Search Results for 'Tellus'



Tellus #16 ‘Tango’

Tellus#16-FrontSmall
Produced by Harvestworks, 1986

  1. Carlos Gardel ‘Melodia De Arrabel’, re1934 (2:44)
  2. David Garland ‘Play Within A Play’ (04:05)
    with Cinnie Cole and Zeena Parkins
  3. Chris DeBlasio ‘Tango: The South Bronx’ (03:33)
    with Chris Berg, piano
  4. Keeler (Keith Keeler Walsh) ‘Undercurrent’ (02:16)
  5. Carlos Gardel ‘Arrabel Amargo’ (02:36)
  6. Brenda Hutchinson & Gerald Lindhal ‘Slow Death on a Thorny Rose’ (02:38)
  7. Alan Tomlinson ‘Floor Polish Tango’ (03:25)
  8. Elodie Lauten ‘Tango’ (03:43)
  9. Jo Basile & Orchestra ‘Jalousie’, re1959 (1:05)
  10. Robert Scheff ‘The More He Sings, The More He Cries, The Better He Feels…’ (06:50)
  11. Molly Elder ‘Tango Urbane’ (04:12)
  12. Matthew Nash ‘Tango En Forme D’une Minuette’ (:56 )
  13. Matthew Nash ‘Tango Too’ (01:05)
  14. Jo Basile & Orchestra ‘La Cumparsita’, re1959 (0:50)
  15. Christopher Berg ‘Tango Meditation’ (04:58)
  16. Fast Forward ‘The Empire State’ (02:39)
  17. Mader ‘Tango from Force of Circumstance’ (02:09)

‘Tango’, #16 in the Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine series, offers the unexpected pairing of contemporary downtown NY composers with vintage tango songs. It works though, contributors avoiding mimicry and impersonation, and the essence of tango being retaken by participants as slow, melodramatic songs, with added gusto and drama. Tango is merely a dotted line here, serving as rough guidelines to participants eager to emancipate themselves from any popular format, while seeking the intense, gripping mood of tango. I assume the complex choreography of this dance also appealed to the Tellus team as a kind of stage play, as they had always been interested in music theater, radio plays, radio art, etc. Tango is personified here by the legendary argentinian singer Carlos Gardel (1890-1935) with a couple of 78s from the 1930s, and by the late Jo Basile, aka Joss Baselli, a french bal musette accordion player from Paris 1950s-1960s. The latter got some fame in the US in 1958, when touring the country accompagnying french singer Patachou. His solo LPs on Audio Fidelity label then became big sellers in the US. His accordion playing on side B is typical french musette, though he was born in Italy.

The ‘Tango’ Tellus tape was edited by the Harvestworks board (namely: Claudia Gould, Carol Parkinson & Joseph Nechvatal), but it seems engineer Gerald Lindahl contributed more than technical production and his input might be notable. A member of the Harvestworks organisation, Gerald Lindahl curated several Tellus cassettes (like number 5-6) in the 1980s. A noted singer as well, he regularly performed in NY during the 1980s, and was a member of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in 1991.

Carlos-GardelChris-DE-BLASIOKeith-Keeler-Walsh
Brenda-HutchinsonElodie-LautenJo-Basile
Robert-SheffMatthew-NASHChristopher-Berg
Carlos Gardel, Chris DeBlasio, Keith Keeler Walsh,
Brenda Hutchinson, Elodie Lauten, a Jo Basile LP,
Robert Scheff , Matthew Nash, Christopher Berg

Some of the cassette strongest tracks on ‘Tango’ are solo piano recordings, the apt instrument to convey the south-american blue mood. A student of LaMonte Young during the 1980s, Paris-born Elodie Lauten (b1950) writes and improvise microtonal music on real instruments as well as electronics. Her solo piano improvisation ‘Tango’ is build on subtle microtonal chords and a poignant sadness which feels very argentinian to this listener. Another solo piano track is the amazing live recording of Robert Sheff on piano, tape and keyboards. The song start like an ordinary piano melody before morphing into Cassiber-like synth+drum machine avant instrumental duo. For a one man performance, this interplay is quite phenomenal. Robert Scheff (b1945, Texas) is better known as NY just intonation blues composer ‘Blue Gene Tyranny’, also well known for his music reviews, for the All Musics Guide, for instance. And then the Christopher Berg is an extended, paced, semi-detached piano piece in Franz Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage mood, that is Europe late 19th c. romantic era.

