Ovaj čovjek, prema New York Timesu, tvorac je "najveće web-stranice svih vremena". Ne samo da je napisao konciznu Povijest avangardne muzike, koju ovdje prenosim, nego je i priredio kolekciju valjda svih važnih znanja a zapravo je istraživač svijesti i autor knjige "The Nature of Consciousness" The Structure of Life and the Meaning of Matter" (2006) koja je jedan od njegovih skromnijih poduhvata - "A comprehensive and up-to-date overview of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Linguistics, Philosophy of Mind, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Physics, Relativity, Thermodynamics, Evolutionism, theories of dreams, theories of emotions and theories of consciousness."
Jer on je napisao i sljedeće:
26. A free eBook: A Visual History of the Visual Arts - Part 3: The Age of Globalization (2012)
25. A free eBook: A Visual History of the Visual Arts - Part 2: From Abstract Art to Conceptual Art (2012)
26. A Visual History of the Visual Arts - Part 1: From Impressionism to Surrealism (2012)
24. A Brief History of Knowledge (Amazon eBook, 2011)
23. A History of Silicon Valley (Omniware, 2011) ISBN: 978-0-9765531-8-2
22. Synthesis. Essays, Photographs, Poems (Omniware, 2009) ISBN: 978-0-9765531-7-5
21. A History of Rock and Dance Music Vol 2 (Omniware, 2009) ISBN: 978-0-9765531-6-8
20. A History of Rock and Dance Music Vol 1 (Omniware, 2009) ISBN: 978-0-9765531-5-1
19. A History of Jazz Music 1900-2000 (Omniware, 2007) ISBN: 978-0-9765531-3-7 (Italian translation: 978-0-9765531-4-4)
18. A History of Popular Music (Omniware, 2007) ISBN 978-0-9765531-2-0
17. The Nature of Consciousness (Omniware, 2006) ISBN 978-0-9765531-1-2
16. A History of Rock Music 1951-2000 (Iuniverse, 2003) ISBN 0-595-29565-7 (Italian translation: 0-9765531-0-4) (Spanish translation underway) (Polish translation underway) (Chinese translation underway)
15. Thinking About Thought (Iuniverse, 2003) ISBN 0-595-26420-4
14. Dialogo Degli Amanti - Poesie (Dialogue of the Lovers - Poems) (Lacaita, 1998)
13. Il Terzo Secolo (The Third Century - Essays on the USA) (Feltrinelli, 1996)
12. Enciclopedia della Musica New Age (Encyclopedia of New Age Music) (Arcana, 1996)
11. La Fabbrica del Pensiero (The Factory of Thought - Cognitive Science) (La Stampa, 1994)
10. Guida alla Musica d'Avanguardia (A Guide to Avantgarde Music) (Arcana, 1991)
9. La Mente Artificiale (The Artificial Mind - Cognitive Science) (Franco Angeli, 1991)
8. L'Ultimo - Poesie (The Last One - Poems) (Il Salice, 1991)
2. Storia della Musica Rock, vol 1 (Arcana, 1989)
3. Storia della Musica Rock, vol 2 (Arcana, 1989)
4. Storia della Musica Rock, vol 3 (Arcana, 1990)
5. Storia della Musica Rock, vol 4 (Arcana, 1990)
6. Storia della Musica Rock, vol 5 (Arcana, 1994)
7. Storia della Musica Rock, vol 6 (Arcana, 1997)
1. L'Intelligenza Artificiale (Artificial Intelligence) (Muzzio, 1987)
A History of Knowledge (Scheduled: 2010)
A History of Cinema (Scheduled: 2009)
A Beginner's Guide to the World (Scheduled: 2008)
A History of Rock Music 1951-2005 (Scheduled: 2008)
Demystifying The Modern World: All the News Not Fit To Print (Scheduled: ?)
"Reasons and Persons"
"The Beginning of Infinity"
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
History of Avantgarde Music
Preface - Art Music in the the 20th Century
Art Music (or Sound Art) differs from Commercial Music the way a Monet painting differs from IKEA furniture. Although the border is frequently fuzzy, there are obvious differences in the lifestyles and careers of the practitioners. Given that Art Music represents (at best) 3% of all music revenues, the question is why anyone would want to be an art musician at all. It is like asking why anyone would want to be a scientist instead of joining a technology startup. There are pros that are not obvious if one only looks at the macroscopic numbers. To start with, not many commercial musicians benefit from that potentially very lucrative market. In fact, the vast majority live a rather miserable existence. Secondly, commercial music frequently implies a lifestyle of time-consuming gigs in unattractive establishments. But fundamentally being an art musician is a different kind of job, more similar to the job of the scientific laboratory researcher (and of the old-fashioned inventor) than to the job of the popular entertainer. The art musician is pursuing a research program that will be appreciated mainly by his peers and by the "critics" (who function as historians of music), not by the public. The art musician is not a product to be sold in supermarkets but an auteur. The goal of an art musician is, first and foremost, to do what s/he feels is important and, secondly, to secure a place in the history of human civilization. Commercial musicians live to earn a good life. Art musicians live to earn immortality. (Ironically, now that we entered the age of the mass market, a pop star may be more likely to earn immortality than the next Beethoven, but that's another story). Art music knows no stylistic boundaries: the division in classical, jazz, rock, hip hop and so forth still makes sense for commercial music (it basically identifies the sales channel) but ever less sense for art music whose production, distribution and appreciation methods are roughly the same regardless of whether the musician studied in a Conservatory, practiced in a loft or recorded at home using a laptop.
If Schoenberg had freed the composer from the tradition, John Cage (USA, 1912), a pupil of Henry Cowell, freed the composition from the composer. Cage blurred the distinction between what is music and what is not music. First, he promoted silence, altered instruments (1940), sounds of nature (1941), found sounds (1951), the very movements of the performer (1952), the collage of random noises (1952), and even the background noise of the auditorium (1952) to the status of music, preferring the narrow range of percussion instruments while pioneering electronic music in Imaginary Landscape no.1 (1939), and composing Sonatas and Interludes (1948) for "prepared piano", a technique that paradoxically scaled down the piano's expressive power and basically turned it into a polyrhythmic percussion instrument (the equivalent of a percussion ensemble), an expedient later transposed to the String Quartet (1950). Not content, in 1951 Cage also introduced indeterminacy and randomness in the process of making music, as demonstrated in the Piano Concerto (1958). Thus Cage's music could be the random ("aleatoric") outcome of "events" that were foreign to traditional music making (in which the only events are the musicians playing their instruments based on the composer's score). Like in Zen meditation, Cage's pieces highlighted a higher dimension, which was not to be found in the minute details of the piece but in the experience of it. While Cage did not attempt to bridge the gap between performer and listener, he downplayed the composer (who specifies only the actions, not the music itself), increased the degrees of freedom of the performer (who produce the music), and, indirectly, demanded that the listener began to "listen" in a different way, more integrated with the act of making music. Cage extended the scope of dadaism beyond mere provocation and turned it into a new perception of the artistic event; which is, after all, just that: an event. He removed both form and content from art, and left only the process. But, more than an artist, Cage was a creator of genres. He wrote the history of avantgarde genres for the following 50 years (and counting), even though he didn't give it any masterpiece.
Another pioneer of the caliber of Cage, Boris Blacher (Germany, 1903), penned the abstract opera Abstrakte Oper 1 (1953), which has no words and no action.
Brion Gysin (Britain, 1916) was the true inventor of the "cut-up" technique made popular by his friend William Burroughs. The two experimented with it while in Paris during the 1950s, Burroughs focusing on fiction while Gyson applied it to just about any art, including "music" (audio cut-up).
The end of World War II marked a new period of aesthetic revolution that built upon the most radical ideas of the previous decades while adopting new technologies that had become available.
John Cage had already composed Imaginary Landscape N.1 for magnetic tape in 1939. When (1946) the city of Damstadt in Germany set up a school for avantgarde composers, the magnetic tape became one of their "instruments".
In 1948 Pierre Schaeffer (France, 1910) created a laboratory in Paris for "musique concrete" (music made of noises, not notes), basically the practical implementation of Luigi Russolo's theories. Pieces such as Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul (1950) used technology to alter the original ("concrete") sound. The instrument was no longer a piece of the orchestra but a piece of a recording studio. Schaeffer pioneered the use of "found sounds" to compose original music.
Pierre Schaeffer's disciple Pierre Henry (France, 1927), who had already collaborated to the Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul (1949) and to the opera Orphee' (1953), continued his masters program in a more populistic vein with: Concerto Des Ambiguite' (1950), a noisy dialogue for two pianos that seems reminiscent of French absurdist theater; Le Voyage (1962), a sinister electro-acoustic suite for electronically processed sounds of the orchestra; the Variations Pour une Porte et un Soupir (1963) for found sounds (a door and a sigh); Reine Verte (1963), a theatrical soundtrack for found sounds, sound effects, voices and electronic imitations of popular music (such as Rock Electronique); Messe Pour Le Temp Present (1967), mostly a rock mass that harks back to psychedelic music (with the electrifying Psyche' Rock).
Rune Lindblad (Sweden, 1923) employed damaged film to automatically produce the sounds of Optica 1 (1959).
Joseph Schillinger published "A Mathematical Basis of the Arts" (1949), in which he proposed that popular music could be composed by combining snippets of existing popular music. Basically, he had envisioned "sampling" before the invention of the sampler.
In 1951, Karlheinz Stockhausen joined the school of music at Darmstadt, and began composing "elektronische musik".
In the same year, the French national radio set up a studio to record electronic music in Paris, and the West Deutsche Radio opened a similar studio in Cologne (the NWDR).
In 1952, across the ocean, electronic engineers Harry Olsen and Hebert Belar built the first synthesizer at RCA's Princeton Laboratories, the "Mark I".
It was just a matter of time before new genres based on electronic instruments appeared. Musica su Due Dimensioni (1957) by Bruno Maderna (Italy, 1920) was the first "electro-acoustic" composition, mixing traditional instruments and electronic tape. A computer composed the Illiac Suite (1957), using software created by Lejaren Hiller.
At the other end of the spectrum, Schoenberg's ambition to invent a new logic of musical composition was adopted by composers who tried to "serialize" (prescribe) the entire dynamics of a piece (not only the notes). Elliott Carter (USA, 1908) conceived atonality as a disjointed choir of voices in the Quartet 1 (1951) and the Quartet 2 (1959). The instruments simulated actors in a drama, and counterpoint became a dialogue between different characters. In his Double Concerto (1961) the two solo instruments are basically playing two different concertos. The culmination of this program was the hectic and effervescent rhetoric of the Concerto for orchestra (1969) and of the Symphony for Three Orchestras (1977). Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916) indulged in the intricate mechanisms of his String Quartet 2 (1954) and Ensembles For Synthesizer (1964). George Perle (USA, 1915) followed suit with the Quartet 5 (1960). Pierre Boulez (France, 1925) achieved the rigorous science of Structures (1951) and delved into the disorienting percussive patterns of Le Marteau Sans Maitre (1954) before turning to an aleatory format inspired by the poet Mallarme' with Sonata piano 3 (1957) and Pli Selon Pli (1962). Jean Barraque (France, 1928) with La Mort de Virgil (1968), and Karel Goeyvaerts (Belgium, 1923) with Litanies (1982) were other serialists.
Electronic music owed much to Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928), who contributed to popularize all the main techniques. The first major artifacts of "tape music" (invented a few years earlier by Edgar Varese) were his experiments with electronics and voice, namely Gesang der Junglinge (1956), and with electronics and "samples", namely Hymnen (1967). His serialist orchestral work Gruppen (1957), on the other hand, was concerned with spatial location and movement of sound, another influential theme of the avantgarde. Returning to electronic music, Stockhausen pioneered two more subgenres: "electro-acoustic" chamber music (1958), which mixes tape music and traditional instruments; and "live electronic music" (1964) which uses the electronic instrument "like" a traditional instrument (save that, obviously, the electronic instrument can play the sounds of all instruments as well as sounds that no acoustic instrument can play).
Concrete music was pursued by Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924) in La Fabbrica Illuminata (1964).
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922) ventured beyond serialism and indeterminacy: the complexity and density of labyrinthine scores such as Metastasis (1954) led him to employ mathematics (and, in particular, stochastic methods), for example in the electronic poems Orient Occident (1960) and Kraanerg (1969).
The three revolutionary schools of the time had changed the rules. Cologne (Stockhausen) introduced purely electronic music. New York (Cage) introduced music of gestures not only sounds. Paris (Schaeffer) introduced music of non-musical sounds.
New forms of music quickly proliferated. In 1957, Max Mathews began composing computer music at Bell Laboratories. Edgar Varese inaugurated tape music with Deserts (1954) and premiered his Poeme Electronique (1958) in a special pavilion designed by architect Le Corbusier, where the music was reacting with the environment. In 1958 the Columbia-Princeton studio for avantgarde composers opened in New York, and was featuring an RCA Mark II, the "synthesizer", and the following year Raymond Scott invented the first sequencer, the "Wall of Sound". In 1959 John Cage performed "live electronic music". Morton Subotnick, Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros and others founded the "Tape Music Center" near San Francisco in 1959. In 1961 Robert Ashley and Gordon Mumma organized Ann Arbor's ONCE festival, entirely devoted to avantgarde music. Together, these events marked the end of avantgarde music as an exclusive of seasoned (and mostly European) composers and the beginning of avantgarde music as a relatively grass-roots (and mostly American) phenomenon. Sure, the composers were still educated at the most prestigious schools of music: but their stance towards composition/performance was moving away from the concert hall and towards the praxis of jazz music. The musicians of this generation tried many (and wildly different) avenues of experimentation, from musique concrete to electro-acoustic synthesis, but they shared a fundamental aesthetic belief in the power of "sound", as opposed to the traditional emphasis on harmony and melody.
Lucia Dlugoszewski (USA, 1925) started out with pieces in the tradition of Pierre SChaeffer's "acousmatic" music, such as Orchestra Structure For The Poetry Of Everyday Sounds (1952), in the tradition of John Cage's prepared piano, such as Archaic Aggregates (1961) for self-built percussions and timbre piano, and in the tradition of Edgar Varese's percussion music, such as Suchness Concerto (1958), but she also perfected a surreal style for chamber music with pieces such as Concert Of Man Rooms And Moving Space (1960) and Tender Theatre Flight Nageire (1978) for brass sextet and non-pitched percussion.
Louis "Moondog" Hardin (USA, 1916) was one of the greatest and most bizarre geniuses of the 20th century. A New York street performer who dressed up like a Viking, he composed string quartets, symphonies and operas, but mainly surreal vignettes for orchestra and home-made instruments. His works encompass everything that was known and a lot of what was still unknown. He virtually invented every single future genre of rock, electronic and world music. For example, the neoclassical quartet Surf Session (1953) borrowed the rhythm of Middle-eastern folk dancing and employed ocean waves.
Hans Otte (Germany, 1926) was perhaps the first visionary of "deep listening" music, music whose emotional core is as distant from the surface as it can be, basically the exact opposite of German romantic/symphonic music. The peaks (or, better, bottoms) of his minimal art were brief piano sonatas in which very little happens, inspired by Eastern calligraphy and philosophy: Das Buch der Klaenge (1982), documented on The Book of Sounds (1992), and Stundenbuch (1998).
Post-modernismTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
While some were indulging in ever more abstract sounds and techniques, others returned to the past. The prevailing postmodernist aesthetic fostered the use of "quotation" from the past in the composition of new works. Shostakovich himself was among the practitioners of quotation. George Rochberg (USA, 1918) with Contra Mortem Et Tempus (1965), Berndt Zimmermann (Germany, 1918) with Die Soldaten (1964), and George Crumb (USA, 1929) with Ancient Voices of Children (1970) achieved significant results. Fascinated with madness and isolation, Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934) seemed to reflect on the avantgarde itself with the stylistic pastiches of St Thomas Wake (1969) and Worldes Blis (1969), which would be expressionistic if not for the strong doses of self-parody. The work of Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925) went beyond mere quotation, and stood as a semiotic study of human language at several levels, for example in the Sinfonia (1968).
The nostalgics could also find solace in the opera, which remained mostly anchored to traditional harmony: The Consul (1950) by Giancarlo Menotti (Italy, 1911), Don Rodrigo (1964) by Alberto Ginastera (Argentina, 1916), Bassarids (1965) by Hans Henze (Germany, 1926), Ghosts of Versailles (1991) by John Corigliano (USA, 1938), The Death of a Composer (1994) by Louis Andriessen (Holland, 1939), Florencia en el Amazonas (1996) by Daniel Catan (Mexico, 1941), Waking in New York (1998) by Elodie Lauten (USA, 1951), Valis (1987) by Tod Machover (USA, 1953), Emmeline (1996) by Tobias Picker (USA, 1954), Weather (1999) by Michael Gordon (USA, 1956), Ghost Opera (1994) by Tan Dun (China, 1957), Powder Her Face (1995) by Thomas Ades (Britain, 1971), Nanking! Nanking! (1999) by Bright Sheng (China, 1955), etc.
Event MusicTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
Cage's dadaism survived in different forms. Morton Feldman (USA, 1926) drew inspiration from abstract painting for Rothko Chapel (1971) and the four-hour String Quartet 2 (1983). Henri Pousseur (Belgium, 1929) introduced aleatory elements in Votre Faust (1963). But Cage's legacy was perhaps stronger on "event music", music whose score depends on the gestures/movements/actions of the performers, and sometimes "is" those actions.
The Fluxus movement first realized the interdisciplinary implications of that concept. A group of musicians, painters and writers, organized in New York by Lithuanian-born artist George Maciunas in 1961, they organized chance events bordering on theater, visual art and music. Their works of art were sets of rules that specified the process by which the performers had to produce the music and the audience had to consume it. These happenings demystified the apparatus of western classical music while reintroducing a ritualistic element. TV Bra for Living Sculptures (1969) by Nam June Paik (Korea, 1932) was a typical Fluxus "composition".
Dieter Schnebel (Germany, 1930) scored the third part of Abfaelle (1962) for conductor alone (with no musicians). Franco Donatoni (Italy, 1927) mixed intricate strategies of event and chance in Zrcadlo (1963). Lukas Foss (USA, 1922) was among the composers to employ improvisation, for example in Echoi (1963).
Eventually there emerged a new form of musical theater, as in La Passion Selon Sade (1965) by Sylvano Bussotti (Italy, 1931), and Sur Scene (1960) by Mauricio Kagel (Argentina, 1931).
Christian RevivalTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
Eastern and northern Europeans developed a "sacred" version of minimalism that used Christian (not Indian) spirituality as a source of inspiration. Arvo Part (Estonia, 1935) with Tabula Rasa (1977) and De Profundis (1980), and Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933) with the Symphony 3 (1976), which is basically a requiem in disguise, and the Concerto for Harpsichord (1980), were the most influential. Per Norgard (Denmark, 1932) with his Symphony 2 (1970) and John Tavener (Britain, 1944) with Ikon Of Light (1984) and The Protecting Veil (1987) pursued similar endeavors.
Eastern Europeans also took atonal music to new heights. It eventually developed into a new language, tailored for monumental dimensions and emphatic masses of sound. Thus Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913) with the Cello concerto (1970), the Symphony 3 (1983), the Symphony 4 (1992).
Serialism was downplayed in the "continuum" favored by Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923) who studied at Cologne: Atmospheres (1961), the Requiem (1965), the Quartet 2 (1968), the Double Concerto (1972) and the opera Le Grand Macabre (1977) toyed with slowly-moving masses of sound. His was an art of intricate textures built out of meaningless elements. Atmospheres (1961) and the Requiem (1965) examples of almost total chromaticism, with little or no regard for melody and harmony.
Thus Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933) with the Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima (1960), San Luke Passion (1965), the Polish Requiem (1983). Thus Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934) with the Requiem (1975) and the Concerto grosso 3 (1981).
Minimalism 1961-70TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
Minimalism was both a compromise and a rejection of serialism and indeterminacy. It had no narrative/emotional development, but it was mostly tonal. It managed this feat by using repetition of minimal tonal units. It overcame the inherent limitation of those simple units by letting gradual variations alter the composition slowly over time. By their nature, minimalist compositions emphasized trance instead of reasoning. They emanated spirituality instead of irreverence. La Monte Young (USA, 1935), a pupil of John Cage, composed his first music for sustained tones in 1957. Two years later he would found the "Fluxus" movement of musicians and artists. The term "minimalism" originally referred to his "dream house", a New York loft in which Young and his Theater Of Eternal Music (comprising violinist Tony Conrad, viola player John Cale, trumpet player Jon Hassell, keyboardist Terry Riley and others) developed a music made of semi-stationary waves, of slowly evolving amorphous sound. Music became a living organism. Colossal pieces such as The Tortoise His Dreams And Journeys (1964) and A Well Tuned Piano (1964) offered little or no respite for western harmony, and created a bold bridge between John Cage's "alea", Buddhist meditation and psychedelia. The former was the prototype for a special case of minimalism: droning minimalism, relying on extended (and apparently eternal) tones.
One of his disciples, Terry Riley (USA, 1935), became the guru of minimalist repetition with the pulse-based ensemble work In C (1965), that centered on the iteration of simple patterns (almost a human-based imitation of tape loops), and explored the raga-psychedelic connection with the solo electronic improvisation Rainbow in Curved Air (1968), that employed tape loop delays. These works clearly introduced repetition as a main compositional technique in western music, with (Rainbow In Curved Air) or without (In C) melody. This conceptual revolution mirrored the sociopolitical revolution of the time (the era of the "hippies"), when communal and improvised concerts prevailed over the formal presentation of classical music. Riley was emblematic of a generation of musicians who were looking for a new tonal vocabulary to express a sense of wonder. The spiritual fervor of his Persian Surgery Dervishes (1972) marked the end of the hippy-inspired era. Riley would turn to more conventional formats, but still retain the titanic urge of his minimalist years, particularly in the monumental quartets Cadenza On The Night Plain (1985) and Salome Dances For Peace (1989), and in the Requiem For Adam (1998).
The master of "slow motion music" was Steve Reich (USA, 1936), who gradually came to employ chamber ensembles and small orchestras for his masterpieces Drumming (1971), Music For 18 Musicians (1976), Music For Large Ensemble (1978), the large-scale Desert Music (1984) and the opera The Cave (1993). His vocabulary, too, expanded over the years, as he came to favor dense textures.
Philip Glass (USA, 1937) began from similar premises but shunned Reich's austere science, and moved closer to popular music than to classical music. He moved away from the arduous repetitive patterns of Music In Twelve Parts (1974), rediscovered melody and approached the format of the opera from a different perspective with Einstein On The Beach (1976). Movie soundtracks such as Koyaanisqatsi (1983), stage operas and collaborations with pop/rock musicians became his preferred media, while his technique moved towards polytonality starting with the opera Akhnaten (1984). His most ambitious works were actually the least popular, the String Quartet 3 (1985), String Quartet 4 (1988) and String Quartet 5 (1991).
LaMonte Young's associate Tony Conrad (USA, 1940) composed long tone pieces in just intonation for bowed strings such as Four Violins (1964).
Michael Harrison, another LaMonte Young associate, expanded Young's "well-tempered piano" to the "harmonically-tuned piano"," a customized grand piano that can alternate between two different tunings.
Droning minimalismTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
Alvin Lucier (USA, 1931), instead, returned to LaMonte Young's stationary waves but from an austere, mathematical, scientific point of view in works such as Music For Solo Performer (1965), that used the performer's brainwaves, I Am Sitting In A Room (1970), that progressively degraded speech while progressively amplifying the background noise of the environment, Still And Moving Lines Of Silence (1974), an eight-part work for classical instruments and electronic devices, Music On A Long Thin Wire (1977), that used the vibrations of a metallic wire, and Clocker (1978), live electronics for performer with galvanic skin response sensor, digital delay system and amplified clock.
A rarely-recorded pioneer of minimalism, Phill Niblock (USA, 1933), tried, fundamentally, to create music without rhythm or melody, by slow accumulation of microtones. Niblock's droning soundscapes originated from the superimposition and juxtaposition of sustained sounds which were, in turn, obtained from reprocessing acoustic instruments. Niblock deliberately chose to limit the number of his recordings, believing that his real composition was the live performances and his real instrument was the tape. One can play a tape anywhere, but, like any instrument, the way it is played (back) depends on the player. Ideally, Niblock's tape should be played back by Niblock himself in an environment of his choice. When they finally appeared on compact disc, pieces such as Early Winter (1993) and Pan Fried 70 (2003) proved his stature.
Accordionist Pauline Oliveros (USA, 1932), the most significant purveyor of "deep listening" music, explored the psychological effects of sound in works such as: Horse Sings From Cloud (1975), a sequence of "om" for voice and accordion; Rattlesnake Mountain (1982), a Buddhist-influenced piece in which the sitar-like accordion weaves hypnotic patterns a` la Terry Riley's Rainbow In Curved Air; Wanderer (1985), a polyrhythmic symphony for an orchestra of 22 accordionists and five percussionists; The Roots Of The Moment (1988), a chromatic improvisation driven by digital delay; and finally Deep Listening (1988) for voice, accordion, trombone, didjeridu and found sounds, recorded in an underground cistern. These works virtually invented a new form of chamber music. The exception to the rule was Primordial Lift (2000), an electric improvisation for voice, accordion, violin, cello, electronics and harmonium, whose drones represented soundscaped to be populated, explored, colonized.
Maryanne Amacher (USA, 1943) created huge site-specific installations and sonic sculptures that radiated either colossal drones or subliminal ones to elicit music inside the brain ("third ear music").
Electronic music 1963-70TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. The first ever concert of electronic music was held in may 1952 in New York, and featured works by the organizer, Vladimir Ussachevsky (USA, 1911). In october 1952, a live concert by Otto Luening (USA, 1900) and Ussachevsky of electronic music at New York's Museum Of Modern Art was broadcasted live, and caused a sensation. It included Ussachevsky's Sonic Contours (1952), that electronically modified the sound of a piano. Other works that Ussachevsky composed in this period were A Poem In Cycles And Bells (1954) for tape and orchestra (one of the earliest electro-acoustic pieces), which was based on Otto Luening's Fantasy In Space (1952) and his own A Poem In Cycles And Bells (1954), and Piece for Tape Recorder (1956). In 1955, Luening began experimenting with the synthesizer invented by Harry Olson and Herbert Belar at RCA's Princeton Labs. In 1959, Ussachevsky and Luening founded the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (CPEMC), the first studio for electronic music (then called "tape music") in the USA, which featured the synthesizer "Mark II". Their Concerted Piece (1960) was another milestone in the development of electronic music. Luening's Synthesis (1962) for orchestra and tape opened new horizons for electro-acoustic music.
Live electronic music was also pioneered by David Tudor (USA, 1926), notably with Rainforest (1973).
Bernard Parmegiani (France, 1927), another pupil of Pierre Schaeffer, created De Natura Sonorum (1975), that combined the droning sounds emitted by live instruments with the dense and wild textures spun by electronic machines, and La Creation Du Monde (1984), a phantasmagoric mythological suite of electronic collage.
The chaotic tornadoes of Morton Subotnick (USA, 1933) such as Silver Apples Of The Moon (1967), The Wild Bull (1967) and Touch (1968), no matter how naive, took Edgar Varese's "electronic poem" to another dimension, a dimension that blurred the distance between primitivism and futurism, between tribal and binary percussion, between ancestral sound and alien noise. Their dense textures and hectic counterpoint, approaching the intensity and cacophony of rock'n'roll, completely redesigned the landscape of western music. His "chamber music", such as the harsh and stormy The Key To Songs (1985), created even more surreal and nightmarish soundscapes, this time directly related to the human condition.
Tod Dockstader (USA, 1932), a self-taught sound engineer and sound-effect specialist who scored soundtracks for Hollywood cartoons, influenced by both Pierre Schaeffer and Edgar Varese, produced tapes such as Eight Electronic Pieces (1960), Apocalypse (1966) and especially Quatermass (1966), visionary works with a narrative and dramatic emphasis.
The recordings by Jon Appleton (USA, 1939), such as Syntonic Menagerie (1969) and Human Music (1970), with Don Cherry, introduced electronic instruments to a wider audience.
Ralph Lundsten (Sweden, 1936) was one of the first European composers to experiment with the new medium, as documented on Elektron (1966).
Igor Wakhevitch (France), a student of Pierre Schaeffer, blended electronic music, psychedelic rock and classical opera on his intimidating albums Logos (1970), Docteur Faust (1971) and Hathor (1973).
Ilhan Mimaroglu (Turkey, 1926), a student of Vladimir Ussachevsky and Edgar Varese, gave electronic music a political agenda with La Ruche (1968) for electronics, cello, harpsichord and piano, and the 35-minute electronic collage Tract (1972), a "composition of agitprop music for electromagnetic tape".
These works were emblematic of the way electronics was being used to produce maximum emotional impact.
Computer musicTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
In 1976 a New Zealand-born computer scientist and composer, Barry Vercoe, who had studied digital audio processing at the University of Michigan and co-founded the MIT Media Lab (1974), hosted the first International Conference for Computer Music. In 1986 the same Vercoe introduced "C-Sound", the first interactive music software.
James Tenney (USA, 1934) was probably the first composer to craft an aesthetic for computer music. Tenney realized that electronic and digital music almost forced the composer to accept noise as "music" and to abandon the idea of absolute control over a composition. While employing and developing compositional algorithms (initially Max Mathews's "digital synthesis" software), he thus came to accept John Cage's passion for indeterminacy, although from a different angle: computer music can be "unpredictable" (rather than "random"). Furthermore, the composer of computer music could better achieve her or his artistic vision by focusing on "stochastic" quantities, the elements that define the overall structure (the "gestalt"), rather than trying to specify each single element of each single second of music. Thus the Dialogue (1963) between pure noise and pure tones, the abstract dissonant soundscape of Phases (1963), For Ann (1969), a mathematical piece of superimposed glissandi.
Charles Dodge (1942) used a computer in Earth's Magnetic Field (1970) to translate astrophysical data into electronic sounds.
One of the early pioneers to investigate the revolutionary role that computers could have on music performance and composition was sound engineer David Behrman (USA, 1937). His Cloud Music (1978), for example, completely removed humans (both composers and performers) from the process: the music was generated by digital machines based on the light in the sky, each cloud causing a variation in the sound. Experiments with interactive computer music such as On The Other Ocean (1977), in which the performers improvise based on the sounds created by the computer, which in turn creates sound based on what the performers play, peaked with the computer-interactive opera My Dear Siegfried (2004).
As If (1982) by Paul Lansky (USA, 1944), for string trio and computer-synthesised sound, seemed a manifesto meant to deliberately contradict every assumption taken for granted by western classical music.
Laurie Spiegel (USA, 1945) reacted to the futurism and dadaism of the early pioneers by developing an original aesthetic borrowed from folk music, creating relatively atmospheric and melodic music via arcane mathematical algorithms. The floating drones of The Expanding Universe (1975) evoke the same awe-inspiring eternity of Klaus Schulze's cosmic music, with masses of static "melodies" (stillborn melodies, that never grow to be one) endlessly repeating their distant wail, echoed from galaxy to galaxy, the same way that Brian Eno's ambient music does not conclude.
Richard Teitelbaum (USA, 1939), who introduced the synthesizer in Europe while playing in Musica Elettronica Viva with Alvin Curran, and partnered with jazz improvisors such as Anthony Braxton, George Lewis and Leroy Jenkins, found his mission at the intersection between chamber music, free jazz and electronic/digital music through works such as Blends (1977) for synthesizer, shakuhachi flute, tablas and percussion, Concerto Grosso (1985) for saxophone, trombone, electronics and robotic orchestra (computer-controlled pianos), Concerto Grosso 2 (1988) for piano, robotic piano, trombone, synthesizers and interactive computer systems, the interactive opera Golem (1995), recorded with Shelley Hirsch on vocals, David Moss on vocals and percussion, Carlos Zingaro on violin, George Lewis on trombone and electronics, and Teitelbaum on keyboards, computer and sampler.
David Rosenboom (USA, 1947) focused on computer-enhanced chamber music: Future Travel (1981) for computer, electronics and acoustic instruments was one of the first albums composed almost entirely with a digital synthesizer; Zones Of Influence (1985), inspired to Rene Thom's catastrophe theory, was scored for computer and percussion instruments with the aim of testing the border between chaos and order; and the electronic dance piece Systems of Judgement (1987) was created with interactive software. At the same time, he wed computer music with the improvisation of free-jazz. Emblematic of his ever more complex processes of composition/performance was the piano sonata Bell Solaris (1998), in which the pianist's playing triggers a piano played by the computer.
Neil Rolnick (USA, 1947) employed digital equipment to enter a different world of sound, for example in Macedonian AirDrumming (1992), that processed samples of folk music into rhythmic patterns, and in Screen Scenes (1996), a computer-processed improvisation for violin, woodwinds, synthesizer, bass and percussion.
John Bischoff (USA, 1949) pioneered interactive electronic and computer music in the 1970s and formed the world's first computer network band (League of Automatic Music Composers). the Hub, an ensemble of six digital improvisors (John Bischoff, Tim Perkis, Chris Brown, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Mark Trayle, Phil Stone) coined Computer Network Music (1989), performed on computers that are interconnected, thus interacting at the software level. The Hub pioneered the idea of network music ensembles.
Warren Burt (1949) designed "composing machines" and then used them to create pieces such as the Piano Quintet (1983) for piano and string quartet, Voices, Tuning Forks And Accordion (1986) and String Quartet No 4 (1987). He focused on random composition, just intonation and environmental interaction, sometimes all at the same time. He also followed LaMonte Young' lead in exploring drones (often in multimedia settings): the four-part The Animation of Lists and the four-part The Archytan Transpositions (originally devised in 2002), each based on the other one, amounted to a massive exercise in microtonal tuning, with pitches chosen and sequenced by a mathematical process.
Michael McNabb (USA, 1952) was a virtuoso of computer synthesis, crafting a dance piece, Invisible Cities (1985), that continuously referenced the history of western classical music.
Tod Machover (USA, 1953) was one of the early adopters of computer music within the format of chamber music: Light (1979) for chamber orchestra and computer electronics; Fusione Fugace (1982) for live solo computer (the first such composition in history); Valis (1987), an opera for six voices and computer-controlled keyboards and percussion; Hyperstring Trilogy (1993) for hypercello, hyperviola, hyperviolin, and chamber orchestra (the "hyper" instruments are enhanced with the computer); although his best work might be in more traditional formats, such as Nature's Breath (1989) for chamber orchestra.
Event Music in the electronic ageTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
Influenced by John Cage's principles of indeterminacy, Cornelius Cardew (Britain, 1936) organized monumental works that defied the logic of composition, such as Great Learning (1971), a seven-hour composition, based on the eponymous Confucian classic, scored for non-singers producing random vocal noises or Treatise (1967), whose score is a 193-page manual of instructions.
AMM was one of the early ensembles of live electronic music, first documented in the free improvised pieces of AMMusic (1966), featuring Cornelius Cardew on piano and cello, Lou Gare on tenor saxophone and violin, Eddie Prevost on percussion, Keith Rowe on guitar, Lawrence Sheaff on cello, accordion and clarinet (and three of them also on transistor radio).
Another ensemble of live electronic music, Musica Elettronica Viva, formed in 1966 in Rome by Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Curran and Richard Teitelbaum, recorded Rzewski's monumental Spacecraft (1967).
Italy was also the land of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, formed by composer Franco Evangelisti and featuring the young Ennio Morricone, another ensemble devoted to group improvisation in a classical-music setting.
The aesthetics of Frederic Rzewski (1938) bridged compositional indeterminacy and jazz improvisation, for example in the lively agit-prop variations of The People United Will Never Be Defeated (1975), a stochastic exercise on a touching Chilean theme, and in the colossal, seven-hour The Road (2002), a summation of all possible piano techniques, including mouth noises produced by the performer.
