The Sound of the Gong is Heard Everywhere.
The Emergency Committee To Make Time Go Forward presents an archive of texts on "The History of Experimental Music in Northern California". In 1991 Mason Jones put out his compilation "Wakened By Silence: San Francisco Area Experimental Music." I found it interesting that I didn't know the artists on those tapes and that of the many experimental music composers that I knew none were included. This led me to study the various circles and scenes and their histories.
These files are radically incomplete but with over a million words in over 1200 files the surface has been scratched. I believe they contain pretty conclusive evidence that we have been living through a Golden Age of music. Hopefully many participants in these interesting events will say "what a fine start you have made and you have my warm thanks, but it is obvious that there are many flaws that could be corrected; not the least of which is that there is not nearly enough material about my friends and myself." And then these participants will put such material into digital form and send it to the Committee for inclusion in this project.
A dozen theses (just off the top of my head) to be debated: Cowell's tonecluster was like a big bang still resonating to this present day! Harry Partch's 43 tone scale is a mathematical model of an artificial paradise. Free improv was independently invented in 1957 by a lesbian schoolgirl--Pauline Oliveros. Ring modulators and graphic scores are only sleeping and will return in glory. The secret influences behind the early 60s were peyote buttons, Seymour Locks, Robert Erickson and the dancer Ann Halprin. Ramon Sender invented the post modern city piece. The Buchla 100 was early artificial life! Ron Boise's thunder machines are even now suspended in redwood trees on the Santa Cruz campus rusting away. Stan Lunetta was 1st VR cyberpunk. Ringing Tibetan bells are Marin county's gift to Tibet. If the world finds out how great Bob Ashley's music is they will be shocked and amazed! Midi was a great win for cooperation.
The texts called "A Guide to the Ruins" contain my somewhat subjective selection of pointers into the archive.
These files are still highly preliminary. They are not grouped according to a well worked out plan. They are presented at this time to elicit your criticism and suggestions for improvement.
yr pal Jim Horton Berkeley Ca. USA Sept 10 1996
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