Of course, this beautiful piano piece is cued with the superb Fast Forward steel drum extravaganza, a rythmic and exotic affair. The epic track of ubiquitous David Garland ‘Play Within A Play’ is already known to this blog’s readers, since it was also part of 1986 Alchemy Magazine cassette (see previous post), and still an impressive mix of imaginative arrangements and cabaret-like atmosphere, thanks to the lively participation of Cinnie Cole and Zeena Parkins. Molly Elder is an unfamiliar name to me. Her contribution to Tango is an all keyboards track in pre-illbient urban paranoia mood, a kind of surrealist film soundtrack. Matthew Nash contributes two charming keyboard vignettes. The ‘minuette’ is a variation of tango – something to do with french menuet? The Chris DeBlasio is an actual tango for piano and baritone voice. The compilers chosed to cue in the Keeler track (real name Keith Keeler Walsh), a barrage of drum machine and industrial keyboards preset sounds. Quite a shock, especially when what follows is another Carlos Gardel song. Mader concludes with a real tango, complete with spanish guitar.

Download.

Tellus updates

Preluding to additional Tellus posts on Continuo in the following days, I’m including here the new updated introduction (written for Ubuweb last december 2007 but as yet unreleased) and an up-to-date cassettography – now including the latter’s recent posts, further internet research and personal purchases. The following is still the most comprehensive cassettography available worldwide and an exclusive Continuo feature. Additionally, the Harvestworks website has been revamped and updated early 2008 and the Artists-In-Residence program is still active. Most participants to past Tellus releases where benefactors of this program, so why not expect a relaunch of the Tellus audio releases series in 2008?

TELLUS GENERAL INTRODUCTION

TellusPurpleLaunched in 1983 as a subscription only bimonthly publication, the Tellus cassette series took full advantage of the popular cassette medium to promote cutting edge music, documenting the New York scene and advanced US composers of the time – the first 2 issues being devoted to NY artists from the downtown scene. The series was financially supported along the years by funding from the New York State Council of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Obviously, the Tellus publishers (visual artist and composer Joseph Nechvatal, curator Claudia Gould and composer Carol Parkinson, director of Harvestworks from 1987 on) never considered running an underground publication, rather envisaging the cassette medium as an art form in itself. A quite unique point of view at a time (the 1980s) when many self released cassettes blossomed through mail order or trade between artists, and when the cassette milieu was promoting DIY technique, even anti-art as a motto. The Audio Cassette Magazine never indulged into amateurism, their releases always focused, well researched and aptly curated. From the start, the founding members deliberately aimed at raising the profile of their cassette releases, sending issues to US public libraries and museums, for instance. The Tellus team launched the Harvestworks Artist-In- Residence Program along the cassette series, to promote independent artists’ projects and provide them with a professional recording facility, named Studio PASS.

Tellus ‘The Audio Cassette Magazine’ was in activity for 10 years (1983-1993), witnessing the digital revolution taking place in the new media arts. Some points of comparison can be established with the Toronto based MusicWorks Journal and cassette, launched 1978, or with the ROIR cassette only releases of various musical styles, from Flipper to Lee Perry to Einsturzende Neubauten, launched 1981. Tellus published audio art, new music, poetry and drama, exploring musical spheres as diverse as avant-garde composition, post industrial music, NY no wave, Fluxus music, heirs of Harry Partch, avant rock, sound poetry, radio plays, tango, electroacoustic music, etc.

The series included some landmark sound works now regarded as historical: Louise Lawler’s ‘Birdcalls’ (Tellus #5-6), Christian Marclay 1982’s ‘Groove’ (Tellus#8), Lee Ranaldo ‘The Bridge’ (Tellus#10), Alison Knowles ‘Nivea Cream Piece’ (Tellus#24), etc. Tellus always championed women and gay composers, which was very needed in the macho experimental music sphere of the times. Curatorial policy has proved very efficient as well – asking specialists to compile a program in their own field insured state of the art results. Today, Tellus is mentioned as an inspiration to the opening of the Sound Art Museum in Rome in 2007. An exhibition was held at Printed Matter, NY, devoted to contemporary American cassette culture (’Leaderless: Underground Cassette Culture Now’, May 12 to 26, 2007). It seems it’s now time to reappraise Tellus’ major contribution to the perception of independent music as an art form.