Robert Ashley (1930), active between Ann Arbor (site of the "ONCE" festival) and the Mills College, coined a new form of opera, that relied on layers of trivial verbal events to create meaning. It was more "sound verite`" than "stream of consciousness", because its source was the accidents of life, not the organic working of a particular psyche. Ashley's operas are garbage cans full of debris, but "revealing" debris, debris that contain clues about people's lives. Melancholy conversational operas for voice and electronics such as Automatic Writing (1979) and Perfect Lives (1983) seems obsessive analyses of urban alienation. The music is a sophisticated flow of unassuming melodies that borrow from centuries of musical repertory. The atmosphere retains something of the angst of expressionist drama, but the prevailing feeling of spleen and resignation are almost antithetic to the "shout" of expressionism.
A similar project was attempted by Ashley's collaborator Robert "Gene Tyranny" Sheff (USA, 1945) with the "cantata" A Letter From Home (1976) for voice and electronics. Sheff mostly experimented with new forms of composition. For example, How To Discover Music In The Sounds Of Your Daily Life (1992) electronically processed found sounds to create "transforms" that were then used to compose orchestral pieces. The Invention of Memory (2003) for baritone, string ensemble, guitar and piano, was a set of variations on a "reference song" that is subjected to several different methods of processing (similar to the way a past memory is recalled differently over time).
Gordon Mumma (USA, 1935), co-founder of Ann Arbor's ONCE festival with Ashley, crafted the dense and apocalyptic sonic masses of his electro-acoustic sculptures Megaton (1963), a mixture of improvised action-music and tape collage, the pioneering multimedia show Space Theatre (1964), and another angst-ridden experiment with collage and electronics, Dresden Interleaf (1965). The audience is part of the score in Cybersonic Cantilevers (1973) because it "offers" sounds to a machine that regurgitates them according to its own algorithm.
Another ONCE pioneer, Roger Reynolds (USA, 1934), toyed with live electronic music in pieces such as Ping (1969), but mainly composed the five vocal symphonies titled Voicespace (1986) for electronically warped voices.
Gavin Bryars (Britain, 1943) experimented with different styles, notably in Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1971), "symphonic" variations obtained by electronically processing a tramp's song, and in the Hommages (1981), aleatory pieces derived from other composer's music.
Other composers influenced by the Fluxus aesthetic included Philip Corner (USA, 1933), who even composed sonatas for pianist cleaning the dirty keys of the keyboard, Jackson Mac Low (USA, 1922), whose instructions to the performers often included notes to "listen" not just to play, Walter Marchetti (Italy, 1931), whose eccentric ideas were documented on La Caccia (1974), Yasunao Tone (Japan, 1935), famous for his "concrete" collages of damaged discs such as Music for Two CD Players (1982), Tom Johnson (USA, 1939), composer of the Four Note Opera (1972), built, literally, around four notes only, Nicolas Collins, with Devil's Music (1985), an electronically-processed collage of random radio sounds, Fast Forward (Britain), whose Simultaneous Music (1992) has a score that consists of instructions to performers who have been forbidden to rehearse together and are forbidden to listen to each other.
Pierre Bastien (France, 1953) built his own mechanical orchestra, an ensemble of musical automata capable of playing traditional instruments, documented on Mecanium (1988) and Pop (2005).
In 2010 Christian Marclay (USA, 1955) created a large-scale installation at the Whitney Museum in which some 50 avantgarde performers (including Joan LaBarbara, Elliott Sharp, Alan Licht, Zeena Parkins) performed according to "scores" that were nothing else than piles of three-dimensional objects, while pianists such as Robin Holcomb improvised based on the "score" of a chalkboard on which the audience was invited to scribble or draw at will. Cage thought that all sounds are music. Marclay expanded that notion to every object: all images are possible notations for music. The interaction between visual and audio realms is pushed to the extreme of recusion: Screem Play (2005) was a 29-minute collage of videos that becomes the score based on which improvisers play music, and that performance becomes in turn the film of which it is the soundtrack. Graffiti Composition (originally conceived in 1996) was recorded by an ensemble of improvisers "conducted" by Elliott Sharp. It is debatable who the author is: Marclay had the idea of posting blank posters around a city; random passers-by scribbled on the posters; Sharp used the posters as the score for the composition; and the performers, using their idiosyncratic languages at the instrument, are the ones who actually turned those meaningless signs into the music of the album.
The second generation of MinimalistsTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
Minimalism had changed the classical western view of music. A composition could evolve like an organism, rather than being designed to stretch over a predetermined narrative or emotional path. The listener, in turn, was required to listen more carefully, to enter into a sort of union with the piece of music; which was, of course, an idea derived from eastern music. Minimalism had introduced improvisation and meditation into western music.
These intuitions were further developed in various directions by the second generation of minimalist composers.
One of the most powerful innovations in minimalist music had come from rocker Brian Eno, who had bridged the sensibility of rock and avantgarde music on the manifestos of "ambient music". Following his lead, Harold Budd (USA, 1936) crafted sugary, velvety, tinkling cartilages such as Bismillahi Prahmani Brahim (1978), Children On The Hill (1981), Abandoned Cities (1984), Dark Star (1984), Gypsy Violin (1987), that emphasized the hypnotic quality of droning and repetition. TM, ®, Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
David Borden (USA, 1938), founder (1969) of the electronic combo Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company, created The Continuing Story Of Counterpoint (1987) for keyboards, horns, guitar and voice, one of the most monumental studies on counterpoint of the century. Borden's "counterpoint" relies on the same basic technique of Terry Riley's In C (a set of independent motifs played in different meters and for different periods of time), but Borden downplays the pulsing effect and employs more than one keys, with an emphasis on fast moving notes, fast developing blocks, fast changing meters. TM, ®, Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
North Carolina's violinist Henry Flynt (1940) launched an ambitious project to found a "new American ethnic music" that fused avantgarde music (particularly the hypnotic aspects of minimalism and free-jazz) and hillbilly/country music, best represented by S&M Delerium (1970s), Jive Deceleration, You Are My Everlovin' (1980), Celestial Power (1981), Purified by the Fire (december 1981). Flynt stopped playing music in 1984, but most of his music was released "after" he had stopped playing. TM, ®, Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
The elegant pulsing scores of Michael Nyman (Britain, 1944), such as Water Dances (1985) and The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (1987), were a post-modernist version of neoclassical music. The orchestral miniatures of the film soundtrack A Zed And Two Naughts (1989) capitalized on retro-catchy melodies and tempos that mocked everything from cabaret to baroque adagios.
John Adams (USA, 1947) pioneered the fusion of minimalist pulse and romantic rhetoric in Harmonium (1981), Grand Pianola Music (1982) and Harmonielehre (1985); reiventing the symphony with his Chamber Symphony (1993) and the Naive and Sentimental Music (1999), and reinventing opera with Nixon In China (1987).
Daniel Lentz (USA, 1942) injected stereotypes of the past into the minimalist skeleton, for example in Point Conception (1984) and Missa Umbrarum (1985).
Other mimalist composers (mostly based in New York) included: Jon Gibson (USA, 1940), more famous as a performer than as a composer, Ingram Marshall (USA, 1942), who applied minimalism to ethnic music in compositions such as Gradual Requiem (1979), Stephen Scott (USA, 1944), who composed for "bowed piano", for example Minerva's Web (1985), Charles "Charlemagne Palestine" Martin (USA, 1945), whose Strumming Music (1977) turned "strumming" (a tremolo style) into an avantgarde technique, and minimalism into highly dynamic (and noisy) music, and whose colossal church-organ drones of Schlingen-Blaengen (1979) did exactly the opposite. In 1981 Japanese-born performance artist Yoshi Wada (1943) recorded a solo voice invocation (a` la Pandit Pran Nath) and a duet for voice and loudly-droning Partch-like sound-making sculptures for Lament For The Rise and Fall of Elephantine Crocodile.
Ukrainian (German-born) composer Lubomyr Melnyk (Germany, 1948) devised "continuous music" for his piano compositions that is closely related to minimalist repetition: a continuous flow of rapid arpeggios that generates overtones melting into each other. This translated in a very fast playing technique, up to a dozen note per second, as demonstrated with KMH (1979), The Lund-St Petri Symphony (1979) for organ, Legend and Song of Galadriel (1984), Wave-Lox (1985), The Voice Of Trees (1985) for three tubas and two pianos.
The generation of composers born after World War II continued to experiment with minimalist techniques. In fact, interest in the music of LaMonte Young and the other pioneers resumed and peaked towards the end of the century.
Somei Satoh (Japan, 1947) employed the repetitive techniques developed in the 1960s by USA minimalists to create music that was, first and foremost, a spiritual experience, for example in Litania (1973), Mantra (1986) and Stabat Mater (1987). While Indian religion had been the scaffolding of much of LaMonte Young's and Terry Riley's work, Satoh harked back to both Christian liturgy and Japanese zen.
The massive guitar ensembles lined up by Glenn Branca (USA, 1948), for example in Ascention (1981), Symphony 3 (1983) and Symphony 5 (1984), used repetition, but were better described by the word "maximalism" than minimalism. A similar avenue was pursued by Rhys Chatham (USA, 1952), also fond of just intonation and the overtone series, with his compositions for large ensembles of guitars, for example Die Donnergotter (1985), An Angel Moves Too Fast To See (1989) and A Crimson Grail (2005), but also in Two Gongs (1971) for two gongs or Massacre On MacDougal Street (1982) for brass instruments. David Bedford (Britain, 1937) had predated both with Nurses Songs With Elephants (1972).
The minimalist dogma was bent to more pragmatic (melodic) needs by Belgian composer Wim Mertens (Belgium, 1953), whose Close Cover (1983), Whisper Me (1985), Lir (1985) and Educes Me (1986) attempted to reinvent chamber music and lieder.
The angelic minimalism of Mary Jane Leach (USA, 1949) was built from her manipulations of sonic events (such as human chanting), was more focused on the acoustic properties of sound than on its structural development, for example in Bruckstueck (1989),
Lois Vierk (USA, 1951) employed an "exponential" method to build up dense and intense sonic architectures out of rather simple sounds, as in the chaotic Simoom (1986) for eight cellos.
Other notable minimalists included: Arnold Dreyblatt (USA, 1953), founder of the Orchestra Of Excited Strings (1980) and composer of the Who's Who Opera (1991), who also toyed with intonation, as in Animal Magnetism (1995) and Resonant Relations (2005), and musique concrete, as in Turntable History (2011); Piero Milesi (Italy, 1953), with the sophisticated Modi (1982), Michael Byron (USA, 1954), composer of Tidal (1982) for small orchestra, Mikel Rouse (USA, 1957), composer of the percussion piece Quorum (1984), Dan Plonsey (USA, 1958), whose Moving About (2001) straddles the border between minimalism, jazz, pop and folk, Rod Poole (Britain, 1962), who exported Young's hypnotic music for just intonation to the tabletop guitar with The Death Adder (1996), etc.
Arthur Russell (1952), a cellist who composed chamber music inspired to Indian ragas (or "Buddhist bubblegum music") and a disc-jockey who crafted disco hits, composed the neoclassical seven-movement suite Tower Of Meaning (1983) in the minimalist vein.
Oliveros' deep-listening music was well-represented by the improvisations of trombonist Stuart Dempster (1936), documented on In The Great Abbey Of Clement VI (1979), by the music for the extended tones generated by long vibrating wires of Ellen Fullman (USA, 1957), as documented by Long String Instrument (1985), by the music for steel-metal sculptures played with a bow of Robert Rutman (1931), first documented on 1939 (1990), by Paul Panhuysen (Holland, 1934), specialized in installations of "long strings", such as Partitas for Long Strings (1999), by the music based on field recordings of Scott Smallwood, such as Desert Winds (2002), and even by the guitar drones of Portuguese guitarist Rafael Toral on Wave Field (1995).
Gordon Mumma's electronic nightmares were evoked by Richard Lainhart's Cities Of Light (1980); while LaMonte Young's lesson lived on in radical experiments such as the massive drones of James "Jliat" Whitehead (Britain), a purveyor of absolute quiescence in the massive electronic drones of Hilbert's Hotel (1998), and those of the eclectic A HREF=../avant/first.html>David First (USA, 1953), notably Pipeline Witness Apologies to Dennis (2008); while If Bwana, the project of Al Margolis (1955), indulged in the frantic and brutal Clara Nostra (1999), scored for 106,476 clarinets.
The voiceTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
The intellectual curiosity that led to rediscover other musical cultures and alternative compositional techniques also led to explore the human voice as an emotional medium and musical instrument.
Meredith Monk (USA, 1942) coined a vocabulary of vocal sounds that she used to create theatrical performances. The Key (1970), Education Of The Girlchild (1973), Tablet (1977), Turtle Dreams (1983), Dolmem Music (1979), Atlas (1991) focus on acrobatic and schizophrenic mutations that run the gamut from child to witch. They populate the music of characters, moods and states of mind.
In 1970 Gloria Coates began experimenting with vocal extensions and creating multiphonics. That idea was pursued by Joan LaBarbara (USA, 1947), a collaborator of John Cage and other composers. She stunned the world of music with the hallucinated vocal symphonies of Vocal Extensions (1976), Klee Alex (1979), Berliner Traume (1983), Twelvesong (1984) and Rothko (1986).
Yoko Ono (USA, 1933), a student of John Cage, practiced a mixture of dissonant western music, Japanese kabuki recitation and visceral screeching that projected her stream of consciousness, a technique documented on the album Yoko Ono/ Plastic Ono Band (1970).
From the jazz world came the wordless, electronically-processed scat of Urszula Dudziak (Poland, 1943), who debuted as a leader with the album Newborn Light (1972), and Jeanne Lee (USA, 1939), whose album Conspiracy (1974) expanded the jazz vocabulary with elements borrowed from Tibet and India, inspired by Yma Sumac, taking advantage not only of the "voice" but also of lip and throat sounds.
Laurie Anderson (USA, 1947) bridged those experiments on the human voice with the pop sensibility, the dance rhythms and the creative spirit of the new wave, particularly in her multimedia opera United States I-IV (1982).
Diamanda Galas (USA, 1955) was the most extreme vocalist of the time. The atrocious free-form hysteria of Litanies Of Satan (1982), Panoptikon (1983) and Deliver Me (1986) invented a new form of lieder for voice and electronics, one that references ancient Greek choirs, medieval "danses macabres", the French "poets maudits", expressionist theater and, ultimately, sheer terror.
Percussionist and vocalist David Moss (USA, 1949) recorded the chaotic and cacophonic tour de force of Terrain (1980).
David Hykes (USA, 1953)'s Harmonic Choir was inspired by Mongolia's "hoomi" style on the hypnotic Hearing Solar Winds (1983) and Harmonic Meetings (1986).
Thomas Buckner was "the" voice of avantgarde music during the 1990s, especially in improvised and live electronic contexts. In abstract pieces such as Evocation (2002) and Totem (2005) he was capable of coining a highly personal (and psychological) language, a mournful mixture of mantra, shaman invocation and stream of consciousness. His improvisations spanned a broad range of mooods, techniques and structures, but maintained an underlying sense of unity due to Buckner's persona, an unlikely fusion of Alfred Jarry's Pere Ubu, expressionist theater and John Cage's silence.
Other contributions came from Shelley Hirsch (USA, 1952), with the symphony for voices and electronics Haiku Lingo (1990), and Robert Een with his "songs" for extended vocal techniques and cello.
Anna Homler (USA, 1948) invented her own language, both a vocal language and an instrumental language, to simulate international timeless folk music. Do Ya Sa' Di Do (1992) and Piewacket (2001), by the project Puppetina, a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Stepanie Payne, were in some way the vocal equivalent of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
A synthesis of sort was offered by Pamela "Z" Brooks (USA, 1956) in projects such as Echolocation (1988): the operatic vocal acrobatics was reminiscent of Meredith Monk while the setting within the context of live electronic music followed Diamanda Galas' example, although extended to sampling and found percussion.
Miya Masaoka (USA, 1958) erected one of the most complex post-minimalist structures in While I Was Walking I Heard A Sound (2003) for mixed choir of 100-150 voices
Collage and Field recordings in the electronic age
The early musique concrete of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry expressed a futuristic ideology. The following generation of concrete musicians instead became fascinated with "field recordings", with the sounds of ordinary lives or environments. A field recording could be used as a background for electronic or acoustic music, or could be "reorganized" (via electronic equipment or computers) in an electronic poem.
Unlike poetry or the visual arts, that can incorporate explicit references to their object, music is not a representational art. For centuries it was not possible to incorporate or simulate everyday's sounds, only to simulate them with the instruments of the orchestra. The recording technology made it possible, but it took decades for an aesthetic of music as a representational art to emerge.
Alvin Curran (USA, 1938), a co-founder of Musica Elettronica Viva in Rome, crafted intensely-spiritual works that mixed natural sounds, live electronics, improvised voice and keyboard patterns: Canti E Vedute Del Giardino Magnetico (1974), his most lyrical collage, scored for for tape, voice, flugelhorn, synthesizer and tape of natural sounds (wind, high-tension wires, frogs, beach waves, etc); Fiori Chiari Fiori Scuri (1975) for or ocarina, voice, piano, toy piano, synthesizer, and tape; Libri D'armonia (1976) for conch shell, zither, voice, piano, synthi, and tape; and especially Canti Illuminati (1977), a vast sonic montage based on the human voice. Inner Cities (2003) was, instead, a colossal piano piece (more than four hours long) that related to the minimalist and ambient schools.
In 1963, Czech artist Milan Knizak (Czech, 1940) began to create music (the so-called "Destroyed Music" series) out of scratched, warped, defective and damaged records. The idea of playing "glitches" was going to remain confined to the realm of pure folly until the end of the century.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the urban sound documentaries of Philip Perkins, barely processed electronically, provided vast frescoes of modern life such as Apartment Life (1980).
The collage of sounds World Rhythms (1975), devised by Annea Lockwood (New Zealand, 1939), spanned the dimensions of the human experience, from volcanic eruptions to human breathing. Her "deep-listening" aesthetic was stated by Thousand Year Dreaming (1991) for conch shell, trombone, multiple didjeridus, oboe, English horn, vocals, clarinet and percussion, an exercise in slo-motion subliminal glissandi and microtones bordering on both post-classical chamber music and creative jazz music.
Qubais Reed Ghazala (USA, 1953), who specialized in self-built "musical instruments" (mostly electronic devices conceived for audio exploration), recorded Requiem For A Radio (1985), constructed out of the sounds made by a transistor radio while it was being methodically destroyed, and the Threnody To The New Victims Of Hiroshima (1995) for "insect voice synthesizer".
British improviser Peter Cusack mixed abstract soundscapes of four kinds (instrumental, electronic, vocal and field recordings), as demonstrated for example on Where is the Green Parrot? (2000).
Noah Creshevsky (USA, 1945) used collage as the fundamental medium for pieces, such as the "hyperdrama" Ossi di Morte (1997), that are rapid-fire assemblies of snippets of (human and instrumental) sounds, with an emphasis on maintaining the "musical" quality of the collage. He also specialized in the creation of "hypervirtuoso" music, music performed by electronic instruments simulating acoustic instruments played in a way that no human virtuoso could possibly match: Memento Mori (1989) focused on the dialogue between live human performers and electronic "superhuman" performers.
Innovative concepts in the arts of field recording and of collage were introduced during the 1990s.
Sam Auinger (Austria, 1956) in collaboration with Bruce Odland made music out of city noise with installations in several countries since 1990, partially documented on Resonance (1995), with the goal of sculpting and transforming the environment to reveal hidden meanings.
Heir to the glorious French traditions of musique concrete and sound collage, French sound-sculptor Christian Renou, aka Brume, specialized in the dense, rapid-fire sonic montage that culminated with the concrete symphony Fragments and Articulations (2002).
Stefan Weisser (USA, 1951), aka Z'ev created brutal and barbaric music for found percussion, such as on Elemental Music (1984), that was reminiscent of the aesthetic of punk and industrial music.
French vocalist and electronic musician Ghedalia Tazartes assembled Diasporas (1979) and Transports (1980), collages of layers of vocals (often lifted from ethnic folk music) and musique concrete ordeals.
Gen Ken Montgomery (USA, 1957) assembled the environmental noise symphony Father Demo Swears (1989), a terror-inducing wall of noise for amplified violin, voice, street noise and (massive) feedback.
By electronically and digitally processing the sounds of objects and places, Steve Roden (USA, 1964) created "possible landscapes", such as Humming Endlessly in the Hush (1996), credited to In Be Tween Noise, that require "deep listening" to appreciate the subtlety of slight variations in the mostly silent wasteland; while Four Possible Landscapes (1999) bordered on the glitch aesthetic of Bernhard Guenter.
Marc Behrens (Germany) used a computer and feedback-based devices to organize the collage of field recordings of Elapsed Time (2001).
The early recordings of Janek Schaefer (Britain, 1970) focused on two elements: studio manipulation of field recordings, and his self-built twin and triple armed varispeed turntables. The resulting collage is unusually dense and dynamic, culminating with the concrete symphony Cold Storage (2004), Songs For Europe (2004), a collaboration with Philip Jeck that builds ambient soundscapes from old Greek and Turkish records as well as radio broadcasts, the dance soundtrack Migration (2006), concocted out of manipulated field recordings, and In The Last Hour (2006), a piece in four movements that leveraged the combination of live instrumentation and turntable-derived textures to create an electronic poem that was both lugubrious and romantic.
One of the most diligent disciples of musique concrete at the turn of the millenium was Aube, i.e. Japanese electronic composer Akifumi Nakajima, an extremely prolific maniac of studio manipulation of field recordings (water, light bulbs, stones, brain waves, steel wires, heartbeats, book pages, etc). Metal de Metal (1997) was perhaps his main work for metal.
Francisco Lopez (Spain, 1962) was representative of the trend of collage music away from (noisy) concrete music and towards subsonic ambient music, or at least towards the coexistence of the two, as in Untitled Music For Geography (1997), that cycles from silence to extreme loudness and back.
John Duncan (USA, 1953) specialized in electronic meditations for shortwave radio signals such as River in Flames (1994), Nav-Flex (2001) and Phantom Broadcast (2002), but also in turbulent evocative "symphonies" such as The Crackling (1996) for digital manipulation of the noise of elementary particles speeding through the Stanford Linear Accelerator and The Nazca Transmissions (2009), inspired by the "sounds" emitted by the Nazca lines in Peru.
Ellen Band (Canada, 1952) bridged musique concrete and deep-listening music with collages such as Radiatore (1998) in which apparently harmless (and lifeless) sounds collected in the streets are scrutinized, repeated, amplified, deformed, enhanced until they become very much alive. The mundane becomes extraordinary: "no sound is ordinary".
Scott Johnson (USA, 1952) not only bridged rock music and chamber music with John Somebody (1983) for electric guitar, woodwinds, percussion, and tape, but, more importantly, used speech patterns as building blocks of the composition.
The electronic processing of microscopic bodily noises by Daniel Menche (USA, 1969) yielded the monstrous intensity of Screaming Caress (1997).
The compositions of John Hudak (USA, 1958) employ minimalist and subsonic repetition of electronically-processed found sounds, as in Pond (1998), that uses underwater insects as its main source.
The hyper-realistic field recordings of Toshiya Tsunoda (Japan, 1964) consist in capturing the sound of inert matter. Each object has a "sound": it is just a matter of finding a way to render that sound so that it can be appreciated by the human ear. The music of Pieces Of Air (2001), literally recordings of air vibrations, is thus one of minimal subsonic vibrations.
More traditional collages of field recordings survived in the work of composers such as Eric La Casa (France), whose L'Empreinte de L'Ivresse (1999) is an ambitious fresco of human life. La Casa was also a member of the musique concrete ensemble Afflux with Jean-Luc Guionnet and Eric Cordier: they recorded improvisations with environmental sounds as they occurred in an open landscape.
Simon Wickham-Smith (Britain, 1968) used the computer on Extreme Bukake (2002) to create a collage inspired by Buddhist and Catholic religious music.
Seth Nehil (USA, 1973) sculpted the quiet blurred pieces of Tracing the Skins of Clouds (1998) for found objects and instruments.
Compositional rigor highlighted the fusion of acoustic chamber music, droning minimalism, glitch music, electronic soundscaping and computer-manipulated field recordings propounded by Olivia Block (USA, 1970) in her trilogy of Pure Gaze (1998), Mobius Fuse (2001) and Change Ringing (2005). All three constructed dramatic symphonies of reverbs, pulses, drones and glitches.
The idea of "the microphone as an extended ear" propounded by Loren Chasse (USA) was best expressed in ambient minimalist works that manipulated field recordings: albums such as Siphon Glimmers (1997) and Hedge Of Nerves (2002) they basically documented sound sculptures of musique concrete and interactive electronic/digital music. Coelacanth, a collaboartion with Jim Haynes, manipulated and layered sounds of rocks, sand, leaves, electrical devices and waves to obtain a viscous tapestry of ambient music, as on Mud Wall (2004).
Thuja's discs documented the collective improvisations of guitarists Steven Smith and Glenn Donaldson (both of psychedelic-rock band Mirza), sound sculptor Loren Chasse and pianist Rob Reger. They devoted the ambient vignettes of Suns (2002) and the abstract frescoes of Pine Cone Temples (2005) to a study on the psychological properties of natural sounds, exorcizing urban life and trying to recapture the essence of the human condition on Planet Earth while retaining the high-tech world that humans have erected. Ultimately, all Thuja albums were duets between the human brain and the human environment.
Under the moniker Crawling with Tarts, the San Francisco-based duo of composer Michael Gendreau (1961) and Suzanne Dycus have concocted Operas (1993), or, better, "surface noise operas" (operas composed out of field recordings and studio manipulations) via "transcription discs", a program refined on Grand Surface Noise Opera Nrs 3 (Indian Ocean Ship) and 4 (Drum Totem) (Realization, 1994), the former scored for four turntables and the latter scored for turntables and percussion. Michael Gendreau's 55 Pas de la Ligne au nø3 (2002) was devoted to the excruciating sound of a rotating disk on a modified turntable. Grand Surface Noise Opera Nr 7 - The Decadent Opera - Rococo (1995) first assembled voices (taken from various sources) and then injected all sorts of musical snippets into the process, each grotesquely deformed, as in a collaboration between Frank Zappa and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Fueled by Dadaistic eccentricity, the Argentinean trio Reynols (drummer Miguel Tomasin and guitarists Roberto Conlazo and Anla Courtis) released all sorts of sarcastic musique-concrete symphonies, from Gordura Vegetal Hidrogenada (1995) to 10.000 Chickens Symphony (1999) for chicken sounds ("the only record in the world where all the participants were killed and eaten afterwards") to Blank Tapes (Trente Oiseaux, 2000) for amplified blank tapes. In parallel, Anla Courtis continued to use the tape as his main instrument in a series of extremely chaotic works, especially the 16-minute expressionist nightmare of Enc¡as de Viento (1996).
Computer music in the age of the laptopWhile the pioneers of computer music (basically from the 1950s to the 1980s) were mostly fascinated by a tool that challenged the pillars of western music (i.e., the relationship between performer and composer, and even the very notions of composer and performer), the wide diffusion of software for composing music on relatively cheap and portable computers (or "laptops") made it possible for a new generation of musicians to simply use the compositional algorithms and the synthesized sounds of a laptop in broader contexts. Fundamentally, computers had contributed to the breakdown of the traditional concept and role of harmony. The new generation exploited that very breakdown to create a kind of music directly referencing "sound". Basically, computers helped musicians focus more on the "sound" that they wanted to produce and less on the process to obtain it.
The eclectic Ikue Mori (Japan, 1953) went through several stages before arriving at computer music: first as a drummer for the experimental rock band Mars, then as a free-jazz improvisor, then as the electronic composer of the five long meditations for drum machines and samplers of Garden (1996), and finally as the laptop soundpainter of Labyrinth (2000) and Myrninerest (2005). Thus she was ideally suited to bridge the aesthetics of dissonance, improvisation and machine music.
David Dunn (USA, 1953) used computers to assemble "environmental sound works", works that manipulate field recordings, such as Chaos And The Emergent Mind of the Pond (1992).
Achim Wollscheid (Germany) used household objects as percussion instruments "played" according to a computer algorithm for Moves (1997).
Lutz Glandien (Germany, 1954) composed the wildly dissonant music of The 5th Elephant (2002) assisted by a computer in selecting and assembling "samples" from recordings of acoustic instruments.
The installations of Michael Schumacher (USA, 1961) often started with field recordings or accidental events that were then processed at the computer to produce long spatial tones, as documented in the Four Stills (2002). A complex computer algorithm generates the sparse sounds that populate Room Pieces (2003).
The "live" laptop manipulations of Kaffe Matthews (Britain, 1961), such as the theremin-based Cd Eb And Flo (2003), yielded droning compositions that are layered to the point of becoming dense mobile textures.
Dimitri Voudouris (Greece, 1961), based in South Africa, crafted the free-form tone poems ONTA (2005) and A Alpha Theta= Phi (2008) during which the narrative, pictorial and emotional elements coalesce in chromatic swamps of digital sounds.
Helmut Schafer (Austria, 1969), who committed suicide in 2007, crafted expressionist nightmares of digital and electronic processing such as Environment Soundscapes (2000), Isolated Irritation (2002) and Noise As A Language (posthumously released in 2009) that followed a quiet but determined logic, the flow remaining very close to an emotional center of mass, and rarely exceeding in either noise or silence.
In 2001 Matt Rogalsky (Canada, 1966) developed his "Kash" software to interact with live performers on traditional instruments. The resulting live performances are subtle and subliminal works, in which Rogalsky toys with fictitious microtonal sounds in a very sparse and desolate soundscape. Another kind of software, "Sprawl", allows Rogalsky to operate on densely layered structures, that yield floating clusters similar to the ones that fuel ambient and cosmic music.
Koji Asano (Japan, 1974) engineered the monumental The Last Shade of Evening Falls (2000), in which a computer processed violin and contrabass, resulting in a nightmarish exercise that runs the gamut from chaotic and wildly atonal to densely droning.
Sound Of Meditation Within the Body (2001) by Fan Wang (China, 1970) blended the Western and Eastern ways of music via musique-concrete collages of subterranean currents and otherworldly noises that slowly grow into om-like cosmic drones, that oscillate between the internal and the external soundscape.
Jun Yan (China, 1973) is one of the artists of the laptop generation who explores the convergence of the noise-sculpting techniques that come from musique concrete and the improvised techniques that come from jazz. His pieces are lengthy creative sequences of artificial sounds, concrete symphonies that can range from quasi-silence to ear-splitting cacophony.
Toronto-based turntablist Mike Hansen (Canada, 1958) used the turntable as one of the inputs to digital improvisation and composition. His abstract soundscapes were driven by the quality of the sounds that he assembled through the turntable as well as other instruments.
Basically, the laptop generation was reenacting the "live electronic music" of the 1960s using a simpler, cheaper and more versatile instrument.
Collage music in the age of the samplerAs technology allowed more sophisticated manipulation of sound in the studio, musique concrete evolved towards cut-up, collage and montage techniques that mixed found sounds and electronic sounds (and sometimes conventional instruments). The musical score did not disappear, but became the music itself. Musique concrete moved, de facto, closer to the aesthetics of jazz and rock music, in which the composer "is" the performer.
The invention of the sampler even enabled musicians to compose music out of other people's music. In 1984 Ensoniq introduced the synthesizer "Mirage", that included a built-in sampler, making it cheap to create samples-based music.
John Oswald (Canada, 1953), originally a free-jazz improvisor on alto saxophone, crafted the Mystery Tapes, aural collages of music, voices, and found sounds credited to Mystery Laboratory. In the 1980s, the "mystery tape" aesthetics evolved into the "plunderphonics" aesthetics. A "plunderphone" is basically a "quote" of a famous piece of music, typically from popular music. In a sense, it is the musical equivalent of Andy Warhol's pop icons. A plunderphonic composition is a sonic montage of many plunderphones. Unlike Plunderphonics (1988), that sounded like a collection of practical jokes by a merry studio prankster, the ambitious plunderphonic symphony Plexure (1993), that collated more than one thousand musical quotes, was a full-fledged "classical" composition, except that it uses quotes rather than notes as its building blocks.
A few pseudo-rock groups engaged in chaotic collages that harked back to abstract, dadaistic art. The Colorado-based ensemble Mnemonists, formed by William Sharp and others, and later renamed Biota, assembled wild assortments of sonic events on albums such as the monumental Mnemonist Orchestra (1979), Biota (1982) and Rackabones (1985) that ran the gamut from classical music to sheer noise. Their production technique bordered on free-jazz improvisation, but at the same time was surgically designed in the studio. Their audio collage was the equivalent of a descent into hell. In their reincarnations as Biota, that initially continued the Mnemonists' mission with the hybrid of free jazz and musique concrete of Tinct (1988), they eventually moved towards a highly musical "anti-concrete" approach that employed even more sophisticated collage techniques but resulted in user-friendly structures driven by recognizable acoustic instruments (accordion, flugelhorn, guitar) and even vocals. Invisible Map (2001) secreted pop music and at times Half A True Day (2007) sounded like a remix of psychedelic music from the 1960s.
San Francisco-based Negativland (Mark Hosler, Richard Lyons, David Willis, Don Joyce) opted for a satirical urban documentary on Negativland (1980) and Points (1981), breakneck-speed parades of sonic fragments (found sounds as well as radio broadcasts, conversations, musical pieces) that also stood as grotesque celebrations of the consumer society. Their audio collage was the equivalent of a hike in a junkyard.
The Climax Golden Twins, the Seattle-based duo of Rob Millis and Jeffery Taylor, crafted surreal lo-fi collages of field recordings, electronic noise and sampled voices organized as madcap free-form pseudo-psychedelic jams on albums such as Imperial Household Orchestra (1996), Locations (1998), Session 9 (2001),
The 1990s, as the sampler became ubiquitous in popular music, witnessed a generation of sound sculptors who toyed with samples of the musical repertory, field recordings and acoustic instruments, for example John Wall (England), notably on Fractuur (1998), and Lorenzo "Timet" Brusci (Italy).
Carl Stone (USA, 1953) manipulated sources to slowly transform it into an apocalyptic maze of mirrors. Thus the concrete symphony Woo Lae Oak (1981) for the tremolo of a rubbed string and the tone of a blown bottle electronically processed, the evening-length collage Kamiya Bar (1992), based on sounds of Tokyo's city life, and the four-movement collage symphony Nyala (1995).
Bob Ostertag (USA, 1957) pioneered electronic improvisation when he played tape manipulation in a trio with rock guitarist Fred Frith and jazz drummer Charles Noyes on In Tundra (1980), one of the master essays in the fusion of musique concrete and free-jazz improvisation, and when he invented sampling (before the sampler was introduced) on Voice Of America (1981). As a musique-concrete artist, he sculpted Sooner or Later (1990), an ambitious set of variations on the crying of a Salvadorean boy, and the string quartet All The Rage (1992), that employs popular music, sounds of a riot and string instruments as sources. Say No More (1993) inaugurated a virtual jazz quartet with drummer Joey Baron, bassist Mark Dresser and percussionist Gerry Hemingway whose music was actually composed by a computer and sampler from separate individual performances. Like A Melody No Bitterness (1997) was a rare case of solo improvised music for sampler.
Jay Cloidt (USA, 1949) integrated concrete music and classical music in Life is Good And People Are Basically Decent (1995) and Eleven Windows (1998), with a chamber ensemble wittily alternating between quasi-classical passages, emulations of ordinary sounds and counterpoint to processed found sounds.
David Shea (USA, 1965), who had already established his reputation as one of the first turntablists (mainly in John Zorn's ensembles), further legitimized the sampler as an instrument with his works, both the ones for ensemble, such as Shock Corridor (1992) for Samples and instruments (Anthony Coleman on piano and organ, Shelley Hirsch on voice and electronics, Ikue Mori on drum-machine, Zeena Parkins on electric harp, Jim Staley on trombone and didjeridoo, Jim Pugliese on percussion), a kaleidoscopic merry-go-round of stylistic detours, and those for solo sampler, such as Alpha (1995), a real-time collage of record snippets, Satyricon (1997), a sophisticated survey of the collective unconscious, Sita's Walk Of Fire (2001), a demented study in frenzy and contrast.
