ponedjeljak, 24. lipnja 2013.

Avant Garde Project

Kolekcija teže nabavljivih radova historijske muzičke avangarde.


The AGP archive is a repository for earlier AGP installments. New installments are available only as bittorrents for the first several weeks.
All installments have now been configured so that files can be downloaded either from the home site or from our lightning-quick UK mirror site (which is much faster even for downloading from North America). For AGP1-36, select either the first or second column of buttons on the index page for each installment. For AGP37 and later, select the index page either on this server or on the mirror site by clicking on the corresponding link for each installment below. 
AGP1-74 are also mirrored here, through the generosity of another AGP partisan.
The audio files in all AGP installments are FLAC files. FLAC is a lossless compression format that decompresses to produce CD-quality WAV files. For information on the use of FLAC files, see Technical Information
If you would prefer MP3 files, dedicated AGP partisans are hosting AGP installments converted to 192kbps MP3 here and here. Be mindful that some of the musical information is lost as a result of MP3 compression. For optimal sound quality, FLAC files are always preferable.
Looking for a specific composer? Try our alphabetical index.
Don't know where to start? Try one of our editor's choice sampler CDs.
Or if you like to follow the herd, here is a list of the AGP top twenty.
Or you may be interested in some of my own personal favorites.

AGP1 - Josef Anton Riedl
AGP37 - European Electronic I (Germany)                                       mirror
AGP39 - European Electronic III (Freiburg, Utrecht)                        mirror
AGP40 - Mauricio Kagel 1957-67                                                    mirror
AGP41 - Mauricio Kagel 1968-82                                                    mirror
AGP42 - Pierre Henry, Le Microphone Bien Tempere                      mirror
AGP43 - Pierre Henry, Voile D'Orphee                                            mirror
AGP44 - Mechanical Musical Instruments I                                      mirror
AGP45 - Mechanical Musical Instruments II                                     mirror
AGP46 - Mechanical Musical Instruments III                                    mirror
AGP47 - Mechanical Musical Instruments IV                                    mirror
Mechanical Musical Instruments Supplements                                 mirror
AGP48 - Trio Instrumental Electroacoustique                                  
AGP49 - Bernard Parmegiani, Alain Savouret                                   mirror
AGP50 - Paul Hindemith, Das Marienleben                                      mirror
AGP51 - Gilbert Amy I                                                                      mirror
AGP52 - Gilbert Amy II                                                                     mirror
AGP53 - Sylvano Bussotti Orchestral Works                                      mirror
AGP54 - Sylvano Bussotti, Rara Requiem                                          mirror
AGP55 - Sylvano Bussotti III                                                              mirror
AGP56 - John Cage and Others                                                         mirror
AGP57 - The World of Harry Partch                                                  mirror
AGP58 - Pauline Oliveros and Others                                               mirror
AGP59 - Morton Subotnick II                                                            mirror
AGP60 - Wilhelm Killmayer                                                               mirror
AGP61 - Wilhelm Killmayer and Luigi Nono                                      mirror
AGP62 - Wolfgang Rihm, "Jakob Lenz"

AGP63 - Hans Werner Henze I

AGP64 - Hans Werner Henze II

AGP65 - Hans Werner Henze III

AGP66 - Hans Werner Henze IV

AGP67 - Alexander Goehr I                                                              mirror

AGP68 - Alexander Goehr II                                                             mirror

AGP69 - Total Improvisation                                                             mirror

AGP70 - Peter Maxwell Davies I                                                        mirror

AGP71 - Peter Maxwell Davies II                                                       mirror

AGP72 - Milton Babbitt                                                                      mirror

AGP73 - Richard Craig, Solo Flute                                                     mirror
AGP74 - Jean Dubuffet                                                                      mirror

AGP75 - Francois Bayle, Erosphere                                                   mirror

AGP76 - Peter Maxwell Davies III                                                      mirror

AGP77 - Maurice Ohana I                                                                  mirror

AGP78 - Maurice Ohana II                                                                 mirror

AGP79 - Jean Dubuffet II                                                                   mirror

AGP80 - Christian Wolff I                                                                   mirror

