JOHN CAGE : Early Electronic and Tape Music

  • Format: CD [SR361]
  • Shipping Weight: 0.09lbs
  • Label: Sub Rosa


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""I believe the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the aid of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard." --John Cage, 1937.

"Although John Cage occasionally worked in large, sophisticated studios -- for example, when he composed 'Fontana Mix' in 1958 -- his approach to electronic and tape music was often uncomplicated, makeshift, and pragmatic, employing simple tabletop devices: tape machines, phonograph cartridges, contact microphones, record players, portable radios, etc. He developed a soundworld that was utterly new, radical and demanding. It heralded the age of the loudspeaker, mass communication and Marshall McLuhan's 'global village.' The hiss, crackle and hum of electronic circuits, and the disembodied sounds, snatched by radio from the ether, spoke of the 20th century. Langham Research Centre works within the tradition firmly established by Cage, using resources that would have been available to him. For the realization of Cartridge Music, moving iron phonograph pickups were sourced and restored. These have a knurled screw designed to hold a steel phonograph needle and, in the piece, other objects are inserted and amplified: pieces of wire, toothpicks, paperclips, etc. The realization of 'Fontana Mix' includes the individual mono tracks from Cage's original tapes created in 1958. These are played using open-reel tape machines. These practices ensure we work within the limitations that Cage experienced and enable us to get close to the soundworld he inhabited." --Robert Worby, Langham Research Centre"

- samples -

1 Fontana Mix With Aria 13:36
Mezzo-soprano Vocals ? Catherine Carter
2 Imaginary Landscape N°.5 3:00
3 Wbai 7:00
4 Cartridge Music 10:00
5 0’00’’ 2:36
6 Variations I 10:00

Audio Generator [Square-wave Oscillator], Performer [Cartridge], Sounds [Auxiliary], Electronics [Radio] ? Robert Worby
Layout ? Mountain
Liner Notes ? Robert Worby
Mastered By ? Gabriel Severin*
Performer ? Langham Research Centre
Performer [Cartridge], Sounds [Auxiliary], Tape [Cassette, Open-reel], Electronics [Radio] ? Iain Chambers
Photography By [Front] ? Marion Kalter
Photography By [LRC] ? Stephen Montague
Photography By [Panel] ? James Klosty
Producer ? Robert Worby
Recorded By ? Dave Hunt
Synthesizer, Performer [Cartridge], Sounds [Auxiliary], Voice [Spoken Word] ? Philip Tagney
Turntables [Record Player], Performer [Cartridge], Sounds [Auxiliary], Tape [Open-reel] ? Felix Carey

Released in a 6 panel Digipak.
Comments on the pieces are from the scores and the Edition Peters catalogue (1962) of Cage's works.
? Track 1: 1958. Radio, 2 open-reel tape machines, synthesizer, voice. 'The use of this material is not limited to tape muisc but may be used freely for instrumental, vocal and theatrical purposes.' 'Aria, to be used alone or with Fontana Mix.'
? Track 2: 1952. Tape. 'This is a score for making a recording on tape, using as material any 42 phonograph records.'
? Track 3: 1960. Sine wave oscillator, record player, synthesizer, radio. 'Certain operations may be found impossible eg. 3 or 4 at once. Let the operator do what he can without calling in assistants.'
? Track 4: 1960. Phonograph cartridges, auxiliary sounds. 'For amplified 'small sounds'. A cartridge is an ordinary phonograph pick-up in which customarily a playing needle is inserted.'
? Track 5: 1962. Amplified objects/action. 'In a situation provided with maximum amplification (no feedback), perform a disciplined action… Fulfilling in whole or part an obligation to others.'
? Track 6: 1960. Record player, cassette tape, radio, spoken word. 'Parts to be prepared from the score, with or without the extra materials; any number of players, any kind and number of instruments.'

Music published by Henmar Press, C F Peters Corp.
Recorded in 2013.
Mastered at le Laboratoire Central, 2013.

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