Irr. App. (Ext.), the project of San Francisco-based composer Matt Waldron (USA, 1969), applied musique concrete to the anarchic, provocative aesthetic of surrealism, perfecting the fusion of field recordings, event music and electronic soundsculpting with the two lengthy suites of Ozeanische Gefuhle (Helen Scarsdale Agency, 2004), originally recorded in 2001.
Multimedia artist Alfredo Costa-Monteiro (Portugal, 1964) produced organic flows of sound by processing paper noises in Allotropie (2005) and by employing pickups and turntables in Z = 78 (2006). His digital symphony Epicycle (2008) for processed voice mixed techniques of "deep listening" (long slowly-evolving drones) and of musique concrete (bursts of abstract sound).
Danish-born German-resident sound sculptor Jacob Kirkegaard (1975) devoted his audio experiments to rediscover the "secret sounds" of the environment. Eldfjall (2005) used the sounds of the Earth itself (captured through microphones buried underground in a region of geothermal activity) to construct calmly dissonant music. 4 Rooms (2006) was an exercise in "deep listening" with a technique borrowed from Alvin Lucier and implemented in four abandoned rooms in the region of Chernobyl's nuclear disaster. Labyrinthitis (2008) was basically an exercise into paradoxically listening to the artist's ear, while musically producing a cascading stream of drones and overtones.
Lionel Marchetti (France, 1967) continued to pursue old-fashioned "musique concrete" (as in "tape collage") in the age of the laptop, but under the influence of ambient music: La Grande Vallee (1996), Train de Nuit (1999), Knud Un Nom du Serpent (1999), Portrait d'un Glacier (2000).
TurntablesThe turntablist as an instrumentalist was an artistic figure that migrated from hip-hop music into avantgarde, rock and jazz music during the 1990s. The turntable allowed musicians to achieve two goals (that were frequently overlapped): 1. "quote" from a musical source by another musician (and therefore create collages of quotations), and 2. produce sequences of extreme noise. Since the turntable is inherently an instrument that plays recorded music, whatever turntablists played was, in theory, an audio montage of found sounds, but, in practice, the sources were rarely intelligible.
Christian Marclay (USA, 1955) spearheaded the new trend towards "composing", performing and improvising using phonographic records. De facto, he applied John Cage's indeterminism and, in general, Dadaism's provocative principles of aesthetic demystification, to the civilization of recorded music. His specialty was to devise mechanisms for letting a record evolve a sound over time, typically by having people somehow degrade its sound (as in Record Without a Cover of 1985, a record sold with no cover and no jacket so that it keeps deteriorating after every playing, or Footsteps of 1990, a totally random composition resulting from hundreds of people walking on a record).
Turntablist, sampling engineer and sound sculptor Philip Jeck (Britain, 1952) fused the turntable creativity of Christian Marclay and David Shea with the sampling terrorism of John Oswald and Negativland. Obsessed with vintage vinyl, with the noises that the "performer" can extract from the process and with the "sounds" that the records contain, Jeck created the chaotic cacophony of Vinyl Requiem (1993) for 180 turntables and the solo improvisations titled Vinyl Coda (2000) in which snippets of old records are mixed with a jungle of turntable noises. His excursions into abstract art, such as 7 (2003), Songs For Europe (2004) and Sand (2008), eventually abandoned the discontinuous, glitchy format and turned crystalline, slowly-revolving, quasi-ambient soundscapes.
Otomo Yoshihide (Japan, 1959), Ground Zero's guitarist, reinvented himself as a turntablist and engaged in duets between the turntable and the laptop, such as Nobukazu Takemura's laptop on Turntables and Computers (2003), the turntable and the sampler, such as Sachiko M's sampler on Filament 1 (1998), or the turntable and another turntable, such as Martin Tetreault's turntable on Grrr (2004).
Post-jazz musicThe Japanese scene for free improvisers boomed in the 1970s thanks to a group of futuristic musicians. Motoharu Yoshizawa recorded solo acoustic bass improvisations on Cracked Mirrors (1975) but then developed a cacophonous five-string bass for more disjointed works such as Empty Hats (1994). The elegant style of percussionist Masahiko Togashi is documented on Rings (1975), on which he also played vibraphone and celesta. The most influential musician of this generation was probably guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi, who became one of the earliest noise guitar improvisers, recording extremely cacophonous works such as Free Form Suite (1972), with his New Directions combo, and the brutal solo improvisations of Action Direct (1985), Inanimate Nature (1991) and Three Improvised Variations on a Theme of Quadhafi (1991), recorded just before he died. Saxophonist Kaoru Abe (who died at 29) emerged through three galactic duets with Takayanagi: Kaitaiteki Koukan/ Deconstructive Communication (1970), Gradually Projection (1970) and Mass Projection (1970).
London in the 1970s was a strange place for jazz music. The influence of Derek Bailey (Britain's premier improviser) was gigantic, but somehow London developed a surreal and almost self-parodistic take on the whole "creative" scene. The works of some of the most austere improvisers were actually British humour at its best. Lol Coxhill, a saxophonist of the Canterbury school of progressive-rock (a member of Kevin Ayers's group) penned Ear Of The Beholder (1971), a chaotic mosaic of fragments in the British tradition of the nonsense, inspired by the musichall, nursery rhymes, dancehalls as well as free-jazz. An even more explicit tribute to street music, Welfare State (1975), was his political and aesthetic manifesto: avantgarde music for ordinary people. Coxhill's humane and poetic approach surfaced even in his most reckless improvisations: the Duet For Soprano Saxophone And Guitar off Fleas In Custard (1975), Wakefield Capers off Joy Of Paranoia (1978), 11/5/78 off Digswell Duets (1979). Steve Beresford debuted with The Bath Of Surprise (1977), which included pieces scored for toy instruments, bath water, whistles, tubes, euphonium and ukelele (besides piano, guitar and trumpet), and delivered the atonal duets of Double Indemnity (1980) with cellist Triston Honsinger. The British improvisers of this generation often flirted with folk, pop and rock music, emphasizing irony at the same time that they were embracing the most hostile techniques.
British guitarist Keith Rowe, a member of AMM, was one of the improvisers who most contributed to the definition of a new vocabulary for the guitar; or, better, for the "tabletop" guitar, a guitar plugged into the cacophony of the "perfectly ordinary reality" (usually, a barrage of radios and electronic devices). Starting with the chaotic, cryptic and apparently meaningless "guitar solos" of A Dimension of Perfectly Ordinary Reality (1990), Rowe played the guitar virtually in every possible manner and with every possible tool, to the point that the guitar became a mere object that could be used to produce unusual sounds. His body of work, that referenced abstract painting, Dada, Edgar Varese and John Cage, was the quintessence of "noise" guitar music. He updated his concepts to the digital age via the ensemble of of electronic improvisers Music In Movement Electronic Orchestra and their albums MIMEO (1998), Queue (1999) and Electric Chair + Table (2000), plus Rabbit Run (2002), a colossal jam with synthesizers and computers, and the Duos for Doris (2003) with AMM's pianist John Tilbury.
British violinist Jon Rose, debuting with two volumes of Solo Violin Improvisations (1978), experimented with numerous instruments, mostly solo, on Towards a Relative Music (1980), for electronics, vibes, gongs and even furniture, Relative String Music (1980) for solo violin or sarangi, Devils and Angels (1984) for amplified violin or cello. Then Paganini's Last Testimony (1988) for voice and violin marked the beginning of his mock neoclassical phase, continued with Die Beethoven Konversationen (1990) and 2 Real Violin Stories (1992). His surrealistic phase was highlighted by The Virtual Violin (1993), a comic "opera" relying on a rapid fire of samples triggered by more or less random sounds of the violin, and a series of radio works (that often sounded like Dada making fun of Dada making fun of humankind). The Fence (1998) was the first recording of the "Fence" series, suites for giant string installations. It all seemed to come together (John Cage-derived aleatory music, sense of humour, and free improvisation) on The Hyperstring Project (2000), a study on counterpoint for violin and interactive software.
British progressive-rock hero and Keith Rowe's disciple Fred Frith developed a technique of brief vignettes that straddled the border between dissonant and folk music on Gravity (1980) and Speechless (1981). In the meantime, starting with Guitar Solos (1974), he had joined the ranks of the improvisers. Through collaborations with guitarist Henry Kaiser, cellist Tom Cora, notably the folk-neoclassical-atonal fusion of Skeleton Crew's Learn To Talk (1984), harpist Zeena Parkins, saxophonist Lol Coxhill and keyboardist Bob Ostertag, percussionist Charles Noyes, as well as fellow Henry Cow member Chris Cutler, Frith perfected a collage-style art that juxtaposed improvised jams and cells of composed music. The compositional aspect also led him to compose chamber music such as Quartets (1993) and The Previous Evening (1998) that paid tribute to the American avantgarde of the previous decades (such as John Cage and Morton Feldman). The 56-minute suite Impur (may 1996) was performed and improvised by 100 musicians in a large building for an audience that was encouraged to wonder around. He also founded the trio Maybe Monday with Miya Masaoka on koto and electronics and with saxophonist Larry Ochs of the Rova Saxophone Quartet. Their Saturn's Finger (1999) was perhaps his most mature venture into creative jazz, containing three lengthy improvisations that sample ambient, industrial and exotic overtones. Another synthesis of sort was represented by the dance piece The Happy End Problem (2003).
New-age jazzSee also New-age jazz music (Darling, Horn, Shadowfax, Montreaux, Turtle Island String Quartet, Isham)
In the USA, the baroque wing of jazz-rock was the ruling paradigm for a whole generation raised in the post-Miles Davis world. By insisting on the timbres of the instruments and on spiritual atmospheres, they created a music of pure insinuation. It was the American equivalent of ECM's school in Europe. Paul Winter can be considered the catalyst of the movement.
Oregon were an offshoot of Paul Winter's Consort, featuring four of Winter's best discoveries: guitarist Ralph Towner, bassist Glen Moore, percussionist Collin Walcott, oboe player Paul Mc Candless. Their sophisticated interplay of improvisation and composition, jazz and classical music, world an folk music secreted the impressionist vignettes of Music Of Another Present Era (1972) and the complex spiritual journeys of Distant Hills (1973). Oregon continued to refine its baroque calligraphy and lyrical longing on Winter Light (1974) and Out Of The Woods (1978). A touch of electronics and jazzier overtones accounted for the more introspective and hermetic sound of Oregon (1983) and Crossing (1985). Solo works were no less seductive: Glen Moore's May 24, 1976 (1976), Collin Walcott's Grazing Dreams (1977), Paul McCandless' Navigator (1981). and especially Ralph Towner's Diary (1974) and Matchbook (1975), with Gary Burton on vibraphone.
Contrabassist David Friesen ran back and forth between mellow ethnic jazz-rock, such as on Star Dance (1976) or Waterfall Rainbow (1977), featuring Ralph Towner's acoustic guitar, John Stowell's electric guitar, Paul McCandless' oboe and Nick Brignola's flute, and spiritual new-age music, such as on Paths Beyond Tracing (1980).
Minnesota guitarist Steve Tibbetts crafted a dreamy, intimate version of jazz-rock, occasionally bordering on new-age music's spirituality, with Yr (1980) for overdubbed guitars and exotic percussion. On the other hand, Safe Journey (1984) and Exploded View (1986) bordered on psychedelic rock and heavy metal.
Canadian percussion ensemble Nexus launched a new genre for western music, ensemble percussion music, with Music of Nexus (1978).
Brazilian-born percussionist Nana Vasconcelos mixed the berimbau and the symphony orchestra on Saudades (1979), and used percussive sounds of the human body and voice for Zumbi (1983).
The white San Francisco-based Rova Saxophone Quartet was the alternative, experimental alter-ego of the more famous World Saxophone Quartet. Formed in 1977 by Jon Raskin (1954), Larry Ochs (1949), Andrew Voigt and Bruce Ackley, on respectively baritone, tenor, alto and soprano saxophone it straddled the border between free jazz and classical music of the 20th century. Raskin had already founded several multimedia projects and worked with composer John Adams. Their first concert became also their first album, Cinema Rovate' (august 1978), highlighted by Raskin's chaotic and cacophonous 21-minute Ride Upon the Belly of the Waters After The Bay (december 1978) with Italian percussionist Andrea Centazzo, the noise strategy of the group was perfected on The Removal of Secrecy (february 1979), particularly Ochs' 19-minute That's How Strong. There was method in their madness, but it was not easily detected within the dense structures of their scores. After Daredevils (february 1979) with guitarist Henry Kaiser, and the transitional This This This This (august 1979), with Raskin's eleven-minute Flamingo Horizons, Invisible Frames (october 1981) boasted another peak of their expressionist art, Voigt's 22-minute Narrow Are the Vessels. Ochs' 19-minute Paint Another Take of the Shootpop, off As Was (april 1981), was dedicated to both classical composer Olivier Messiaen and soul vocalist Otis Redding. Rova's style was becoming more accessible while still being abstract, absurd and atonal. After the live double-LP Saxophone Diplomacy (june 1983), with a 24-minute Detente or Detroit, and the Steve Lacy tribute of Favorite Street (november 1983), the Rova Saxophone Quartet sculpted the titanic jams of Crowd (june 1985), such as the 19-minute The Crowd, Ochs' 29-minute Knife In the Times and Raskin's 16-minute Terrains. TM, ®, Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi. All rights reserved.
New York's trio Borbetomagus produced hurricanes of free-jazz music for two saxophones (Jim Sauter and Don Dietrich), guitar (Donald Miller) and electronic distortion. Their delirious improvised bacchanals constituted a sort of "baroque" style of the ugly and the noisy. The devastating early "concordats" of Borbetomagus (1980) and Work On What Has Been Spoiled (1981), the cacophonous symphony Barbet Wire Maggot (1983), perhaps their most extreme statement, the abstract and grotesque soundpainting of Borbeto Jam (1985), that seemed to exhaust the expressive power of the "concordats", and Fish That Sparkling Bubble (1987), a ferocious collaboration with noise-meister Voice Crack (Norbert Moeslang and Andy Guhl), had little in common with the traditional quest for "sound" in jazz, a quest for an atmospheric, romantic and, ultimately, pleasant sound.
Voice Crack, the duo of Swiss musicians Andy Guhl (percussion and bass) and Norbert Moeslang (reeds), made music with broken objects found in garbage cans and adopted the extreme improvisation of free-jazz. Albums such as Knack On (1982) and Concerto for Cracked Everyday-Electronics and Chamber Orchestra (1994) were Dadaist acts of musical rebellion.
Post-jazz creativity in New YorkNew York experienced a "new wave" of musical creativity around the mid 1970s. Rock music was reborn thanks to a multitude of independent musicians who avoided the mainstream cliches. Jazz and avantgarde music felt the effects of the revolution.
New York-based saxophonist John Zorn emerged from the milieu of the solo improvisers, but his concept of "improvisation" was closer to John Cage's aleatory music than to Ornette Coleman's free-jazz. Game-pieces such as Archery (1979) and Pool (1980) were partially composed improvisations that defined rules within which a cast of improvisers could improvise (improvisation being bound more by mathematical than emotional constraints, as in Anthony Braxton). True to Cage's indeterminate aesthetics, Zorn composed uncomposed music and conducted unrepeatable performances. Zorn embraced the aesthetic of the new wave and punk-rock with the hysterical and laconic fragments of Locus Solus (1983), that employed both jazz and rock musicians plus turntablists. His demented saxophone playing stood out as a major and shocking stylitic innovation. Cobra (1987), originally conceived in 1984, marked another zenith of Zorn's chaotic and abrasive vision, a dadaist symphony that, despite the pretentious premises, was rather the musical equivalent of a Marx Brothers' slapstick. The studio version, a ten-movement suite with neoclassical titles, featured Jim Staley on trombone, Carol Emanuel and Zeena Parkins on harps, Bill Frisell, Elliott Sharp and Arto Lindsay on guitars, Anthony Coleman and Wayne Horvitz on organ, piano, harpsichord and celeste, David Weinstein on sampling keyboards, Guy Klucevsek on accordion, Bob James on tapes, Christian Marclay on turntables, Bobby Previte on percussion. Vestiges of popular music, from Jimi Hendrix's glissandos to cajun accordion, kept surfacing with frantic exuberance from the shroud of random dissonace, perhaps a metaphor for the post-modernist conflict between nostalgia and futurism, amid a concrete collage of power-drills and electronic oscillations, jackhammer rhythms and expressionist overtones. A series of hyper-kinetic collages and Spillane (1986), a melodic fantasia that paid homage to the atmospheres of film noir, announced the new Zorn: the post-modernist (or, better, cubist) artist who "quoted", deconstructed and reconstructed musical stereotypes while injecting the cacophony, frenzy and violence of the 20th century. That artist moved closer to the world of rock music with Naked City (1989), an enterprise with guitarists Bill Frisell and Fred Frith, keyboardist Wayne Horvitz and drummer Joey Baron offering irriverent jazz-surf-punk fusion music that referenced a broad spectrum of musical stereotypes, albeit drenched in urban neurosis. Zorn's works now fully revealed the influnce of the epileptic discontinuity of Carl Stalling's cartoon soundtracks, literally applied on Cynical Hysterie Hour (1990), one of his most ambitious attempts at deconstructing the western musical civilization. Even more uncompromising, Naked City's Torture Garden (1990) and Heretic (1992), that added the Boredoms's psychotic vocalist Yamatsuka Eye to the original quintet, as well as Pain Killer's The Guts Of A Virgin (1991) and especially Buried Secrets (1992), for a "jazzcore" trio with bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Mick Harris, were kaleidoscopic frescoes of unfulfilled semiotic events. Zorn's combinatorial exercises and cut-up techniques were rather pursued in his chamber music, which yielded large-scale works such as Kristallnacht (1993), Redbird (1995), Aporias (1998) and Chimeras (2001), as well as several string quartets.
Hyper-active New York-based guitarist Elliott Sharp was perhaps the most incoherent experimentalist of his age, almost adopting a different technique for each recording, but his wildly multiform activity came to symbolize the ultimate synthesis of dissonance, repetition and improvisation, the three cardinal points of the classical, rock and jazz avantgarde. Sharp emerged from the sociomusical revolution of the new wave of rock music and entered a jazz world that was still recovering from the destructive process of the creative improvisers. His early groups, such as Ism (1981), with Bill Laswell on bass and Charles Noyes on drums, Carbon (1984), with Lesli Dalaba on trumpet and Charles Noyes on percussion, and Semantics (1985), with Sam Bennett on drums and Ned Rothenberg on saxophone, applied cacophony and deconstruction to funk, blues and rock. Soon he was toying with string quartets, notably in Tessalation Row (1986), the computer and the sampler in Virtual Stance (1986) ethnic music in Larynx (1987), and, last but not least, Mathematics, notably in Marco Polo's Argali (1985). By the end of the decade Sharp had returned to his rock roots with the new Carbon, featuring Zeena Parkins on harp and frequent ventures into punk-rock and heavy-metal, as documented on Datacide (1990) and Tocsin (1991). At the same time, he continued to score works for chamber ensembles (particularly string quartets) and digital equipment, such as the wildly dissonant Cryptid Fragments (1993) for cello, violin and computer. Few composers roamed a broader spectrum of the musical universe.
While drawing from a kaleidoscope of rock and jazz guitar techniques as well as from the chaotic structures of Charles Ives' symphonies and Frank Zappa's dadaistic pieces, Eugene Chadbourne was a free improviser whose roots were in rural white music, the kind espoused and expanded by John Fahey's avantgarde folk program. But his demented sense of humour gave Solo Acoustic Guitar (1975) and especially the Collected Symphonies (1985) for guitar, not to mention his pieces for home-made instruments and his covers of rock and folk classics, a tone of punk irreverence. The same tone permeated the piece for orchestra 2000 Statues and the English Channel (1979), featuring an all-star cast of improvisers (Lesli Dalaba on trumpet, Toshinori Kondo on trumpet, John Zorn on saxophone, Bob Ostertag on synthesizer, Steve Beresford on toy instruments, Fred Frith on guitar, LaDonna Smith on violin, Tom Cora on cello, Wayne Horvitz on piano, Andrea Centazzo on drums, etc), the country & western opera Jesse Helms Busted for Pornography (1996), and assorted compositions for musique concrete, chamber jazz ensemble, symphony orchestra, gamelan ensemble, etc.
San Francisco-based guitarist Henry Kaiser adopted Derek Bailey's approach to solo improvisation but ever since Aloha (1981), that includes a remix ante-litteram, showed the difference that the American tradition stemming from John Cage could make: it resulted in virtuoso and irreverent cacophony. Ditto for the shamanic music of Invite The Spirit (1984), ostensibly chamber music for percussion, harp and guitar. His ventures into rock music, such as Marrying For Money (1986), Devil In The Drain (1987) and Crazy-backwards Alphabet (1987), sounded like bizarre revisitations of the history of the genre.
Cellist Tom Cora formed the original Curlew line-up with bassist Bill Laswell, guitarist Nicky Skopelitis, drummer Bill Bacon and reedman George Cartwright, that recorded Curlew (1981), and joined Nimal (1987), a combo formed by Swiss multi-instrumentalist Jean "Momo" Rossel that straddled the line between jazz, folk and progressive-rock. Cora continued to roam a broad horizon, from Third Person, the trio of Cora, percussionist Samm Bennett and saxophonist Umezu Kazutoki that recorded Lucky Water (1995), to the abstract punk-noise experiment Roof, that recorded The Untraceable Cigar (1996).
William Hooker was a drummer who remained fundamentally faithful to the aesthetic of free-jazz, starting with Is Eternal Life (1978), a set of collaborations with other improvisers, and maturing via the solo tours de force of Subconscious (1992) and Radiation (1994).
Percussionist Charles Noyes conceived some of the more cerebral improvised music on Free Mammals (1980), for guitar and percussion, and The World And The Raw People (1983), featuring John Zorn and Henry Kaiser.
Alto saxophonist Tim Berne coined a neurotic language that mixed composition and improvisation. Songs And Rituals In Real Time (1982) sounded like a compromise between melodic tunesmith and cerimonial music of primitive civilizations. It was the prelude to the captivating balance of complex structure and anarchic solos achieved on Fulton Street Maul (1987), featuring Hank Roberts on cello, Bill Frisell on electric guitar and Alex Cline on percussion, a pastiche of pieces that could be both wildly dissonant, melancholy romantic and frantically tribal. Berne's musical chaos increased on Sanctified Dreams (1987), for a sax-trumpet-cello quintet, and reached a zenith on Fractured Fairy Tales (1989), recorded by a sextet of sax, trumpet (Herb Robertson), cello (Hank Roberts), percussion (Joey Baron), contrabass (Mark Dresser) and violin (Mark Feldmann), and containing Evolution Of A Pearl. Here the music transformed into a devilish, cartoonish, clownish post-modernist exercise in the grotesque vein of Frank Zappa. Berne then proceeded to apply the same twisted and schizophrenic logic to different combinations of musicians and styles: Caos Totale, a sextet or septet including bassist Mark Dresser, trombonist Steve Swell, trumpet and flute player Herb Robertson, drummer Bobby Previte and guitarist Marc Ducret, was devoted to lengthy and convoluted compositions on Pace Yourself (1991), with Legend of P1, and Nice View (1994), with It Could Have Been A Lot Worse and Impacted Wisdom; while Miniature, i.e. the trio of Berne, Joey Baron on drums and Hank Roberts on cello, veered towards futuristic ethno-jazz-funk music on Miniature (1988) and I Can't Put My Finger On It (1991); and finally the Science Friction Band (a sax-guitar-keyboards-drums quartet) documented the most abstract aspect of Berne's art on Science Friction (2002) and The Sublime And (2003), with The Shell Game. Berne's intriguing game of composition and improvisation was further expanded on The Shell Game (2002), with the colossal Thin Ice, and The Sevens (2002), with the colossal Quicksand.
Despite keeping a low profile, Lesli Dalaba (a member of Wayne Horvitz's, Elliott Sharp's and La Monte Young's ensembles) contributed to renovate the vocabulary of the instrument with a style that made the cerebral sound lyrical. Her own compositions surfaced much later on albums such as Core Samples (1992) and Timelines (2004), featuring a quintet of veteran female musicians (Zeena Parkins on harp, Amy Denio on vocals, Ikue Mori on keyboards, Carla Kihlstedt on violin).
Jewish drummer Joey Baron, who played with Bill Frisell (1988), Tim Berne (1989) and John Zorn (1989), debuted as a leader on Tongue in Groove (may 1991) and Raised Pleasure Dot (february 1993), both in a bizarre trio (Barondown) with trombonist Steve Swell and tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin performing sets of brief unpredictable sketches. Having proven how little he cared for the conventions of rhythm, Baron proceeded to form Down Home, a much more orthodox quartet with alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe, guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Ron Carter whose Down Home (april 1997) featured longer pieces such as Little Boy, Wide Load and What that straddled the border between free jazz and rhythm'n'blues. In the meantime, Barondown also changed format, delivering two lengthy and convoluted skits, Games On A Train and Sittin' On A Cornflake on Crackshot (august 1995). Down Home, instead, crafted We'll Soon Find Out (april 2000), in an even more conventional vein (either a postmodernist take on bebop or a melodic detour). TM, ®, Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi. All rights reserved.
Post-jazz soloists and hyper-fusionPercussionist Kip Hanrahan came to prominence with a project of "neighborhood music" which looked like the urban, American equivalent of Lol Coxhill's "welfare state" project. Coup De Tete (1981) and Vertical Currency (1985), relying on Latin rhythms and melodies, offered orchestral exotic jazz-rock performed by an all-star cast.
Violinist Henry Flynt launched an ambitious project to found a "new american ethnic music" that fused avantgarde music (particularly the hypnotic aspects of minimalism and free-jazz) and hillbilly/country music, best represented by You Are My Everlovin' (1980) and Celestial Power (1981).
California contrabassist Bob Wasserman borrowed from David Grisman's progressive country, acid-rock and free jazz to pen his first album Solo (1983) and the Trios (1994) that featured rock, jazz, folk and blues musicians.
Violinist Malcolm Goldstein bridged generations and techniques with The Seasons - Vermont (1983), a collage for natural sounds and improvising dissonant ensemble.
The career of drummer Sam Bennett bridged the solo percussion album Metafunctional (1984), and the abstract soundpainting of Skist, a duo with Haruna Ito that wed percussions with sampling and electronics, via the new-wave groups he co-founded with guitarist Elliott Sharp and saxophonist Ned Rothenberg, such as Semantics.
Trombonist Jim Staley tested different trios of musicians on Mumbo Jumbo (1986), with keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, guitarist Elliott Sharp, vocalist Shelley Hirsch, drummer Samm Bennett, guitarist Bill Frisell, percussionist Ikue Mori, guitarist Fred Frith and saxophonist John Zorn.
Reed player Ned Rothenberg specialized in an art of demonic solos and duets, best documented by Trespass (1986), but his crowning achievement was a big-band effort, Power Lines (1995), that explored dense, unpredictable structures replete with his favorite rhythmic experiments.
New York-born accordionist Guy Klucevsek deligthed the avantgarde world with a combination of austere compositions, such as The Flying Pipe Organ for multiple accordions, off Scenes From a Mirage (1987), and the eight-movement Citrus My Love for accordion and chamber ensemble, off Citrus My Love (1995), and surreal folk dance scores such as Union Hall, off Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse (1991).
As removed as possible from the austere tone of the solo creative music, guitarist Bill Frisell, a veteran of Paul Motian's ensemble, assimilated rock and jazz innovations while harking back to old-time church and folk music, and sometimes to marching bands and cafe orchestras, on In Line (1983), a collection of guitar solos and duets with bassist Arild Andersen, and Rambler (1985), that featured trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, tuba player Bob Stewart, bassist Jerome Harris and drummer Paul Motian. The heavy-metal jazz trio Power Tools, with Ronald Shannon Jackson on drums and Melvin Gibbs on bass, that debuted on Strange Meeting (1987), highlighted Frisell's vast vocabulary of guitar techniques and ambient cacophony. In the meantime, Frisell's postmodernist art peaked with the unstable chamber music of Lookout For Hope (1988), featuring Hank Roberts on cello and Joey Baron on drums, and especially Before We Were Born (1989), featuring a multitude of distinguished guests (guitarist Arto Lindsay, drummer Joey Baron, keyboardist Peter Scherer, saxophonists Julius Hemphill and Doug Wieselman, cellist Hank Roberts) and offering a broad range of stylistic experiments, from bluegrass to noise. Is That You (1990), featuring Wayne Horvitz on keyboards, Joey Baron on drums, and Dave Hofstra on tuba and bass, and especially Where in the World (1991), virtually a continuation of Lookout For Hope, were calmer works that sounded like nostalgic tributes to his civilization, albeit distorted by evergreen strains of neurosis.
Guitarist David Torn, a former member of the Everyman Band (with Martin Fogel on saxophones) bridged Jimi Hendrix and Sonny Sharrock when he coined the space and psychedelic jazz-rock style of Best Laid Plans (1985) and the baroque, oneiric and cerebral style of Cloud About Mercury (1987), featuring Bill Bruford on drums, Tony Levin on bass and Mark Isham on trumpet. He left behind the last vestiges of progressive-rock and jazz-rock on Tripping Over God (1995), an electroacoustic post-rock industrial ambient blues raga crafted by augmenting the guitar with all sorts of sound effects and overdubs, and What Means Solid Traveller? (1996), with stronger elements of electronics, world-music, heavy-metal and noise.
The music of cellist Hank Roberts was mainly influenced by free-jazz but also incorporated elements of soul, blues and classical music. His technique at the cello often mimicked other instruments, both western (harp), rock (guitar) and eastern (sarod, kora), while his falsetto indulged in metaphysical croons a` la Robert Wyatt. Roberts' output ranged from the experimental Black Pastels (1988), featuring guitarist Bill Frisell, saxophonist Tim Berne, drummer Joey Baron and three trombonists, to Arcado (1989), a string trio with Mark Dresser and Mark Feldman, to the compositions for large ensemble of The Truth and Reconciliation Show (2002), but perhaps his zenith was Saturday Sunday, off Little Motor People (1993), a veritable collage of musical styles of the American heartland in the tradition of Aaron Copland and Charles Ives.
New York-based steel-pans virtuoso Andy Narell introduced Trinidad's national instrument to jazz music with the exuberant, melodic pan-ethnic sonatas of The Hammer (1987) and Little Secrets (1989).
Former Santana's drummer Michael Shrieve built a unique repertory that focused on percussion. Energetic and creative albums such as In Suspect Terrain (1986), Stiletto (1989), featuring Mark Isham on trumpet and Andy Sumners and David Torn on guitars, and Big Picture (1989), which is virtually a concerto for an orchestra of percussion instruments, relied on oneiric jazz-rock tours de force. Octave Of The Holy Innocents (1993), featuring Jonas Hellborg on bass and Buckethead on guitar, and Fascination (1995), featuring Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz, lent him a new life in avantgarde jazz.
Classically-trained clarinetist Don Byron erupted on the scene of New York's avantgarde in 1991 thanks to a series of collaborations with the established protagonists (such as Bobby Previte) and to his own Tuskegee Experiments (july 1991), a set of colorful and passionate pieces for various configurations that even featured poet Sadiq (Tuskegee Strutter's Ball, Next Love, Diego Rivera). Anchored to a relatively traditional sextet (cornet, clarinet, piano, bass, drums and congas), Music for Six Musicians (1995) delved into Byron's obsession with Latin music, adding strong political overtones (Ross Perot, Rodney King, Al Sharpton). Even more conventional was the live No-Vibe Zone (january 1996) for a quintet with guitar and piano (Sex/Work, Next Love, The Allure of Entanglement). After a lightweight tribute to the swing era, Bug Music (may 1996), Byron lampooned funk music on Nu Blaxploitation (january 1998), again ruined by spoken-word segments. The more serious Romance With The Unseen (march 1999), by a quartet with guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Jack DeJohnette, aimed for a romantic mood (the eleven-minute Homegoing). After toying with classical and soul music on A Fine Line (2000), and reenacting the Latin-tinged Music for Six Musicians on You Are #6 (october 2001), with Dark Room, Byron switched to tenor saxophone on Ivey-Divey (september 2004) in order to deconstruct the era of Lester Young.
Eric Glick-Rieman is a virtuoso of the prepared electric piano, as documented on the solo improvisations of Ten To The Googolplex (2001), and coined a sophisticated language and vocabulary of multifaceted impressionistic chamber music on the Trilogy From The Outside, composed between 2002 and 2009, a three-part colossus for prepared piano, acoustic piano, toy piano, celeste, melodica, a self-made bowed instrument and found objects (the objects being used to elicit unorthodox timbres from the instruments).
Post-jazz big bandsBut the second half of the 1990s saw a resurgence of music for largest ensembles, away from the solo creative music of the 1970s/1980s.
Trumpet player Butch (Lawrence Douglas) Morris was perhaps the most revolutionary conductor of big bands of the post-swing era. An alumnus in Los Angeles of Horace Tapscott's Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, itself an outgrowth of the Underground Musicians' Association (UGMA), formed in 1961, Morris relocated to New York in 1976. The aim of multimedia events such as Current Trends In Racism (1986) was to transform the performance of an orchestral work into an improvised duet between the conductor (Morris) and the orchestra (Frank Lowe on tenor sax, John Zorn on alto sax, Zeena Parkins on harp, Tom Cora on cello, Christian Marclay on turntables, and others on vibraphone, piano, guitar, percussion, voice). The conductor expressed himself through gestures and the orchestra expressed itself through sounds. Both contributed creatively to defining the result. Thus the concepts of improvisation, composition and performance get blurred to the point that the composer is an improviser, the improvisers are as much in charge as the conductor, etc. This album contained Conduction 1, where "conduction" means "conducted improvisation" (the conductor uses both signs and gestures to direct the development of the composition). The music was as "un-orchestral" as it could be. The instruments were basically playing against each other rather than together. There was little or no sense of synchronicity, harmony or coherence. The sheer amount of instruments made it virtually impossible to achieve any degree of organic improvisation. Morris' orchestra redefined counterpoint as a chaotic eruption of timbres, and Morris' counterpoint redefined the orchestra as a loose assembly of individual urges. The focus was in finding a balance between the conductor's stream of consciousness and the collective stream of consciousness of the players. That goal entailed developing a common vocabulary of musical blocks, and most of the piece was just that: the slow, painful development of a new language of piano clusters, guttural moans, sax squeals, etc. The idea of conducting a big band of improvisers was further developed on Dust To Dust (november 1990), that toyed with every aspect of musical presentation, and Testament (1995), whose "conductions" experimented with different combinations of instruments.
Wayne Horvitz was "the" composer of his generation. While everybody else seemed more and more fascinated by freer and freer improvisation, in 1986 Wayne Horvitz formed with his wife Robin Holcomb the New York Composers' Orchestra to perform compositions for jazz orchestra. But his main achievement might be the President, formed in 1985 with Bobby Previte, Elliot Sharp, Bill Frisell and David Hofstra, who released two seminal albums, Bring Yr Camera (1989) and Miracle Mile (1992), offering cohesive songs built out of twisted rhythms and melodies, with frequent detours into psychedelic rock, blues and ethnic music. Horvitz then continued to explore sampled-laden progressive-rock with Pigpen, as on V As In Victim (1994), trip-hop and acid-jazz with Zony Mash, as on Brand Spankin' New (1998), eerie soundscapes for piano, violin/viola (Eyvind Kang), trombone, drum-machine and electronics with the 4+1 Ensemble on From a Window (2001), etc.