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TELLUS CASSETTOGRAPHY UPDATED [as of June 23, 2008]

Tellus #1 cassette 1983 (curated by Claudia Gould, Joseph Nechvatal, Carol Parkinson. With Jody Harris, Jerry Lindahl, Sonic Youth, Brenda Hutchinson, Live Skull, Tom Lopez/ZBS Productions, Rat-at-Rat-R, Bradley Eros, Bruce Tovsky, Gretchen Langheld, Mitch Corber, Barbara Ess (with Barbara Barg), Joseph Nechvatal, Verge Piersoi, Tron Von Hollywood with Raina Jane Sherry, David Linton, Rhys Chatham)

Tellus #2 cassette 1984, (curated by Claudia Gould, Joseph Nechvatal, Carol Parkinson. With Kiki Smith, John Fekner, Vernita Nemec, The Scene Is Now, Tony Papa, Cardboard Air Band, Peter Nechvatal, Charlie Morrow, Alex Noyes, Ikkoh Mine, David Rosenbloom, Carol Parkinson, David Garland, John Fekner, Mitch Corber, Jamie Daglish and George Elliot, Dr. Telecom, Charlie Noyes, Holly Huges+Sally A. White+Maureen Angelos+Jill Kirschen+Janee Pipik, Ron Kuivala)

Tellus #3 cassette 1984 (curated by Claudia Gould, Joseph Nechvatal, Carol Parkinson. With Kirby Malone, Jim Farmer, Christopher Knowles, Disband, Chain Gang, Gregory Whltehead, Daniel Shklalr, Bruce Tovaky, Wolfgang Staehle and Steve Pollack, Isaac Jackson, Cardboard Air Band, John Shirley and Sync 66, Tim Schellenbeum, The Tlnklers, Boom, Brian Reinbolt, Wharton Tiers)

Tellus #4 cassette 1984 (curated by Claudia Gould, Joseph Nechvatal, Carol Parkinson. With Julius Eastman, David Weinstein, Michael Byron, Paul Dresher, Carol Parkinson, Ellen Fullman, John Morton)

Tellus #5 & 6 cassettes ‘Special Double Audio Visual Issue’ 1984. (curated by Claudia Gould, Joseph Nechvatal, Carol Parkinson. With Louise Lawler, Paul McMahon and Nancy Chun, Julie Harrison, Richard Prince, Julie Wachtel, Perry Hoberman, Ericka Beckman, David Wojnarowicz and Doug Bressler, Paul McMahon and Nancy Chun, Raimund Kummer, Barbara Barg and Barbara Ess, Kathryn High, Bite Like A Kitty, Anne Turyn, Michael Smith, Rhys Chatham)

Tellus #7 cassette ‘The Word I’ 1984 (with Linda Fisher, Michael Peppe, Wiska Radiewicz, John Miller, Terry Wilson, Lynne Tillman, Victor Poison-Tete, Jean-Paul Curtay, Claire Picher, Patrick McGrath, Molly Elder, Michael Gira, Gregory Whitehead, Nicolas Nowack, Cid Collins Walker, Richard Kostelanetz, Paul Bob Town, Nameless Stone Productions).

Tellus #8 cassette ‘USA/Germany’ 1985 (with Konk, Joshua Fried, Details At Eleven, Cargo Cult, Destructo, His Masters Voice, Rat At Rat R, Yellow Grave, Live Skull, Elliott Sharp, Fast Forward, Christian Marclay, Club of Rome (aka Asmus Tietchens), Saurekeller, Galerie Global, Nicolas Nowack)

Tellus #9 cassette ‘Music with Memory’ 1985 (curated by John Driscoll. With Nicolas Collins, John Driscoll, Brenda Hutchinson, Ron Kuivila, Paul De Marinis)

Tellus #10 cassette ‘All Guitars!’ 1985 (curated by Live Skull founding member Tom Paine. With Lee Ranaldo, Arto Lindsay and Toni Nogueira, Janice Sloane, Butthole Surfers, New Detroit Inc., Bob Mould, Bond Bergland, Joseph Nechvatal, Elliot Sharp, David Llnton, Jules Baptiste, Tim Schellenbaum, Bump, Rudolph Gray, Hahn Rowe, John Myra, Lydia Lunch and Lucy Hamilton, Sue Manel, Bliss BargeId, Andrew Nahem, Sandra Seymour, Run Nigger Run, Thurston Moore, Mark C. and Marnie Greenholz, Glenn Branca, James Vidos, Angela Babln and Joe Dizney, Frankenjerry)

Tellus #11 cassette ‘The Sound of Radio’ 1985. (curated by Karen Frillmann & Karen Pearlman and with Jay Allison, Adam Cornford & Daniel Crafts, Susan Stone, The New York IPS, M’lou Zahner Ollswang, Ginna Allison, Marjorie van Halteren, Lou Giansante, Karen McPherson, Barrett Golding, Rick Harris, Janice Bell & Portia Franklin, Melanie Berzon, Edward Haber, Steve Jones, Helen Thorington, Ginger Miles, Karen Frillmann)

Tellus #12 cassette ‘Dance’ 1986. (curated by Gretchen Langheld & Bruce Tovsky and with Bill Obrecht, A. Leroy, R. McQuire, Carol Parkinson, Linda Fisher, Lenny Pickett, Anita Feldman+Michael Kowalski, J.A. Deane, Gretchen Langheld, Bruce Tovsky, Brooks Williams, Jim Farmer, Hearn Gadbois, Liquid Liquid, Al Diaz, David Linton)