AGP81 - Christian Wolff II                                                                  mirror

AGP82 - 9th International Contemporary Music Festival                   mirror

AGP83 - Berio Conducts Berio                                                           mirror

AGP84 - Italian Composers                                                               mirror

AGP85 - Horatiu Radulescu                                                               mirror

AGP86 - Robert Wittinger                                                                  mirror

AGP87 - Heinz Holliger                                                                     mirror

AGP88 - Harrison Birtwistle I                                                            mirror

AGP89 - Harrison Birtwistle II                                                            mirror

AGP90 - Harrison Birtwistle III                                                           mirror

AGP91 - Harrison Birtwistle IV                                                           mirror

AGP92 - German Orchestral Music I, 1980-82                                   mirror

AGP93 - German Orchestral Music  II, 1976-78                                 mirror

AGP94 - German Orchestral Music III, 1967-75                                 mirror

AGP95 - German Orchestral and Chamber Music IV,  1959-66         mirror

AGP96 - Two Students of Olivier Messiaen (Gaussin, Yoshida)          mirror

AGP97 - Donald Erb                                                                           mirror

AGP98 - Kompositionsstudio Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ensemble       mirror

AGP99 - Iannis Xenakis                                                                      mirror

AGP100 - Igor Stravinsky, Chamber Music 1918-1923                      mirror

AGP101 - Karlheinz Stockhausen, Klavierstucke I-XI                         mirror

AGP102 - Henry Kaiser, Outside Pleasure LP                                     mirror

AGP103 - Henry Kaiser, Outside Aloha Pleasure CD                          mirror

AGP104 - Mauricio Kagel, Luc Ferrari                                                mirror

AGP105 - Christian Clozier, Jacques Lejeune                                    mirror

AGP106 - US Electronic Music I: Arthur Kreiger et al.                        mirror

AGP107 - US Electronic Music II: Tod Machover                                 mirror

AGP108 - US Electronic Music III: Neil Rolnick, Barton McLean          mirror

AGP109 - Horatiu Radulescu, Inner Time II                                        mirror

AGP110 - Horatiu Radulecsu, Sensual Sky & Iubiri                             mirror

AGP111 - Horatiu Radulescu, Clepsydra & Astray                              mirror

AGP112 - Othmar Schoeck I, Nachhall & Das stille Leuchten             mirror

AGP113 - Othmar Schoeck II, String Quartets                                    mirror

AGP114 - Othmar Schoeck III                                                             mirror

AGP115 - Claude Ballif, Un coup de dés                                            mirror

AGP116 - Claude Ballif II                                                                    mirror

AGP117 - Iancu Dumitrescu                                                               mirror

AGP118 - John Cage, Lejaren Hiller, et al.                                         mirror

AGP119 - Lejaren Hiller                                                                     mirror

AGP120 - Lukas Foss I                                                                        mirror

AGP121 - Lukas Foss II                                                                      mirror

AGP122 - Donald Erb II                                                                      mirror

AGP123 - US Electronic Music IV: Columbia-Princeton                      mirror

AGP124 - US Electronic Music V: Bulent Arel, Mel Powell                  mirror

AGP125 - More Francois Bayle                                                           mirror

AGP126 - US Electronic Music VI: Charles Dodge

AGP127 - Ramon Zupko

AGP128 - US Electronic Music VII                                                       mirror

AGP129 - US Electronic Music VIII - Dartmouth Competition            mirror

AGP130 - US Electronic Music IX                                                        mirror

AGP131 - Spanish Vocal Music

AGP132 - Werner Heider I                                                                 mirror

AGP133 - Werner Heider, Hans Zender                                             mirror

AGP134 - Henry Kaiser, It's a Wonderful Life                                    mirror

AGP135 - Charles Chaynes, Vocal Music                                            mirror

AGP136 - Charles Chaynes, Instrumental Music                                mirror

AGP137 - Charles Chaynes, Erzsebet (opera)                                     mirror

AGP138 - Ulpiu Vlad I                                                                         mirror

AGP139 - Francois Bayle - Grande Polyphonie, 24-bit LP                  mirror

AGP140 - Bernard Parmegiani - De Natura Sonorum, 24-bit LP        mirror

AGP141 - ReR Quarterly, volume 1, number 1                                   mirror

AGP142 - ReR Quarterly, volume 1, number 2

AGP143 - ReR Quarterly, volume 1, number 3                                   mirror

AGP144 - ReR Quarterly, volume 1, number 4

AGP145 - Hungarian Steam Locomotives

AGP146 - Zdzislaw Piernik I, tuba (!)