Drummer Bobby Previte found a bizarre compromise between ECM's baroque jazz and Frank Zappa's nonsense rock on Bump The Renaissance (1986), for a jazz quintet (Lenny Pickett on saxophone and clarinet, David Hofstra on bass, Richard Schulman on piano, Tom Varner on French horn) and running the gamut from avantgarde to jazz to rock to blues to ragtime music, and on Pushing The Envelope (1987), featuring Hofstra, Varner, Wayne Horvitz on keyboards and Marty Ehrlich on tenor sax. The more electronic and "industrial" Dull Bang, Gushing Sound, Human Shriek (1987), entirely played by Previte on keyboards and percussion, displayed his skills as an oneiric and apocalyptic arranger. His eclectic and iconoclastic imagination was in full bloom on Claude's Late Morning (1988), featuring Horvitz, Bill Frisell on guitar, Joey Baron on drums, Ray Anderson on tuba, Guy Klucevsek on accordion (plus banjo, steel guitar, harp, sampler), and especially Empty Suits (1990), a cauldron that reached back to his chaotic beginnings with much expanded orchestration (Robin Eubanks on trombone, Marty Ehrlich on alto sax, Elliott Sharp on guitar, David Shea on turntables, plus electronic keyboards, harp, guitar, vocals, steel guitar). His knack for assembling creative ensembles was responsible also for the calmer, more complex and more melodic Weather Clear Track Fast (1991), featuring Anthony Davis on piano, Robin Eubanks on trombone, Anthony Cox on bass, Graham Haynes on cornet, Don Byron and Marty Ehrlich on clarinets and saxophones. His skills as a composer, on the other hand, emerged from the four lengthy compositions of Slay The Suitors (1994), credited to the Empty Suits (Eubanks, Horvitz, Steve Gaboury on keyboards, bass and percussion) the keyboards-heavy incursions into melodic jazz of Hue And Cry (1994), credited to Weather Clear Track Fast (Byron, Cox, Davis, Ehrlich, Eubanks, Haynes, and Larry Goldings on organ), and many other projects with different names (Latin For Travelers, Ponga, Bump), each devoted to a different style (progressive-rock, funk music, New Orleans' band music). Previte's progressive embracing of neoclassical structures peaked with The 23 Constellations of Joan Miro (2002), a suite of 23 lyrical chamber vignettes performed by an all-star cast.
Multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich (mainly clarinet, saxophone, and flute) bridged the worlds of traditional jazz, creative improvisation, melodic music and avantgarde classical music on Pliant Plaint (1988), with Bobby Previte on drums, Anthony Cox on bass and Stan Strickland on sax, and especially Traveller's Tale (1990), with a similar quartet, elegant and eccentric, linear and imaginative, and Side by Side (1991), played by Horvitz on piano, Cox on bass, Frank Lacy on trombone and Andrew Cyrille on drums. His proximity to chamber music was emphasized by the Dark Woods Ensemble on Emergency Peace (1991), Can You Hear a Motion (1994), performed by Stan Strickland on sax and flute, Michael Formaniek on bass and Bobby Previte on drums, and Just Before the Dawn (1995), both highlighted by lyrical cello-tinged "songs". That program was continued by the Traveler's Tales, a quartet of two horns and rhythm section, on Malinke's Dance (2000), given an almost baroque format on The Long View (2002), a seven-movement suite that managed to display both neoclassical and jazz overtones, and stretched to the limit on News On The Rail (2005), one of his most erudite studies on timbral counterpoint (for a sextet with three horns, piano, bass and drums).
Chicago-based saxophone and clarinet player Ken Vandermark formed a quartet that indulged in the ambiguity of playing progressive-rock for a jazz audience on albums such as Big Head Eddie (1993) and Solid Action (1994). Vandermark 5, instead, played visceral free-jazz at neurotic speed on Single Piece Flow (1997), Target Dr Flag (1998), Simpatico (1999) and Burn The Incline (2000). Vandermark's wild sax style became a classic on Sound In Action Trio's Design In Time (1999). Vandermark then embraced the trend towards chamber jazz and big-band jazz with the Territory Band, whose spectacular line-ups created music that was both accessible and unpredictable on Transatlantic Bridge (2001), Atlas (2003) and Map Theory (2005).
British reed player Paul Dunmall, a member of Keith Tippett's Mujician, also led his own octet, that recorded the five-part suite Bebop Starburst (1999), and toyed with the big-band format on I Wish You Peace (Cuneiform, 2004), both milestones of revisionist avant-garde jazz that run the gamut from soulful melodies to abrasive solo, from dissonant counterpoint to noir ambience, from fanfares to litanies.
Denman Maroney introduced a new kind of prepared piano with the three solo piano sonatas of Hyperpiano (1998) and then employed it for the six-part chamber concerto Fluxations (2001), mixing improvisation and "pulse field", a polyrhythmic sequence denoted as a rhythmic relationship between instruments.
Chicago-based saxophonist, flutist and clarinetist Scott Rosenberg, a pupil of Anthony Braxton, expanded the vocabulary of jazz music with an anarchic polyphony of extended techniques and illicit sounds, best represented by V - Solo Improvisations (2001) and by the Skronktet West's El (2003), that documented an art straddling the border between tradition and insanity, rationality and randomness, semiotics and psychoanalysis, sense and nonsense. His works for large ensembles, such as the ones on IE (1999) and Creative Orchestra Music - Chicago 2001 (2003), ran the gamut from dramatic, apocalyptic dissonance, reminiscent of Schoenberg's and Webern's chamber music, to slow, requiem-like multi-drone gradually-ascending fanfares, reminiscent of Gorecki and Part.
Yugoslavian-born pianist Stevan Tickmayer, a composer of chamber music in various settings, co-founded the Science Group with percussionist Chris Cutler, bassist Bob Drake and assorted guests. Their A Mere Coincidence (1999) and Spoors (2003) are yet another take on the fusion of chamber and improvised music.
The return of the jazz improviserNew York-based saxophonist and clarinetist Marty Fogel penned Many Bobbing Heads At Once (1989), featuring David Torn on guitar, Michael Shrieve on drums and Dean Johnson on bass, a lyrical work incorporating and mixing elements of funk, pop, samba, Africa, reggae and bebop music.
Latvian collective ZGA specialized in playing found, self-made and traditional instruments in a percussive way, starting with ZGA (1989).
The Necks, an Australian combo formed by three veteran session-men (pianist Chris Abrahams, drummer Tony Buck, bassist Lloyd Swanton), specialized in lengthy, trancey jams anchored to simple melodic lines and sometimes propelled by swinging, funky grooves: Sex (1989), the archetype of how cascading piano notes coalesced in hypnotic streams of casual tones, Hanging Gardens (1999), a sublime realization of a bridge between minimalist repetition and jazz improvisation, Aether (2001), perhaps the most "ambient" of their hour-long pieces, See Through (2005), a showcase of piano jazz soliloquy.
New York-based Zeena Parkins, a veteran of several progressive-rock outfits, was the harpist who introduced the instrument in the context of improvised music. She was also the closest thing to a composer of chamber music within New York's "creative" milieu. Something Out There (1987) collected solos, duos and trios with the likes of drummer Ikue Mori, cellist Tom Cora, turntablist Christian Marclay, percussionist Samm Bennett, etc. The prototype for her lenghty compositions was Ursa's Door (1992), scored for chamber trio (harp, violin, cello), guitar and percussion, with Ikue Mori's computer-generated "concrete" sounds haunting Parkins' alien harp-based soundscapes. The ten-movement suite Isabelle (1995), the nine-movement suite Maul (1995) and the six-movement suite Blue Mirror (1996), all scored for small chamber ensembles (usually harp, piano, cello, violin, percussion), displayed her skills at counterpoint and conducting improvisers, while the three suites of Pan-Acousticon (1999) for found sounds, strings and percussion, as well as the impressionistic/futuristic vignettes of Phantom Orchard (2004), a collaboration with Ikue Mori, moved her art towards more and more abstract and looser structures. Persuasion for string quartet and electronic processing and the three-movement Visible/Invisible for string quartet, off Necklace (2006), were stoic exploration of the sonic space, from sharp drones to percussive dissonance.
The style of Japanese trumpet player Toshinori Kondo evolved from jazz improvisation, best represented by Die Like a Dog (1994), a quartet with saxophonist Peter Brotzmann, bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake, towards solo electronic trumpet meditations such as the six-movement suite Panta Rhei (1994).
Russian pianist Sergey Kuryokhin offered a dadaistic, hysterical and acrobatic fusion of avantgarde classical, jazz and rock music with his satirical multimedia events of "pop mechanics" and on solo-piano albums such as The Ways of Freedom (april 1981) Some Combinations Of Fingers And Passion (june 1991). His Pop Mekhanika Orchestra pioneered a cultural fusion of the arts ("total performance").
The second life of Love Child's, Blue Humans' and Run On's prog-rock guitarist Alan Licht concentrated on anarchic and dadaistic noise with the lengthy improvisations of Betty Page, off Sink The Aging Process (1994), Rabbi Sky, off Rabbi Sky (1999), and Remington Khan, off Plays Well (2001).
Los Angeles-based guitarist Nels Cline formed a trio to bridge rock and jazz in a fashion similar to what done by Bill Frisell on albums such as Chest (1996), but it was The Inkling (2000), recorded by a quartet (with Zena Parkins on harp), that showed how to redefine fusion in the age of post-rock.
New York-based trombonist Peter Zummo coined a deviant fusion of chamber music and free-jazz on Experimenting with Household Chemicals (1995).
Argentinean clarinetist and alto saxophonist Guillermo Gregorio basically played classical avantgarde in a jazz context, such as on Approximately (1996) and Ellipsis (1997), both for small ensemble.
Boston-based trumpet player Greg Kelley unleashed the improvised noise of Trumpet (2000) and If I Never Meet You In This Life (2002), besides attempting a fusion of concrete music and free-jazz on Field Recordings (2000). Nmperign, the duo of Greg Kelley on trumpet and Bhob Rainey on saxophone, developed a program of absurd, cacophonous, irrational duets from Nmperign (1998) to We Devote Every Effort To Offer You The Best That You Deserve To Have For Your Enjoyment (2003).
American-Korean violinist Eyvind Kang, based in Seattle, was one of the most eclectic musicians of his generation, playing in both rock, jazz and classical contexts, as documented by the suite The Story Of Iceland (2000), by the collection of chamber works Virginal Co-ordinates (2003) and by the cantata Athlantis (2007).
The digital improviserChicago-based tabletop guitarist and synthesizer player Kevin Drumm developed a style that stands as the guitar equivalent of digital/glitch electronica: an art of static soundscapes roamed by sporadic, arctic, minimal events. The result is often a psychoacoustic study on flow of time. Sonic odysseys such as the seven untitled tracks of Kevin Drumm (1997), Cynicism, off Second (1999), and Organ, off Comedy (2000), took the ideas of Keith Rowe and Fred Frith and relocated them to another era and another planet. On the other hand, the brutal orgies of Sheer Hellish Miasma (2002) and Land of Lurches (2003) seemed to renege on Drumm's aesthetic of silence.
Swiss percussionist Guenter Mueller (Günter Müller) established his credentials as an electro-acoustic improviser via a series of duets, trios and quartets beyond the conventions of (classical, jazz, rock) traditions, blending naturally into the soundscapes created by his collaborators (Christian Marclay, Jim O'Rourke, Taku Sugimoto, Otomo Yoshihide, Voice Crack, Keith Rowe, Taku Sugimoto, Oren Ambarchi). Different kinds of "noise" fueled his Eight Landscapes (2003).
The eclectic San Francisco-based composer Miya Masaoka expanded the techniques of the improvisers with Compositions/Improvisations (1993) for solo koto and While I Was Walking I Heard A Sound (MM, 2003) for mixed choir of 100-150 voices. while straddling the border between jazz, classical, electronic and Japanese music on What is the Difference Between Stripping and Playing the Violin? (1998), and mixed solo improvisation and field recordings on For Birds, Planes & Cello (2005).
Ben Neill played the "mutantrumpet" (an electro-acoustic instrument producing a Jon Hassell-ian tone) both in LaMonte Young's ensemble and on his own Green Machine (1995).
Japanese guitarist and cellist Taku Sugimoto learned the importance of silence on his Unaccompanied Violoncello Solo (1994) and Fragments of Paradise (1997) and Opposite (1998) for solo guitar. He then applied those lessons to post-rock and digital-noise settings. By the same token, his austere Chamber Music (2003) mixed western timbric exploration and eastern rarefied meditation. Both his solo, group and chamber music was based around silence, not sound, and thus each piece tended to be an incredibly slow and sparse flow of tones. Silence prevailed over sound. In a sense, his works were pauses interrupted by sounds, rather than sounds with long pauses. He often let background noise take center stage, his guitar occasionally interrupting the coughing, the footsteps and the raindrops with a distant strum. The improvising guitarist seemed to meditate on the sounds that he heard, and only every now and then did he emit a sign of life.
Tyondai Braxton improvised the digital/electronic tours de force of The Grow Gauge (1999) and especially History That Has No Effect (2002), that display his art of "orchestrated loops" manipulating voice and guitar.
French sound sculptor and jazz saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet, a member of the musique concrete ensemble Afflux with Eric LaCasa and Eric Cordier, conceived Synapses I & IV (1999), a collaboration with Cordier, in which plucking the strings of a stringed instrument caused a chain reaction of sounds from another set of instruments.
Los Angeles-based guitarist Greg Headley proceeded from the solo tabletop guitar meditations of Adhesives (2000) to the abstract manipulation of guitar sounds of A Table of Opposites (2001) to the noisy, frantic electronic soundscapes of Similis (2002).
Los Angeles-based virtuoso saxophonist Earl Howard (1951) concentrated on superimposing electronic/manipulated sounds to live improvised performances, such as in the five-movement Strong Force (1999) for synthesizer, piano, percussion, harp and cello, or ILEX (2004) for vocals, electronics, percussion and pipa. These cold, disjointed, loose, open-ended streams end up sounding like summaries of 20th-century chamber music. His Five Saxophone Solos (2005) are complex sequences built out of simple units, cascades of primal speech units not meant to create abstract sound patterns but to deliver primal emotions (like a child who is just beginning to utter the rudiments of language).
Japanese guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi, a former member of the experimental ensembles First Edition, Altered States and Ground Zero, recorded several albums of solo guitar improvisations and formed Phantasmagoria (2000), a six-piece unit of guitar, sampler, sax, trumpet and rhythm section.
Zanana (the New York-based duo of vocalist Kristin Norderval and trombonist Monique Buzzarte') blended improvisation, acoustic instruments, electronics, samples, field recordings and live processing to create the spectral landscapes of Holding Patterns (2005).
Australian improvising trio Triosk (Adrian Klumpes on keyboards, Laurence Pike on drums, Ben Waples on double bass) diluted jazz music into a maze of postprocessing techniques on Moment Returns (2004).
Alien to both the digital and the big-band turmoils, Yeah No (clarinetist and saxophonist Chris Speed, Vietnamese-born trumpeter Cuong Vu, Icelandic-born bassist Skuli Sverrisson, drummer Jim Black) were jazz musicians playing Eastern European folk melodies and dance rhythms, starting with Yeah No (1997), a concept similar to Lol Coxhill's Welfare State.
The New York-based instrumental Claudia Quintet, formed in 1997 by drummer John Hollenbeck and featuring Yeah No's clarinetist and saxophonist Chris Speed, merged chamber music, jazz improvisation and minimalist repetition on I Claudia (2003).
Chamber music for unusual combination of acoustic instruments was popular among composers interested in exploring timbres and counterpoint. Most of this generation of composers were active in different styles of avantgarde music: concrete, minimalism, electroacoustic, etc. When they approached chamber music, they did so with a mindset that was influenced by the harmonic freedom they had been used to. Their interest for chamber music (music scored for small sets of instruments) was in sharp contrast with the past preeminence of symphonic music: this generation was clearly more interested in subtleties than in grand emotions.
Astor Piazzolla (Argentina, 1921) mixed tango with classical music to compose works for bandoneon and orchestra, such as Buenos Aires (1951) for symphonic orchestra and two bandoneons, the Concerto For Bandoneon (1979) and the suite La Camorra (1988), a tango opera, Maria de Buenos Aires (1967), the Suite for Vibraphone and New Tango Quintet (1986) with jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton, etc.
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930) wed the western aesthetics of impressionism and expressionism with the eastern aesthetic of meditation and contemplation. The resulting synthesis was an elegant exploration of musical chromatism, with little or no interest for dynamics: Requiem for Strings (1959), Eclipse (1966) for biwa and shakuhachi, November Steps (1967) for biwa, shakuhachi and orchestra, Cassiopeia (1971) for orchestra and percussionist, Autumn (1973) for biwa, shakuhachi and orchestra, A Flock Descends Into The Pentagonal Garden (1977) for orchestra, To The Edge Of Dream (1983) for guitar and orchestra, Nostalgia (1987) for violin and orchestra, Tree-line (1988) for chamber orchestra, From Me Flows What You Call Time (1990) for percussion quintet and orchestra.
Daniel Goode (USA, 1936), composed works for solo clarinet, such as Circular Thoughts (1973), and for gamelan ensemble such as Eine Kleine Gamelan Music (1980).
Malcolm Goldstein (USA, 1936) bridged generations and techniques with The Seasons - Vermont (1983), a collage for natural sounds and improvising dissonant ensemble.
Enfant prodige Charles Wuorinen (USA, 1938) was the traditionalist among the pioneers of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. He was still very young when he composed works that were traditional in concept but very unusual in practice such as the Concertone for brass quintet and orchestra (1960), the Symphonia Sacra for small orchestra (1961), the Chamber Concerto for cello and small orchestra (1963), that borrowed bits and pieces from Stravinsky's stormy style, Varese's harmonic anarchy and Schonberg's claustrophobic atmospheres, mediated via American revolutionaries such as Elliott Carter and Milton Babbitt. Wuorinen refined his art by trying his hand at just every possible genre, from the electronic poem Time's Encomium (1969), in the vein of Morton Subotnick, to the opera Whore of Babylon (1975) to the Symphony of Percussions (1976). His synthesis reached the zenith with the most ambitious works of his career, notably the Piano Concerto 3 (1983) and the Piano Concerto 4 (2005), the melodramatic and manically intense String Sextet (1989), and the "Dante Trilogy" for chamber orchestra and percussion that comprises The Mission Of Virgil (1993), The Great Procession (1995) and The River of Light (1996).
In the era of the soundscape, composers such as Edgard Varese, John Cage, Harry Partch and Steve Reich turned to percussion ensembles the way that romantic composers used to turn to the symphony orchestra.
Canadian percussion ensemble Nexus pioneered a new genre for western music: ensemble percussion music, with Music of Nexus (1978), although their improvised sound collages, such as, Origins (1992) extended well beyond the usual definition of "percussion".
Another Canadian outfit, the Glass Orchestra, was a quintet of musicians that improvised with a number of instruments made of glass. The Glass Orchestra (1977) focused on a cascade of long hypnotic drones, reminiscent of Indian and Tibetan vocal music.
Daniel Schell (Belgium, 1944) composed the Ishango Oratorio (2003) for guitar, saxophone, bass, choir and African percussion, that mixed jazz, classical and ethnic music,
David Rosenbloom (USA, 1949), whose work straddles the border between classical and popular music, composed the metaphysical suite Departure (1981) for eight voices, three flutes, two oboes, two violins, cello, two doublebasses, soprano sax, French horn, organ, percussion.
Paul Dresher (post-chamber) (USA, 1951) applied the lessons (but not the praxis) of minimalism and of live electronic music to the string quartet Casa Vecchia (1982), the chamber septet Channels Passing (1982) and to Re:act:ion (1984) for symphony orchestra.
Wendy Mae Chambers (post-chamber) (USA, 1953) devoted herself to large-scale neoclassical compositions such as Symphony Of The Universe (1989) for 100 timpani, metal percussion, horn soloist, jazz band, choir, organ, and tape, and A Mass for Mass Trombones (1993), a nine-movement requiem for 77 trombones.
Bun-Ching Lam (China, 1954) incorporated Chinese instruments such as the pipa (four-stringed lute) into the format of Western chamber music. as in Omi Hakkei (2000) for harp, flute, viola (the classic Debussy trio) plus dizi, erhu, xiao and zheng, Song of the Pipa (2001) for pipa, harp, percussion and strings, and Atlas (2004) for Chinese, Middle East and Western instruments. However, the percussion sonata Lu (1983) and the sonata Like Water (1995) for viola, piano and percussion were rarefied pieces that sculpted naked soundscape visited by sporadic tones, but mostly silent.
Jin Hi Kim (Korea, 1957), also a jazz improviser, mixed Korean traditional music (mostly for the komungo zither) and Western chamber music in compositions inspired to the idea that "each tone is alive", such as Nong Rock (1992) for string quartet and komungo.
The chamber music of Allison Cameron (Canada, 1963) emphasized the colors while maintaining a delicate balance of tones and rhythms. A sense of macabre and claustrophobic surfaces from scores such as A Blank Sheet Of Metal (1987) and Gibbons Moon (1991).
Nikola Kodjabashia (Macedonia, 1970) incorporated folk, expressionist and minimalist elements in Bildbeschreibung (2001).
Even veterans of event music returned to the classical formats of large-scale orchestral music, for example: Roger Reynolds' Whispers Out of Time (1988), Frederic Rzewski's The Triumph of Death (1988), Alvin Curran's trio Schtyx (1991) for violin, piano and percussion. Gavin Bryars' Cadman Requiem (1989) and Cello Concerto "Farewell to Philosophy" (1994), James Tenney' In a Large Open Space (1994) and In a Large Reverberant Space (1995) for variable orchestra; etc.
Alaska resident John Luther Adams (1953) composed static music in the minimalist tradition but scored for chamber orchestras. Thus his colossal In The White Silence (1998), The Light That Fills the World (2000) and The Immeasurable Space of Tones (2001) for violin, vibraphone, piano, keyboard and contrabass.
The minimalist tradition was revived in the new century by Dan Joseph (USA, 1966), whose music absorbed influences from folk music from around the world. The exuberant, propulsive, Michael Nyman-esque Percussion and Strings (2004) was performed by a neo-baroque ensemble of violin, cello, harpsichord, hammered dulcimer, clarinet and percussion; whereas Tonalization (2009) was a requiem scored for flute, violin, cello, marimba, harpsichord and hammer dulcimer.
Jazz trumpeter Nate Wooley (USA, 1974) reinvented droning minimalism from the perspective of the free improviser and digital composer with The Almond (2011), a 70-minute "solo" of overdubbed pure-pitched trumpet.
Electroacoustic musicThere was live electronic music. There was improvised music. There was computer interactive music. But there were also composers who merely incorporated electronic instruments into the orchestra and remained relatively faithful to the traditional composer/performer paradigm. Electroacoustic music was only apparently revolutionary. What was revolutionary was the virtually infinite repertory of timbres that the electronic instrument could produce, and thus the possibilities for counterpoint and harmony. But the fundamental approach to composing and performing was much closer to the western rational approach of previous centuries than the composers wanted to admit.
Trombone player James Fulkerson (USA, 1945) created oneiric soundscapes for his trombone playing, such as Stationary Fields Moving Fields (1979) for amplified trombone, amplified cello and tape delay, and Force Fields and Spaces (1981) for trombone and electronics.
Ekkehard Ehlers (Germany), an electronic producer operating at the crossroad of post-classical chamber music and digital soundsculpting, was perhaps the first conscious purveyor of digital chamber music on albums such as Politik Braucht Keinen Feind (2003).
Improvised electroacoustic musicThe influence of the jazz and rock avantgarde led to a laptop-mediated marriage of electroacoustic music and free improvisation (basically a continuation of live electronic music of the 1960s and 1970s).
Electronic Ambience, 1989-93TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
New studio techniques and new electronic and digital instruments allowed rock music and avantgarde music to develop new kinds of composition and performance. Ambient and cosmic music, in particular, reached an artistic peak. Noise was employed in a less irreverent and more calculated manner. Electronic sounds became less alien and more humane. Sound effects became the center of mass, not the centrifugal force. Overall, the emphasis shifted from melody/rhythm to "sound" and "ambience". And, in a way, this was the terminal point of a movement begun at the outset of the 20th century to emancipate music from the dogmas of classical music.
French combo Lightwave (20) was still composing electronic tonal poems in the spirit of the German "cosmic couriers" of the 1970s, but they added intrepid new ideas. Serge Leroy and Christoph Harbonnier harked back to Klaus Schulze's early works on Nachtmusik (1990), but enhanced that cliche' with techniques borrowed from avantgarde music. Tycho Brahe (1993), that added Paul Haslinger (ex-Tangerine Dream) and violinist Jacques Deregnaucourt to the line-up, offered elegant, dramatic and highly dynamic chamber-electronic music of a kind that had never been heard before. Electronic music had matured into something both more conventional (like a traditional instrument) and more alien (like a supernatural harmony). Mundus Subterraneus (1995) reached new psychological depths, while furthering their soundpainting both at the microscopic and at the macroscopic levels. A spiderweb of metabolizing structures, an organic blend of timbres, drones and dissonances, it blurred the line between rationality and chaos, showing one as being the sense of the other. The spirit of Lightwave's music recalled the allegorical, encyclopedic minutiae of medieval treatises, an elaborate clockwork of impossible mirages and erudite quotations. Ultimately, it was a journey back to the roots of the human adventure.
In Germany, Uwe Schmidt's multi-faceted saga began with Lassigue Bendthaus and unfocused electronic soundscapes such as the ones on Render (1994). His ambient/atmospheric project Atom Heart was more successful, particularly with Morphogenetics Fields (1994). N+'s Built (1996), which was virtually a tribute to cosmic music, and the numerous collaborations between Bill Laswell and Pete Namlook completed his training in the field of lengthy, static electronic poems. But his activity ranged from Latin music, explored by Senor Coconut Y Su Conjunto, for example on El Gran Baile (1997), to the digital ambient/industrial jazz-rock of Flanger, a collaboration with percussionist Bernd Friedman, on Templates (1999). His partnership with Japanese visionary Tetsu Inoue was particulary relevant. The third Datacide (1) album, Flowerhead (1994), toyed with a noise-based form of ambient music that sounded like organic matter slowly developing into an embryo. The duo recorded ambient works under several names, notably Masters Of Psychedelic Ambiance's MU (1995) and Second Nature's Second Nature (1995).
Tetsu Inoue, Uwe Schmidt's partner in Datacide, was even more delicate on Ambiant Otaku (1994).
In Belgium, Vidna Obmana (2), Dirk Serries' project, practiced electronic soundpainting on the ambient trilogy begun with Passage In Beauty (1991), but Echoing Delight (1993) shifted the emphasis towards spiritual and tribal evocations. This is the genre in which Serries gave his most original and poignant works, first Spiritual Bonding (1994), a collaboration with Steve Roach and Robert Rich, and then Crossing The Trail (1998).
In Holland, Ron Boots's Different Stories and Twisted Tales (1993) straddled the border between sequencer and ambient music. In Portugal Nuno Canavarro produced one of the most atmospheric works of early ambient music, Plux Quba (1988).
San Francisco's Kim Cascone (1) mined the border between ambient music and musique concrete both on Heavenly Music Corporation's In A Garden Of Eden (1993) and on PGR's The Morning Book of Serpents (1995).
A Produce (2), Barry Craig's project, also from California, crafted Reflect Like A Mirror (1993), an impeccable follow-up to Brian Eno's and Harold Budd's ambient classics, as well as the majestic albeit brainy world-music of Land Of A Thousand Trances (1994).
Happy The Man's keyboardist Kit Watkins (1) composed the austere Thought Tones (1992) and especially Circle (1993), a suite for electronic sounds and natural sounds.
In Canada, Delerium (3), an offshoot of Front Line Assembly, crossed over into gothic, dance and pop music with meticulously and lushly arranged albums such as Stone Tower (1990), Spiritual Archives (1991) and Spheres (1994). Their associates Will (1) composed the pagan mass Pearl Of Great Price (1991) in a similar vein.
Arizona-based Life Garden (1) sounded like the electronic version of Popol Vuh on Caught Between The Tapestry Of Silence And Beauty (1991).
The "organic sound sculpting" of Voice Of Eye (2), the Texas-based duo of Bonnie McNaim and Jim Wilson, was inspired, at different levels, by Steve Roach, Harold Budd, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Mariner Sonique (1993), the seven Vespers (1994), imbued with medieval spirituality and zen transcendence, and the six movements of Transmigration (1996) co-founded the religious version of electronic world-music with Life Garden.
The most challenging and political form of ambient music was perhaps the one invented in New York by Terre Thaemlitz, for example on Soil (1995).
Liquid Mind (2), the project of Los Angeles-based composer Chuck Wild, sculpted the ecstatic Ambience Minimus (1994): memorable melodies slowed down, came to a standstill and decomposed in celestial chimes, echoes of angels and breathing of nebulae. The neo-classical Unity (2000), instead, let strings and woodwinds float, multiply and merge as if an entire repertory of "adagios" was being played in slow motion and out of sync by an orchestra of orchestras.
In a lighter mood, Richard Bone (2) was equally at ease with the surreal synth-pop of Vox Orbita (1995) and the ambient symphony of Eternal Now (1996).
Dutch duo Beequeen (Frans De Waard and Freek Kinkelaar) dabbled in droning compositions inspired by ambient, cosmic and industrial music, notably on their most austere recordings, such as Music For The Head Ballet (1996) and Treatise (2000).
Electronic Ambient World Music, 1988-94TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. By exploiting Steve Roach's ideas, a number of musicians scoured the territory at the border between new-age music, ambient music and world-music.
San Francisco's "modern primitivism" movement was best represented by a multi-national commune that emerged with the music of Lights In A Fat City (1), centered upon Canadian electronic composer Kenneth Newby, British-born didjeridoo player Stephen Kent and percussionist Eddy Sayer. Somewhere (1988) was possibly the first electronic album built around the sound of the didjeridoo, and juxtaposed hypnotic rhythms to a madly droning background. Sound Column (1993) was a more philosophical work, comprising four improvisations for didjeridoo and acoustic instruments recorded inside a huge pillar. That project evolved into Trance Mission (12), formed by Newby and Kent with Club Foot Orchestra's clarinetist Beth Custer and percussionist John Loose. Trance Mission (1993), a dense maelstrom of jazz improvisation, transcendental exotica, atmospheric electronica and tribal rhythms, took a new route to Brian Eno's ambient trance and to Jon Hassell's fourth-world music. That wedding of futuristic and ancestral elements was abandoned on Meanwhile (1995), for a more facile dance-exotic fusion that evoked the vision of the Third Ear Band mixed by a techno producer; while later works such as Head Light (1997) veered towards an alien form of free-jazz. Kent and harpist Barbara Imhoff (accompanied by a percussionist and a vocalist) explored a simpler kind of electronic folk music under the moniker Beasts Of Paradise on Gathered On The Edge (1995).
Kenneth Newby (10), a member of the Trance Mission collective, crafted Ecology Of Souls (1993), perhaps the most accomplished fusion of electronic music and exotic instruments of the era. Four lengthy suites explored a magical, surreal, mythological landscape roamed by rhythmic patterns and primordial sounds, swept by intergalactic winds and tidal waves of cosmic radiations, while melodramatic and ethereal moments alternated at creating a metaphysical suspense.
Germany's Enigma (2), the project of Romanian-born veteran disco producer and electronic composer Michael Cretu (aka Curly M.C.), elaborated a pseudo-ethnic ambient style that would be very influencial on mainstream music. MCMXC A.D. (1990) mixed Gregorian chanting, dance beats, new-age ecstasy and exotic fascination. The Cross Of Changes (1994) was a tour de force of juxtapositions and layering that roamed the world for inspiration (French chansons, African polyrhythms, Middle-eastern cantillation, Peruvian flutes, operatic choirs, etc).
France's Deep Forest (1) were successful on Deep Forest (1992) with a similar idea: an atmospheric potion of ethnic samples and dance beats.
Mo Boma (12), the duo of German multi-instrumentalist Carsten Tiedemann and Iceland-born jazz bassist Skuli Sverrisson, achieved a brilliant fusion of Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Klaus Schulze, Weather Report and Pat Metheny, for the age of raves on Jijimuge (1992) and especially on the more electronic, primitive-futurist Myths Of The Near Future (1994). The first part of a trilogy recorded in South Africa in 1993, the latter set the foundations for the sophisticated ethno-jazz of Myths Of The Near Future Part Two (released in 1995) and the lush, symphonic "thickness" of Myths Of The Near Future Part Three (1996). Overall, the trilogy represented a majestic celebration of the human race.
Australia's Eden (11), the brainchild of vocalist Sean Bowley, displayed the combined influence of Dead Can Dance's exotic/medieval music and Nico's ancestral folk on the madrigals of Gateway To The Mysteries (1990), performed by a chamber ensemble (rich in ancient instruments) and sung in lugubrious ecclesiastical tones. The macabre and decadent ballads of Fire And Rain (1995) added Paul Machliss' electronic arrangements.
Veteran British guitarist Mike Cooper, who had played blues in the 1960s and jazz in the 1970s, coined "ambient electronic exotica" (reminiscent of Jon Hassell's "fourth-world music") for guitar, electronics, samples of old records, and field recordings from exotic countries on albums such as Kiribati (1999), Globe Notes (2001) and Rayon Hula (2004).
Transglobal trance, 1992-94TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. It was not avantgarde, but Britain's "transglobal dance" was a natural consequence of the merger of electronica and world-music in the age of raves.
TUU (2), mainly Martin Franklin's project, delivered arcane, sacred and ethnic trance on One Thousand Years (1992), evoking both Third Ear Band and Popol Vuh. All Our Ancestors (1995) approached chamber music and Jon Hassell's fourth-world music, while the more electronic Mesh (1997) was influenced by Steve Roach's sinister soundscapes.
Voices Of Kwahn offered an elegant fusion of quirky vocals and electronic/ethnic ambience on their second album Silver Bowl Transmission (1996).
Guitar dronesTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. An important thread for ambient music was started in Britain when the post-shoegazing psychedelic groups began playing music anchored to guitar drones. Seefeel (2) pioneered the idea on Quique (1993) and Succour (1994). The combination of Sarah Peacock's stunned vocals, Mark Clifford's minimalist guitars, Justin Fletcher's proto-rhythms and Darren Seymour's dub bass lines dissolved the music of My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3 in nebulae of abstract sound.
Drone-based symphonies became the bread and butter of most shoegazing veterans.
Spacemen 3's guitarist Sonic Boom (Peter Kember) began a stubborn quest for the mystical qualities of sound. His first success was with Soul Kiss (1991), the second, ultra-ethereal album by Spectrum (1). Kember's second success came with Experimental Audio Research (2), or E.A.R., the experimental trio formed with God's Kevin Martin and My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, who produced at least two innovative recordings: the four cosmic-ambient suites of Mesmerised (1994) and the three futuristic concertos of Millennium Music (1998).
Main (2), the new project of Loop's Robert Hampson, was an obsessive probe into the power of drones. Over the course of a number of EPs, Hydra (1991), Calm (1992), Dry Stone Feed (1993) and Firmament (1993), and the album Motion Pool (1994), Hampson's style evolved from a dark, cold, dynamic sound to a softer, static, almost mystical sound. The two colossal tracks of Firmament II (1994) and the six multi-part suites of Hz (1996) coined a sophisticated art of nuances that, far from being only cacophonous and monotonous, was rich in the way that a black hole is rich of invisible gravitational energy. Hampson's technique was perhaps the closest a rock musician had come to repeating Karlheinz Stockhausen's experiments of the 1960s.
Sound manipulation of acoustic sources became the focus of many artists of this generation.
Rapoon (3), the brainchild of Zoviet France's Robin Storey, gave new meaning to the fusion of Indian and western music on albums such as Vernal Crossing (1993) and The Kirghiz Light (1995), exalted orgies of samples, loops and mixing that "used" drones and rhythms rather than "playing" drones and rhythms. He then converted to the mystical/contemplative style of Darker By Light (1996), Easterly 6 Or 7 (1997) and The Fires Of The Borderlands (1998), that basically reconciled his experiments with new-age music.
O.Rang (1), the new project of Talk Talk's rhythm section of Lee Harris (percussions) and Paul Webb (now on keyboards), manipulated the sounds of a small orchestra of friends on Herd Of Instinct (1994).
Flying Saucer Attack (2), i.e. the duo of multi-instrumentalists Dave Pearce and Rachel Brook, were among the groups that transformed psychedelic rock into an austere form of chamber music. The albums Flying Saucer Attack (1993), Further (1995) and New Lands (1997) refined a kind of shoegazing that relied increasingly on melody, yielding delicate elegies set against a disturbing background of cosmic music, free-jazz, Throbbing Gristle's industrial noise, LaMonte Young's droning music or contemplative new-age music.