Tellus #13 cassette ‘Power Electronics’ 1986. (curated by Joseph Nechvatal, with Maybe Mental, Merzbow, Amor Fati, If, Bwana, Rhys Chatham, Psyclones, Blackhouse, Joseph Nechvatal, Master/slave Relationship, Maybe Mental, Architects Office, Controlled Bleeding, Mojo, Coup De Grace, Le Syndicat, Mitch Corber, F/i)

Tellus #14 cassette ‘Just Intonation’ 1986. (curated by the Just Intonation Network and with Harry Partch, Ralph David Hill, Carola B. Anderson, David Hykes, Lou Harrison, Jon Catler, David Canright, David B. Doty, John Bischoff,+Jim Norton+Tim Perkis, Ben Johnston, Erling Wold, Susan Norris, James Tenney, Larry Polansky, Alexis Alrich, Jody Diamond)

Tellus #15 cassette ‘The Improvisors’ 1986. (live ‘improvisions’ by Chris Cochrane, Anthony Coleman, Carol Emanuel, Tom Cora, Bill Frisell, Bobby Previte, Lindsay Cooper, Fred Frith, Irene Schweizer, Christian Marclay, Bill Horvitz, David Weinstein, Denman Maroney, Samm Bennett, Jim Staley, Ikue Mori, John Zorn)

Tellus #16 cassette ‘Tango’ 1986. (with Carlos Gardel, David Garland, Chris DeBlasio, Keeler, Brenda Hutchinson & Gerald Lindhal, Alan Tomlinson, Elodie Lauten, Jo Basile & Orchestra, Robert Scheff, Molly Elder, Matthew Nash, Jo Basile & Orchestra, Christopher Berg, Fast Forward, Mader)

Tellus #17 cassette ‘Video Art Music’ 1987. (Curated by Peer Bode with works by Woody Vasulka, Peter Chamberlain ‘5 Minutes Up’, Richard Kostelanetz, Shelley Hirsch, Joe D’Agostino, Julie Harrison, Kjell Bjorgeengen, Sorrel Hays ‘Unnecessary Music from Love in Space’, Eric Ross ‘Cadenza from Concerto for Orchestra (Op. 24)’, Megan Roberts, Jean-Paul Curtay ‘Senses, senses’ & others)

Tellus #18 cassette ‘Experimental Theater’ 1988. (works by Spalding Gray, Ann Magnuson with Vulcan Death Grip, Mike Kelley with Sonic Youth, Jerri Allyn, Ann Magnuson & Lydia Lunch)

Tellus #19 cassette ‘New Music China’ 1988 (contributing editor: R.I.P. Hayman, with: Ji Gong, Wang Li, Zhang Xing, Tiao Ba Tiao Ba, Zui Jiu, Hao Yuchi, Electronic Dirge, Xian Percussion Ensemble, Miao Love Chant, Liu Dehal, Gong Yi, Fred Houn, Chen Yi, Ge Gan Ru, Zhou Long, Wu Wen Guang, Tan Dun, R.I.P. Hayman, Jing Jing Luo)

Tellus #20 cassette ‘Media Myth’ 1988 (curated by Joseph Nechvatal, with Randy Greif, Pierre Perret, The Psychic Workshop, Social Interiors, If, Bwana, Crawling With Tarts, Violence and The Sacred, Art Interface, Minoy, Nicolas Collins, Silent But Deadly, JPM Studios, Joseph Nechvatal, A Place To Pray, Maurice Methot, Michael Chockolak, Dance)

Tellus #21 cassette ‘Audio By Visual Artists’ 1988 (works by Joseph Beuys, Maurice Lemaître, FT Marinetti, Raoul Hausmann, Antonio Russolo, Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Lawrence Weiner, George Brecht, Patrick Ireland, Richard Huelsenbeck, Arrigo Lora-Totino & Fogliati, Jean Dubuffet, Mimmo Rotella, Joan Jonas, Christian Boltanski, Ian Murray, Terry Fox, Jonathan Borofsky, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Richard Prince with Bob Gober, Martin Kippenberger, Jack Goldstein, John Armleder, Terry Allen, Gretchen Bender, Y Pants, Ed Tomney, Susan Hiller, Murray)

Tellus #22 cassette ‘False Phonemes’ 1988. (curated by Ellen Zweig and featuring : Remko Scha, Larry Wendt, Brian Reinbolt, Mark Rudolph, Alice Shields, Paul De Marinis, Paul Lansky, Jon English/Jim Pomeroy, Ron Kuivila, John Cage)