AGP147 - Zdzislaw Piernik II, tuba (!)

AGP148 - Ivo Malec - Triola, 24-bit                                                   mirror

AGP149 - Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms, Canticum Sacrum          mirror 

AGP150 - Schoenberg - String Trio, op. 45 (two performances)       mirror

AGP151 - Alban Berg

AGP152 - Paul Hindemith, Kammermusiken 1-7

AGP153 - Paul Hindemith, Kammermusiken 1-7                               mirror

AGP154 - Vienna Wind Soloists                                                          mirror

AGP155 - US Electronic IX - Meyer Kupferman                                  mirror

AGP156 - US Electronic X - Tenney, Melby                                       mirror

AGP157 - US Electronic XI - Andrew Rubin, Tragoedia                     mirror

Before releasing an AGP installment, I scour the internet for any evidence of a commercially available release of the recordings or compositions. Through these efforts, I have come across a number of sites offering avant garde music that is not distributed through the major outlets. 
My first stop is typically Amazon.com. Their advanced search page enables one to search specifically by composer, composition, etc. The GermanFrench, and UK Amazon sites often list recordings by composers from those countries that are not available at Amazon.com. CD Universe and JPC are other good places to check for commercially available CDs, some of which are not available through Amazon.
In addition, votaries of the avant garde with a little extra money in their pocket will find much of interest at the following sites:
Electrocd.com in Montreal carries a wide range of electroacoustic works, including the indispensible INA-GRM catalog.
Mimaroglu Music Sales is a one-man shop in Massachusetts, stocking many works that would otherwise be available to North Americans only from European outlets with correspondingly high shipping costs. Their catalog also includes the Creel Pone series of unofficial CD-R releases of out-of-print recordings.
Forced Exposure is another North American distributor for a wide range of avant-garde music. 
ArkivMusik has an impressive collection of burned-to-order CD-R reissues of classical music recordings, including a bunch of 20th century classical.
CDeMUSIC is a music distributor operated by the Electronic Music Foundation in New York City. Their web site offers a wide variety of electroacoustic and avant garde music.
The Schott Music Shop has a large catalog of excellent avant garde music CDs, including many recordings from the Wergo catalog. 
New World Records has published many recordings of avant-garde music. They are also now distributing the entire CD catalog of CRI records. Unfortunately, many CRI recordings that originally appeared on LP are still out of print.
BVHAAST is a dutch label that carries a number of avant-garde CDs. Particularly interesting is the Acousmatrix series of electroacoustic works. Check out the 2CD collection of works by Gottfried Michael Koenig (Forced Exposure has this, if you are in North America).
Edition RZ is a remarkable publisher that specializes in CDs and LPs of avant-garde music. Some of my most prized LPs were published by them. They also have packaged reissues of select historical recordings of avant-garde works. 
Phono Suecia has an online shop that includes recordings of avant-garde works by Swedish composers. 
Innova Recordings is the house label of the American  Composers Forum. Among the many works they distribute is the Enclosures series of works by Harry Partch.
The London Sinfonietta markets recordings through its web site, including many recordings of modern music. The Ensemble Intercontemporain does not market its own recordings, but its site hosts a discography with links to amazon.fr.
The late Karlheinz Stockhausen's complete catalog is available through his own web page. Other composers' pages I have come across include Francois Bayle's and Jean-Claude Eloy's. The latter has links to other Eloy-related sites. And The Living Composers Project is rich resource for information on, well, living composers.
The Man Who Planted Trees, by Jean Giono, is the official parable of the Avant Garde Project.
For a complete waste of time, be sure to visit www.hapaxlegomenon.com.
If you know of any resources I have missed, please let me know so I can include them on this page.

