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[CP 194-194.5 CD] New Directions In Sound

Creel Pone

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Reproducing a pair of late 60s collections (CRS 1201, CRS 1202) compiled by Creel Pone alumni David Cope (see "K, Weeds," [CP 153 CD]) & issued privately on Cope & John Tanno's Composers' Autograph Publications (which, incidentally, moved from Redondo Beach to Shaker Heights between the issue of the first & second volumes when Cope took a position at Cleveland Institute of Music) & Capra (ditto, Redondo Beach & Montclair) this double-disc set offers a window into an otherwise undocumented scene of Angeleno 20th century composers, presenting early, conceptual chamber & solo work by a spate of obscure figures - Roger W. Harris, Truman Fisher, S. R. Becler, Norman Lee, & Newel Kay Brown - alongside a Rolv Yttrehus piece, a pair of bewitching Cope originals - mixing poetry, "prepared piano effects" & "sounds" - and a trilogy of Early Electronic works by Galen Wilson, William E. Duckworth, and Allen Strange.

The latter's name should be familiar to most of you via his influential 1972 tome "Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, and Controls" - something of a bedrock text on modular synthesis & Live Electronic practice. His "Two X Two" for pulse-width modulated drones & scraping synthetic shapes predates said by a good few years; in fact he appeared here on record for the first time, rarely since save for his performances - alongside the rest of the Electric Weasel Ensemble - of Johanna Beyer's "Music of the Spheres" on the classic 1750 Arch collection "New Music For Electronic And Recorded Media" & on David Rosenboom's 1975 "Brainwave Music" LP.

Similarly, this is the only issued work by then USC doctoral candidate Galen Wilson, whose Musique Concrète piece "Applications" is a gorgeous assemblage of classic 60s acousmatic signifiers, narrowing in on segments of almost Logothetis-ian tape-speed simultaneity. Finally, William Duckworth put out a couple of LPs on Lovely in the 80s before authoring the fantastic "Talking Music: Conversations With John Cage, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, and Five Generations of American Experimental Composers" book in the 90s. His "Gambit" here marries bleeping, careening Live Electronics & Taped Sounds alongside an exhaustive array of extended techniques courtesy of a lone percussionist.

The C.P. cabal had planned on including the 3 purely Electronic pieces on the forthcoming, plagued, endlessly ill-fated "Creelpolation 2" but decided, given the scarcity of the LPs in question that the whole set was ripe for the replica treatment; this is a great window into an insular, regional new music scene with many highlights.