Tellus #23 cassette ‘The Voice of Paul Bowles’ 1989 (audioportrait incl. Bowles early compositions like ‘Music for a Farce’, ‘Interlude and Prelude # 2’, and moroccan field recordings)

Tellus #24 cassette ‘FluxTellus’ 1990. (curated by Barbara Moore, incl. a 16 page accordion fold-out booklet with Moore’s essay “The Sound Of Music”. Tape incl. early sound work by George Brecht, Philip Corner, Dick Higgins, Joe Jones, Alison Knowles, Takehisa Kosugi, George Maciunas, Jackson Maclow, Larry Miller, Tomas Schmit, Robert Watts and Emmett Williams. The cassette case includes a soundwork by Takako Saito)

Tellus #25 CD ‘Siteless Sounds’ 1991. (contains ‘political and personal views as expressed through new audiotext works” by David Wojnarowicz and Ben Neill, Shelley Hirsch, David Moss ‘Conjure’, Constance Dulong, Brenda Hutchinson ‘Voices of Reason (Vanishing Act)’, Gregory Whitehead and a collaboration with Jacki Apple, Linda Albertano, Keith Antar Mason and Akailah Nayo Oliver)

Tellus #26 CD ‘Jewel Box’ 1992, (with Anne LeBaron, Laetitia Sonami, Sussan Deihim, Bun Ching Lam, Catherine Jauniaux & Ikue Mori, Sapphire, Mary Ellen Childs, Michelle Kinney)

Tellus #27 CD ‘Mini-mall’ 1993 (incl. Brenda Hutchinson ‘Long Tube Trio’, Jin Hi Kim ‘Electric Changgo Permutations’, Pauline Oliveiros with Fanny Green ‘Time Piece’)

Tellus Tools 2xLP (TE-LP01), 2001. (curated by Taketo Shimada. Incl. selections from previous issues: Isaac Jackson, Alan Tomlinson, Joe Jones, Christian Marclay, Ken Montgomery, Catherine Jauniaux, Ikue Mori, David Linton, Gregory Whitehead, The League Of Automatic Music Composers, Maurice Lemaire, Jerry Lindahl, Tim Schellenbaum & Jack Goldstein)

Tellus artwork galery

TellusAdTellus#5Tellus#10Tellus#11coverTellus#13Tellus#14Tellus#15Tellus#20Tellus#22Tellus#24Tellus#25Tellus#26TellusToolsClara_GouldJoseph_Nechvatal

Culled form personal archives and what I could find on the web.
From top to bottom:
Early ad, issue #5-6, issue #10,
Issue #11, 13, 14,
Issue #
15, 20, 22,
Issue #24, 25, 26,
TellusTools LP, founding members Claudia Gould & Joseph Nechvatal.

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Additionally:

Tellus #24 cassette ‘Flux Tellus’ is featured on Ubuweb

Tellus #21 cassette ‘Audio By Visual Artists’ is featured on Ubuweb

Tellus #10 cassette ‘All Guitars!’ (good article and picture)

Tellus #5/6 cassette ‘Audio Visual Issue’ (picture+participants)

Fluxsweet, 2005 live event at Harvestworks, NYC on Ubuweb

The Tellus Tools application

‘I Am Spinning In A Room’ article about TellusTools

Lee Ranaldo ‘The Bridge’ mp3 from Tellus #10 at WMFU’s blog

TellusTools remixed, 2001

TellusToolsAd

TellusToolsHowTo
Design above by Taketo Shimada, 2001

3 Corner Tellus was a live collaborative remix between Harvestworks, New York, send+receive, Winnipeg and Kunstradio, Vienna. The double vinyl and online project “Tellus Tools” released by the Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, NYC, was functioning as basic material for this live webcast.’

[From KunstRadio, Vienna, presentation of the project]

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David Grubbs edited this mix from Harvestworks, NY, the Tellus headquarters. It was then aired on austrian KunstRadio along parallel inputs from Winnipeg and Vienna. Here’s the New York mix on its own. I’m not sure Grubbs is actually mixing from the TellusTools 2LPs. I’d say he’s providing a mix on behalf of the Tellus team, not necessarily samples from the 2LP set. Grubbs starts with some actual birdcalls – an homage to those of Louise Lawler, I guess. Beautiful unidentified solo guitar part start at 14:30. All in all, a rather minimalistic approach to mixing is on evidence here, which I find quite pleasant to listen to.

01 David Grubbs ‘3 Corner Tellus’ (30:43)
Here.

Tellus #11 ‘The Sound of Radio’, 1985

Tellus #11 cover

The word may once have been a healthy neural cell. It is now a parasitic organism that invades and damages the central nervous system. Modern man has lost the option of silence. Try halting your sub-vocal speech. Try to achieve even ten seconds of inner silence. You will encounter a resisting organism that forces you to talk.
That organism is the word
.