Here are twelve of my favorites, only one of which is in the top twenty most-downloaded installments. I can recommend them all both for the quality of music and the quality of sound. The first was the original inspiration for the Avant Garde Project and is still my overall favorite.

The second AGP installment comprises the four parts of Mauricio Kagel's Acustica, for experimental sound-producers and loudspeakers. This piece features some of the most astonishing timbres I have ever heard. As far as I can glean from reading the record notes, the first two parts are live performances by five musicians (recorded at Studio Rhenus, Godorf bei Köln, on January 28-31, 1971) and the second two parts are electroacoustic compositions produced in 1969. The live performances use a crazy collection of homemade instruments (see the included notes for details), some purely acoustic and others incorporating loud-speakers, tone generators, or cassette recorders.
The two electroacoustic sides are well worth listening to, but I particularly recommend the tremendously complex sounds on the first two sides. They have a texture somewhat like electronic music, but with more timbral detail owing to the acoustic sound sources. Personally, I find these sides awe-inspiring. If you are instead horrified by what strikes you as unspeakable cacophony, we will have to agree to disagree.
A short biography of Kagel from the Universal Edition website:
"Mauricio (Raúl) Kagel was born in Buenos Aires on 24 December 1931 into a polyglot Argentine-Jewish family with strongly leftist political views. He studied theory, singing, conducting, piano, cello and organ with private teachers, but as a composer was self-taught. At the University of Buenos Aires, where Jorge Luis Borges was among his lecturers, Kagel studied philosophy and literature. In 1949 he became artistic advisor to the Agrupación Nueva Música of Buenos Aires; he began composing in 1950, seeking musical ideas that opposed the neoclassical style dictated by the Perón government. After an unsuccessful attempt to establish an electronic studio, in 1955 he became chorus director and rehearsal accompanist at the Teatro Colón and editor on cinema and photography for the journal nueva visión. In 1957 Kagel traveled to Germany on a DAAD student grant, settled in Cologne, and became immediately and permanently involved in the contemporary music network as a member of the so-called "second generation" of Darmstadt composers. 
"In Germany he participated in the Darmstadt summer courses (from 1958), where he later lectured (1960–66, 1972–76), and conducted the Rheinland Chamber Orchestra in contemporary music concerts (1957–61). Between 1961 and 1965, he also made several concert and lecture tours in the USA. In 1969 he was named director of the Institute of New Music at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne and, as Stockhausen’s successor, of the Cologne courses in new music (until 1975); in 1974 he became professor of new music theater at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. Kagel was one of the founders of the Ensemble for New Music in Cologne and has worked at the electronic studios in Cologne, Berlin, and Utrecht. He continues to conduct many of his works and directs and produces all of his own films and radio plays."
NOTE: A new recording of Acustica by Printemps des Arts de Monte Carlo has been released on the Zig Zag Territories label, and is available here.
To download AGP2 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.
FileDownload from

01 - Acustica, first part [23:46]1
02 - Acustica, second part [19:53]1
03 - Acustica, third part [17:44]1
04 - Acustica, fourth part [17:22]1
Liner notes from LP1
AGP2 description1
FLAC fingerprints1

The fifth AGP installment is pure ear candy. It is a remarkable piece of electroacoustic music by Philippe Mion, released on the INA-GRM (Institut National de L'audiovisuel, Groupe de Recherches Musicales) label in 1987 (INA-GRM no 9118 mi). The GRM was founded by Pierre Schaeffer in the 1950s and merged with the INA in the 1970s. It has included among its members many of the all-time greats of electroacoustic music. Most of the INA-GRM LP releases are now available on CD, and can be bought from electrocd.com in Montreal (as well as other places, I imagine). The INA-GRM catalog includes some dynamite works by Bernard Parmegiani, Ivo Malec, Francois Bayle, and others, that I would certainly include in AGP if they were not already available.
Surprisingly, L'Image Éconduite (The Averted Image) by Philippe Mion does not appear to be in print. Mion assembles a delicious collection of electronic and acoustic sounds, and interleaves them in ways that might be described as fugal. The texture is rich and complex, and yet spare enough to enable each sound combination to be enjoyed to the fullest. L'Image Éconduite was originally a 70-minute composition on 4-track tape, but was trimmed to 57 minutes and reduced to 2 tracks for the LP release. Although divided between the two sides of an LP, it is intended as one uninterrupted movement. The composer recommends that it be listened to fortissimo!
The installment includes the original liner notes in both English and French. I'm afraid the French notes are an unedited output of my OCR program, as it would have taken too much time to edit them, given my limited French.
To download AGP5 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.
FileDownload from

