Author Topic: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union  (Read 929 times)

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Offline nathanb

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The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« on: October 14, 2016, 11:41:40 AM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_Arts_Union

Not one of the four primary members has a thread here, at least according the stickied index, so I figured I'd just go with the collective.

Who do you like best? How do you rank them? Favorite works? Favorite recordings? Other miscellaneous musings?

Go.

Offline Crudblud

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 11:49:21 AM »
I'm a big fan of Robert Ashley's Perfect Lives and The Wolfman, some of his other stuff I can take or leave, but on the whole I enjoy his work a lot. Alvin Lucier's I Am Sitting in a Room is probably the best process piece I've ever ever heard, not such a fan of Music on a Long Thin Wire, which is the only other piece of his that I've heard. My experience with Gordon Mumma and David Behrman is either close to or actually zero, every time I see their names I resolve to check them out but for some reason I never do — recommendations welcome.

Offline nathanb

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2016, 12:14:10 PM »
I'm a big fan of Robert Ashley's Perfect Lives and The Wolfman, some of his other stuff I can take or leave, but on the whole I enjoy his work a lot. Alvin Lucier's I Am Sitting in a Room is probably the best process piece I've ever ever heard, not such a fan of Music on a Long Thin Wire, which is the only other piece of his that I've heard. My experience with Gordon Mumma and David Behrman is either close to or actually zero, every time I see their names I resolve to check them out but for some reason I never do — recommendations welcome.

At the very least, add to your list:

Robert Ashley: Automatic Writing, Atalanta
Alvin Lucier: Music For Piano With Magnetic Strings, Music For Solo Performer
Gordon Mumma: Hornpipe
David Behrman: On The Other Ocean

I know that some guy is specifically a huge fan of Ashley's In Sara, Mencken, Christ And Beethoven There Were Men And Women. I'm getting there.

My catalogue of Alvin Lucier is way more expansive, but if you don't care for his work with the pure wave oscillator, that narrows down the list a good bit. Maybe you just think the waves need to be accompanied, in which case perhaps you should try Crossings or Small Waves, for instance. Otherwise, go for earlier works. Vespers, Memory Space, etc.

Really that whole Mumma Tzadik disc is incredible. I'm currently exploring him more via New World / Lovely releases.

My Behrman knowledge is a bit pathetic too, tbh.

Offline Crudblud

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 12:46:07 PM »
At the very least, add to your list:

Robert Ashley: Automatic Writing, Atalanta

In Sara, Mencken, Christ And Beethoven There Were Men And Women

I have these, though I find them tough nuts to crack at present.

Thanks for the other suggestions, I'll try and get to them soonish.

Online Mandryka

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 03:14:09 AM »


Wonderful thing here. It is basically a couple of beating sine waves and a piano, sparse notes, in counterpoint, an hour long, totally immersive and absolutely wonderful. An expansion written in 2020 of a shorter similar piece (hence the XL) In the booklet there’s a quote from Lucier which is rather inspiring

Quote
So often, when I’m writing a piece, I have to de-compose, I have to not compose. I have all these ideas about the piece that come from composition that you study. I have to eliminate those things that distract from the acoustical unfolding of the idea. ... To reveal it, I have to work hard to put it in a form that allows it to reveal itself and the magical quality it has without the interference of other ideas that don’t fit in.

I wonder if it would be worth starting a thread on immersive music like this. There’s a lot of it, it’s a big area
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 03:16:31 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Trazom H Cab

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2021, 03:02:25 PM »


This is one of my favorite CDs.  Bought it many years ago  OHM: The early Gurus of Electronic Music.  Contains many of the pieces being discussed here.  Here is one of my faves, Todd Dockstader's "Apocalypse part II."  It does mind-warping things to the sound of a creaky door (although it's electronically generated).  Sounds best on a bid stereo system with a good bass response:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfutkYDPkEI&ab_channel=TheWelleszCompany

Offline T. D.

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 06:37:26 AM »
Not on topic, but this is as good a place to post it as any.
I've seen this recommended:

https://www.newworldrecords.org/products/music-from-the-once-festival-1961-1966-box-set
I'm not deeply into archival electronica of this vintage (gradually tired of the OHM box when I owned it), but will audition what ONCE Festival material I can find. Lots by Ashley and associates.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 06:39:07 AM by T. D. »

Online Mandryka

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 10:07:03 AM »
Not on topic, but this is as good a place to post it as any.
I've seen this recommended:

https://www.newworldrecords.org/products/music-from-the-once-festival-1961-1966-box-set
I'm not deeply into archival electronica of this vintage (gradually tired of the OHM box when I owned it), but will audition what ONCE Festival material I can find. Lots by Ashley and associates.

I'm enjoying this.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Online Mandryka

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 10:24:12 AM »
I'm enjoying this.

Come back to say it again. It is excellent.
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Offline T. D.

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2021, 11:39:26 AM »
Apologies for extremely short notice, but there's live Alvin Lucier, Weirs for electric guitar and resonant objects [OK, performed by Mark Stewart] today - in less than 2 hours!  :o

https://live.bangonacan.org/february2021marathon/

At least the third such streamed BOAC event during the pandemic. I really enjoyed the one in Spring 2020, missed August's.
Today's lineup is heavier on jazz/improv than past ones AFAICT.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 02:06:44 PM by T. D. »

Offline T. D.

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Re: The Arcane Mysteries Of The Sonic Arts Union
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2021, 11:41:56 AM »
Come back to say it again. It is excellent.

Thanks! I didn't expect anyone to care.  ;)
I've recently noticed loads of attractive recordings in the New World catalog.