William S. Burroughs, The Ticket That Exploded (1967)

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Side A

  1. Jay Allison ‘The Neighborhood Freaks’ (4:52)
  2. Adam Cornford and Daniel Crafts ‘Fundamentals: Musical Preachers’ (Excerpt) (2:07)
  3. Greg Whitehead ‘If a Voice Like Then What?’ (2:45)
  4. Susan Stone ‘Langue Etude’ (1:58)
  5. The New York IPS (Jay Allison, Janice Bail, Katie Davis, Karen Frillmann, Portia Franklin, Lou Giansante, Charlie Gilbert, Alan Gingold, Karen Pearlman, Marjorie Van Halteren) ‘New York City: 24 Hours in Public Places’ (Excerpt) (2:40)
  6. M’Iou Zahner Ollswang ‘Mosquitos’ (1:30)
  7. Ginna Allison ‘La Llorona’ (5:35)
  8. Marjorie Van Halteren ‘Dead of Summer’ Produced by Marjorie Van Halteren and Lou Giansante. Read by Russell Horion (2:03)
  9. Lou Giansante ‘Balloon Man’ Written by e.e. cummings (1:30)
  10. Karen Michel McPherson ‘Postcard from Marna Springs’ (1.28)
  11. Barrett Golding ‘Cityphony’ (2:00)

Side B

  1. Rick Harris ‘Is This Real’ (Excerpt) (3:42)
  2. Janice Bail and Portla Franklin ‘Crime of Silence: The Sexual Abuse of Children’ (3:39)
  3. Melanie Berzon ‘And they never corne back… life after our parents have died’ (Excerpt) (2:08)
  4. Edward Haber ‘Citizen Kafka – Abbott and Costello Meet the Anti-Christ’ (2:53)
  5. Steve Jones ‘House of Dogs’ (Excerpt) (2:14)
  6. Helen Thorington ‘Stella Nova’ (Excerp) (4:30)
  7. Ginger Miles ‘The Day That Buddy Holly Died: A Portrait of the Fifties’ (Excerpt) (5:20)
  8. Karen Frillmann ‘The Long Journey of Poppie Non Gena’ (Excerpt) (5:22)

1985
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Susan Stone with daughter Caroline

A gathering of independant producers for public radios, this cassette release attest US radio art’s creativity ca. 1985, presenting extracts from radioplays by professionnal actors (Steve Jones, Helen Thorington) along contemporary art’s stake on the style by the likes of sound poet Susan Stone or Gregory Whitehead. The former (pictured with daughter Caroline) launched Radio Schizophonia with Whitehead, 1979. ‘The Sound of Radio’ sounds like an ode to the good old disc-jockey turned storyteller. Stand out tracks for me are Susan Stone’s lecture on cutting complete with disgusting surgery noises; the well known medical sound poetry of Greg Withehead; the excellent interviews on mosquitos collated by MZ Oliswang; the all too short illbient track ‘Cityphony’ by Barrett Golding; Steve Jones’ funny rendition of Antonin Arthaud ‘Le Cenci’ is quite deranged; the cassette ends with a griot story about african wedding customs, putting the radio network in perspective with black oral/ancestral culture: it’s Karen Frillmann’s Long Journey of Poppie Non Gena, a lively and engaging story.

By the way: excellent sound quality, just so you know. One final note: is it me, or do I ”hear” the shadow of Tony Schwartz over this cassette?

Tellus #14 ‘Just Intonation’, 1986

Tellus#14cover

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What exactly is Just Intonation? Just Intonation is any tuning system in which all of the intervals can be represented by whole-number ratios, with a strong preference for simple ratios.

(From the Tellus #14 booklet)

Side A

  1. Harry Partch ‘O Frabjous Day! (The Jobberwack)’ (3:08)
  2. Ralph David Hill ‘Malachite’ (1:12)
  3. Carola B. Anderson ‘Shibboleth’ (2:54)
  4. David Hykes ‘Opening Kyrie’ (5:17)
  5. Lou Harrison ‘A Phrase for Arion’s Leap’ (0:36)
  6. Jon Catler ‘Sleeping Beauty (excerpt) Queen of the Ogres’ (4:48)
  7. David Canright ‘Rosier Sands’ (3:14)
  8. David B. Doty ‘Fake Greek Music’ (3:35)
  9. John Bischoff, Jim Norton, Tim Perkis ‘The League of Automatic Music Composers’ (2:45)