01 - L'Image Éconduite, side 1 [28:12]1
02 - L'Image Éconduite, side 2 [28:57]1
English Liner notes from LP1
French Liner notes from LP1
AGP5 description1
FLAC fingerprints1

AGP44 is the second in our occasional series of “found” avant garde. This week’s installment features transcriptions of some very nicely recorded mechanical musical instruments. They include music boxes and other plucked idiophones, street organs, orchestrions, mechanical violin ensembles, and the like. The repertoire is largely drawn from late 19th and early 20th century popular music and operatic arias, so it may seem out of place in the Avant Garde Project. But like the whale songs of AGP28, I have for years enjoyed listening to these recordings in the same spirit as I listen to late 20th century music. Mechanical musical instruments produce remarkably complex timbres, including not only the resonance of the music-making device but also the miscellaneous noises of motors, cranks, and other machinery.
By way of justification for this bizarre installment, let me offer the following:
Mechanical musical instruments arguably represent the origins of concrete music, in which the human performer is taken out of the equation. Before the technology existed for the reproduction of recorded sound, electronic tone generation, or amplification, people used motors, cranks, metal discs, and perforated paper spools to achieve something of the same end—albeit with more populist aspirations.
Mechanical musical instruments are one product of the alienation of human labor characteristic of the industrial revolution, which underlay much of the social critique infusing the avant-garde movement.
Compositions by composers such as Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Mauricio Kagel quote from popular works in part as critique of the debasement of music involved in the more vulgar of popular tastes. This is nowhere more pointed than in interpretation of dance music by machines that by nature cannot invest it with human feeling, for an audience that is consuming it either as background noise or in support of drunken revelry.
For much of his career, the highly regarded composer Conlon Nancarrow devoted himself to a kind of concrete music using player pianos to produce sounds that no human keyboard player could have achieved. Somewhat less deliberately, the herky-jerky rhythms produced by many mechanical musical instruments provide a musical experience that no human performer would offer, except in a virtuosic imitation of mechanical instruments.
In “Presque Rien”, Luc Ferrari produced a musique concrete work formed of largely unaltered recordings of environmental sounds. The transcriptions of AGP44 could be consumed in much the same way.
And finally, recordings of mechanical musical instruments feature in some of the electroacoustic works of Josef Anton Riedl included in the very first AGP installment.
No one of these arguments may fully justify such an AGP installment, but I hope that some justification may be achieved by a kind of triangulation. In any event, I invite you to experience these recordings as a peculiar and stimulating form of organized sound. I have found that one can finely adjust the nature of one’s listening experience based on the level of aesthetic irony with which one approaches it.
AGP44 is actually the first of four installments devoted to mechanical musical instruments of various types. My enthusiasm for these sounds got the better of me once I got started. Also, upon searching the internet, I realized that there are practically no high-quality recordings of mechanical musical instruments available for free download. So these installments should serve the community of mechanical musical instrument enthusiasts as well as the avant-garde community.
This installment features instruments in the collection of Heinrich Brechbuhl, Steffisburg, and the National Museum from Musical Clock to Street Organ in Utrecht. The recordings are rich and detailed, and the LPs are top notch European pressings with practically no pressing or surface noise. The installment includes a ZIP archive containing images of many of the instruments as well as liner notes from the two LPs from which these recordings were transcribed.
To download AGP44 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS. If the downloads are slow, you may find it faster to download them from our mirror site.

