a guide to the ruins: 77-83
Tom Buckner: After five years of producing over 100 concerts annually, 1750 Arch Concerts has formed the 15 piece "Arch Ensemble" to present performances of new instrumental/electronic music. Under the joint musical directorship of Bob Hughes and Tom Buckner, conducted by Bob Hughes, the ensemble is comprised of outstanding Bay Area musicians.
7-7-77: two sheets of program notes, one in the shape of a 7: 1750 ARCH CONCERTS, BERKELEY 7-7-77@7:77 SEVEN SEVENS: THE ELECTRIC WEASEL ENSEMBLE AND A MULTITUDE OF GUESTS IN: THE 7TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF WEASELS
Other Music is a unique ensemble of eleven composer/musicians who perform on justly tuned instruments designed and constructed by members of the group. They draw on such varied sources as gamelan, European polyphony, ancient Greek modal theory, and African polyrhythms. Other Music's tuning system, affectionately known as OMJ14, has fourteen unequal intervals per octave. Designed in May 1977 by David Doty and Dale Soules, OMJ14 is derived primarily from the ancient Greek modes recorded by the second century Greek theorist Claudius Ptolemy.
Richard Water: The Waterphone is made out of stainless steel, it's almost spherical, it has bronze rods that extend around the perimeter and it has a neck that you hold it by. Ear: the echo is from the water? RW: Right, that's why it's called a Waterphone. It has about a half cup of water in the bottom. Sound travels through water at a different velocity than it does through air, so you get an echo effect.
Tom Nunn and Chris Brown are composer/performers from San Francisco who, for the past three years, have been developing together a new music made entirely with instruments they invent and build. They use inexpensive materials from their urban, industrial environment. Hot Lunch: plastic knee fiddle -- materials: knotty pine neck and body; pink plastic lunchtray soundboard with crystal pickup attached; strips of rubber and plastic, a cork, a stone, a spring doorstep are accessory noise-makers which are rubbed, scratched, and flapped; the fingerboard is also plastic and there are four strings.
Phil Loarie: Digital Dronezilla (with Random Raga Logic) is a six voiced instrument. Four logic-controlled phase-locked loop oscillators supply a steady drone of slowly sliding harmonies while the other two construct faster polyphonic lines. It is usually played through "Tubatrons"--speakers inserted into long blue plexiglass tubes. The Tubatrons are carried by dancers, the "Space Rangers" who move them around, exploring reverberation, standing waves and doppler shift effects, making space as well as time integral to the performance.
Lovely Little Records: box set of six 45 rpm records: Phil Harmonic: THE ROLLING TONES AT THE CO-OP NATURAL FOODS: "a demystified concert situation which expresses varieties of changing relationships between individuals." During eight hours I appeared at a health-food supermarket and recorded environmental sounds, occasionally playing those and other prerecorded sounds back ("recycling") into the space.
The First West Coast International Festival of Sound Poetry, held at La Mamelle, Inc., a performance/gallery space on 12th Street in San Francisco, on November 18th through 20th was a spectacular event in terms of the performances and the number of people who participated.
"M.U.S.I.C. Marvelous Unlimited Sounds in Concert". On Broadway, San Francisco, December 3, 4, & 5, 1982, produced and directed by Barbara Golden and Melody Sumner. Not funded by a grant of any kind. Intermission music provided by a BUCHLA 400.
David Behrman: great piece. "In Music for Flute, Microcomputer and Homemade Electronics, Kim One, the microcomputer, acts as a link between what the flutist is playing and what the electronics are doing. The "phenomena in the outside world" in this case consists of notes, which when played by the flutist, activate pitch-sensitive circuits which "inform" the computer each time they have been turned on or off. The computer examines the melodic and rhythmic patterns created by the flutist, keeps track of these patterns, and causes the electronic instruments to respond in ways which seem to be musically appropriate to the human programmer/composer."
Monte Cazazza: His notoriety stems from an erratic history of insanity-outbreaks thinly disguised as art events, beginning in the early 1970s through the present future. Along with disrupting the Bay Area 'Dadaist scene' and ridiculing the 'Correspondence Art' network... Mr. Cazazza's work has given a new and deeper forensic significance to the term 'hardcore.' The 'worst' human impulses, desires and behavior as documented by history and science are examined with an optically precise scrutiny...
Z'ev: we find the artist doing what he is famous for -- clobbering the hell out of various handmade metal objects in a mesmerizing yet intense manner. Not just senseless hammering, there is a sense of flow and tonal complexity. But there are real problems with playing in the clubs.