Side B

  1. Ben Johnston ‘Tocatta for Violincello’ (5:05)
  2. Erling Wold ‘Tune for Lynn Murdock #2’ (0:59)
  3. Susan Norris ‘Medley: Untitled Irish Jig/Untitled Swedish Waltz (trad)’ (4:03)
  4. James Tenney ‘Septet for Electric Guitars’ (5:25)
  5. Larry Polansky ‘Movement for Andrea Smith (My Funny Valentine for Just String Quartet)’ (3:53)
  6. Alexis Alrich ‘Didymus Set (Tango)’ (2:15)
  7. Jody Diamond ‘In That Bright World’ (5:48)

1986

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PartchAn audio cassette of Just Intonation music seems an awkward idea today, the cassette very unlikely the adequate medium for accurate pitch. I believe Tellus felt the need to pay tribute to some of their main influences when starting the series, say Harry Partch (right) and LaMonte Young. Besides, Carol Parkinson – who would be appointed executive director of Harvestworks, editor of Tellus, the following year (1987) – was formerly assistant to composer LaMonte Young. And so was Joseph Nechvatal, another Tellus founding member. Additionaly, composer Dean Drummond should be mentionned here, for he was key in defining Just Intonation music.

Anyway, this tape is still amazing, featuring a wonderful choice of artists in the field. As far as I can tell, the Harry Partch isn’t available on the CRI or Innova Partch reissue series – I believe this is an exclusive track, not to be found anywhere else. It sounds very much like the classic ‘US Highball’, revised 1955. Additionaly, David Canright uses Partch instruments for his ‘Rosier Sands’ and Lou Harisson’s track is in the Partch canon too. So that side A is pretty much a who’s who in the Harry Partch school of composers, circa 1986. Carola Anderson’ Shibboleth is a fine anthem-like instrumental, build from drums, deep bass guitar and glockenspiel – just intonation new-wave. Not to mention the amazing overtones of David Hykes singing a personnal version of a catholic mass (kyrie). Side B has absolutely exquisite tracks but pitch get uneven, mastering is at very high, enthusiastic level and flaws in the cassette might mar the pleasure of listening to it. As a compromise, I would advise to listen to the B side at low level.

Some release notes available here on a Just Intonation Network forum.

High resolution scan of the spread cover sheet (with detailed instrumentation and performers) included in the .rar file.

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)

1987

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.

Tellus cassettography

Tellus was created in 1983 at the Rum Runner Bar on Canal Street in New York City. Joseph Nechvatal, a visual artist, Claudia Gould, a curator and Carol Parkinson, a composer and staff member of Harvestworks/Studio PASS met to discuss the idea of a magazine on cassette which would feature interesting and challenging sound works. With the advent of the Walkman and the Boom Box, the editors perceived a need for an alternative to radio programming and the commercially available recordings on the market at that time.’
[from Harvestworks website]

Launched in 1983 as a subscription only bimonthly publication, the Tellus series took full advantage of the popular cassette medium to promote cutting edge music, documenting the New York scene and advanced US composers of the time. Maybe surfing on the ROIR cassettes selling figures, Tellus ‘The Audio Cassette Magazine’ was in activity for 10 years (1983-1993), witnessing the digital revolution taking place in the new media arts. The series included some landmark soundworks now regarded as historical: Alison Knowles ‘Nivea Cream Piece’ (Tellus#24), Christian Marclay’s ‘Groove’, Lee Ranaldo ‘The Bridge’, Louise Lawler’s ‘Birdcalls’, etc. The series included many women composers, which was very needed at this macho time. Curatorial policy has proved very efficient as well – asking specialists to compile a program in their own field insured state of the art results. Today, Tellus is mentionned as an inspiration to the opening of the Sound Art Museum in Rome in 2007. An exhibition was held at Printed Matter, NY, devoted to contemporary American cassette culture (‘Leaderless: Underground Cassette Culture Now’, May 12 to 26, 2007). It seems it’s now time to reappraise Tellus’ major contribution to the perception of independent music as an art form.

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TELLUS CASSETTOGRAPHY
Compiled by Continuo