Our third Hans Werner Henze installment includes two concert suites based on motion picture soundtracks composed by Henze, and an arrangement by Henze of an oratorio by Giacomo Carissimi. The movie Swann in Love (1984) is represented by twelve variations for orchestra, and the movie Katharina Blum (1975) is represented by a concert suite for orchestra. While the music in these works was originally written to accompany motion pictures, it includes some of the most gratifying harmonies I have heard by Henze. His arrangement of Carissimi's Jepthe is scored for an intriguing collection of flutes, plucked string instruments, and percussion--producing timbres that are unmistakably from the twentieth century.
The installment includes a PDF files with liner notes from the two LPs these works appeared on (see pp. 12,15,16).
To download AGP65 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.

AGP69 is the second installment dedicated to total improvisation, the first being New Phonic Art (AGP8). This one features the Italian sextet Gruppe Nuova Consonanza, which was active starting around the same time at New Phonic Art. These five tracks are from an album in the Deutsche Grammophon Avant Garde series (137 007). At least one other recording by the group (under the name Gruppo Nuova Consonanza) is still available on CD, but I'm fairly sure this one is not. If I am wrong about this, do please let me know ASAP.
Track 06 is a selection of German free jazz from the sixties, transcribed from volume 6 of the monumental collection Deutscher Musikrat--Zeitgenossische Musik in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Bestellnummer DMR 1016-18). The other two tracks from that LP have not been included because they are available on CDs ("The Living Music" by Alex Schlippenbach and "Balls CD" by Peter Brotzmann).
All of these recordings are clear and vibrant, with very little surface noise or tracking distortion. Track 05 is a piece of electronic improvisation and has been digitized at a level 6 dB higher than tracks 01-04 to make full use of the 16 bits of quantization. The installment includes a PDF file with liner and booklet notes from the two LPs.

A new set of previously unreleased performances by Gruppe Nuova Consonanza is available on CD here.
To download AGP69 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.

AGP82 - 9th International Contemporary Music Festival

AGP82 comprises a selection of recordings made at the 9th Festival Internazionale di Musica Contemporanea in 1986 in Torino, Italy. The recordings were made during festival concerts on five nights in the Chiesa della Misericordia, and are wonderfully lively and clear. A wide range of intriguing timbres are deployed, including some of the most remarkable sounds I've ever heard from saxophones.
The installment includes a PDF file with scans of the liner notes from the 2LP set (Icons Antidogma Records AM-I 861-862) from which these recordings were transcribed. While the commentary is in Italian, the notes detail the ensembles and performers for each of the pieces. This installment is too large to fit on one CD. Tracks 01-09 (from September 28 to October 1) fit on one disc, and the remaining two tracks will fit on a CD with AGP83.
To download AGP82 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.

AGP83 - Berio Conducts Berio

AGP83 is our third devoted to music by Luciano Berio. I didn't include these transcriptions in the two earlier installments (AGP26 and AGP27) because the compositions are available in other recordings. It has since been pointed out to me that these are the only recordings of these works conducted by the composer, and so have documentary value that other available recordings do not. The Sinfonia recording is interesting in that only four of an eventual five movements had been composed at the time. The absence of the fifth and final movement may account for why this excellent rendition has never been re-issued on CD. Recordings of Berio conducting many of his other works are available on CD, and I strongly encourage you to get them.
The installment includes a PDF file with scans of the liner notes from the two LPs (Columbia MS 7268 and RCA LSC-3189) from which these recordings were transcribed. Both recordings are rich and detailed. The transcription of Sinfonia is very clean. The transcription of Epifanie has some light, periodic pressing noise in the middle, one or two blemishes that were not entirely removed by declicking, and some mild tracking distortion in the last few minutes (not surprising, given that almost 30 minutes were crammed into one LP side). But overall it's delightful.
To download AGP83 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.

AGP92 - German Orchestral Music I, 1980-82

AGP92 is the first of four featuring (mostly) orchestral works by German composers. All of the tracks in AGP92-95 are transcribed from a 30LP collection entitled, Zeitgenossische Musik in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. A number of tracks from this collection have been included in other AGP installments. These four installments comprise all of the tracks composed between 1959 and 1982 that are out of print and that didn't fit in other installments (generally because I didn't have enough other OOP material by the composer).
There is some great stuff in these four installments that I would have gotten to earlier if they weren't odds and ends. The pressings in this collection are uniformly low-noise and low-distortion. The installment includes a PDF file with scans of the extensive notes on the composers and compositions contained in the booklets that came with each 3LP set.
To download AGP92 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.