German guitar trio Maeror Tri (1) co-pioneered doomsday's music for guitar-drones, although their white-noise hurricanes, particularly on the monumental Myein (1995), recorded in 1992 and 1993, were reminiscent of both Glenn Branca's symphonies and Throbbing Gristle's industrial nightmares.
Ambient avantgarde, 1989-94TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. At the turn of the century, ambient composers abounded all over the world.
Veteran British music critic David Toop (2) aimed for Brian Eno's ambient ecstasy via a mix of natural sounds, electronic sounds and acoustic instruments on Buried Dreams (1994), a collaboration with Max Eastley, basically reinventing musique concrete for the ambient generation. Screen Ceremonies (1995) was the austere manifesto of this fusion of ethnic and concrete music. Toop used real buildings as well as imaginary buildings as sources of inspiration, conceiving them as sentient organisms, notably for the 26-minute eco-suite Smell of Human Life, off Museum Of Fruit (1999).
Belgian composer Benjamin Lew (1) crafted Le Parfum Du Raki (1993) for an ensemble of electronic, ethnic and acoustic instruments.
Alio Die (2), the project of Italian composer Stefano Musso, assembled electronic pieces such as Sit Tibi Terra Levis (1991) that continued Harold Budd's program of angelic music. In Suspended Feathers (1995) tiny instances of natural sounds appear in calm soft soundscapes and create disorienting shifting perspectives, the sonic equivalent of a camera that slowly moves around the landscape. The drone symphony Password for Entheogenic Experience (1997) evolves in time instead of space, as the initial pastoral setting gets stretched and dilated into a dreamy mournful adagio and then modulated into the geometry of a baroque fugue and then channeled into the austere macabre grandeur of a requiem.
British audio-visual technician Andrew Lagowski launched both the dark ambient project of Legion, that released False Dawn (1992) for found sounds and white noise, and especially Leviathan (1996), a six-movement symphony of exoteric electronica, and the project SETI, at the border between techno, ambient and dub.
German electronic musician Pete Namlook (Peter Kuhlmann), one of the most prolific musicians of all times (not a compliment), focused on the untapped potential of analog synthesizers, often developing or extending the instruments in his own laboratory. Most of his 200+ recordings were collaborations with influential artists of his time, and many were repeated collaborations (i.e., with sequels): Silence (1992) with Dr Atmo, The Dark Side Of The Moog (1994) with Klaus Schulze, Psychonavigation (1994) with Bill Laswell, Jet Chamber (1995) with Atom Heart, etc. Namlook's own music, the series that started with Air (1993), endorsed one or a combination of the following: German "kosmische musik", Brian Eno's "discreet" music, free-jazz and/or Eastern classical music.
After familiarizing himself with the soft, slowly-decaying gong drones of Teimo (1992), German composer Thomas Koner (1) penned the drone-based ambient music of Permafrost (1993). These pieces laid the foundations for hour-long compositions such as Daikan (2001), the zenith of his icy ambience, and Une Topographie Sonore (2003), that obsessively explores a magical and ethereal soundscape of natural sounds and eerie drones.
Australian composer Paul Schutze (15) was inspired by Brian Eno's ambient music, Miles Davis' jazz-rock and Pierre Henry's musique concrete for the one-hour collage of Deus Ex Machina (1989) and for the claustrophobic Topology Of A Phantom City, off New Maps Of Hell (1992), perhaps the best formulation of his "chaotic minimalism", a psychological puzzle of dissonance, trance, jazz, psychedelia, tribal frenzy, raga and ambient melodrama. The same urban neurosis tore The Rapture Of Metals (1993) apart, and disfigured Apart (1995), an imposing summary of his techniques, particularly the cryptic and sinister suite Sleep. Nine Songs From The Garden Of Welcome Lies (1997) employed organs instead of synthesizers to improvise soundscapes halfway between Monet's abstract impressionism and Tibetan mantras.
Indiana-based ambient guitarist Jeff Pearce employed layers and layers of electronically-processed guitar melodies to compose The Hidden Rift (1996).
New York-based pianist Ruben Garcia (1) opted for a more emotional version of Harold Budd's ambient piano minimalism in Eleven Moons, off Room Full of Easels (1996).
Alaska resident John Luther Adams composed static music in the minimalist tradition but scored for chamber orchestras. Thus his colossal In The White Silence (1998), The Light That Fills the World (2000) and The Immeasurable Space of Tones (2001) for violin, vibraphone, piano, keyboard and contrabass.
The avantgarde of ordinary soundTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. Innovative concepts in the arts of field recording and of collage were introduced during the 1990s.
Gen Ken Montgomery assembled the environmental noise symphony Father Demo Swears (1989), a terror-inducing wall of noise for amplified violin, voice, street noise and (massive) feedback.
David Dunn (1) used computers to assemble "environmental sound works", works that manipulate field recordings, such as Chaos And The Emergent Mind of the Pond (1992), off Angels And Insects (1992).
Under the moniker Crawling with Tarts the San Francisco-based duo of composer Michael Gendreau and Suzanne Dycus concocted Operas (1993), or, better, "surface noise operas" (operas composed out of field recordings and studio manipulations) via "transcription discs", a program refined on Grand Surface Noise Opera Nrs 3 (Indian Ocean Ship) and 4 (Drum Totem) (1994), the former scored for four turntables and the latter scored for turntables and percussion. Michael Gendreau's 55 Pas de la Ligne au nø3 (2002) was devoted to the excruciating sound of a rotating disk on a modified turntable. Grand Surface Noise Opera Nr 7 - The Decadent Opera - Rococo (1995) first assembled voices (taken from various sources) and then injected all sorts of musical snippets into the process, each grotesquely deformed, as in a collaboration between Frank Zappa and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
By electronically and digitally processing the sounds of objects and places, Steve Roden created "possible landscapes", such as Humming Endlessly in the Hush (1996), credited to In Be Tween Noise, that require "deep listening" to appreciate the subtlety of slight variations in the mostly silent wasteland; while Four Possible Landscapes (1999) bordered on the glitch aesthetic of Bernhard Guenter.
Deathprod, the solo project of Motorpsycho's keyboardist Helge Sten, pushed the abstract electronic soundsculpting of Treetop Drive 1-3/ Towboat (1994) into the age of digital audio manipulation with Morals and Dogma (2004). Using low-tech home-made recording devices, and emphasizing the very limitations of those devices (the hiss of an old tape recorder, or the distortion of a defective sampler, or the deteriorating sound of a digital-to-analog transfer), and then mixing them with traditional instruments, Deathprod de facto ventured into digital chamber music.
Fueled by Dadaistic eccentricity, the Argentinean trio Reynols (drummer Miguel Tomasin and guitarists Roberto Conlazo and Anla Courtis) released all sorts of sarcastic musique-concrete symphonies, from Gordura Vegetal Hidrogenada (1995) to 10.000 Chickens Symphony (1999) for chicken sounds ("the only record in the world where all the participants were killed and eaten afterwards") to Blank Tapes (Trente Oiseaux, 2000) for amplified blank tapes. In parallel, Anla Courtis continued to use the tape as his main instrument in a series of extremely chaotic works, especially the 16-minute expressionist nightmare of Enc¡as de Viento (1996).
Ellen Band bridged musique concrete and deep-listening music with collages such as Radiatore (1998) in which apparently harmless (and lifeless) sounds collected in the streets are scrutinized, repeated, amplified, deformed, enhanced until they become very much alive. The mundane becomes extraordinary: "no sound is ordinary".
The electronic processing of microscopic bodily noises by Daniel Menche yielded the monstrous intensity of Screaming Caress (1997).
The compositions of John Hudak employ minimalist and subsonic repetition of electronically-processed found sounds, as in Pond (1998), that uses underwater insects as its main source.
Heir to the glorious French traditions of musique concrete and sound collage, French sound-sculptor Christian Renou, aka Brume, specialized in the dense, rapid-fire sonic montage that culminated with the concrete symphony Fragments and Articulations (2002).
Spanish composer Francisco Lopez, one of most prolific composers in history (not a compliment), focused on collages of field recordings and sound-manipulation of natural phenomena. The resulting music was often static subsonic ambient music (frequently bordering on utter silence) rather than traditional (noisy) concrete music. Typical of his method was the trilogy of La Selva (1998), a collage of sounds from the tropical forest, Buildings (2001) and Wind (2007), a repertory of wind sounds from Patagonia,
German composer Marc Behrens used a computer and feedback-based devices to organize the collage of field recordings of Elapsed Time (2001).
Sacramento-based digital composer Joe Colley specialized in generating sounds from negative feedback loops, achieving an austere and mature balance of tones with the droning Everybody Gets What They Deserve (1999) and the almost serene Stop Listening (2000), released under his moniker Crawl Unit, a phase that culminated with the 19-minute Static For Empty Life (2001) and the two pieces of Sound Until The World Ends (2001). His art of ad-hoc feedback-driven installations was refined on Desperate Attempts At Beauty (2003) and especially the "industrial" symphony Psychic Stress Soundtracks (2005), five lengthy collapse of noises from mechanical devices, and acquired expressionist overtones on Waste Of Songs (2006).
The early recordings of British composer Janek Schaefer (2) focused on two elements: studio manipulation of field recordings, and his self-built twin and triple armed varispeed turntables. The resulting collage is unusually dense and dynamic, culminating with the concrete symphony Cold Storage (2004), Songs For Europe (2004), a collaboration with Philip Jeck that builds ambient soundscapes from old Greek and Turkish records as well as radio broadcasts, the dance soundtrack Migration (2006), concocted out of manipulated field recordings, and In The Last Hour (2006), a piece in four movements that leveraged the combination of live instrumentation and turntable-derived textures to create an electronic poem that was both lugubrious and romantic.
The hyper-realistic field recordings of Japanese composer Toshiya Tsunoda consist in capturing the sound of inert matter. Each object has a "sound": it is just a matter of finding a way to render that sound so that it can be appreciated by the human ear. The music of Pieces Of Air (2001), literally recordings of air vibrations, is thus one of minimal subsonic vibrations.
Seth Nehil sculpted the quiet blurred pieces of Tracing the Skins of Clouds (1998) for found objects and instruments.
More traditional collages of field recordings survived in the work of three French soundsculptors. Syllyk (a collaboration between Eric LaCasa and Sylvie Laroche) dedicated their ambitious collages of manipulated field recordings to mythological themes: the 27-minute Le Sacrifice, off O Comme Icare (1992), the 19-minute Terre Ciel Soleil Feu, off Frontieres (1992), and especially the 66-minute piece of Ascendre A L'Ombre Du Vent (1996). Eric LaCasa's four lengthy compositions collected on L'Empreinte de L'Ivresse (1999) represented an ambitious fresco of human life. Jean-Luc Guionnet, also a free-improvising jazz saxophonist, and Eric Cordier, also a body art performer, created the two installations of Synapses (1999) in which a sound produced on an instrument was propagated to other instruments. Guionnet was investigating the synthetic masses of musique concrete in a serene context bordering on new-age music, as displayed in the three works for electronics and natural sounds composed between 1989 and 1996 and collected on Axene (2000). Cordier reconstructed audio sources to compose the sound sculptures of Houlque (1996), whereas Digitalis Purpurea (Ground Fault, 2003) collects four audio installations for multiple loudspeakers, one of his specialties. Jean-Luc Guionnet, Eric LaCasa and Eric Cordier constituted the musique-concrete ensemble Afflux that focused on electronic improvisation with environmental sounds as they occur in an open landscape, a method first documented on Azier St. Martin-Sur-Mer Dieppe (2002).
The 1990s, as the sampler became ubiquitous in popular music, witnessed a generation of sound sculptors who toyed with samples of the musical repertory, field recordings and acoustic instruments.
Bob Ostertag, one of the earliest free-jazz improvisors at the electronic keyboards, embraced the sampler and realized the string quartet All The Rage (1992), that employed popular music and sounds of a riot (as well as string instruments) as sources.
David Shea, who had already established his reputation as one of the first turntablists (mainly in John Zorn's ensembles), further legitimized the sampler as an instrument with his works, both the ones for ensemble, such as Shock Corridor (1992) for samples and instruments (Anthony Coleman on piano and organ, Shelley Hirsch on voice and electronics, Ikue Mori on drum-machine, Zeena Parkins on electric harp, Jim Staley on trombone and didjeridoo, Jim Pugliese on percussion), a kaleidoscopic merry-go-round of stylistic detours, and those for solo sampler, such as Alpha (1995), a real-time collage of record snippets, Satyricon (1997), a sophisticated survey of the collective unconscious, Sita's Walk Of Fire (2001), a demented study in frenzy and contrast.
The avantgarde of computer soundTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. While the pioneers of computer music (basically from the 1950s to the 1980s) were mostly fascinated by a tool that challenged the pillars of western music (i.e., the relationship between performer and composer, and even the very notions of composer and performer), the wide diffusion of software for composing music on relatively cheap and portable computers (or "laptops") made it possible for a new generation of musicians to simply use the compositional algorithms and the synthesized sounds of a laptop in broader contexts. Fundamentally, computers had contributed to the breakdown of the traditional concept and role of harmony. The new generation exploited that very breakdown to create a kind of music directly referencing "sound". Basically, computers helped musicians focus more on the "sound" that they wanted to produce and less on the process to obtain it.
The eclectic Japanese musician Ikue Mori went through several stages before arriving at computer music: first as a drummer for the experimental rock band Mars, then as a free-jazz improviser, then as the electronic composer of the five long meditations for drum machines and samplers of Garden (1996), and finally as the laptop soundpainter of Labyrinth (2000) and Myrninerest (2005). Thus she was ideally suited to bridge the aesthetics of dissonance, improvisation and machine music.
Achim Wollscheid used household objects as percussion instruments "played" according to a computer algorithm for Moves (1997).
Germany's Lutz Glandien composed the wildly dissonant music of The 5th Elephant (2002) assisted by a computer in selecting and assembling "samples" from recordings of acoustic instruments.
Furt, the duo of British electronic musicians Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer, assembled the tetralogy "Out Of Time", notably Angel (1995) and Ultimatum (2000), off Defekt (2002), of free-form studio collage.
Glitch Music and Digital Minimalism
Glitch Music, 1994-2000TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
In the second half of the 1990s, a new style was born in Europe that employed digital events (such as the "glitches" of defective compact discs) to produce disconcerting ambient music and even "dance" music. Glitch music originated from Germany (Oval) and Britain (Autechre).
Markus Popp's Oval (1) had the idea of applying the avantgarde technique of musique concrete to the static, droning, ethereal fluxes of ambient music. Systemisch (1994) "composed" tracks by using the "glitches" of defective compact discs as an instrument (an adaptation to the digital age of the ideas of Czech artist Milan Knizak), thereby inventing a whole new musical genre ("glitch music"). The "mechanical" effect of compositions such as the 25-minute Do While (1996), off 94 Diskont (1996), was akin to the aesthetics of Futurism. Oval's Popp and Mouse On Mars' Jan Werner pursued a similar strategy of accident-prone electronic music under the moniker Microstoria on works such as Init Ding (1995).
Another precursor was Pita (2), the project of Austrian electronic musician Peter Rehberg, who contributed to formalize the "glitch" aesthetics with Seven Tons For Free (1996), a concerto for pulse signals, and Get Out (1999), which was the cacophonous equivalent of a romantic symphony. KTL (2), his collaboration with Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley (playing "strings, FX and amps"), coined a new art of textural nuances that sounded like the equivalent of the "cosmic music" of the 1970s updated to the digital age. KTL (2006) juxtaposed two antithetical methods: the 24-minute computer-based Estranged fused the glitch aesthetic and the doom-droning aesthetic into an eerily futuristic soundscape of shadows and echoes, while the 40-minute guitar-based suite Forest Floor consisted in a stoic attempt at modulating a melody out of chaos and dissonance. KTL 2 (2007), an even gloomier and louder cosmic/psychological journey into some obscure place of the mind, wove a massive sound sculpture out of layers and layers of wavering drones.
Finland's digital composer Mika Vainio imported the wildest forms of electronic music (Pierre Henry's musique concrete, Morton Subotnick's dadaistic electronica, Suicide, Kraftwerk, Throbbing Gristle, Einsturzende Neubauten) into the format of ambient dance music. Brian Eno's Before And After Science was the main influence on the surreal vignettes of Metri (1994) and Olento (1996), credited to Vainio's solo project 0 (or, better, the symbol used in computer science for the digit zero). Pan Sonic (3), mostly a duo of Vainio with Ilpo Vaisanen, specialized in samples-driven minimal techno. Their albums Vakio (1995), Kulma (1997) and especially the poetic A (1999) evoked futuristic wastelands roamed by faint signs of life (digital beeps, echoes, scrapes, warped beats, clicks, clangs, radio frequencies) amid a lot of silence. The "arctic" beat became their trademark. The four-disc set of Kesto (2004) was both a compendium of state-of-the-art techniques (the vehicle) and a Dante-esque journey from organic and violent structures to chaotic stasis (the message). In a sense, this album was also a compendium of the civilization of 2004, a representation of the contemporary zeitgeist, of the state of humanity. It was not an album for people to listen to, but a message to be decoded by future generations. The albums credited to Mika Vainio in person, such as Onko (1998) and Ydin (1999), revealed the avantgarde composer of cacophonous concertos. There was beauty in the monotonous minimalism of Vainio's art, just like in haiku and epigrams. Angel (1), a collaboration between Ilpo Vaisanen of Pan Sonic, Dirk Dresselhaus of Schneider TM and cellist Hildur Gudnadottir, yielded the romantic ambient droning glitchy industrial music of the 70-minute piece In Transmediale (2006).
Alva Noto (born Carsten Nicolai in Germany) was one of the composers who switched to the computer. His audio installations, documented by albums such as Prototypes (2000), employed techniques as diverse as minimalistic repetition, abstract soundpainting, musical pointillism and industrial noise, but, ultimately, subscribed to a notion from Physics, that the vacuum is alive and that reality hides in the interstices of the spacetime grid.
Vladislav Delay (11), born Sasu Ripatti in Finland, employed slow-motion, glacial, watery, organic pulsations, often with an undercurrent of Terry Riley's minimalist repetition, to craft the digital landscapes of Ele (1999). Multila (2000) specialized in distant tremors of breezes that pick up glitches along the way. Anima (2001), his 61-minute masterpiece, was a prime example of digital soundscaping that draws inspiration from both musique concrete and industrial music. Melodic fragments and disjointed noises coexisted and blended into each other in a sort of "call and response" format. Delay's alter-ego Uusitalo performed four lengthy techno suites on Vapaa Muurari Live (2000) that sounded like techno's version of Terry Riley's minimalism, while Luomo was Ripatti's creative disco/house project, documented on Vocalcity (2000). Delay pursued its ambient dub/glitch aesthetic with surgical precision on The Four Quarters (2005) and Whistleblower (2007), works of meticulous production and cryptic coldness, while Uusitalo's Karhunainen (2007) did to techno what Luomo had done to house.
France's Tone Rec (1) harked back to French musique concrete of the 1950s. Digitized noise, hypnotic loops, raw statics, dub-like bass lines, and post-techno beats populated Pholcus (1998).
Ryoji Ikeda (1) wed LaMonte Young's living drones and Pan Sonic's glitch electronica on his trilogy of +/- (1997), 0 Degrees Celsius (1998) and Matrix (2000).
Nobukazu Takemura concocted jams of minimal glitch techno such as Pendulum , on Funfair (1999), credited to his alter-ego Child's View, On A Balloon, on Scope (1999), and Souvenir In Chicago, on Sign (2000), with members of Tortoise.
Neina (Japanese keyboardist Hosomi Sakana) proved to be a subtle follower of Oval with Subconsciousness (2000).
Nerve Net Noise, the Japanese duo of Tsuyoshi "Tagomago" Nakamura and Hiroshi Kumakiri, specialized in minimalist, glitch and noise music produced with homemade analogue synthesizers on the provocative 160/240 (1998) and on the concept album about the lifestyle of teenage girls Various Amusements (2001).
Russian-born Swedish-based laptop player Ivan "Coh" Pavlov (2) turned to ambient glitch soundsculpting with the intimidating Enter Tinnitus (1999) and especially with the four Seasons (2003) for processed instruments and noise. The bleak three-movement suite of Netmork (2002) and the 24-minute EP Patherns (2006) refined his art of cryptic audio signs and gave it an existential meaning. His technique peaked with Strings (2007), which completed the mission by emphasizing the espressionistic overtones.
Norwegian electronic duo Jazzkammer (John Hegre and Lasse Marhaug) established themselves as the Scandinavian version of Merzbow with the insane digital mayhem of Hot Action Sexy Karaoke (2000) but then veered towards glitchy ambient music with the 32-minute piece of Pulse (2002) and even doom ambient music a` la Sunn O))) with the 35-minute piece of Panic (2006).
The San Francisco schoolTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. Matmos (2), the San Francisco-based electronic duo of Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt, pioneered the use of "organic" samples (noises, not instruments) to compose dance music. More importantly, Matmos (1997) bridged three levels of the electronic avantgarde: the chaotic and atonal bleeps and squeaks of the electronic poems of the 1960s, the dilated and warped structures and rhythmic patterns of the German avant-rockers of the 1970s, and Pierre Henry's "musique concrete" of the 1950s. A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure (2001), based on sounds taken from hospitals, was even playful and effervescent. In the meantime, the duo had experimented with traditional instruments on The West (1999), a work that basically "remixed" the history of the United States and let a "human" quality transpire through the dense jelly of the digital "arrangements".
Kid 606 (1), Venezuela-born San Francisco-based digital composer Miguel Trost-Depedro, topped Matmos' madness on Down With The Scene (2000), an edgy collage of white noise, sampled voices and frantic breaks. The schizo-chaotic The Action Packed Mentallist Brings you the Fucking Jams (2002) for terminal post-ecstasy nervous breakdowns abused the notion of creating dance-music out of samples, of employing cut-up art to achieve dance nirvana.
Joshua Kit Clayton (1), also from San Francisco, added dub-like echo effects and robotic rhythms a` la Neu to the usual blend of stormy electronics, found sounds and digital glitches on Nek Sanalet (1999) and especially Lateral Forces - Surface Fault (2001).
San Francisco-based dj Sutekh crafted Fell (2002), a laptop-based excursion into free-form glitch/techno music.
Electric Birds, the project of Bay Area-based computer composer Mike Martinez, sculpted the lyrical glitch-ambient laptop music of Gradations (2002).
Glitch-pop, 1997-2000TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. The dance music of British dj Matthew Herbert (1) replaced drum-machines and synthesizers with beats and melodies manufactured out of random noises of everyday life, an idea pioneered on Around The House (1998), that employed the sounds of household objects, and transferred to the song format with the electronic jazz ballads of Bodily Functions (2001) and Scale (2006). Herbert refrained from simply sampling instruments. Each melody and rhythm was meticulously constructed in the studio. Herbert shared with Matmos the honor of having pioneered the use of "organic" samples (noises, not instruments) to compose dance music. The sound of everyday life became not only the source but also the meaning of his art.
Boards Of Canada (1), i.e. the duo of Scottish electronic musicians Michael Sanderson and Marcus Eoin, were among Autechre's most original followers, capable of secreting the sound of Geogaddi (2002), straddling the border between ambient, new age, glitch and hip-hop music.
The ambient glitch-pop presented on Soup (1998) by Bola (the project of English electronic musician Darrel Fitton) was similar in scope to Boards Of Canada's: wrapped in spectral breakbeats and lush electronic ambience.
Max Tundra (1), the solo project of British electronic musician Ben Jacobs, represented the singer-songwriter as it evolved into a computer technician. Each instrumental piece on Some Best Friend You Turned Out To Be (2000) and each vocal song on Mastered By Guy At The Exchange (2002) was a smooth albeit energetic and chaotic digital collage that mined soul, funk and/or synth-pop of past ages and transposed them into contemporary cacophony, manufactured by painstakingly assembling electronic sounds and samples of live instruments (all played by Jacobs himself). Computers enabled him to dispel the notion that chaos means dissonance.
Of all the musicians who worked on "jazztronica" perhaps the most successful hailed from Germany. Kammerflimmer Kollektief (3), a German collective led by Thomas Weber, not only fused jazz, rock and electronica but also emphasized the visceral aspect of each on Maander (1999). Then Hysteria (2001), Cicadidae (2003) and Absencen (2005) coined a sound that was the equivalent of ECM's jazz-rock for the era of glitch music an elegant balance of post-rock, droning ambient, glitch techno, sampling and improvised music.
Digital minimalism, 1995-2000TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. Bernhard Guenter (13) represented the link with the classical avantgarde. The guru of digital, dissonant minimalism, he sculpted sub-atomic soundtracks that picked up the sounds from the crevices between one quantum event and the next one. His Un Peu De Neige Salie (1993) and Details Agrandis (1994) were works of musique concrete that manipulated noises of ordinary life to the point that they became unrecognizable, and then turned them into cold, dark, monolithic structures of silence, terrible depths from which there emerge unidentified and barely-audible bursts of "implied sound". Time Dreaming Itself (2000) and Then Silence (2001) opened a new phase of sonic exploration, "active" rather than "passive", and frequently reminiscent of Morton Feldman. Redshift - Abschied (2002) bridged this hyper-minimal music and chamber music.
German musician Thomas Brinkmann (1) transposed the minimal aesthetic of glitch music into the subliminal ideology of dub music on Klick (2001), the natural link between sound sculpting and dance-floor beats. Klick Revolution (2006) continued the program of Klick with another set of subliminal, anemic, dilapidated techno music assembled out of defective vinyl records.
By expanding the principle of the remix, German composer Ekkehard Ehlers conceived music composition as a samples-driven art reminiscent of Burroughs' cut-up technique. Autopoieses' La Vie A Noir (1999), a duo with Sebastian Meissner, employed jazzy film-noir soundtracks and his Betrieb (2000) used classical music to build expressionistic sonic architectures.
German laptop musician Sebastian Meissner used a similar principle to craft the abstract glitch music of Random Industries' Selected Random Works (2000) and the ambient music of Random Inc's Jerusalem Tales Outside the Framework of Orthodoxy (2001), based on vintage recordings made by Jewish and Palestinian musicians. That program terminated with the "pop ambient" of his works as Klimek, such as Milk & Honey (2004), basically beat-less minimal techno "extracted" from acoustic sources.
Inspired by the desire to communicate with the otherworld via the microsounds hidden in silence, Swedish composer Carl Michael von Hausswolff achieved a noble fusion of glitch, ambient and cosmic music on Stroem (2001).
The microscopic exploration of the space between sounds and silence conducted by Washington-based disc-jockey Richard Chartier (1), particularly on his fourth solo album Series (2000), highlighted the relationship between digital minimalism, "silence music" a` la Bernhard Guenter and "deep listening" a` la Oliveros. "Micro-textured" albums such as Of Surfaces (2002), Tracing (2006) and Incidence (2006) simultaneously austere and angelic, were fundamentally studies in what one does not hear when listening to music.
New York-based composer Taylor Deupree redefined digital minimalism as a form of sporadic musique concrete, like a panorama that is periodically disturbed by brief catastrophic events, on Occur (2001).
Australian guitarist Oren Ambarchi explored minimal events, silence and static sound on Suspension (2001) by manipulating the sounds of his guitar via a number of electronic and digital devices. Overdubbing live instruments and manipulating them with a mixing board, Ambarchi achieved the fragile melancholia of Grapes From The Estate (2004) and Pendulum's Embrace (2007).
Australian electronic composer Pimmon (Paul Gough) specialized in sound manipulation and sample collaging that yielded the wastelands of ghostly, minimal glitch-pop documented on Waves And Particles (1999) and Kinetica (2000).
Australian digital musician Philip Samartzis set the very background noise that sound engineers try to remove from a recording (tape hiss, vinyl crackles, electrical buzzes, radio interference and so on) against a vast stark backdrop of unnerving silence on compositions such as the 39-minute piece of Windmills Bordered By Nothingness (1999), the 18-minute Microphonics, off the compilation Grain (2003), and the six untitled movements of Soft And Loud (2004).
Japanese techno veteran So Takahashi crafted the ambient glitch electronica with spare beats and found sounds of Nubus (2000).
(These are excerpts from my book "A History of Rock and Dance Music")
The extended earTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. New digital devices allowed more sophisticated manipulation of sound in the studio. Musique concrete evolved into cut-up, collage and montage techniques that mixed field recordings, electronic/digital sounds and conventional instruments.
The idea of "the microphone as an extended ear" propounded by Loren Chasse was best expressed in the ambient minimalist works that digitally processed field recordings: albums such as Siphon Glimmers (1997) and Hedge Of Nerves (2002) basically documented sound sculptures of musique concrete and interactive electronic/digital music. Coelacanth, a collaboartion with Jim Haynes, manipulated and layered sounds of rocks, sand, leaves, electrical devices and waves to obtain a viscous tapestry of ambient music, as on Mud Wall (2004). Of was a project that mixed natural sounds and live instrumental improvisations by Chasse himself, for example The Sun And Earth Together (2008).
Thuja's discs documented the collective improvisations of guitarists Steven Smith and Glenn Donaldson (both of psychedelic-rock band Mirza), sound sculptor Loren Chasse and pianist Rob Reger. They devoted the ambient vignettes of Suns (2002) and the abstract frescoes of Pine Cone Temples (2005) to a study on the psychological properties of natural sounds. These works exorcized urban life and aimed to recapture the essence of the human condition on Planet Earth while retaining the high-tech world that humans erected on it. Ultimately, all Thuja albums were duets between the human brain and the human environment.
British composer Simon Wickham-Smith used the computer on Extreme Bukake (2002) to create a collage inspired by Buddhist and Catholic religious music.
Irr. App. (Ext.), the project of San Francisco-based composer Matt Waldron, applied musique concrete to the anarchic, provocative aesthetic of surrealism, perfecting the fusion of field recordings, event music and electronic soundsculpting with the two lengthy suites of Ozeanische Gefuhle (2004), originally recorded in 2001.
After recording a tetralogy of albums, that focused on digital processing of natural sounds, under the moniker of Hazard, Morthound's mastermind Benny "BJ" Nilsen created the arctic and alien dronescapes of Fade To White (2004) and The Short Night (2007) by manipulating natural sounds and instruments.
Icelandic avantgarde electronic trio Stilluppsteypa, featuring Heimir Bjorgulfsson, worked out a Dadaistic multi-layered style of soundsculpting that juxtaposed with the horror or high-brow trends of the era, notably on Reduce by Reducing (1998) and Interferences Are Often Requested (1999).
The Portuguese multimedia artist Alfredo Costa-Monteiro produced organic flows of sound by processing paper noises on Allotropie (2005) and by employing pickups and turntables on Z = 78 (2006).
Texas between the extended ear and droning minimalismTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. Texas boasted a vibrant electroacoustic school of droning musique concrete in the tradition of Eric LaCasa. Mnortham, the project of Michael Northam, was the virtuoso of this technique, producing dense aggregates of sound from the tiniest and slightest of sources. His first demonstration, the 30-minute piece of Many Rivers Move Along The Surface Of The Magnet (1995), was the manifesto for the entire Texas school. Also influential were his two collaborations with John Grzinich: The Stomach Of The Sky (1997) and The Absurd Evidence (1998). Mnortham's essays on how to acoustically reconfigure the environment picked up speed with the 21-minute piece of Breathing Towers (2000), the three extended compositions of Coyot (2001), the three extended compositions of From Within The Solar Cave (2001), and the 54-minute "raga" of A Great And Riverless Ocean (2002). Seth Nehil composed chamber music for found objects and instruments, as documented on Tracing the Skins of Clouds (1998). In 1994 John Grzinich and Seth Nehil had formed the live electro-acoustic ensemble Alial Straa, documented on Tunnels/Stairwell (1997). The duo's study of timbres, texture and dynamics reaches new heights of paroxysm on Confluence (2002). John Grzinich, a builder of amplified piano-wire instruments, was perhaps the most lyrical in this sound art of weaving together digitally manipulated field recordings. His Intimations (2004) diluted and abstracted piano notes, then merging them with field recordings of cicadas, birds and waves; while the sources of Insular Regions (2005) were all collected from a small village in Estonia, therefore creating a personal transfigured diary.
Compositional rigor highlighted the fusion of acoustic chamber music, droning minimalism, glitch music, electronic soundscaping and computer-manipulated field recordings propounded by Olivia Block in her trilogy of Pure Gaze (1998), Mobius Fuse (2001) and Change Ringing (2005). All three constructed dramatic symphonies of reverbs, pulses, drones and glitches.
Turntable musicTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. The turntablist as an instrumentalist was an artistic person that migrated from hip-hop music into avantgarde, rock and jazz music during the 1990s. The turntable allowed musicians to achieve two goals (that were frequently overlapped): 1. quote from a musical source by another musician (and therefore create collages of quotations), and 2. produce sequences of extreme noise. Christian Marclay spearheaded the new trend towards "composing", performing and improvising using phonographic records. De facto, he applied John Cage's indeterminism and, in general, Dadaism's provocative principles of aesthetic demystification to the civilization of recorded music. His specialty consisted in devising mechanisms for letting a record evolve a sound over time, typically by having people somehow degrade its sound (as in Record Without a Cover of 1985, a record sold with no cover and no jacket so that it keeps deteriorating after every playing, or Footsteps of 1990, a totally random composition resulting from hundreds of people walking on a record).
The idea was refined in Britain by Philip Jeck and in Japan by Otomo Yoshihide.
Philip Jeck (3) created the chaotic cacophony of Vinyl Requiem (1993) for 180 turntables. Vinyl Coda I-III (2000) and Vinyl Coda IV (2001) documented Jeck at the peak of his virtuoso art, mixing snippets of old records in a jungle of turntable noises. The 24-minute Skew, off Host (2003), was even more radical, while the three-movement Fanfare Song Trilogy, off Sand (2008), abandoned the discontinuous, glitchy format of his beginnings and turned to crystalline, slowly-revolving, quasi-ambient soundscapes.
Otomo Yoshihide (2), Ground Zero's guitarist, harked back to the most brutal musique concrete ever conceived as well as to Morton Subotnick's electronic ping-pong music for the screeching and hissing tornadoes of Sound Factory (1997). The three-movement concerto of Anode (2000) evoked John Cage's aleatory music by only providing the performers with vague instructions.
Bionic musicTM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved. In the late 1990s computer processing was becoming pervasive.
The installations of Michael Schumacher (2) often started with field recordings or accidental events, that were then processed at the computer to produce long spatial tones, as documented in the Four Stills (2002). A complex computer algorithm generated the sparse sounds that populated the Room Pieces (2003).
The "live" laptop manipulations of British musician Kaffe Matthews, such as the theremin-based Cd Eb And Flo (2003), yielded droning compositions that are layered to the point of becoming dense mobile textures. She also organized Lappetites' Before The Libretto (2005), a collaboration with Elaine Radigue (France), Ryoko Kuwajima (Japan), and Antye Greie-Fuchs (Germany), basically a multinational all-female laptop quartet, ranging in age from the 70-year old Radigue to the Japanese teenager.
In 2001 Matt Rogalsky developed his "Kash" software to interact with live performers on traditional instruments. The resulting live performances are subtle and subliminal works, in which Rogalsky toys with fictitious microtonal sounds in a very sparse and desolate soundscape. Another kind of software, "Sprawl", allows Rogalsky to operate on densely layered structures, that yield floating clusters similar to the ones that fuel ambient and cosmic music.
New Zealand's digital manipulator Rosy Parlane mixed melodic drones, sample loops and field recordings on the languid and cinematic three-movement symphonies Iris (2004) and Jessamine (2006) that emanated a sense of calm and harmony made more humane by an underworld of microscopic events.
Japanese composer Koji Asano engineered the monumental The Last Shade of Evening Falls (2000) for computer-processed violin and contrabass, a nightmarish exercise that ran the gamut from chaotic and wildly atonal to densely droning.
Chinese composer Fan Wang's Sound Of Meditation Within the Body (2001) blended Western and Eastern ways of music via musique-concrete collages of subterranean currents and otherworldly noises that slowly grow into om-like cosmic drones, oscillating between the internal and the external soundscape.