  • Tellus #1 cassette 1983 (incl. Barbara Ess, Live Skull)
  • Tellus #4 cassette 1983?-4? (incl. Julius Eastman ‘Touch Him When’ (1970) for piano 4 hands)
  • Tellus #5 & 6 cassettes ‘Special Double Audio Visual Issue’ 1984
    (works by Barbara Ess, Kathy High, Bite Like a Kitty, Michael Smith, Rhys Chatham, Louise Lawler, Richard Prince, David Wojnarowicz & others)
  • Tellus #8 cassette ‘USA/Germany’ 1985
    (incl. Christian Marclay ‘Groove’, ‘Pulverized by Gratitude’ by Live Skull, Elliott Sharp, a. o.)
  • Tellus #9 cassette ‘Music with Memory’ 1985
    (incl. Brenda Hutchinson, N. Collins, J. Driscoll, R. Kuivila, P. DeMarinis)
  • Tellus #10 cassette ‘All Guitars!’ 1985
    (curated by Live Skull founding member Tom Paine, incl. Lee Ranaldo, Glenn Branca, The Magnum Band, Blixa Bargeld with Arto Lindsay and Marc Cunningham, Mark C. and Marnie Greenholz from Live Skull)
  • Tellus #11 cassette ‘The Sound of Radio’ 1985
    (curated by Karen Frillmann & Karen Pearlman and incl. Jay Allison, Adam Cornford & Daniel Crafts, Susan Stone, The New York IPS, M’lou Zahner Ollswang, Ginna Allison, Marjorie van Halteren, Lou Giansante, Karen McPherson, Barrett Golding, Rick Harris, Janice Bell & Portia Franklin, Melanie Berzon, Edward Haber, Steve Jones, Helen Thorington, Ginger Miles, Karen Frillmann)
  • Tellus #12 cassette ‘Dance’ 1985
    (incl. B. Obrecht, A. Leroy, R. McQuire, C. Parkinson)
  • Tellus #13 cassette ‘Power Electronics’ 1986
    (incl. Merzbow, If Bwana, Rhys Chatham, Psyclones, Maybe Mental, F/I, Controlled Bleeding, Architects Office, a.o.)
  • Tellus #14 cassette ‘Just Intonation’ 1986
    (curated by the Just Intonation Network and incl. Harry Partch, Lou Harrison, David Hykes, Ben Johnston, Erling Wold, James Tenney, Larry Polansky, a.o.)
  • Tellus #15 cassette ‘The Improvisors’ 1986
    (live ‘improvisions’ incl. Linsay Cooper, Tom Cora, Christian Marclay, Chris Cochrane, Fred Frith, Bill Frisell, John Zorn)
  • Tellus #16 cassette ‘Tango Tellus’ 1987
    (incl. Brenda Hutchinson, Keith Keeler Walsh)
  • Tellus #17 cassette ‘Video Art Music’ 1987
    (works by Woody Vasulka, Richard Kostelanetz, Shelley Hirsch, Joe D’Agostino, Julie Harrison, Kjell Bjorgeengen & others)
  • Tellus #18 cassette ‘Experimental Theater’ 1988
    (works by Spalding Gray, Ann Magnuson, Mike Kelley, Jerri Allyn & Lydia Lunch, Ann Magnuson with Vulcan Death Grip)
  • Tellus #19 cassette ‘New Music China’
  • Tellus #20 cassette ‘Media Myth’ (incl. Pierre Perret, Randy Greif, If Bwana, Crawling With Tarts, Violence and the Sacred, Nicolas Collins, Minoy)
  • Tellus #21 cassette ‘Audio By Visual Artists’
    (works by Joseph Beuys, Joan Jonas, Ian Murray, Susan Hiller, Christian Boltanski, Antonio Russolo & others)
  • Tellus #22 cassette ‘False Phonemes’ 1988
    (incl. Remko Scha, Larry Wendt, Alice Shields, Paul DeMarinis, Paul Lansky, John Cage)
  • Tellus #23 cassette ‘The Voice of Paul Bowles’ 1989
  • Tellus #24 cassette ‘FluxTellus’ 1990
    (curated by Barbara Moore, incl. a 16 page acordian fold-out booklet with Moore’s essay “The Sound Of Music”. Tape incl. early sound work by George Brecht, Philip Corner, Dick Higgins, Joe Jones, Alison Knowles, Takehisa Kosugi, George Maciunas, Jackson Maclow, Larry Miller, Tomas Schmit, Robert Watts and Emmett Williams. The cassette case includes a soundwork by Takako Saito)
  • Tellus #25 CD ‘Siteless Sounds’ 1991
    (incl. David Wojnarowicz and Ben Neill, Shelley Hirsch, David Moss, Constance Dulong, Brenda Hutchinson, Gregory Whitehead)
  • Tellus Tools 2xLP (TE-LP01), 1992
    (incl. selections from previous issues: Isaac Jackson, Alan Tomlinson, Joe Jones, Christian Marclay, Ken Montgomery, Catherine Jauniaux, Ikue Mori, David Liton, Gregory Whitehead, The League Of Automatic Music Composers, Maurice Lemaire, Jerry Lindahl, Tim Schellenbaum & Jack Goldstein)
  • Tellus #26 CD ‘Jewel Box’ 1992
    (incl. Laetitia Sonami, Mary Ellen Childs, Anne Le Baron)
  • Tellus #27 CD ‘Mini-mall’ 1993 (incl. Brenda Hutchinson, Jin Hi Kim, Pauline Oliveiros)

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