01 - Peter Michael Hamel, Gestalt fur Orchester, 1980 [20:42]02 - Ulrich Stranz, Szene 2 from Szenen fur Orchester, 1980 [12:02]

AGP102 - Henry Kaiser, Outside Pleasure LP

With AGP102, the Avant Garde Project veers wildly off course. This installment is a transcription of an early LP by the avant garde guitarist Henry Kaiser, who has had a long, prolific career playing a remarkably diverse and profoundly strange assortment of musics. My favorite of his many recordings is "Outside Pleasure", recorded live without overdubs in August 1979 in San Francisco and Berkeley, California. Kaiser's guitar style, particularly at this stage in his career, is unlike anything anyone else does. Imagine a combination of Hawaiian slack-key guitar, the songs of humpback whales, and the music of the Krell, and you have some idea what it sounds like.

The tracks on this LP have been re-released on a now-out-of-print CD entitled "Outside Aloha Pleasure" that also includes most of the tracks from his follow-up LP "Aloha". AGP103 will be a transcription of that CD, but when I transcribed some tracks from my LP copy, I found that the LP transfer actually has more fine detail and sounds more alive than the CD. I'm guessing they used digital noise reduction on the CD re-release to reduce the hiss of the original analog recording, and in doing so lost some clarity as well.

The installment includes two bonus tracks from Henry Kaiser's contribution to the Table of the Elements series (Neon), and a PDF file with front and back cover scans from Outside Pleasure. My scanner's bed isn't large enough to scan an entire LP cover, so each cover is scanned in two parts.

To download AGP102 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.

AGP104 - Mauricio Kagel, Luc Ferrari

AGP104 is a real gem. Two tracks comprise the two LP sides of Mauricio Kagel's Der Schall ("Sound") for five players with 54 instruments. The instruments include foghorn, spaghetti tube with trumpet mouthpiece, 20 meters of garden hose with plastic funnel, antelope horn, sitar, banjo, plucked rubber bands, organ pipes blown by mouth, taishokoto, ocarina, bass balalaika, bass mouth-organ, brass tubes, Cagniard de la Tour siren, tortoise shells, nose-flute, bassdrum, telephone, brass tubes, and musical box--just to name a few. This work is in essence the prequel to the first two sides of Acustica (AGP2), having been recorded 15 months earlier in the same studio by the same five instrumentalists working with the same producer and engineer. While it features some more familiar instruments than Acustica does, the emphasis is just as much on sound combinations; and while the texture is somewhat more open, I find it every bit as stimulating. 

The remaining track is by the French electroacoustic composer Luc Ferrari, but is like Der Schall in being a completely acoustic work exploring the same frontiers of timbre and structure that electroacoustic works often do. It is scored for piano, 3 percussionists, and 16 instruments. Both of these recordings were featured in the Deutsche Grammophon Avant Garde series in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They are wonderfully clear and detailed, and the LPs transcribed are both in excellent condition. The other side of the Ferrari LP, Presque Rien No. 1, is available on CD and so has not been included. The installment includes a PDF file with liner notes of the two LPs.

To download AGP104 files, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.

AGP111 - Horatiu Radulescu, Clepsydra & Astray

AGP117 - Iancu Dumitrescu

NOTE: AGP117 has been deleted at the request of the publisher. While the Edition RZ LP appears to be out of print, a CD with a recording that is either similar to or identical to this one is available from ReR Megacorp for a very reasonable price that includes shipping.
AGP117 is a transcription of one of my most prized LPs, containing two works by the Romanian composer Iancu Dumitrescu. Medium II is for solo double bass, and Cogito / Trompe L'Oeil is for two double basses, prepared piano, and percussion.

In Medium II, the sounds produced by the double bass explore the edge between tones and noise, and yet an everpresent tonal center is provided by the notes produced by the open strings, giving the excursions into higher tones something of the feel of a raga. The rhythms of the piece remind me at times of the breathing of some great beast or of the surge of the ocean through a tidal cave. The addition of more instruments in Cogito introduces further tonal centers and still more timbral complexity, with considerably more sound energy in higher registers.