Chinese laptop composer Jun Yan explored the convergence of noise-sculpting techniques that came from musique concrete and the improvised techniques that came from jazz in lengthy creative sequences of artificial sounds.
New Age Music
Database of Contemporary Composers
William Ackerman (new age)
John Adams (minimalism)
John Luther Adams (minimalism)
Alio Die (ambient)
Marcus Allen (new age)
Maryanne Amacher (droning minimalism)
Oren Ambarchi (glitch)
AMM (event music)
Ancient Future (world-music)
Laurie Anderson (vocals)
Darol Anger (post-jazz)
Jon Appleton (concrete)
Luigi Archetti (post-chamber)
David Arkenstone (new age)
Koji Asano (computer)
James Asher (new age)
Robert Ashley (event music)
William Aura (new age)
Paul Avgerinos (new age)
Stephen Bacchus (new age)
Ellen Band (concrete)
Bang On A Can All-Stars (post-chamber)
Tom Barabas (new age)
William Basinski (ambient)
Anton Batagov (ambient)
Pierre Bastien (event music)
Bruce Becvar (new age)
David Bedford (event music)
Marc Behrens (concrete)
David Behrman (computer)
Teja Bell (new age)
Sam Bennett (post-jazz)
Steve Beresford (post-jazz)
Tim Berne (post-jazz)
Patrick Bernard (new age)
Jay Scott Berry (new age)
Pierre Berthet (ambient)
Antoine Beuger (isolationism)
Maurizio Bianchi (concrete)
Phillip Bimstein (post-chamber)
John Bischoff (computer)
Olivia Block (electroacoustic)
Ian Boddy (new age)
Cesar Bolanos (electroacoustic)
Richard Bone (ambient)
Ron Boots (new age)
David Borden (post-chamber)
Ascanio Borga (ambient)
John Boswell (new age)
Graham Bowers (post-chamber)
Jonas Braasch (post-jazz)
Paul Bradley (droning minimalism)
Kevin Braheny (new age)
Glenn Branca (minimalism)
Tyondai Braxton (post-jazz)
Thom Brennan (new age)
Spencer Brewer (new age)
Michael Brook (ambient)
Chris Brown (world)
Gavin Bryars (event music)
Thomas Buckner (vocals)
Harold Budd (ambient)
Nils Bultmann (post-chamber)
Richard Burmer (new age)
Warren Burt (droning minimalism)
Michael Byron (minimalism)
Roberto Cacciapaglia (event music)
Francois Cambuzat (post-jazz)
Allison Cameron (post-chamber)
Doug Cameron (new age)
Nuno Canavarro (ambient)
Cornelius Cardew (event music)
Walter Carlos (new age)
Robert Carty (new age)
Tim Catlin (droning minimalism)
John Catney (new age)
Eugene Chadbourne (post-jazz)
Andrew Chalk (droning minimalism)
Wendy Mae Chambers (post-chamber)
Jim Chappell (new age)
Richard Chartier (glitch)
Loren Chasse (concrete)
Rhys Chatham (minimalism)
Checkfield (new age)
Mary Ellen Childs (post-chamber)
Suzanne Ciani (new age)
Claudia Quintet (post-jazz)
Tim Clement (new age)
Jay Cloidt (collage)
Climax Golden Twins (concrete)
Nels Cline (post-jazz)
Tony Coe (post-jazz)
John Coleclough (ambient)
Nicolas Collins (event music)
Pascal Comelade (post-jazz)
Loren Mazzacane Connors (post-jazz)
Tony Conrad (minimalism)
Jesse Cook (new age)
Tom Cora (post-jazz)
Eric Cordier (concrete)
Philip Corner (event music)
Scott Cossu (new age)
Anla Courtis (concrete)
Ben Cox (ambient)
Rick Cox (ambient)
Lol Coxhill (post-jazz)
Coyote Oldman (new age)
Noah Creshevsky (concrete)
Alvin Curran (concrete)
Peter Cusack (concrete)
Cyrnai (event music)
D'Rachael (new age)
Anders Dahl (concrete)
Lesli Dalaba (post-jazz)
Malcolm Dalglish (new age)
Mychael Danna (new age)
David Darling (new age)
Dik Darnell (new age)
Darshan Ambient (ambient)
Date Palms (ambient)
Peter Davison (new age)
Jacques De Koninck (new age)
Deep Forest (world)
Vladislav Delay (glitch)
Paul DeMarinis (concrete)
Constance Demby (new age)
Stuart Dempster (droning minimalism)
Taylor Deupree (glitch)
Andrew Raffo Dewar (droning minimalism)
Nick Didkovsky (computer music)
Raymond Dijkstra (concrete)
Thomas Dimuzio (concrete)
Lucia Dlugoszewsky (post-chamber)
Tod Dockstader (concrete)
Charles Dodge (concrete)
Dogon (new age)
Christy Doran (post-jazz)
Bill Douglas (new age)
Steve Douglas (post-jazz)
Paul Dresher (post-chamber)
Arnold Dreyblatt (minimalism)
Kevin Drumm (post-jazz)
Olivier Dumont (concrete)
Urszula Dudziak (vocals)
John Duncan (concrete)
Stephan Dunkelman (post-chamber)
Paul Dunmall (post-jazz)
David Dunn (computer)
John Dyson (new age)
Robert Een (minimalism)
Ekkehard Ehlers (post-chamber)
Marty Ehrlich (post-jazz)
Eko (new age)
William Ellwood (new age)
Emerald Web (new age)
Brian Eno (ambient)
Roger Eno (post-chamber)
Eternal Wind (world-music)
Dean Evenson (new age)
Fan Wang (computer)
Ferran Fages (post-jazz)
Forrest Fang (world-music)
Christian Fennesz (ambient)
David First (droning)
Luca Formentini (ambient)
Fast Forward (event music)
Reinhard Flatischler (post-jazz)
JB Floyd (post-jazz)
Henry Flynt (post-jazz)
Marty Fogel (post-jazz)
Gyjho Frank (new age)
David Friesen (post-jazz)
Bill Frisell (post-jazz)
Eloy Fritsch (new age)
Fred Frith (post-jazz)
James Fulkerson (post-chamber)
Ellen Fullman (droning minimalism)
Kenneth Gaburo (compositional linguistics)
Diamanda Galas (vocals)
Ruben Garcia (ambient)
Kay Gardner (new age)
Richard Garet (ambient)
Guillaume Gargaud (ambient)
Peter Garland (post-chamber)
Robert Gass (new age)
Gandalf (new age)
Ron Geesin (event music)
Michael Gendreau (collage)
Michel Genest (new age)
Tony Gerber (new age)
Michael Gettel (new age)
Qubais Reed Ghazala (concrete)
Jon Gibson (minimalism)
Michael Gilbert (world music)
Brian Gingrich (new age)
Lutz Glandien (electroacoustic)
Philip Glass (minimalism)
Glass Orchestra (post-jazz)
Heiner Goebbels (post-jazz)
Malcolm Goldstein (post-jazz)
Daniel Goode (post-chamber)
Jean-Philippe Goude (new age)
Mathias Grassow (cosmic)
Wayne Gratz (new age)
Guillermo Gregorio (post-jazz)
Randy Greif (concrete)
Jeff Greinke (ambient)
Group 87 (post-jazz)
Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (event music)
John Grzinich (electroacoustic)
Hildur Gudnadottir (post-chamber)
Jean-Luc Guionnet (concrete)
Cheryl Gunn (new age)
Bernhard Guenter (glitch)
Trilok Gurtu (post-jazz)
Brent Gutzeit (laptop)
Brion Gysin (event music)
Steven Halpern (new age)
Tom Hamilton (electroacoustic)
Joyce Handler (new age)
Kip Hanrahan (post-jazz)
Mike Hansen (turntablist)
Don Harriss (new age)
Mickey Hart (world-music)
Jon Hassell (world-music)
Greg Headley (post-jazz)
Tom Heasley (ambient)
Michael Hedges (new age)
Erdem Helvacioglu (ambient)
Pierre Henry (concrete)
Jean-Luc Herelle (concrete)
Barbara Higbie (post-jazz)
Shelley Hirsch (vocals)
Ian Holloway (ambient)
Bob Holroyd (world-music)
Anna Homler (vocals)
Michael Harrison (minimalism)
Fritz Hauser (post-jazz)
Paul Horn (post-jazz)
William Hooker (post-jazz)
Wayne Horvitz (post-jazz)
Earl Howard (post-jazz)
Hub (computer music)
John Hudak (concrete)
Naut Humon (concrete)
Brannon Hungness (electroacoustic)
Jerry Hunt (event music)
Lucia Hwong (world-music)
David Hykes (vocals)
Iasos (new age)
If Bwana (concrete)
Giuseppe Ielasi (concrete)
Ryoji Ikeda (minimal noise)
Illusion Of Safety (concrete)
Tetsu Inoue (ambient)
Robert Iolini (concrete)
Irr. App. (Ext.) (concrete)
Mark Isham (post-jazz)
Terje Isungset (post-jazz)
Vikki Jackman (ambient)
Mia Jang (new age)
Jean-Michele Jarre (new age)
Philip Jeck (turntablist)
Scott Johnson (concrete)
Jliat (droning minimalism)
Tom Johnson (event music)
James Johnson (ambient)
Steve Jolliffe (new age)
Michael Jones (new age)
Jun Yan (computer)
Jason Kahn (post-jazz)
Henry Kaiser (post-jazz)
Eyvind Kang (post-jazz)
Karunesh (new age)
Peter Kater (new age)
Keeler (new age)
Kevin Keller (ambient)
Greg Kelley (post-jazz)
Georgia Kelly (new age)
Jin Hi Kim (post-chamber)
Mari Kimura (post-chamber)
Steve Kindler (new age)
Ben Tavera King (new age)
Leyland Kirby (ambient)
Jacob Kirkegaard (concrete)
Bernd Kistenmacher (cosmic)
Osamu Kitajima (new age)
Kitaro (new age)
Phil Kline (post-chamber)
Guy Klucevsek (post-jazz)
Milan Knizak (collage)
Daniel Kobialka (new age)
Nikola Kodjabashia (post-chamber)
Kol Simcha (world music)
Toshinori Kondo (post-jazz)
Thomas Koner (ambient)
Gregg Kowalsky (ambient)
Tomasz Krakowiak (concrete)
Beaver & Krause (electronic rock)
Bernie Krause (collage)
Lothar Krell (new age)
Christina Kubisch (electroacoustic)
Larry Kucharz (ambient)
Sergey Kuryokhin (post-jazz)
Joan La Barbara (vocals)
Eric La Casa (concrete)
Richard Lainhart (droning minimalism)
Bun-Ching Lam (post-chamber)
Alan Lamb (droning minimalism)
Paul Lansky (computer music)
David Lanz (new age)
Jean-Francois Laporte (deep listening)
Sergio Lara e Joe Reyes (new age)
Bill Laswell (ambient)
Mary Jane Leach (minimalism)
Iury Lech (ambient)
Jeanne Lee (vocals)
Riley Lee (world-music)
Kerry Leimer (new age)
Daniel Lentz (minimalism)
Cheryl Leonard (concrete)
Lethe (droning minimalism)
Benjamin Lew (post-chamber)
Alan Licht (post-jazz)
Ottmar Liebert (new age)
Rune Lindblad (electroacoustic)
Liquid Mind (ambient)
Mind-Flux (new age)
Annea Lockwood (concrete)
Logos Duo (concrete)
Fred Lonberg-Holm (post-jazz)
Francisco Lopez (concrete)
Joe Colley (concrete)
Alvin Lucier (droning minimalism)
Otto Luening (concrete)
Ralph Lundsten (concrete)
Ray Lynch (new age)
Jackson MacLow (event music)
Pierre-Yves Mace (collage)
Tod Machover (post-chamber)
Val Magyar (new age)
Keeril Makan (post-chamber)
Michael Manring (post-jazz)
Lionel Marchetti (concrete)
Walter Marchetti (event music)
Christian Marclay (turntablist)
Denman Maroney (post-jazz)
Ingram Marshall (minimalism)
Mike Marshall (post-jazz)
Miya Masaoka (post-jazz)
Stephan Mathieu (concrete)
Kaffe Matthews (concrete)
Peter Maunu (post-jazz)
Susan Mazer (new age)
Paul McCandless (post-jazz)
Michael McNabb (computer music)
Lubomyr Melnyk (minimalism)
Daniel Menche (concrete)
Wim Mertens (minimalism)
Stephen Micus (world-music)
Piero Milesi (minimalism)
Robert Millis (concrete)
Meredith Monk (vocals)
Montage (new age)
Alfredo Costa Monteiro (droning minimalism)
Gen Ken Montgomery (concrete)
Stephan Moore (deep listening)
Monos (droning minimalism)
Glen Moore (post-jazz)
Ikue Mori (post-jazz)
Butch Morris (post-jazz)
Charlie Morrow (post-chamber)
David Moss (vocals)
Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece (electronic rock)
Guenter Mueller (post-jazz)
Nico Muhly (minimalism)
Gordon Mumma (event music)
Brendan Murray (ambient)
Musica Elettronica Viva (event music)
Carlos Nakai (new age)
Toshimaru Nakamura (glitch)
Pete Namlook (ambient)
Andy Narell (post-jazz)
Mark Nauseef (post-jazz)
Seth Nehil (electroacoustic)
Ben Neill (post-jazz)
Kenneth Newby (new age)
Phill Niblock (minimalism)
Night Ark (new age)
Nightcrawlers (new age)
Nightnoise (new age)
Michael Northam (electroacoustic)
Alva Noto (glitch)
Charles Noyes (post-jazz)
Michael Nyman (minimalism)
Patrick O'Hearn (post-jazz)
Oblivion Ensemble (electroacoustic)
Yoko Ono (vocals)
Hans Otte (post-chamber)
Pauline Oliveros (droning minimalism)
Ora (droning minimalism)
Bob Ostertag (collage)
John Oswald (collage)
Dino Pacifici (new age)
Claudio Parodi (droning minimalism)
Charlemagne Palestine (minimalism)
Pan Sonic (glitch)
Paul Panhuysen (deep listening)
Zeena Parkins (post-jazz)
Bernard Parmegiani (concrete)
David Parsons (world-music)
Maggie Payne (electroacoustic)
Christopher Peacock (new age)
Jeff Pearce (ambient)
Robert Pearson (new age)
Tristan Perich (digital)
Frank Perry (new age)
Philip Perkins (concrete)
Astor Piazzolla (post-chamber)
Lenny Pickett (post-jazz)
Dan Plonsey (minimalism)
Michael Pluznick (world-music)
Jocelyn Pook (new age)
Rod Poole (minimalism)
Stephen Travis Pope (computer)
Colin Potter (droning minimalism)
Conrad Praetzel (world-music)
Bobby Previte (post-jazz)
Eddie Prevost (post-jazz)
Kate Price (new age)
Radiance (new age)
Akira Rabelais (minimalism)
Eliane Radigue (droning minimalism)
Bhob Rainey (post-jazz)
Giles Reaves (new age)
Jose Luis Redondo (post-jazz)
Rick Reed (ambient)
Steve Reich (minimalism)
Christian Renou (concrete)
Jorge Reyes (world-music)
Roger Reynolds (event music)
Rhythm And Noise (concrete)
Robert Rich (new age)
Vicki Richards (new age)
Max Richter (post-chamber)
Eric Glick-Rieman (post-jazz)
Kurt Riemann (new age)
Terry Riley (minimalism)
Steve Roach (new age)
Hank Roberts (post-jazz)
Kim Robertson (new age)
Steve Roden (concrete)
Matt Rogalsky (droning minimalism)
Neil Rolnick (electroacoustic)
Randy Roos (new age)
Jon Rose (post-jazz)
Scott Rosenberg (post-jazz)
David Rosenbloom (post-chamber)
David Rosenboom (computer music)
Marina Rosenfeld (turntablist, aleatory)
Don Ross (new age)
Gabrielle Roth (new age)
Ned Rothenberg (post-jazz)
Mikel Rouse (minimalism)
Keith Rowe (post-jazz)
Adam Rudolph (world-music)
Nancy Rumbel (new age)
Arthur Russell (minimalism)
Robert Rutman (droning minimalism)
Frederic Rzewski (event music)
Sachiko M (post-jazz)
Tadamitsu Saito (new age)
Suso Saiz (ambient)
Philip Samartzis (glitch)
Somei Satoh (minimalism)
Paul Sauvanet (new age)
Helmut Schafer (musique concrete)
Janek Schaefer (musique concrete)
Daniel Schell (post-chamber)
Klaus Schonning (cosmic)
Michael Schumacher (concrete)
Klaus Schulze (cosmic)
Paul Schutze (ambient)
Stephen Scott (minimalism)
Jonn Serrie (new age)
Shadowfax (new age)
Shahin & Sepehr (new age)
Lakshminarayana Shankar (world-music)
Elliott Sharp (post-jazz)
David Shea (turntablist, collage)
Colin Andrew Sheffield (musique concrete)
John Shiurba (post-jazz)
Matt Shoemaker (musique concrete)
Mark Shreeve (new age)
Michael Shrieve (post-jazz)
Budi Siebert (new age)
Richard Skelton (post-chamber)
Don Slepian (new age)
Scott Smallwood (droning minimalism)
Software (new age)
Solitaire (new age)
Chris Speed (post-jazz)
Paul Speer (new age)
Chris Spheeris (new age)
Laurie Spiegel (computer music)
Robin Spielberg (new age)
Bruce Stark (new age)
Jim Staley (post-jazz)
Michael Stearns (new age)
Ira Stein & Russel Walder (new age)
Carl Stone (collage)
Liz Story (new age)
Tim Story (new age)
Taku Sugimoto (post-jazz)
Morton Subotnick (concrete)
Nicholas Szczepanik (droning minimalism)
So Takahashi (ambient noise)
Masayuki Takayanagi (post-jazz)
Toru Takemitsu (post-chamber)
Nobukazu Takemura (minimalism)
Darren Tate (droning minimalism)
Richard Teitelbaum (post-jazz)
James Tenney (computer music)
Terra Ambient (ambient)
Robert Scott Thompson (ambient)
Steve Tibbetts (post-jazz)
Stevan Tickmayer (post-jazz)
Asmus Tietchens (new age)
John Tilbury (event music)
Viktor Timofeev (ambient)
Eric Tingstad (new age)
Yasunao Tone (event music)
David Toop (ambient)
Rafael Toral (droning minimalism)
Toshiya Tsunoda (concrete)
Tonto's Head Band (electronic rock)
David Torn (post-jazz)
Ralph Towner (post-jazz)
Turtle Island String Quartet (post-jazz)
Artie Traum (post-jazz)
Gene Tyranny (event music)
Kazuhisa Uchihashi (post-jazz)
Vladimir Ussachevsky (concrete)
Jai Uttal (world-music)
Michael Uyttebroek (new age)
Mika Vainio (glitch)
Josef Van Wissem
Chuck Van Zyl (new age)
Ken Vandermark (post-jazz)
Vangelis (new age)
David VanTieghem (post-jazz)
Nana Vasconcelos (post-jazz)
Glen Velez (post-jazz)
Giovanni Venosta (concrete)
Vidna Obmana (ambient)
Lois Vierk (minimalism)
Robert Vincs (post-jazz)
Voice Crack (event music)
Andreas Vollenweider (new age)
Carl Michael von Hausswolff (glitch)
Dimitri Voudouris (electroacoustic)
Yoshi Wada (minimalism)
Collin Walcott (post-jazz)
John Wall (collage)
Richard Warner (new age)
Tom Wasinger (new age)
Bob Wasserman (post-jazz)
Kit Watkins (ambient)
Chris Watson (musique concrete)
David Watson (droning minimalism)
Wavestar (new age)
Stuart Weber (new age)
Carl Weingarten (new age)
Tim Weisberg (new age)
Stefan Weisser (concrete)
Michael Whalen (new age)
Tim Wheater (new age)
Keith Whitman (droning minimalism)
Anne Williams (new age)
Wind Machine (new age)
Simon Wickham-Smith (concrete)
George Winston (new age)
Paul Winter (post-jazz)
Wolff & Hennings (world-music)
Erling Wold (multimedia opera)
Achim Wollscheid (computer)
Nat Wooley (post-jazz)
Danny Wright (new age)
Peter Wright (droning minimalism)
Charles Wuorinen (post-chamber)
Igor Wakhevitch (electronic rock)
Bernard Xolotl (new age)
Stomu Yamashta (post-jazz)
Yanni (new age)
Yas-Kaz (new age)
Otomo Yoshihide (turntablist)
LaMonte Young (minimalism)
Pamela Z (vocals)
Hector Zazou (post-chamber)
Marc Zeier (concrete)
Zeus Faber (new age)
Mariolina Zitta (concrete)
John Zorn (post-jazz)
Peter Zummo (post-jazz)
These are the composers born after 1899
Kurt Weill (Germany, 1900): Die Dreigroschenoper/ The Three-Penny Opera (1928)
Kurt Weill (Germany, 1900): Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny/ Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1929)
Ernst Krenek (Germany, 1900): Jonny Spielt Auf (1927)
Ernst Krenek (Germany, 1900): Karl V (1933)
Werner Egk (Germany, 1901): Peer Gynt (1938)
Ruth Crawford (USA, 1901): Four Diaphonic Suites (1930)
Ruth Crawford (USA, 1901): Piano Study in Mixed Accents (1930)
Ruth Crawford (USA, 1901): String Quartet (1931)
Ruth Crawford (USA, 1901): The Love at the Harp (1932)
Stefan Wolpe (Germany, 1902): Yigdal (1945)
Boris Blacher (Germany, 1903): Abstrakte Oper 1 (1953)
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Luigi DallaPiccola (Italy, 1904): Prigioniero (1948)
Luigi DallaPiccola (Italy, 1904): Ulisse (1968)
Marc Blitzstein (USA, 1905): Regina (1949)
Michael Tippett (Britain, 1905): Midsummer Marriage (1952)
Michael Tippett (Britain, 1905): King Priam (1961)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): The Nose (1929)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1934)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): San Francesco d'Assisi (1983)
Giancarlo Menotti (Italy, 1911): Consul (1950)
Benjamin Britten (Britain, 1913): Peter Grimes (1945)
Benjamin Britten (Britain, 1913): Turn Of The Screw (1954)
Alberto Ginastera (Argentina, 1916): Don Rodrigo (1964)
Berndt Zimmermann (Germany, 1918): Die Soldaten (1964)
Bruno Maderna (Italy, 1920): Satyricon (1973)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Oresteia (1966)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Le Grand Macabre (1977)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): Prometeo (1984)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): Al Gran Sole Carico d'Amore/ In the Bright Sunshine Heavy with Love (1975)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): Opera (1970)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): La Vera Storia (1982)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): Un Re in Ascolto (1984)
Hans Henze (Germany, 1926): Boulevard Solitude (1951)
Hans Henze (Germany, 1926): Konig Hirsch (1955)
Hans Henze (Germany, 1926): Bassarids (1965)
Hans Henze (Germany, 1926): We Come To The River (1976)
Einojuhani Rautavaara (Finland, 1928): The House of the Sun (1990)
Henri Pousseur (Belgium, 1929): Votre Faust (1963)
Ernst Krenek (Germany, 1900): Piano Concerto 2 (1938)
Uuno Klami (Finland, 1900): Symphony 1 (1938)
Aaron Copland (USA, 1900): Appalachian Spring (1944)
Aaron Copland (USA, 1900): Symphony 3 (1946)
Aaron Copland (USA, 1900): Nonet (1960)
Otto Luening (USA, 1900): Fantasy In Space (1952)
Otto Luening (USA, 1900): Synthesis (1962)
George Antheil (USA, 1900): Airplane Sonata (1922)
George Antheil (USA, 1900): Sonata Sauvage (1923)
George Antheil (USA, 1900): Ballet Mecanique (1925)
Harry Partch (USA, 1901): Revelation (1960)
Harry Partch (USA, 1901): Delusion of the Fury (1969)
Harry Partch (USA, 1901): And On The Seventh Day Petals Fell In Petaluma (1966)
Henri Sauguet (France, 1901): Concerto piano 1 (1933)
Edmund Rubbra (Britain, 1901): Symphony 9 Sacra (1972)
Joaquin Rodrigo (Spain, 1902): Concierto de Aranjuez (1939)
William Walton (Britain, 1902): Symphony 1 (1935)
William Walton (Britain, 1902): Belshazzar's Feast (1931)
Stefan Wolpe (Germany, 1902): Quartet per tromba, sassofono, piano & percussioni (1952)
Stefan Wolpe (Germany, 1902): Symphony (1956)
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Marcel Durufle' (France, 1902): Requiem (1947)
Berthold Goldschmidt (Germany, 1903): Cello concerto (1953)
Berthold Goldschmidt (Germany, 1903): Quartet 2 (1936)
Berthold Goldschmidt (Germany, 1903): Violin concerto (1955)
Aram Khachaturian (Armenia, 1903): Violin Concerto (1940)
Aram Khachaturian (Armenia, 1903): Gayane (1942)
Nikos Skalkottas (Greece, 1904): Double Concerto (1943)
Dmitry Kabalevsky (Russia, 1904): The Comedians (1940)
Goffredo Petrassi (Italy, 1904): Concerto 8 (1972)
Goffredo Petrassi (Italy, 1904): Coro di Morti (1941)
Andre` Jolivet (France, 1905): Concerto pour Ondes Martenot (1947)
Andre` Jolivet (France, 1905): Epithalame (1953)
Michael Tippett (Britain, 1905): A Child Of Our Time (1941)
Michael Tippett (Britain, 1905): Symphony 4 (1977)
Michael Tippett (Britain, 1905): Triple Concerto (1979)
Michael Tippett (Britain, 1905): Mask of Time (1982)
Michael Tippett (Britain, 1905): Concerto for Double String Orchestra (1938)
Michael Tippett (Britain, 1905): Symphony 3 (1972)
Karl Hartmann (Germany, 1905): Concerto Funebre (1939)
Karl Hartmann (Germany, 1905): Symphony 8 (1963)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Suite 9 (1953)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Quattro Illustrazioni (1953)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Suite 10 (1954)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Pwyll (1954)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Ixor (1956)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Tre Canti Sacri (1958)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Kya (1959)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Quattro Pezzi per Una Nota Sola (1959)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Hurqualia (1960)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Aion (1961)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): String Quartet No. 2 (1961)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Khoom (1962)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Hymnos (1963)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): String Quartet No. 3 (1963)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Quartet 4 (1964)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): String Quartet No. 4 (1964)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Xnoybis (1964)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Ygghur (1965)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Uaxuctum (1966)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Elegia per Ty (1966)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Tkrdg (1968)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Okanagon (1968)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): Konx-Om-Pax (1969)
Giacinto Scelsi (Italy, 1905): String Quartet No. 5 (1985)
Eduard Tubin (Estonia, 1905):: Symphony 10 (1973)
Eduard Tubin (Estonia, 1905):: Symphony 6 (1954)
Eduard Tubin (Estonia, 1905):: Symphony 8 (1966)
Eduard Tubin (Estonia, 1905):: Requiem (1979)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Symphony 1 (1926)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Piano Concerto 1 (1933)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Symphony 5 (1937)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Piano Quintet op.57 (1940)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Symphony 7 (1941)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Symphony 8 (1943)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Symphony 10 (1953)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Violin Concerto 1 (1955)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Piano Concerto 2 (1957)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Cello Concerto 1 (1959)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Symphony 12 (1961)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Quartet 8 (1961)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Symphony 13 (1962)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Quartet 9 (1964)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Quartet 10 (1964)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Cello Concerto 2 (1966)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Quartet 11 (1966)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Violin Concerto 2 (1967)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Quartet 12 (1968)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Sonata vl & pf (1968)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Symphony 14 (1969)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Quartet 13 (1970)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Symphony 15 (1971)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Quartet 14 (1973)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Quartet 15 (1974)
Dmitrij Shostakovic (Russia, 1906): Sonata viola & piano (1975)
Jean Langlais (France, 1907): Suite Medievale (1948)
Wolfgang Fortner (Germany, 1907): Symphony (1947)
Sandor Veress (Hungary, 1907): Symphony 2 Minneapolitana (1952)
Ahmet Adnan Saygun (Turkey, 1907): Symphony 3 (1960)
Herman Koppel (Denmark, 1908): Moses (1964)
Herman Koppel (Denmark, 1908): Symphony 5 (1956)
Leroy Anderson (USA, 1908): The Syncopated Clock (1945)
Leroy Anderson (USA, 1908): The Typewriter (1950)
Geirr Tveitt (Norway, 1908): Piano Concerto 4 (1947)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps (1940)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jesu (1944)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Harawi (1945)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Eclairs Sur L'au-dela (1991)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Turangalila Symphonie (1948)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Mode de Valeurs (1950)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Oiseaux Exotiques (1956)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Catalogue d'Oiseaux (1958)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Chronochromie (1960)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Sept Haikai (1962)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Couleurs de la Cite' Celeste (1963)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): La Transfiguration (1969)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Des Canyons Aux Etoiles (1975)
Olivier Messiaen (France, 1908): Reveil des Oiseaux (1953)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Piano Sonata (1946)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Sonata for cello & piano (1948)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Quartet 1 (1951)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Sonata flute, oboe, cello, harpsichord (1952)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Quartet 2 (1959)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Double Concerto (1961)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Piano Concerto (1965)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Concerto for orchestra (1969)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Quartet 3 (1973)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Symphony for Three Orchestras (1977)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Triplo duo (1983)
Elliott Carter (USA, 1908): Quartet 4 (1986)
TM, ®, Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
Raymond Scott (USA, 1908): Soothing Sounds for Baby (1962)
Ljubica Maric (Serbia, 1909): Byzantine Concerto (1959)
Vagn Holmboe (Denmark, 1909): Chamber concerto 13 (1956)
Vagn Holmboe (Denmark, 1909): Liber Canticorum (1967)
Vagn Holmboe (Denmark, 1909): Quartet 11 Rustico (1972)
Vagn Holmboe (Denmark, 1909): Quartet 17 Mattinata (1982)
Vagn Holmboe (Denmark, 1909): Quartet 20 Notturno (1985)
Vagn Holmboe (Denmark, 1909): Requiem for Nietzsche (1964)
Vagn Holmboe (Denmark, 1909): Symphony 8 (1952)
Pierre Schaeffer (France, 1910): Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul (1950)
Pierre Schaeffer (France, 1910): Orphee (1953)
William Schuman (USA, 1910): Concerto per violino (1947)
Samuel Barber (USA, 1910): Concerto pianoforte (1962)
Josef Tal (Germany, 1910): Symphony 3 (1973)
Alan Hovhaness (USA, 1911): Concerto 7 (1953)
Alan Hovhaness (USA, 1911): Symphony 2 - Mysterious Mountain (1955)
Alan Hovhaness (USA, 1911): Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints (1965)
Alan Hovhaness (USA, 1911): And God Created Great Whales (1969)
Alan Hovhaness (USA, 1911): Concerto per euphonium (1977)
Alan Hovhaness (USA, 1911): Symphony 36 (1979)
Alan Hovhaness (USA, 1911): Symphony 50 (1979)
Alan Hovhaness (USA, 1911): Circe (1963)
Vladimir Ussachevsky (USA, 1911): Sonic Contours (1952)
Vladimir Ussachevsky (USA, 1911): A Poem In Cycles And Bells (1954)
Allan Pettersson (Sweden, 1911): Symphony 9 (1970)
Allan Pettersson (Sweden, 1911): Symphony 10 (1971)
Allan Pettersson (Sweden, 1911): Symphony 12 (1974)
Allan Pettersson (Sweden, 1911): Symphony 13 (1976)
Allan Pettersson (Sweden, 1911): Symphony 16 (1979)
Jan Cikker (Slovakia, 1911): Symphony 3 "Symfonia 1945" (1974)
Igor Markevitch (Russia, 1912): L'envol d'Icare (1933)
Tauno Marttinen (Finland, 1912): Violin Concerto (1962)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Imaginary Landscape no.1 (1939)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Sonatas and Interludes (1948)
John Cage (USA, 1912): String Quartet (1950)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Imaginary Landscape no.4 (1951)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Music Of Changes (1951)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Concerto for prepared piano (1951)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Water Music (1952)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Williams Mix (1952)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Piano Concerto (1958)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Cartridge Music (1960)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Musicircus (1967)
John Cage (USA, 1912): HPSCHD (1969)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Europera (1988)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Concerto 3 (1990)
John Cage (USA, 1912): Empty Words (1978)
Conlon Nancarrow (USA, 1912): Concerto for Player Piano and Orchestra (1989)
Benjamin Britten (Britain, 1913): Les Illuminations (1939)
Benjamin Britten (Britain, 1913): Requiem Symphony (1941)
Benjamin Britten (Britain, 1913): Spring Symphony (1947)
Benjamin Britten (Britain, 1913): War Requiem (1961)
Benjamin Britten (Britain, 1913): Cello Symphony (1963)
Benjamin Britten (Britain, 1913): Quartet 3 (1975)
Benjamin Britten (Britain, 1913): Cello Sonata in C Major Op. 65 (1960)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Cello Concerto (1970)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Muzyka Zalobna (1958)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Oboe and harp concerto (1980)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Piano concerto (1988)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Symphony 2 (1967)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Symphony 3 (1983)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Symphony 4 (1992)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Concerto for Orchestra (1954)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Funeral Music for Strings (1958)
Witold Lutoslawski (Poland, 1913): Jeux Venitiens (1961)
Henry Brant (USA, 1913): Northern Lights over the Twin Cities (1986)
Stjepan Sulek (Croatia, 1914): Symphony 6 (1966)
Maurice Ohana (France, 1914): Office des Oracles (1974)
George Perle (USA, 1915): Piano Concerto 2 (1992)
George Perle (USA, 1915): Quartet 5 (1960)
Douglas Lilburn (New Zealand, 1915): Symphony 3 (1961)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Three Compositions for Piano (1947)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Du (1951)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): String Quartet 2 (1954)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Ensembles For Synthesizer (1964)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Philomel (1964)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Quartet 3 (1969)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Quartet 4 (1970)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Solo Requiem (1976)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): All Set (1957)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Composition for Synthesizer (1961)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Vision and Prayer (1961)
Milton Babbitt (USA, 1916): Reflections (1975)
Henri Dutilleux (France, 1916): Symphony 2 (1959)
Henri Dutilleux (France, 1916): Violin Concerto (1985)
Alberto Ginastera (Argentina, 1916): Harp Concerto (1956)
Mordechai Seter (Russia, 1916): Jerusalem (1968)
Arnold Van Wyk (South Africa, 1916): Primavera (1960)
Karl-Birger Blomdahl (Sweden, 1916): Symphony 3 (1950)
Isang Yun (Korea, 1917): Clarinet Quintet 1 (1991)
Rudolf Bruci (Serbia, 1917): Symphony 2 Lesta (1965)
Lou Harrison (USA, 1917): Concerto in Slendro (1961)
Lou Harrison (USA, 1917): La Koro-sutro (1972)
Lou Harrison (USA, 1917): Concerto for Organ and Percussion (1973)
Lou Harrison (USA, 1917): Double Concerto (1982)
Lou Harrison (USA, 1917): Suite for Percussion (1942)
Leonard Bernstein (1918): Mass (1971)
Leonard Bernstein (1918): Symphony 3 (1963)
Leonard Bernstein (1918): Symphony 2 "The Age of Anxiety" (1949)
George Rochberg (USA, 1918): Contra Mortem Et Tempus (1965)
George Rochberg (USA, 1918): Symphony 2 (1956)
George Rochberg (USA, 1918): Trio (1963)
George Rochberg (USA, 1918): Quartet 3 (1973)
George Rochberg (USA, 1918): Phaedra (1974)
Pandit Pran Nath (Pakistan, 1918): Raga Yaman Kalyan (1972)
Moisei Vainberg (Poland, 1919): Symphony 4 (1957)
Moisei Vainberg (Poland, 1919): Symphony 5 (1962)
Talivaldis Kenins (Latvia, 1919): Symphony 6 (1978)
Talivaldis Kenins (Latvia, 1919): Piano Quartet 2 (1979)
Talivaldis Kenins (Latvia, 1919): Concerto for fourteen instruments (1982)
Talivaldis Kenins (Latvia, 1919): Concerto for five percussionists (1983)
Talivaldis Kenins (Latvia, 1919): Symphony 8 (1986)
Galina Ustvolskaya (Russia, 1919): Sonata 6 (1988)
Istvan Anhalt (Hungary, 1919): The Tents of Abraham (2003)
Torbjorn Lundquist (Sweden, 1920): Symphony 3 (1976)
Bruno Maderna (Italy, 1920): Quadrivium (1969)
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Karel Husa (Czech, 1921): String Quartet No. 3 (1969)
Karel Husa (Czech, 1921): Concerto for Wind Ensemble (1982)
Karel Husa (Czech, 1921): Concerto for Orchestra (1986)
Karel Husa (Czech, 1921): Cello Concerto (1988)
Karel Husa (Czech, 1921): String Quartet No. 4 (1991)
Karel Husa (Czech, 1921): Violin Concerto (1993)
Malcolm Arnold (Britain, 1921): Quartet 2 (1975)
Zvonimir Ciglic (Slovenia, 1921): Sinfonia Appassionata (1948)
Andrew Imbrie (USA, 1921): Symphony 3 (1970)
Primoz Ramovs (Slovenia, 1921): Symphony 4 (1968)
Robert Simpson (Britain, 1921): Symphony 5 (1972)
Robert Simpson (Britain, 1921): Symphony 9 (1987)
Edvard Mirzoyan (Armenia, 1921): Symphony for Timpani and Strings (1962)
Ariel Ramirez (Argentina, 1921): Misa Criolla (1963)
Todd Matshikiza (South Africa, 1921): Makhaliphile (1953)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Metastasis (1954)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Concret PH (1958)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Orient Occident (1960)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Strategie for two orchestras (1962)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Nomos Alpha (1966)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Nomos Gamma (1968)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Persephassa (1969)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Kraanerg (1969)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Pleiades for six percussionists (1979)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Psaphha (1975)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): La Legende D'Eer (1978)
Iannis Xenakis (Greece, 1922): Tetras (1983)
Lukas Foss (USA, 1922): Baroque Variations (1967)
Lukas Foss (USA, 1922): Echoi (1963)
Felix Werder (Germany, 1922): The Tempest (1974)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Atmospheres (1961)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Aventures (1962)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Requiem (1965)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Cello Concerto (1966)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Lux Aeterna (1967)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Quartet 2 (1968)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Lontano (1967)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Melodien (1971)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Double Concerto (1972)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Horn Trio (1982)
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary, 1923): Chamber Concerto (1970)
TM, ®, Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
Peter Mennin (USA, 1923): Symphony 8 (1973)
Karel Goeyvaerts (Belgium, 1923): Litanies (1982)
Karel Goeyvaerts (Belgium, 1923): Aquarius (1991)
Harold Blumenfeld (USA, 1923): Seasons in Hell (1994)
Ake Hermanson (Sweden, 1923): Symphony 1 (1967)
Vasilije Mokranjac (Serbia, 1923): Symphony 4 (1972)
Vasilije Mokranjac (Serbia, 1923): Symphony 5 (1979)
Ake Hermanson (Sweden, 1923): Symphony 4 Oceanus (1983)
Ned Rorem (USA, 1923): Poems of Love and the Rain (1962)
Ned Rorem (USA, 1923): Piano concerto (1969)
Ned Rorem (USA, 1923): Evidence of Things Not Seen (1998)
Simeon Ten Holt (Holland, 1923): Canto Ostinato (1979)
Simeon Ten Holt (Holland, 1923): Cycle to Madness (1962)
Joly Braga-Santos (Portugal, 1924): Concerto D (1951)
Robert Starer (Austria, 1924): Concerto for Viola, Strings and Percussion (1959)
Egil Hovland (Norway, 1924): Concerto trombone (1972)
Egil Hovland (Norway, 1924): Violin Concerto (1974)
Enriko Josif (Serbia, 1924): Symphony 2 in one movement (1964)
Joly BragaSantos (Portugal, 1924): Symphony 4 (1948)
Joly BragaSantos (Portugal, 1924): Symphony 5 (1965)
Konstantin Iliev (Bulgaria, 1924): Symphony 6 (1984)
Robert Starer (Austria, 1924): Violin Concerto (1981)
Lejaren Hiller (USA, 1924): Illiac Suite (1957)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): Canto Sospeso (1956)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura (1989)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): Intolleranza (1960)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): La Fabbrica Illuminata (1964)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): Das Atmende Klarsein (1981)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): String Quartet "Fragmente Stille an Diotima" (1980)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): A Carlo Scarpa Architetto (1984)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): La Lontananza Nostalgica Futura (1988)
Luigi Nono (Italy, 1924): Hay Que Caminar (1989)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Sonata piano 2 (1948)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Livre Pour Quatuor (1949)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Structures (1951)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Le Marteau Sans Maitre (1954)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Sonata piano 3 (1957)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Pli Selon Pli (1962)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Eclat (1965)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Domaines (1969)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Rituel (1975)
Pierre Boulez (France, 1925): Repons (1980)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): Thema (1958)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): Tempi Concertati (1959)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): Epifanie (1961)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): Sinfonia (1968)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): Recital I (1972)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): Coro (1976)
Luciano Berio (Italy, 1925): Un Re In Ascolto (1984)
Andrei Eshpai (Russia, 1925): Symphony 5 (1987)
Mikis Theodorakis (Greece, 1925): Symphony 4 (1986)
Mikis Theodorakis (Greece, 1925): Symphony 7 (1982)
Lucia Dlugoszewsky (USA, 1925): Orchestra Structure For The Poetry Of Everyday Sounds (1952)
Lucia Dlugoszewsky (USA, 1925): Tender Theatre Flight Nageire (1978)
Lucia Dlugoszewsky (USA, 1925): Archaic Aggregates (1961)
Gunther Schuller (USA, 1925): Fantasia Concertante (1947)
Gunther Schuller (USA, 1925): Spectra (1960)
Gunther Schuller (USA, 1925): Deai (1978)
Gunther Schuller (USA, 1925): Piano Concerto 2 (1981)
Gunther Schuller (USA, 1925): Concerto Festivo for Brass Quintet and Orchestra (1984)
Gunther Schuller (USA, 1925): Violin Concerto 2 (1991)
Gunther Schuller (USA, 1925): Reminiscences and Reflections (1994)
Gunther Schuller (USA, 1925): String Quartet 4 (2002)
Gunther Schuller (USA, 1925): Concerto da Camera 2 (2002)
Gyorgy Kurtag (Hungary, 1926): Kafka Fragments (1996)
Oldrich Korte (Czech, 1926): Piano sonata (1953)
Friedrich Cerha (Austria, 1926): Spiegel (1968)
Ben Johnston (USA, 1926): Suite & Sonata for Microtonal Piano (1977)
Morton Feldman (USA, 1926): Projections (1951)
Morton Feldman (USA, 1926): Rothko Chapel (1971)
Morton Feldman (USA, 1926): String Quartet 2 (1983)
Morton Feldman (USA, 1926): Crippled Symmetry for flutes, piano, celesta, glockenspiel and vibraphone (1983)
Morton Feldman (USA, 1926): Piano and String Quartet (1985)
Hans Henze (Germany, 1926): Das Floss der Meduse (1968)
Earle Brown (USA, 1926): December 1952 (1952)
David Tudor (USA, 1926): Rainforest (1973)
Meyer Kupferman (USA, 1926): Concerto for Cello and Jazz Band (1962)
Meyer Kupferman (USA, 1926): Concerto for Cello, Tape and Orchestra (1974)
Meyer Kupferman (USA, 1926): Clarinet Concerto (1984)
Meyer Kupferman (USA, 1926): The Flight of Orestes (1995)
Meyer Kupferman (USA, 1926): When The Air Moves (2003)
Hans Otte (Germany, 1926): Das Buch der Klaenge (1982)
Hans Otte (Germany, 1926): Stundenbuch (1998)
Pierre Henry (France, 1927): Concerto Des Ambiguite' (1950)
Pierre Henry (France, 1927): Reine Verte (1963)
Pierre Henry (France, 1927): Messe Pour Le Temp Present (1967)
Richard Maxfield (USA, 1927): Toy Symphony (1962)
Aleksandar Obradovic (Serbia, 1927): Mikrosimfonija (1967)
Pascal Bentoiu (Romania, 1927): Symphony 5 (19??)