Naut Human: Where South San Francisco ends, desolation begins. In November, 1980, flyers began appearing on neighborhood telephone poles announcing an upcoming Rhythm & Noise show. "Crisis Data Transfer," the poster promised. No location was given, but a recorded phone message provided detailed directions to "The Compound."
Kim Cascone on extractions: I had been in the studio messing around with patching delays and things together when all of a sudden these incredibly intricate sounds were coming out of the speakers. I found this directly related to my tracing pieces and set out to develop this idea further. I created one solid piece from it called, "In the Shadow of the Lions Cage,' which is on the second album. The connection with semiotics is that both the signal source and the extracted signal have connotative meaning which are determined by the coding of the person listening.
MIDI: Dave Smith head of Sequential Circuits promoted the first informal discussion of an industry standard synthesizer interface at a 1981 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) meeting. A great win for cooperation!
NEW MUSIC AMERICA '81 FESTIVAL Calendar
Ingram Marshall on Fog Tropes: In 1979, performance artist, Grace Ferguson, asked me to prepare a "soundscore" for her piece, "Don't Sue the Weatherman." I went around the San Francisco Bay and recorded a number of different fog horns. A kind of tape collage resulted, using not only fog horns but other sea sounds, falsetto keenings and gambuh (a Balinese flute). Much electronic processing and tape manipulation were visited upon the raw sounds.
Jim Pomeroy arranges some large metal cans (ominously suggestive of gasoline cans), each containing a small amount of water, over flaming Bunsen burners. While delivering a series of one-liners, questions, and conundrums, including "Is there sound in a vacuum?," he screws the caps onto the steam filled-cans and turns off the fire. As the steam inside condenses, it creates a vacuum and the surrounding air pressure causes the steel cans to buckle and collapse. The agonies of the wrinkling cans are picked up by microphones, fed to electronic-effects boxes, and amplified. Sound in a vacuum is made not only audible, but raucous.
Martin Bartlett: "apogee motor" was stenciled on the side of a flight case originally used to transport rocket parts. Bill Hearn worked on the design and Martin built his synth into a case that he bought at Quinn's near the Oakland airport. Canadian customs seized this highly suspicious item. it took much special behind the scenes negotiations to get it back.
Tibetan Bells II by Henry Wolff and Nancy Hennings is Marin county's gift to Tibetan culture. The instruments of the album, are exclusively the bells of Tibet. It is a striking fact that the tones of Tibetan bells -- the indigenous products of a highly evolved yet little known Asian culture -- have often been confused with the ultra-modern sounds of electronic music.
Erv Denman: Blind Lemon/New Works 2362 San Pablo, Berkeley May 6, 1978-Nov 30, 1978. So nice while it lasted... complete schedual.
John Gullak: On Wednesday, June 27 1980, the audio-industrial din that permeates our offices on 18th street in Oakland will be continuously accompanied by electronically stimulated sound waves generated by a 3,000 watt public address system located on the roof of these offices. We are now soliciting the submission of sound tapes (no punk rock please) to broadcast for the PUBLIC HEARING.
I have before me a newspaper clipping from a local paper (San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 1, 1975), that tells us California really is weird. It mentions kidnappings, murders, attempted murders, terrorists, and mad people out on the streets. It reminds us that San Francisco has a high rate of alcoholism and suicide, that it's the end of the line both geographically and psychologically. What this article doesn't mention is that the circumstances causing California to be "weird" are also causing California to be one of most exciting creative environments for artists of all kinds. by Valerie Samson. History of Experimental Music in Northern California to 1978.
Gamelans: A Cabrillo Festival event which may be on its way to becoming a tradition is the concert of new American music for gamelan, coordinated by Lou Harrison. This year's "battle of the gamelans" will feature five groups: The Berkeley Gamelan, Gamelan Pasir Batang, Gamelan Si Betty, Other Music, and the San Francisco Percussion Ensemble.
Ron Pellegrino: The Real* Electric Symphony (R*ES) is a group of composer/performers concerned with the integration of sound, light, movement, and environmental design. The range of instrumentation includes: wave synthesizers of sound, video, and lasers; traditional and recently invented acoustic instruments; microcomputers; film, slide, video, and laser projection systems; light sculptures; dancers and theatrical elements. The artists in the R*ES are involved in an art and social process called "real-time composition."
KPFA Folio Program Guide KPFA FM94, Listener-Sponsored Pacifica Radio. October 1983. New Music Month "NEW MUSIC in the Bay Area" By Charles Amirkhanian. Excellent guide. October and November are major months for new music, as the season resumes in full swing. Here is a basic list of some of our major series in the Bay Area.