Dumitrescu describes Medium II as the hidden, mysterious reverse of Cogito, and suggests that the two works could even be played simultaneously. If you have the right media-playing software, you may be able to arrange such a performance for yourself. Personally, I tremble at the thought. The installment includes a PDF file with scans of LPs liner notes.
01 - Medium II [23:38]

02 - Cogito, Trompe L'Oeil [19:57]

The Avant Garde Project Top Twenty
Here are the twenty most frequently downloaded installments, in descending order.

AGP1 - Josef Anton Riedl

AGP57 - The World of Harry Partch
AGP2 - Mauricio Kagel, Acustica
AGP50 - Paul Hindemith, Das Marienleben
AGP42 - Pierre Henry, Le Microphone Bien Tempere                     

AGP6 - Morton Subotnick
AGP39 - European Electronic III (Freiburg, Utrecht)                       

AGP40 - Mauricio Kagel 1957-67                                                   

AGP3 - Robert Erickson

AGP37 - European Electronic I (Germany)                                      

AGP43 - Pierre Henry, Voile D'Orphee                                           

AGP10 - Bernd Alois Zimmermann

AGP9 - Ben Johnston

AGP53 - Sylvano Bussotti Orchestral Works

AGP26 - Luciano Berio Vocal Music

AGP48 - Trio Instrumental Electroacoustique

AGP49 - Bernard Parmegiani, Alain Savouret

AGP56 - John Cage and Others

AGP8 - New Phonic Art

AGP27 - Luciano Berio Instrumental Music

The first sampler features live and electronically manipulated instrumental music. The second sampler features mostly electroacoustic music.
Night Music, by Robert Erickson is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard. It is based around the agile, sinuous trumpet playing of David Burkhart, supported by flute, clarinets, trombone, cello, bass, and percussion.  It starts off quite softly for the first few minutes--no adjustment to your equipment is necessary. (from AGP3)
Monochrome Sea, by the Japanese percussionist Yasukazu Amemiya feature an especially vivid and detailed recording on the Japanese RCA label. Amemiya's compositions exhibit a very nice sense of the sound potential of the instruments at his disposal. (from AGP20)
In Motu Proprio by Dieter Schnebel has some intriguing interference harmonies involving pairs of woodwinds playing notes that weave in and around the unison. It is from his Tradition series, and while not strictly canonical is based on canonic processes. (from AGP15)
Ascent Into Air, for 10 instruments and ghost electronics, is the third part of Morton Subotnick's series "The Double Life of Amphibians". The "ghost" electronics make no sound on their own, but alter the amplitude, frequency, and location of any sounds produced as the electronic score is playing. The rather simple electronic manipulations in the "ghost" electronics produce an interesting range of timbres, depending on the tone color of the instruments being manipulated.  (from AGP6)
To download the files in the first sampler, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.

ANIMUS III  by Jacob Druckman is an electroacoustic work that derives its sound material largely from Arthur Bloom's clarinet playing. It has an incredibly rich and complex sound, yet largely mellifluous owing to the use of clarinet as sound source. (from AGP4)
Ponomatopees II  by Bernard Parmegiani was inspired by the electro-acoustic treatment of the voice and also by some of the vocal ravings of pop singers. "These chomatopoeic fantasies should be heard, according to the composer, as follows: 1. Sit in the manner of bad European yogis. 2. Pretend to concentrate, thinking of nothing but what is said. 3. Catch the meaning . . . repeat . . . turn around. 4. Then "ponomatopise" . . . you will free yourself from the enjoyment of the verb!" (from AGP13)
Musique Douze, by the Swedish composer Ragnar Grippe, combines acoustic and electronic sounds in a rich and detailed mix. (from AGP16)
Glas-Spiele (Glass Games) by Josef Anton Riedl was sketched in 1974 and composed in 1977 in two versions. This is one of Riedl's pieces for self-constructed instruments. Here the instruments are as unconventional as the manner of performance: they are made entirely of glass. (from AGP1)
To download the files in the second sampler, right-click on each of the following links and select SAVE LINK AS.

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