Pascal Bentoiu (Romania, 1927): Symphony 6 (19??)
Bernard Parmegiani (France, 1927): La Creation Du Monde (1984)
Bernard Parmegiani (France, 1927): De Natura Sonorum (1975)
Franco Donatoni (Italy, 1927): Puppenspiel (1961)
Franco Donatoni (Italy, 1927): Zrcadlo (1963)
Einojuhani Rautavaara (Finland, 1928): Angel Of Light (1994)
Einojuhani Rautavaara (Finland, 1928): Concerto for violin (1977)
Samuel Adler (USA, 1928): Cantos for Solo Instruments (1970)
Samuel Adler (USA, 1928): Concerto 2 (1997)
Peter Sacco (USA, 1928): Concerto piano 1 (1964)
Nicolas Flagello (USA, 1928): Concerto piano 3 (1962)
Kamillo Lendvay (Hungary, 1928): Saxophone Concerto (1996)
Nicolas Flagello (USA, 1928): Symphony 1 (1967)
Jean Barraque (France, 1928): Piano Sonata (1952)
Jean Barraque (France, 1928): Sequence (1955)
Jean Barraque (France, 1928): Chant Apres Chant (1966)
Jean Barraque (France, 1928): La Mort de Virgil (1968)
Jean Barraque (France, 1928): Concerto for clarinet, vibraphone and six instrumental trios (1968)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Kreuzspiel (1951)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Kontra-Punkte (1953)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Gesang der Junglinge (1956)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Gruppen (1957)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Carre (1960)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Momente (1963)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Mikrophonie I (1964)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Telemusik (1966)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Kurzwellen (1968)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Hymnen (1967)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Ensemble (1967)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Aus den Sieben Tagen (1968)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Inori (1974)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Stimmung (1968)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Mantra for two pianos and electronics (1970)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Sternklang (1971)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Atmen Gibt Das Leben (1974)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Donnerstag Aus Licht (1980)
Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany, 1928): Samstag Aus Licht (1983)
Ennio Morricone (Italy, 1928): Per Un Pugno di Dollari (1964)
Ennio Morricone (Italy, 1928): Once Upon a Time in America (1983)
Peter Sculthorpe (Australia, 1929): Piano Concerto (1982)
George Crumb (USA, 1929): Ancient Voices of Children (1970)
George Crumb (USA, 1929): Star Child (1977)
George Crumb (USA, 1929): Makrokosmos (1979)
Luc Ferrari (France, 1929): Presque Rien No 1 (1970)
Luc Ferrari (France, 1929): Petite Symphonie Intuitive Pour un Paysage de Printemp (1973)
Luc Ferrari (France, 1929): Histoire du Plaisir et de la Desolation (1981)
Luc Ferrari (France, 1929): Heterozygote (1964)
Henri Pousseur (Belgium, 1929): Couleurs Croisees (1968)
Avet Terterian (Armenia, 1929): Symphony 3 (1975)
James Yannatos (USA, 1929): Trinity Mass (1984)
Akio Yashiro (Japan, 1929): Piano Concerto (1967)
Toshiro Mayuzumi (Japan, 1929): Showa Tempyio Raku (1970)
Toshiro Mayuzumi (Japan, 1929): Nirvana Sympony (1958)
Toshiro Mayuzumi (Japan, 1929): Mandara Sympony (1960)
These are the composers born after 1929.
Robert Ashley (USA, 1930): Perfect Lives (1983)
Robert Ashley (USA, 1930): eL/Aficionado (1987)
Sylvano Bussotti (Italy, 1931): La Passion Selon Sade (1965)
Youstol Dispage (France, 1931): "Piero Scaruffi" (1965)
Leonardo Balada (Spain, 1933): Hangman Hangman (1982)
Murray Schafer (Canada, 1933): Patria 6 Ra (1983)
Murray Schafer (Canada, 1933): Wolf Music (1997)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): The Devils of Loudun (1968)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Paradise Lost (1978)
Roger Reynolds (USA, 1934): The Emperor Of Ice Cream (1962)
Harrison Birtwistle (Britain, 1934): Punch and Judy (1967)
Harrison Birtwistle (Britain, 1934): Mask of Orpheus (1983)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Taverner (1968)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): The Lighthouse (1980)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Resurrection (1987)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Historia von D. Johann Fausten (1998)
Nicholas Maw (Britain, 1935): Sophie's Choice (2002)
Philip Glass (USA, 1937): Einstein on the Beach (1976)
Philip Glass (USA, 1937): Satyagraha (1980)
Charles Wuorinen (USA, 1938): Whore of Babylon (1975)
John Corigliano (USA, 1938): Ghosts of Versailles (1991)
John Harbison (USA, 1938): The Great Gatsby (1999)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): Wagner Dream (2007)
Louis Andriessen (Holland, 1939): The Death of a Composer (1994)
Richard Teitelbaum (USA, 1939): Golem (1994)
Frank Zappa (USA, 1940): Absolutely Free (1967)
Daniel Catan (Mexico, 1941): La Hija de Rappaccini (1987)
Daniel Catan (Mexico, 1941): Florencia en el Amazonas (1996)
John Tavener (Britain, 1944): Therese (1979)
Laurie Anderson (USA, 1947): United States (1982)
David Rosenboom (USA, 1947): On Being Invisible II (1995)
John Adams (USA, 1947): Nixon In China (1987)
Paul SChoenfield (USA, 1947): The Merchant and the Pauper (1999)
InstrumentalRobert Ashley (USA, 1930): Automatic Writing (1979)
Miki Minoru (Japan, 1930): Concerto requiem (1982)
Dieter Schnebel (Germany, 1930): Abfaelle (1962)
Dieter Schnebel (Germany, 1930): Fuer Stimmen (1968)
Jozsef Soproni (Hungary, 1930): Symphony 3 (19??)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): Lento in Due Movimenti (1950)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): Requiem for Strings (1957)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): Eclipse (1966)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): November Steps (1967)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): Cassiopeia (1971)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): Autumn (1973)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): A Flock Descends Into The Pentagonal Garden (1977)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): To The Edge Of Dream (1983)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): Nostalgia (1987)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): Tree-line (1988)
Toru Takemitsu (Japan, 1930): From Me Flows What You Call Time (1990)
Larry Austin (USA, 1930): Improvisation (1961)
Veljo Tormis (Estonia, 1930): Unustatud Rahvad/ Forgotten Peoples (1989)
Ryohei Hirose (Japan, 1930): Shakuhachi Concerto (1976)
Martin Boykan (USA, 1931): Quartet 4 (1996)
Mauricio Kagel (Argentina, 1931): Transition II (1959)
Mauricio Kagel (Argentina, 1931): Sur Scene (1960)
Mauricio Kagel (Argentina, 1931): Staatstheatre (1970)
Mauricio Kagel (Argentina, 1931): Die Erschopiano der Welt (1985)
Sylvano Bussotti (Italy, 1931): Bergkristall (1974)
Sylvano Bussotti (Italy, 1931): Rara Requiem (1970)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings (1975)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Garten von Freuden und Trauigkeiten/ The Garden of Joy and Sorrow for Flute, Harp and Viola (1980)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Offertorium (1991)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Music For Flute Strings & Percussion (1994)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Canticle for the Sun (1997)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Descensio for 3 Trombones, 3 Percussionists, Harp, Harpsichord and Celesta (1981)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Detto 2 Cello Concerto (1972)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Piano Sonata (1965)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Introitus Piano Concerto (1978)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): String Quartet #4 (1994)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Stimmen Verstummen Symphony (1986)
Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia, 1931): Viola Concerto (1997)
Xavier Benguerel (Spain, 1931): Llibre Vermell (1987)
Charles Camilleri (Malta, 1931): Missa Mundi (1972)
Ib Norholm (Denmark, 1931): Symphony 2 (1971)
Donald Martino (USA, 1931): triplo concerto (1977)
Alvin Lucier (USA, 1931): I Am Sitting In A Room (1970)
Alvin Lucier (USA, 1931): Still And Moving Lines Of Silence (1974)
Alvin Lucier (USA, 1931): Music on a Long Thin Wire (1977)
Nam June Paik (Korea, 1932): TV Bra for Living Sculptures (1969)
Alexander Goehr (Britain, 1932): Deux Etudes (1981)
Bronius Kutavicius (Lithuania, 1932): Last Pagan Rites (1978)
Bronius Kutavicius (Lithuania, 1932): Panteistine` Oratorija (1970)
Rodion Shchedrin (Russia, 1932): Concerto piano 3 (1973)
Rodion Shchedrin (Russia, 1932): Sealed Angel for choir (1988)
Per Norgard (Denmark, 1932): Voyage into the Golden Screen (1968)
Per Norgard (Denmark, 1932): Symphony 2 (1970)
Per Norgard (Denmark, 1932): Symphony 3 (1975)
Per Norgard (Denmark, 1932): Symphony 4 (1981)
Pauline Oliveros (USA, 1932): Horse Sings From Cloud (1975)
Pauline Oliveros (USA, 1932): Rattlesnake Mountain (1982)
Pauline Oliveros (USA, 1932): Wanderer (1985)
Tod Dockstader (USA, 1932): Quatermass (1964)
Eliane Radigue (France, 1932): Kyema (1988)
Eliane Radigue (France, 1932): Kailasha (1991)
Eliane Radigue (France, 1932): Koume` (1993)
Wojciech Kilar (Poland, 1932): Krzesany (1974)
Lalo Schifrin (USA, 1932): Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts (1965)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima (1960)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Saint Luke Passion (1965)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Rekopis znaleziony w Sarogossie/ The Saragossa Manuscript (1966)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Dies Irae (1967)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Utrenja (1971)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Magnificat (1974)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Violin Concerto 1 (1976)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Te Deum (1979)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Symphony 2 (1980)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Polish Requiem (1983)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Clarinet Quartet (1993)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Violin Concerto 2 (1995)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Sextet (2000)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Symphony No.7 Seven Gates of Jerusalem (1996)
Krysztof Penderecki (Poland, 1933): Symphony 4 (1989)
Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933): Symphony 2 (1972)
Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933): Symphony 3 (1976)
Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933): Beatus Vir (1979)
Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933): Lerchenmusik (1984)
Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933): Concerto for Harpsichord (1980)
Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933): Quasi una Fantasia (1991)
Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933): Already It Is Dusk (1991)
Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933): Concerto-Cantata for flute and orchestra (1992)
Henryk Gorecki (Poland, 1933): Kleines Requiem fuer eine Polka (1993)
Morton Subotnick (USA, 1933): Silver Apples Of The Moon (1967)
Morton Subotnick (USA, 1933): The Wild Bull (1967)
Morton Subotnick (USA, 1933): Touch (1968)
Morton Subotnick (USA, 1933): The Key To Songs (1985)
Morton Subotnick (USA, 1933): Jacob's Room (1985)
Ida Gotkovsky (France, 1933): Alto Saxophone Concerto (1966)
Ida Gotkovsky (France, 1933): Concerto Lyrique (1982)
Tiet Ton-That (Vietnam, 1933): Jardins d'Autre Monde (1996)
Phill Niblock (USA, 1933): Early Winter (1991)
Phill Niblock (USA, 1933): Guitar Too For Four (1996)
Phill Niblock (USA, 1933): Pan Fried 70 (2003)
Siegfried Matthus (Germany, 1934): Graf Mirabeau (1995)
Udo Zimmermann (Germany, 1934): Sinfonia Come Un Gran Lamento (1977)
Christian Wolff (USA, 1934): Twentyfive pages (1953)
Christian Wolff (USA, 1934): Burdocks (1971)
Nicolas Roussakis (USA, 1934): Ephemeris (1979)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): String Quartet 1 (1966)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Requiem (1975)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Concerto Grosso 3 (1981)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Peer Gynt (1986)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Concerto Grosso 4 (1988)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Concerto Grosso 5 (1991)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Symphony #8 (1994)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Symphony #7 (1993)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Symphony #6 (1992)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Symphony #5 (1988)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Symphony #1 (1972)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Piano Concerto (1979)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): String Quartet #2 (1980)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): String Quartet #3 (1983)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): String Quartet #4 (1989)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): String Trio (1985)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Viola Concerto (1985)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Cello Concerto #1 (1986)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Labyrinths (1971)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Requiem (1975)
Alfred Schnittke (Russia, 1934): Concerto For Mixed Chorus (1985)
John Chowning (USA, 1934): "Turenas" (1972)
John Chowning (USA, 1934): "Stria" (1977)
Harrison Birtwistle (Britain, 1934): Tragoedia (1965)
Harrison Birtwistle (Britain, 1934): Verses For Ensemble (1969)
Harrison Birtwistle (Britain, 1934): Triumph of Time (1972)
Harrison Birtwistle (Britain, 1934): Secret Theatre (1984)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Eight Songs For A Mad King (1969)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): St Thomas Wake (1969)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Vesalii Icones (1969)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Worldes Blis (1969)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Ave Maris Stella (1975)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Symphony 1 (1976)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Symphony 2 (1980)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): The Yellowcake Revue (1980)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Symphony 3 (1984)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Symphony 4 (1989)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Symphony 5 (1994)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Britain, 1934): Job (1997)
James Tenney (USA, 1934): Phases (1963)
James Tenney (USA, 1934): For Ann (1969)
Roger Reynolds (USA, 1934): Voicespace (1986)
Roger Reynolds (USA, 1934): Whispers Out of Time (1988)
Roger Reynolds (USA, 1934): Process and Passion (2002)
Nicholas Maw (Britain, 1935): Odyssey (1987)
Nicholas Maw (Britain, 1935): Violin Concerto (1993)
Helmut Lachenmann (Germany, 1935): Schwankungen am Rand (1975)
Helmut Lachenmann (Germany, 1935): Maedchen mit den Schwefelhoelzern (1996)
Arvo Part (Estonia, 1935): De Profundis (1980)
Arvo Part (Estonia, 1935): Passio Domini Nostri/ St John Passion (1982)
Arvo Part (Estonia, 1935): Tabula Rasa (1977)
Arvo Part (Estonia, 1935): Nekrolog (1960)
Arvo Part (Estonia, 1935): Kanon Pokajanen (1998)
Arvo Part (Estonia, 1935): Perpetuum Mobile (1963)
Terry Riley (USA, 1935): In C (1965)
Terry Riley (USA, 1935): Rainbow in Curved Air (1968)
Terry Riley (USA, 1935): Cadenza On The Night Plain (1985)
Terry Riley (USA, 1935): Salome Dances for Peace (1989)
Terry Riley (USA, 1935): Requiem For Adam (1998)
LaMonte Young (USA, 1935): A Well Tuned Piano (1964)
LaMonte Young (USA, 1935): The Tortoise His Dreams And Journeys (1964)
Giya Kancheli (Georgia, 1935): Lament (1994)
Giya Kancheli (Georgia, 1935): Symphony 6 (1981)
Giya Kancheli (Georgia, 1935): Symphony 7 (1986)
Gordon Mumma (USA, 1935): Megaton (1963)
Teiji Ito (Japan, 1935): Meshes of the Afternoon (1959)
Teiji Ito (Japan, 1935): Axis Mundi (1982)
Jocy Oliveira (Brazil, 1936): Illud Tempus (1994)
Malcom Forsyth (South Africa, 1936): Piano Concerto (1979)
Steve Reich (USA, 1936): It's Gonna Rain (1965)
Steve Reich (USA, 1936): Drumming (1971)
Steve Reich (USA, 1936): Music for 18 musicians (1976)
Steve Reich (USA, 1936): Octet (1979)
Steve Reich (USA, 1936): Desert Music (1984)
Steve Reich (USA, 1936): Proverb (1996)
Steve Reich (USA, 1936): City Life (1995)
Harold Budd (USA, 1936): Bismillahi Prahmani Brahim (1978)
Harold Budd (USA, 1936): Children On The Hill (1981)
Harold Budd (USA, 1936): Dark Star (1984)
Cornelius Cardew (Britain, 1936): Treatise (1967)
Cornelius Cardew (Britain, 1936): The Great Learning (1968)
Daniel Goode (USA, 1936): Tunnel-Funnel (1995)
David Del Tredici (Britain, 1937): An Alice Symphony (1976)
David Del Tredici (Britain, 1937): Syzygy (1966)
David Del Tredici (Britain, 1937): Adventures Underground (1971)
Philip Glass (USA, 1937): Music In Twelve Parts (1974)
Philip Glass (USA, 1937): String Quartet 3 (1985)
Philip Glass (USA, 1937): String Quartet 4 (1988)
Philip Glass (USA, 1937): String Quartet 5 (1991)
Robert Moran (USA, 1937): Halleluja (1971)
Robert Moran (USA, 1937): Desert of roses (1991)
Valentin Silvestrov (Ukraine, 1937): Symphony 5 (1983)
Valentin Silvestrov (Ukraine, 1937): Silent Songs (1977)
Valentin Silvestrov (Ukraine, 1937): Requiem for Larissa (1999)
Dubravko Detoni (Croatia, 1937): Forgotten music for String Quartet (1981)
Osvaldas Balakauskas (Lithuania, 1937): Ostrobothnian Symphony (1989)
Osvaldas Balakauskas (Lithuania, 1937): Symphony 2 (1979)
Dubravko Detoni (Croatia, 1937): Piano Concerto (1989)
Jon Hassell (USA, 1937): Vernal Equinox (1976)
Jon Hassell (USA, 1937): Malay (1981)
Jon Hassell (USA, 1937): Empire I-IV (1983)
Jon Hassell (USA, 1937): Darbari Extensions (1983)
Beatriz Ferreyra (Argentina, 1937): Rios del Sueno (2000)
Beatriz Ferreyra (Argentina, 1937): Dans un Point Infini (2006)
JeanClaude Eloy (France, 1938): Kamakala (1971)
JeanClaude Eloy (France, 1938): Kshara-Akshara (1974)
Corneliu Dan Georgescu (Romania, 1938): Homage to Piet Mondrian (2003)
Gloria Coates (USA, 1938): The Force For Peace in War (1973)
Gloria Coates (USA, 1938): Symphony 1 - Music on Open Strings (1973)
Gloria Coates (USA, 1938): Symphony 8 (1991)
JeanClaude Eloy (France, 1938): Shanti (1975)
Virko Baley (Ukraine, 1938): Symphony 1 (1999)
Virko Baley (Ukraine, 1938): Dreamtime (1995)
John Harbison (USA, 1938): Symphony 3 (1990)
John Harbison (USA, 1938): Symphony 2 (1987)
John Harbison (USA, 1938): Symphony 1 (1981)
John Harbison (USA, 1938): Violin Concerto (1980)
John Harbison (USA, 1938): Piano Concerto (1978)
Thomas Beveridge (USA, 1938): Yizkor Requiem (1996)
John Corigliano (USA, 1938): Piano Concerto (1968)
John Corigliano (USA, 1938): Symphony 1 (1991)
John Corigliano (USA, 1938): Dylan Thomas Trilogy (1999)
William Bolcom (USA, 1938): Concerto per violino (1984)
William Bolcom (USA, 1938): Symphony 5 (1990)
William Bolcom (USA, 1938): A View From The Bridge (1999)
Charles Wuorinen (USA, 1938): Time's Encomium (1969)
Charles Wuorinen (USA, 1938): Symphony of percussions (1976)
Charles Wuorinen (USA, 1938): String Sextet (1989)
Charles Wuorinen (USA, 1938): Piano Concerto 3 (1983)
Charles Wuorinen (USA, 1938): Piano Concerto 4 (2005)
Alvin Curran (USA, 1938): Canti E Vedute Del Giardino Magnetico (1974)
Alvin Curran (USA, 1938): Canti Illuminati (1977)
Alvin Curran (USA, 1938): Schtyx (1991)
Alvin Curran (USA, 1938): Inner Cities (2003)
Frederic Rzewski (USA, 1938): The People United Will Never Be Defeated (1975)
Frederic Rzewski (USA, 1938): The Triumph of Death (1988)
Frederic Rzewski (USA, 1938): De Profundis (1992)
Frederic Rzewski (USA, 1938): The Road (2002)
David Borden (USA, 1938): The Continuing Story Of Counterpoint (1987)
Maryanne Amacher (USA, 1938): City Limits (1967)
Hermann Nitsch (Austria, 1938): Die Geburt Des Dionysos Christos (2008)
Boris Tishchenko (Russia, 1939): Symphony 7 (1996)
Ellen Zwilich (USA, 1939): Concerto grosso (1985)
Ellen Zwilich (USA, 1939): Symphony 1 (1983)
Ellen Zwilich (USA, 1939): Symphony 2 (1990)
Milan Bachorek (Czech, 1939): Stereophonietta (1977)
Louis Andriessen (Holland, 1939): Workers Union (1975)
Louis Andriessen (Holland, 1939): De Tijd (1981)
Louis Andriessen (Holland, 1939): De Materie (1988)
Louis Andriessen (Holland, 1939): Zilver (1994)
Louis Andriessen (Holland, 1939): Garden of Eros (2002)
Walter Carlos (USA, 1939): Sonic Seasonings (1972)
Richard Teitelbaum (USA, 1939): Blends (1977)
Richard Teitelbaum (USA, 1939): Concerto Grosso (1985)
Heikki Sarmanto (Finland, 1939): Suomi (1987)
Patrick Williams (USA, 1939): An American Concerto (1976)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): Speakings For Large Orchestra And Electronics (2008)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): Bhakti for Chamber Ensemble and Electronics (1982)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): Madonna of Winter and Spring for orchestra, synthesizer and electronics (1986)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): Death of Light/Light of Death (1998)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): Proms Millennium Mothers Shall Not Cry (2000)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): Passion and Resurrection (l981)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): Mortuos Plango Vivos Voco (1980)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): String Quartet No. 4 with Live Electronics (2003)
Jonathan Harvey (Britain, 1939): Bird Concerto with Pianosong (2003)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): Combinations in Circles (1965)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): Illuminations (1967)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): Grafological Music (1969)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): NonSymphony No. 5 (1992)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): PreSymphony No. 6 (2000)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): PostSymphony No. 2 (2001)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): PluriSymphony No. 1 (2002)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): Metabizantinirikon (1985)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): String Quartet for Midnight (1993)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): Septuor for 4 o'clock AM (1997)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): Quintabeit for 5 o'clock AM (1998)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): Beitsonorum for 6 o'clock AM (1999)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): Beitintervallum for 7 o'clock AM (2000)
Octavian Nemescu (Romania, 1940): Beitrissonum for 8 o'clock AM (2001)
Dao Nguyen-Thien (Vietnam, 1940): Koskom (1971)
Dao Nguyen-Thien (Vietnam, 1940): Piano Concerto (1984)
Tony Conrad (USA, 1940): Four Violins (1964)
Milan Knizak (Czech, 1940): Destroyed Music (1963)
Frank Zappa (USA, 1940): King Kong (1969)
Frank Zappa (USA, 1940): Little House I Used to Live In (1970)
Frank Zappa (USA, 1940): Music For Electric Violin And Low Budget Orchestra (1970)
Frank Zappa (USA, 1940): Grand Wazoo (1972)
Frank Zappa (USA, 1940): Bogus Pomp (1979)
Julius Eastman (USA, 1940): Gay Guerrilla (1979)
Julius Eastman (USA, 1940): Prelude to the Holy Presence of Joan of Arc (1980)
Julius Eastman (USA, 1940): Evil Nigger (1979)
Emmanuel Nunes (Portugal, 1941): Ruf (1977)
Emmanuel Nunes (Portugal, 1941): Tif'Ereth (1985)
Emmanuel Nunes (Portugal, 1941): Quodlibet (1991)
Haflidi Hallgrimsson (Iceland, 1941): Passio (2002)
Daniel Lentz (USA, 1942): Missa Umbrarum (1985)
Meredith Monk (USA, 1942): Education Of The Girlchild (1973)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Taaroa (1969)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Flood for the Eternal's Origins (1970)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Everlasting Longings (1972)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Wild Incantesimo (1978)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Do Emerge Ultimate Silence (1984)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Outer Time (1980)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Awakening Infinity (1983)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Mirabilia Mundi (1986)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Byzantine Prayer (1988)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Angolo Divino (1994)
Horatiu Radulescu (Romania, 1942): Piano Concerto "The Quest" (1996)
Horatiu Radulescu (Bucharest, 1942): Sixth String Quartet "Practicing Eternity" (1992)
Charlie Morrow (USA, 1942): Wave Music for 30 Harps (1984)
Charles Dodge (USA, 1942): Earth's Magnetic Field (1970)
Bronislaw Przyblski (Poland, 1942): Mass Pope John Paul II (1998)
Meredith Monk (USA, 1942): Tablet (1977)
Meredith Monk (USA, 1942): Dolmem music (1979)
Ingram Marshall (USA, 1942): Gradual Requiem (1979)
Ingram Marshall (USA, 1942): Kingdom Come (1997)
Yevhen Stankovich (Ukraine, 1942): Sinfonia Lyrica (1977)
Yevhen Stankovich (Ukraine, 1942): Sinfonia Pastorale (1980)
Chinary Ung (Cambodia, 1942): Grand Spiral (1990)
Sven Sandstrom (Sweden, 1942): Requiem (1979)
Dennis Eberhard (USA, 1943): Shadows of the Swan (2002)
Robin Holloway (Britain, 1943): Concerto for violin (1994)
Heinz Gruber (Austria, 1943): Frankenstein (1977)
Heinz Gruber (Austria, 1943): Violin Concerto (1978)
David Maslanka (USA, 1943): A Child's Garden of Dreams (1981)
David Maslanka (USA, 1943): Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble (1999)
David Maslanka (USA, 1943): Concerto for Piano, Winds and Percussion (1974)
David Maslanka (USA, 1943): Mass (1992)
David Maslanka (USA, 1943): Oboe sonata (1992)
David Maslanka (USA, 1943): Quintet 2 (1986)
David Maslanka (USA, 1943): Symphony 4 (1993)
David Maslanka (USA, 1943): Symphony 5 (2000)
Shinichiro Ikebe (Japan, 1943): Symphony 6 (1993)
Heinz Gruber (Austria, 1943): Frankenstein (1978)
Brian Ferneyhough (Britain, 1943): Transit (1975)
Gavin Bryars (Britain, 1943): The Sinking Of The Titanic (1969)
Gavin Bryars (Britain, 1943): Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1971)
Gavin Bryars (Britain, 1943): Cello Concerto (1994)
Gavin Bryars (Britain, 1943): Violin Concerto (2000)
Ivan Tcherepnin (USA, 1943): Set Hold Clear and Squelch (1976)
Ivan Tcherepnin (USA, 1943): Santur Opera (1977)
Ivan Tcherepnin (USA, 1943): Flores Musicales (1980)
Ivan Tcherepnin (USA, 1943): Double Concerto for Violin and Cello (1995)
Ivan Tcherepnin (USA, 1943): And So It Came To Pass (1991)
Anthony Iannaccone (USA, 1943): Clarinet Quintet (2002)
Anthony Iannaccone (USA, 1943): # Octet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, & String Quintet (1985)
Paul Lansky (USA, 1944): Mild und Leise (1973)
John Tavener (Britain, 1944): Ikon Of Light (1984)
John Tavener (Britain, 1944): Eis Thanaton (1986)
John Tavener (Britain, 1944): The Protecting Veil (1987)
John Tavener (Britain, 1944): Akathist Of Thanksgiving (1988)
John Tavener (Britain, 1944): The Last Sleep of the Virgin (1991)
John Tavener (Britain, 1944): Ikon of Eros (2000)
Michael Nyman (Britain, 1944): Water Dances (1985)
Michael Nyman (Britain, 1944): Memorial (1985)
Michael Nyman (Britain, 1944): The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (1987)
Michael Nyman (Britain, 1944): Piano Concerto (1993)
Michael Nyman (Britain, 1944): String Quartet 4 (1995)
Michael Nyman (Britain, 1944): Double Concerto (1997)
PehrHenrik Nordgren (Denmark, 1944): Violin concerto 4 (1994)
Frank Corcoran (Ireland, 1944): Symphony 4 (1996)
Bill Albright (USA, 1944): Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano (1984)
Bill Albright (USA, 1944): Symphony for Organ (1986)
Bill Albright (USA, 1944): Abiding Passions for Woodwind Quintet (1988)
Hugues Dufourt (France, 1945): Erewhon (1976)
Youstol Dispage (Italy, 1945): Symphony 9 (1987)
John Rutter (Britain, 1945): Requiem (1985)
John Rutter (Britain, 1945): Magnificat (1990)
John Rutter (Britain, 1945): Te Deum (1998)
John Rutter (Britain, 1945): Mass of the Children (2003)
James Fulkerson (USA, 1945): Force Fields and Spaces (1981)
Laurie Spiegel (USA, 1945): The Expanding Universe (1975)
Robert "Blue Gene Tyranny" Sheff (USA, 1945): How To Discover Music In The Sounds Of Your Daily Life (1992)
Noah Creshevsky (USA, 1945): Ossi di Morte (1997)
Anatolijus Senderovas (Lithuania, 1945): Cello Concerto in C (2002)
Gerard Grisey (France, 1946): Derives pour deux groupes d'orchestre (1974)
Gerard Grisey (France, 1946): Epilogue pour quatre cors soli et grand orchestre (1985)
Gerard Grisey (France, 1946): Jour Contre-jour (1979)
Gerard Grisey (France, 1946): Le Noir de l'Etoile (1990)
Gerard Grisey (France, 1946): Le Temps et l'Ecume (1989)
Gerard Grisey (France, 1946): Transitoires pour Grand Orchestre (1981)
Peteris Vasks (Latvia, 1946): Symphony for strings (1991)
Peteris Vasks (Latvia, 1946): Symphony 2 (1999)
Michael Finnissy (Britain, 1946): WAM (1991)
Michael Finnissy (Britain, 1946): This Church (2003)
Trevor Wishart (Britain, 1946): Vox Cycle (1982)
Joan LaBarbara (USA, 1947): Vocal Extensions (1976)
Joan LaBarbara (USA, 1947): Klee Alex (1979)
Joan LaBarbara (USA, 1947): Berliner Traume (1983)
Joan LaBarbara (USA, 1947): Twelvesong (1984)
Tristan Murail (USA, 1947): Gondwana (1980)
Tristan Murail (USA, 1947): Time and Again (1985)
Tristan Murail (USA, 1947): Le Partage Des Eaux (1996)
Tristan Murail (USA, 1947): Terre d'Ombre (2004)
Paul Schoenfield (USA, 1947): Viola Concerto (1998)
Salvatore Sciarrino (Italy, 1947): Amore e Psiche (1972)
Salvatore Sciarrino (Italy, 1947): Arpocrate (1979)
Salvatore Sciarrino (Italy, 1947): Lohengrin (1984)
David Rosenboom (USA, 1947): Zones Of Influence (1985)
John Adams (USA, 1947): Harmonium (1981)
John Adams (USA, 1947): Harmonienlehre (1985)
John Adams (USA, 1947): Chamber Symphony (1993)
John Adams (USA, 1947): Naive and Sentimental Music (1999)
Nikolai Korndorf (Russia, 1947): Hymns I-III (1990)
JeanLouis Florentz (France, 1947): Laudes (1985)
Anders Eliasson (Sweden, 1947): Symphony 1 (1987)
Klaus Schulze (Germany, 1947): Irrlicht (1972)
Somei Satoh (Japan, 1947): Litania (1973)
Somei Satoh (Japan, 1947): Mantra (1986)
Somei Satoh (Japan, 1947): Stabat Mater (1987)
Somei Satoh (Japan, 1947): Passion (2009)
Glenn Branca (USA, 1948): Ascension (1981)
Glenn Branca (USA, 1948): Symphony 3 (1983)
Glenn Branca (USA, 1948): Symphony 5 (1984)
Frano Parac (Croatia, 1948): Symphony (1992)
Michael Berkeley (Britain, 1948): Concerto for oboe and strings (1976)
Michael Berkeley (Britain, 1948): Organ Concerto (1987)
Mikko Heinio (Finland, 1948): The Knight And The Dragon (2000)
Brian Eno (Britain, 1948): Discreet Music (1975)
Brian Eno (Britain, 1948): Music For Airports (1978)
Raimo Kangro (Estonia, 1949): Concert piano 2 (1999)
Christopher Rouse (USA, 1949): Concerto trombone (1992)
Christopher Rouse (USA, 1949): Symphony 1 (1986)
Poul Ruders (Denmark, 1949): Corpus cum Figuris (1985)
Poul Ruders (Denmark, 1949): Stabat Mater (1974)
Poul Ruders (Denmark, 1949): Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 (1996)
Poul Ruders (Denmark, 1949): Solar Trilogy (1992)
Michael Levinas (France, 1949): Les Rires de Gilles (1981)
Kalevi Aho (Finland, 1949): Oboe Quintet (1973)
Kalevi Aho (Finland, 1949): Bassoon Quintet (1994)
Kalevi Aho (Finland, 1949): Symphony 10 (1996)
Kalevi Aho (Finland, 1949): Symphony 4 (1973)
Kalevi Aho (Finland, 1949): Symphony 7 (1988)
Kalevi Aho (Finland, 1949): Symphony 8 (1993)
Carl Rutti (USA, 1949): Verena Die Quelle (1995)
David Rosenbloom (USA, 1949): Departure (1981)
David Rosenbloom (USA, 1949): Charon (1983)
Jay Cloidt (USA, 1949): Life is Good And People Are Basically Decent (1995)
Jay Cloidt (USA, 1949): Eleven Windows (1998)
These are the composers born after 1949.
