bruno and Diseño Corbusier, now releases films and soundtracks (see here), and runs a blog under his own name.
  • Dennis De Bel ‘Fourgan’. Dutch sound artist build several unusual instruments, including this 4-keyboards organ in 2008 (pictured below).
  • Brook Hinton, found vocals and ambient synth excerpted from ‘Grace’, a 1988 cassette by this SF musician. From a 1988 No Other Radio show available here. Hinton ran the Subelectrick Records which released the Doll Parts LP, posted earlier.
  • They Came From The Stars, I Saw Them ‘The Holy Mountain’ is an early split release with Sonic Catering Band on the latter’s own Peripheral Conserve label, UK, 2002.
  • Eliane Radigue: Finale from Songs of Milarepa LP, Lovely Music, 1983.

Note: Eu Sum Una Pergunta is the title of a Clarice Lispector biography. Thanks to carioca Sergio for his help and suggestions.

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