Skip to product information
1 of 4

[CP 040-041-041.5 CD] Pietro Grossi; Computer Music, Buon Natale 1967 e Felice Anno Nuovo

Creel Pone

Regular price $16.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $16.00 USD
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.
Note - from here on forward, all Creel Pone editions now feature beautiful full-color printed discs featuring details of the sleeve art! Mr. P.C. C.P. has completely outdone himself with this new completely over-the-top replication-spec that’s got to be costing him just so much more to produce than we'res letting them go for... perhaps the recent critical lauding(s) of the series from none other than Simon Reynolds has something to do w/this radical production value step-up...

Historically I’ve never been all that fond of first or even second-tier Moog/Computer-sploitation LPs; I’m talking about “Switched on Bach” and the flock that followed in its commerciably viable wake: “Switched on Country,” “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Moog*,” etc... While I’m sure it was all well & good at the time (as the record-buying public proved in record numbers), in retrospect it’s not all that interesting to hear Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” synthesized on a 900-Series modular (or George jones on a PDP-11 at that...)

So... why is this collection of Late-60s, Early-70s computerized insanity, presented in essentially the same manner (albeit with much nicer artwork) so damn amazing? In the same way that someone like Louis Wain’s later paintings of cats are so damn amazing when compared to those of his “fruitful” career; he, not unlike grossi here, went through the looking glass and came out the other end with his grand-vision altered beyond recognition...

the first disc/lp offers a 12 minute demo (in italian) of the ibm system/360 software systems (referred to as dcmp* and play1800* throughout...), then 2 bach pieces, then a side of paganini etudes, all realized using the aforementioned software/hardware system... but even here we’re starting to witness signs of grossi’s willingness to roam into “non-musical” territory; parts are sped up and slowed down well beyond recognition, parameters are ruthlessly tweaked into needle-in-the-forehead domains using shrill, generally unpleasant timbres... but that’s not even the weirdest part...

by the second disc/lp, grossi has thrown the notion of realizing “known” music(s) out the window entirely, instead offering up a series of blistering original compositions realized on the same system/software... only these are just fried, buzzing-bee-scapes, on par with with what people like florian hecker are doing with modern machines and software... yet this was back in 1971! by the time the 20-minute “unending music” starts drilling through your cortex, things are already way beyond normal and far into the realms of the unreal... case in point grossi’s own description of said piece in the booklet (also containing an essay entitled “computer and pentagram” (?!?)) ::

“sound agglomerates the elaboration of which, as in the case of «monodia», is virtually unending. in this work, variations in timbre and volume of the sound are added to those of tempo and frequency. the composition of monodic, with the exception of a two voices section from the eleventh to the fifteenth minute. direct bi-channel recording was made possible by the digital-analog converter”

as to the “sound agglomerates” :: anyone’s guess... one can almost witness grossi’s descent into madness as the solo studio hours/tan start piling up; the neat holes in all of those punch cards getting messier and messier (again... ala louis wain; his cats getting more & more angular; their insane eyes eventually taking over the frame...vs. grossi’s transposed classical melodies eventually giving way to a collection of 200mph atonal arpeggiation and raw sawtooth burn...) those wanting to experience the whole range from method to madness can start right at the beginning; others with shorter attention spans and a tendency towards the absurd will want to jump right to the second disc for a veritable mind-fuck that trumps most contemporary computer-skree... just ridiculously noisy/buzzing sawtooth crunch... and again, from the early 70s no less!

...and if that’s not enough, included in the pack is a bonus mini-disc containing a full replica (with its own sleeve & everything!) of a 1967 7” single given as a christmas gift to italian olivetti / general electric employees, containing just over 10 minutes of christmas-themed ibm system/360 nonsense & still further descent into raspy atonal blat... incredible in its own right!