Elodie Lauten (USA, 1951): Waking in New York (1998)
Anthony Davis (USA, 1951): X - The Life and Times of Malcolm X (1986)
Wolfgang Rihm (Germany, 1952): Dionysos (2010)
Tod Machover (USA, 1953): Valis (1987)
Tobias Picker (USA, 1954): Emmeline (1996)
Tobias Picker (USA, 1954): Therese Raquin (2000)
Bright Sheng (China, 1955): Nanking! Nanking! (1999)
Tan Dun (China, 1957): Ghost Opera (1994)
Tan Dun (China, 1957): Marco Polo (1996)
Mikel Rouse (USA, 1957): Failing Kansas (1994)
Mikel Rouse (USA, 1957): Dennis Cleveland (1996)
Erling Wold (USA, 1958): A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil (1995)
Esa-Pekka Salonen (Finland, 1958): Violin Concerto (2009)
Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): Ainadamar (2005)
Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): Tenebrae (2002)
Jack Heggie (USA, 1963): Dead Man Walking (2000)
Thomas Ades (Britain, 1971): Powder Her Face (1995)
Thomas Ades (Britain, 1971): The Tempest (2004)
Missy Mazzoli (USA, 1980): Song from the Uproar (2012)
James Dillon (Britain, 1950): The Book of Elements (2002)
Ethan Haimo (USA, 1950): Piano Sonata (1986)
Rick Sowash (USA, 1950): Sunny Days for trio (1994)
Lepo Sumera (Estonia, 1950): Symphony 4 (1992)
Lepo Sumera (Estonia, 1950): Symphony 5 (1995)
Lepo Sumera (Estonia, 1950): Symphony 6 (2000)
Nancy Galbraith (USA, 1951): Wind Symphony 1 (1991)
Jakob Ter Veldhuis (Holland, 1951): Paradiso (2001)
Jon Rose (Britain, 1951): Instrumentum Diabolicum (1990)
Jon Rose (Britain, 1951): The Virtual Violin (1993)
John Burke (Canada, 1951): Remember Your Power (2000)
Olivier Knussen (Britain, 1952): Concerto corno (1994)
Christian Zanesi (France, 1952): Concert Imaginaire (1984)
Christian Zanesi (France, 1952): Grand Bruit (1990)
Christian Zanesi (France, 1952): L'Aube Rouge (2006)
Daniel Teruggi (Argentina, 1952): Sphaera (1993)
Daniel Teruggi (Argentina, 1952): The Shining Space (1999)
Rhys Chatham (USA, 1952): Die Donnergotter (1986)
Rhys Chatham (USA, 1952): A Crimson Grail (2005)
Kaija Saariaho (Finland, 1952): From The Grammar Of Dreams (1996)
Philippe Chamouard (France, 1952): Symphonie Tibetaine (1997)
Richard Einhorn (USA, 1952): Voices of Light (1995)
Stephen Hartke (USA, 1952): Violin Concerto (1992)
Stephen Hartke (USA, 1952): Clarinet Concerto (2001)
Wolfgang Rihm (Germany, 1952): Tutuguri (1982)
Ellen Band (USA, 1952): Radiatore (1998)
Michael McNabb (USA, 1952): Invisible Cities (1985)
Takashi Yoshimatsu (Japan, 1953): Symphony 5 (2001)
Tod Machover (USA, 1953): Nature's Breath (1989)
Akira Nishimura (Japan, 1953): Concerto cello (1990)
Daniel Asia (USA, 1953): Piano Concerto (1994)
Giorgio Battistelli (Italy, 1953): Experimentum Mundi (1981)
Giorgio Battistelli (Italy, 1953): Impressions d'Afrique (2000)
Wendy Chambers (USA, 1953): The Grand Harp Event (1984)
Wendy Chambers (USA, 1953): Symphony Of The Universe (1989)
Wendy Chambers (USA, 1953): Mass for Mass Trombones (1993)
Wendy Chambers (USA, 1953): Twelve Squared (1994)
Pierre Bastien (France, 1953): Mecanium (1988)
Luther Adams (USA, 1953): In The White Silence (1998)
Reed Ghazala (USA, 1953): Threnody To The New Victims Of Hiroshima (1995)
John Oswald (Canada, 1953): Plexure (1993)
Carl Stone (USA, 1953): Woo Lae Oak (1981)
Carl Stone (USA, 1953): Nyala (1995)
John Zorn (USA, 1953): Archery (1979)
John Zorn (USA, 1953): Spillane (1986)
John Zorn (USA, 1953): Cobra (1984)
John Zorn (USA, 1953): Kristallnacht (1993)
John Zorn (USA, 1953): Redbird (1995)
John Zorn (USA, 1953): Aporias (1998)
John Luther Adams (USA, 1953): In The White Silence (1998)
John Luther Adams (USA, 1953): The Immeasurable Space of Tones (2001)
Tobias Picker (USA, 1954): Piano Concerto 2 (1983)
Bun-Ching Lam (China, 1954): Lu (1983)
Bun-Ching Lam (China, 1954): Like Water (1995)
Bun-Ching Lam (China, 1954): Song of the Pipa (2001)
Bun-Ching Lam (China, 1954): Atlas (2004)
Benedict Mason (Britain, 1954): String Quartet 1 (1987)
Anders Hillborg (Sweden, 1954): Violin concerto (1992)
Anders Hillborg (Sweden, 1954): Clarinet concerto (1998)
John Woolrich (Britain, 1954): It is Midnight Dr Schweitzer (1992)
John Woolrich (Britain, 1954): A Leap in the Dark (1994)
Jan Sandstrom (Sweden, 1954): Motorbike Concerto (1989)
Elliot Goldenthal (USA, 1954): Juan Darien (1988)
Elliot Goldenthal (USA, 1954): Fire Water Paper (1996)
Elliot Goldenthal (USA, 1954): Othello (1998)
Michael Daugherty (USA, 1954): Metropolis Symphony (1993)
Michael Daugherty (USA, 1954): UFO for Solo Percussion and Orchestra (1999)
Michael Daugherty (USA, 1954): Piano concerto Deus Ex Machina (2007)
Michael Denhoff (Germany, 1955): Mallarme` Quartets (2000)
Bright Sheng (China, 1955): H'un (1988)
Bright Sheng (China, 1955): String Quartet No. 3 (1993)
Diamanda Galas (USA, 1955): Litanies Of Satan (1982)
Diamanda Galas (USA, 1955): Panoptikon (1983)
Diamanda Galas (USA, 1955): Deliver Me (1986)
Toshio Hosokawa (Japan, 1955): Voiceless Voice in Hiroshima (2001)
Zbigniew Preisner (Poland, 1955): La Double Vie de Veronique (1991)
Richard Danielpour (USA, 1956): American Requiem (2001)
Steven Mackey (USA, 1956): Ravenshead (1998)
Jouni Kaipainen (Finland, 1956): Symphony 1 (1985)
Jouni Kaipainen (Finland, 1956): Symphony 2 (1994)
Michael Gordon (USA, 1956): Percussion Sextet "Timber" for six amplified 2x4s (2012)
Michael Gordon (USA, 1956): Weather (1999)
Michael Gordon (USA, 1956): Decasia (2001)
Tan Dun (China, 1957): Water Passion After St Matthew (2000)
Ellen Fullman (USA, 1957): Work for 4 (1987)
Randy Greif (USA, 1957): Verdi's Requiem (1997)
Bob Ostertag (USA, 1957): All The Rage (1992)
Mikel Rouse (USA, 1957): Quorum (1984)
Bechara El-Khoury (Lebanon, 1957): Ruins of Beirut (1985)
Edmund Campion (USA, 1957): "Natural Selection" (1996)
David Lang (USA, 1957): Little Match Girl Passion (2008)
William Basinski (USA, 1958): The Disintegration Loops (2002)
Miya Masaoka (USA, 1958): While I Was Walking I Heard A Sound (2003)
Miya Masaoka (USA, 1958): For Birds, Planes & Cello (2005)
Erling Wold (USA, 1958): Missa Beati Notkeri Balbuli Sancti Galli Monachi (2010)
Magnus Lindberg (Finland, 1958): Kraft (1985)
Magnus Lindberg (Finland, 1958): Piano Concerto (1994)
Dan Plonsey (USA, 1958): Moving About (2001)
Sebastian Currier (USA, 1959): Theo's Notebook (1992)
Salvator Brotons (Spain, 1959): Stabat Mater (2000)
Erkki-Sven Tuur (Estonia, 1959): Violin Concerto (1998)
James MacMillan (Britain, 1959): Seven Last Words (1994)
Alexander Shchetynsky (Ukraine, 1960): Annunciation (1998)
Jay Kernis (USA, 1960): Quartet 1 (1990)
Jay Kernis (USA, 1960): Quartet 2 (1997)
Wolfgang Plagge (Norway, 1960): Trumpet Sonata (2001)
Ezequiel Vinao (Argentina, 1960): Etudes for Solo Piano (1993)
Oswaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind (1994)
Oswaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): La Pasion Segun San Marcos (2000)
Jaron Lanier (USA, 1960): Mirror/Storm (1998)
Jaron Lanier (USA, 1960): The Navigator Tree (2000)
Jaron Lanier (USA, 1960): Earthquake (2006)
Bill Alves (USA, 1960): The Question Mark's Black Ink (1986)
Bill Alves (USA, 1960): Concerto for Violin and American Gamelan (2004)
Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): Oceana (1996)
Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): Ayre (2004)
Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): How Slow The Wind
Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): String Quartet Tenebrae (2002)
Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): La Pasion Segun San Marcos (2000)
Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina, 1960): Cello Concerto Azul (2009)
Lowell Liebermann (USA, 1961): Concerto piano 2 (1995)
Daron Hagen (USA, 1961): Songs of Madness and Sorrow (1997)
Michael Torke (USA, 1961): Color Music (1985)
Michael Torke (USA, 1961): Music on the Floor (1992)
Michael Torke (USA, 1961): Rapture (1998)
Gabriella Gullin (Sweden, 1961): Requiem (2002)
MarcDalbavie -Andre (France, 1961): Seuils (1993)
Nicolas Bacri (France, 1961): Sinfonia 3 (1988)
Nicolas Bacri (France, 1961): Sinfonia 4 (1996)
Michael Gendreau (USA, 1961): Grand Surface Noise Opera Nr 7 (1995)
Wynton Marsalis (USA, 1961): In This House On This Morning (1992)
Wynton Marsalis (USA, 1961): Blood on the Fields (1997)
Wynton Marsalis (USA, 1961): All Rise (1999)
Jennifer Higdon (Ireland, 1962): Concerto for Orchestra (2002)
Jennifer Higdon (Ireland, 1962): Percussion Concerto (2009)
Allison Cameron (Canada, 1963): A Blank Sheet Of Metal (1987)
Allison Cameron (Canada, 1963): Gibbons Moon (1991)
John Metcalfe (USA, 1964): Scorching Bay (2004)
Augusta-Read Thomas (USA, 1964): In The Sky At Twilight (2002)
Georges Lentz (Luxembourg, 1965): Caeli Enarrant (2001)
Hans Tutschku (Germany, 1966): Departs (1998)
Hans Tutschku (Germany, 1966): Dialog fuer 2 Instrumentalgruppen (2007)
Dan Joseph (USA, 1966): Percussion and Strings (2004)
Dan Joseph (USA, 1966): Tonalization (2009)
Cesare Valentini (Italy, 1967): Concerto for Cello, Piano and Strings (2003)
Jesper Koch (Belgium, 1967): Earth My Likeness (2001)
Mark Applebaum (USA, 1967): Scipio Wakes Up (1995)
Mark Applebaum (USA, 1967): Plundergraphic (2002)
Olga Neuwirth (Austria, 1968): Bahlamms FEst (1999)
Olga Neuwirth (Austria, 1968): Construction in Space (2000)
Dan Trueman (USA, 1968): Machine Language (1999)
Thomas Ades (Britain, 1971): Asyla (1997)
Thomas Ades (Britain, 1971): Concentric Paths violin concerto (2005)
Thomas Ades (Britain, 1971): Tevot (2007)
Luciano Chessa (Italy, 1971): Il Pedone dell'Aria (2006)
Luciano Chessa (Italy, 1971): Inkless Imagination IV (2008)
Luciano Chessa (Italy, 1971): Recitativo, Aria e Coro della Vergine (2008)
Luciano Chessa (Italy, 1971): Ragazzi Incoscienti Scarabocchiano sulla Porta di un Negozio Fallito an.1902 (2009)
Nikola Kodjabashia (Macedonia, 1970): Bildbeschreibung (2001)
Nathaniel Stookeys (USA, 1970): Junkestra (2007)
Lera Auerbach (Russia, 1973): Double Concerto (1997)
Minas Borboudakis (Greece, 1974): Chorochronos I (1997)
Minas Borboudakis (Greece, 1974): Chorochronos II (2002)
Bruno Mantovani (France, 1974): Concerto pour Violon (1997)
Bruno Mantovani (France, 1974): Turbulences (1998)
Mason Bates (USA, 1977): Mass Transmission (2012)
Mason Bates (USA, 1977): Digital Loom (2006)
Mason Bates (USA, 1977): Liquid Interface (2012)
Mason Bates (USA, 1977): The B Sides (2009)
History of Rock Music
History of Pop Music
History of Jazz
History of Country
History of Soul
History of Musical
History of Film Music
History of Blues
New Age Music
History of cinema
Gallery of images
Wonders of the world
Hiking in California
Analyses by country
Timeline of the 20th Century
Visual history of computing
History of Knowledge
History of Silicon Valley
Slides of Lectures
History of poetry
Annotated bibliography on mind
Cognitive Science news
Timeline of modern science
My book on consciousness
My seminar on consciousness
Theory of Spacetime Ripples
Slides of Lectures
Art/Science Evenings (LASERs)
A Visual History of the Visual Arts - Part 1: From Impressionism to Surrealism
A Visual History of the Visual Arts - Part 2: From Abstract Art to Conceptual Art
A Visual History of the Visual Arts - Part 3: The Age of Globalization
History of painting
Museums of the world
Pictures of museums and artists
Timeline of the 20th century
Art/Science Evenings (LASERs)
The Greatest Web Site of All Time
Pitchforkmedia.com’s Top 100 album lists for the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s: vast digests of gathered knowledge and opinion, usually the work of teams of editors, journalists and musicians, painstakingly assembled.
In addition to his annual album rankings and all-time rankings (Captain Beefheart’s “Trout Mask Replica” currently ranks No. 1), Mr. Scaruffi’s multilingual Web site (www.scaruffi.com) has a list of the best rock bands and individual artists — best guitarist, best keyboardist, best male and female vocalist — of each year since 1955. A ranking of the 164 best jazz albums of all time, complete with 903 honorable mentions. A list of the 39 best “short” songs released from 1955 to 1979. The 119 best psychedelic albums of all time. The best all-time guitarists, drummers and keyboardists.
For a one-man operation, the amount of material is staggering. And Mr. Scaruffi, 51, a freelance software consultant and occasional university lecturer living in Redwood City, Calif., also runs thymos.com, which contains his equally prolific writings on topics of consciousness and cognition. Not surprisingly, he says running the two sites has become a full-time job. “I barely have time to breathe,” he said in a telephone interview.
Before the hobby became the job, Mr. Scaruffi, who has a degree in mathematics from the University in Turin, had worked in artificial intelligence and computers.
That’s now a fallback when he needs the money. “If I need to buy a new car, then I have to go out and do software consulting,” he said in a light Italian accent.
His work dominates both his life and his living room. He recently transferred his many piles of books (a “vertical sorting method”) to 11 bookcases with six shelves apiece. Vinyl is kept in the garage, he said, and CD’s — unless they are part of the “essential” pile near his desk — are housed in giant boxes around the house. The CD’s can sometimes go unheard for several years before Mr. Scaruffi gets around to reviewing them, making his end-of-the-year lists a perpetual-motion machine.
Last month his site had 646,640 hits, according to a tabulator available on his site. The web traffic analyzer Alexa.com ranks scaruffi.com at around 59,000, below such established independent music blogs as Largehearted Boy (blog.largeheartedboy.com) but ahead of heavily linked favorites like You Ain’t No Picasso (youaintnopicasso.com).
Mr. Scaruffi’s music site is colorful but stark, consisting mainly of simple text with basic color backdrops, with limited advertising. The ads help cover the $1,000 to $2,000 a month he spends on CD’s (adding to a collection of an estimated 20,000). The site’s simplicity harkens back to Mr. Scaruffi’s text-only electronic fanzine, first published for a group of 20 in 1985, back when e-mail was closer to Arpanet than to AOL.
His initial foray into electronic punditry was a function of his technological acumen and his prowess as a musical savant while growing up in Trivero, Italy. “When I was in high school in the early 1970’s I was the ‘expert’ on music,” said Mr. Scaruffi, who moved to California in 1983. For his senior project he turned in a 50-page paper on the history of rock music. His classmates’ papers, he said, totaled two or three pages.
“People were constantly asking for my advice: ‘Tell me what five albums I should buy now,’ or ‘Tell me what are the five best heavy metal albums of all time,’ ” Mr. Scaruffi said. “Eventually you get tired of answering the same question, and you prepare a list. Then the list becomes many lists.”
He collected a good amount of his catalog of rankings and essays from the site in “A History of Rock Music, 1951-2000,” which was published in 2003 and has sold about 1,500 copies by his estimate. That same year he also published “Thinking About Thought: A Primer on the New Science of Mind, Towards a Unified Understanding of Mind, Life and Matter,” which deals mainly with consciousness and artificial intelligence. His studies in those latter subjects have included terms as a visiting scholar at Stanford and Harvard and lecturing posts at, among other places, the University of California, Berkeley, where last year he taught The Nature of Mind (an introduction to cognitive science) and A History of Knowledge.
But visiting his site and reading his arguments against the Beatles’ legacy (“Ray Davies of the Kinks was certainly a far better songwriter than Lennon & McCartney”) or his list of “Most significant works of music 1950-1990” (equal parts Karlheinz Stockhausen and Cecil Taylor), readers could expect Mr. Scaruffi to be dedicated solely to developing a complete music compendium, a sort of musical Wikipedia without all the extra help. Not so, he said.
“Probably my biggest ambition would be to write a history of knowledge,” he said. “Something that packages all of my interests together: literature, science, philosophy, politics — whatever.” Music, he said, is just one part of a much larger puzzle.
Best Rock Albums of all Times
|N.||Artist and Title||Label and Year||CD reissue|
Trout Mask Replica
|Straight, 1969||Reprise, 1990|
|2||Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom||Virgin, 1974||Thirsty Ear, 1998|
|3||Faust: Faust I||Virgin, 1971||Polygram, 2001|
|Verve, 1967||Polygram, 1996|
|5||Doors: The Doors||Elektra, 1967||idem, 1988|
|6||Popol Vuh: Hosianna Mantra||Pilz, 1973||High Tide, 1994|
|Blank, 1978||Geffen, 1998|
|8||Royal Trux: Twin Infinitives||Drag City, 1990||idem, 1994|
|9||John Fahey: Fare Forward Voyagers||Takoma, 1973||Shanachie, 1992|
|10||Nico: Desert Shore||Reprise, 1970||Warner Bros, 1993|
|11||Tim Buckley: Lorca||Elektra, 1970||Asylum, 1992|
|12||Red Crayola: Parable Of Arable Land||International Artist, 1967||Spalax, 1994|
|13||Klaus Schulze: Irrlicht||Brain, 1972||Spalax, 1995|
|14||Nick Cave: The Good Son||Mute, 1990|
|15||Lisa Germano: Geek The Girl||4AD, 1994|
|16||Morphine: Good||Accurate, 1992|
Blonde On Blonde :
|CBS, 1966||Columbia, 1992|
|18||Neu!: self-titled||UA, 1973||Astralwerks, 2001|
|19||Foetus: Nail||SomeBizarre, 1985||Homestead, 1995|
|20||Suicide: self-titled||Bronze, 1977||Demon, 1995|
|21||Van Morrison: Astral Weeks||Warner Bros, 1968||idem, 1987|
|22||Residents: Not Available||Ralph, 1978||Mute, 2000|
|23||Pop Group: Y||Radar, 1979||idem, 1996|
|24||Vampire Rodents: Lullaby Land||Re-Constriction, 1993|
|25||Husker Du: Zen Arcade||SST, 1984|
|25||Third Ear Band: self-titled||Harvest, 1970|
|25||My Bloody Valentine: Loveless||click here||click here|
|25||Butthole Surfers: Psychic Powerless||click here||click here|
|25||Soft Machine: 3||click here||click here|
|25||Type O Negative: Slow Deep And Hard||click here||click here|
|25||Frank Zappa: Uncle Meat||click here||click here|
|25||Minutemen: Double Nickels On The Dime||click here||click here|
|25||Fugazi: Repeater||click here||click here|
|25||Mercury Rev: Yerself Is Steam||click here||click here|
|25||Gun Club: Fire Of Love||click here||click here|
|25||Red House Painters: Down Colorful Hill||click here||click here|
|25||Slint: Spiderland||click here||click here|
|25||Velvet Underground: White Light White Heat||click here||click here|
|25||Captain Beefheart: Safe As Milk||click here||click here|
|25||Hash Jar Tempo : Well Oiled||Drunken Fish, 1997||N.A.|
|25||Jon Hassell : Dream Theory In Malaya||EG, 1981||N.A.|
|25||Diamanda Galas : Diamanda Galas||Metalanguage, 1984||N.A.|
|25||Gong: Flying Teapot||Virgin, 1973||Charly, 1999|
|25||Bruce Springsteen: The River||Columbia, 1980||Columbia, 1995|
Year by year/ Anno per anno/ Jahr bei Jahr:
- The 1960's
- 1966 (Bob Dylan, USA)
- 1967 (Velvet Underground, USA)
- 1968 (Van Morrison, Britain)
- 1969 (Captain Beefheart, USA)
- The 1970's
- 1970 (Nico, Germany)
- 1971 (Faust, Germany)
- 1972 (Klaus Schulze, Germany)
- 1973 (Popol Vuh, Germany)
- 1974 (Robert Wyatt, Britain)
- 1975 (Henry Cow, Britain)
- 1976 (Patti Smith, USA)
- 1977 (Suicide, USA)
- 1978 (Pere Ubu, USA)
- 1979 (Pop Group, Britain)
- The 1980's
- 1980 (Bruce Springsteen, USA)
- 1981 (Gun Club, USA)
- 1982 (Dream Syndicate, USA)
- 1983 (Mark Stewart, Britain)
- 1984 (Husker Du, USA)
- 1985 (Foetus, Australia)
- 1986 (Big Black, USA)
- 1987 (Swans, USA)
- 1988 (Pixies, USA)
- 1989 (Peter Gabriel, Britain)
- The 1990's
- 1990 (Royal Trux, USA)
- 1991 (Slint, USA)
- 1992 (Morphine, USA)
- 1993 (Vampire Rodents, Canada)
- 1994 (Lisa Germano, USA)
- 1995 (Lightwave, France)
- 1996 (Black Tape, USA)
- 1997 (Hash Jar Tempo, NZ)
- 1998 (Dirty 3, Australia)
- 1999 (Black Heart Procession, USA)
- The 2000's
- 2000 (Spring Heel Jack, Britain)
- 2001 (Solex, Netherlands)
- 2002 (Acid Mothers Temple, Japan)
- 2003 (Supersilent, Norway)
- 2004 (Ghost, Japan)
- 2005 (Shit And Shine, Britain)
- 2006 (Joanna Newsom, USA)
- 2007 (Elegi, Norway)
- 2008 (Li Jianhong, China)
- 2009 (Gnaw Their Tongues, Netherlands)
- 2010 (Joanna Newsom, USA)
- 2011 (Julia Holter, USA)
By genre/ Nach Genre/ Per genere:
- The best of psychedelic music
- The best of Canterbury
- The best of glam-rock
- The best of punk-rock
- The best of dream-pop
- The best of triphop
- The best of jungle
- The best of pop
- The best of dub
- The best of reggae
- The best of heavy metal
- The best of hard-rock
- The best of stoner rock
- The best of progressive rock
- The best of lo-fi pop
- The best of gothic rock
- The best of disco music
- The best of techno
- The best of country-rock
- The best of ambient music
- The best of shoegaze
- The best of industrial music
- The best of new wave
- The best of synth-pop
- The best of Italian rock
- The best of glitch music
- The best of funk
- The best of hip-hop music
- The best musicals
- The best soundtracks
- The best of post-punk
- The best operas
Best of Jazz
Most over-rated musicians/
Die am meisten ueberbewerteten Musiker/
I musicisti piu` sopravvalutati:
Most under-rated musicians of all times/
Die am meisten unterbewerteten Musiker/
I musicisti piu` sottovalutati:
- Tim Buckley
- Red Crayola
- Robert Wyatt
- Captain Beefheart
- Pere Ubu
- Sandy Bull
- Jim Steinman
- Vampire Rodents
Most influential musicians of all times/
Die einflussreichsten Musiker/
I musicisti piu` influenti:
Greatest musicians of all times
Massimi musicisti rock
Die grossartigsten Musiker aller Zeiten
History of Rock Music
Storia del rock
Geschichte der Rock Musik
The Giants of Rock Music
I giganti del rock
Die Giganten der Rock Musik
- Velvet Underground
- Pere Ubu
- Rolling Stones
- Grateful Dead
- Pink Floyd
- Soft Machine
- Jefferson Airplane
- Pop Group
- Talking Heads
- Sonic Youth
- King Crimson
- Flaming Lips
- Popol Vuh
- Husker DU
- Bardo Pond
- Jesus Lizard
- Babes in Toyland
- Mercury Rev
- Roxy Music
- Mothers Of Invention
- Royal Trux
- Don Caballero
- Henry Cow
- Girls Against Boys
- Ed Hall
- Savage Republic
- Rip Rig And Panic
- Cop Shoot Cop
- My Bloody Valentine
- Led Zeppelin
- Butthole Surfers
- Dream Theater
- Faith No More
- Squirrel Bait
- Blind Idiot God
- Tangerine Dream
- Death Of Samantha
- Dead Can Dance
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Pearl Jam
- Cocteau Twins
- Lounge Lizards
- Holy Modal Rounders
- Van Der Graaf Generator
- Buffalo Springfield
- Pearls Before Swine
- Sex Pistols
- Guns And Roses
- Beach Boys
Most significant works of music 1950-1990
(Just a teaser: i don't guarantee consistency with the genre-based rankings)
- Shostakovic: Symphony No 15 (1971) [classical]
- Karlheinz Stockhausen: Gesang der Junglinge (1956) [classical]
- Charles Mingus: The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (1963) [jazz]
- Boulez: Repons (1980) [classical]
- Carter: Symphony of Three Orchestras (1977) [classical]
- Ligeti: Double concerto (1972) [classical]
- Captain Beefheart: Trout Mask Replica (1969) [rock]
- Lutoslawski: Sinfonia 3 (1983) [classical]
- John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (1964) [jazz]
- Part: Tabula rasa (1977) [classical]
- Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom (1974) [rock]
- Gerhard: Concerto for Orchestra (1965) [classical]
- Faust (1971) [rock]
- Penderecki: Hiroshima Threnody (1960) [classical]
- Terry Riley: Rainbow in Curved Air (1968) [electronica]
- Jon Hassell: Dream Theory In Malaya (1981) [electronica]
- Meredith Monk: Dolmen Music (1981) [classical]
- John Fahey: Fare Forward Voyagers (1971) [folk]
- Albert Ayler: Witches and Devils (1964) [jazz]
- Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) [rock]
- Sun Ra: Atlantis (1967) [jazz]
- Balakauskas: Ostrobothnian Symphony (1989) [classical]
- Cecil Taylor: Unit Structures (1966) [jazz]
- Klaus Schulze: Irrlicht (1972) [electronica]
- Schnittke: Concerto Grosso 5 (1991) [classical]
- Feldman: Rothko Chapel (1971) [classical]
- Miles Davis: Kind Of Blue (1959) [jazz]
- Partch: Revelation (1960) [classical]
- Tubin: Symphony 8 (196x) [classical]
- Don Cherry: Mu (1969) [jazz]
- Ljubica: Byzantine Concerto (1959) [classical]
- Reich: Drumming (1971) [classical]
- Carla Bley: Escalator Over The Hill (1971) [jazz]
- Art Ensemble of Chicago: Les Stances A Sophie (1970) [jazz]
- Maxwell Davies: Vesalii Icones (1969) [classical]
- Harrison: La koro-sutro (1972) [classical]
- Xenakis: Orient Occident (1960) [classical]
- Steve Roach: Dreamtime Return (1988) [electronica]
- Tippett: Mask of Time (1982) [classical]
For a History of Classical Music/ The Essentials
Below is a teaser to make you explore the lists in the right column.
- Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony 9 (1824)
- Franz Schubert: Symphony 9 in C Major "Great" (1828)
- Wolfgang Mozart: Concerto 21 in C K467 (1785)
- JohannSebastian Bach: Mass in B Minor (1749)
- Dmitrij Shostakovic: Symphony 15 (1971)
- Gustav Mahler: Symphony 9 (1910)
- Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (1859)
- Giuseppe Verdi: Requiem (1874)
- JohannSebastian Bach: Brandenburger Concertos (1721)
- Bela Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra (1943)
- Johannes Brahms: Symphony 4
- Franz Schubert: Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos in C major, D956 Op. 163
- Bela Bartok: Quartet 4
- Ludwig Van Beethoven: String Quartet No.14 Op.131
- Shostakovich: Quintet in G minor for Piano & String Quartet, Opus 57
- Ludwig Van Beethoven: Triple Concerto C major
- Leos Janacek: Glagolitic Mass (1926)
- Igor Stravinskij: Le Sacre du Printemps (1913)
- Antonin Dvorak: Symphony 9 (1893)
- Antonio Vivaldi: Il Cimento dell'Armonia op 8 (1725)
- Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (1829)
- Olivier Messiaen: Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps (1940)
- Claude Debussy: "Jeux"
The Essential Symphonies and other Orchestral Works
The Essential Piano Concertos
The Essential Concertos (except piano)
The Essential Trios, Quartets, Quintets, Sextets
Music for Chamber Ensemble
The Essential Operas
The Essential Ballets
The Best of Early Electronic Music
The Greatest Vocal Music
Best of Jazz Music
Best of Rock Music