A festivity for Urania, Muse of Astronomy & Astrology
In the form of an electronic music concert
On the fourth day of Artsaha, on the 9th day of September
At half past seven in the evening
Henry Jacobs, "Sounds for Radio"/
ANALOG arts ensemble, Prelude (02.30)
Istvan B'Racz, Froggus Housotanicus, (06.09)
Pierre Schaeffer & Pierre Henry, Bidule en Ut (02.15)
Heather Frasch, Context Opposition, Mechanics, (10.00)*
Henry Jacobs, "Time Compression", (00.20)
Peter Milligan, Not I, (03.40)*
Coen Brothers, "Enter the Dame", (02.00)
Henry Jacobs, "Monotone", (01.15)
Francois Bayle, "Motion-Emotion" (22.02)
Henry Jacobs, "Wilder Service", (01.25)
Oznog Petersen, Slideshow (07.00)*
Henry Jacobs, "Flooidoodle", (03.36)
Pierre Henry, "Transformation" (04.42)
Bernard Parmegiani, Echos/Melopee (05.40)
With the inestimable assistance of Heather Frasch (sound diffusion), Joseph Drew (video projection), Denis Fitzpatrick (video editing).
A few words about the evening's programme:
Henry Jacobs (1924) is a pioneering force in American electronic music, though his underground work has escaped the attention of the public at large. In the 1950's, he hosted world music radio shows, and began assembling tape collages. Much of his music uses comedy as its material. Henry was a gifted improviser, most notably creating background effects and dialogue for THX 1138.
Istvan B'Racz comments on Froggus Housatonicus:
You are listening to a thin slice/rendering of a 3 CD spatial surround project (called "Froggus Housatonicus") done in conjunction with visual artist Joy Wulke for an exhibit at the Housatonic Museum in Bridgeport, CT. It uses frog sounds that have been manipulated, sculpted, and vastly digitally altered. The more "real" sounds of water, and bamboo ritual-flute plays in stark contrast above the digital-franken-frog soundworld- yet it all seems to meld in a hyper-real fashion. The three CDs were created so that their lengths are different, and when they were put on infinite loop, the whole work would not repeat for an enormous span of time. For me, Nature is the ultimate true "minimalist": same materials, different timings, different sonic interactions, different experience.
Pierre Henry (1927) was a pupil of Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995), the inventor of musique concrète. Their collaborative composition, Bidule en ut , is a fugue, built off the sounds of a prepared piano.
"Transformation" is an excerpt from Henry's The Egyptian Book of the Dead. The Book of the Dead is the name given by Egyptologists to a group of mortuary spells written on sheets of papyrus covered with magical texts and accompanying illustrations called vignettes. These were placed with the dead in order to help them pass through the dangers of the underworld and attain an afterlife of bliss in the Field of Reeds.
Heather Frasch comments on Context, Opposition, Mechanics:
Context: Perceptions shift as sounds are placed into an assortment of contexts. Projecting physical interpretations into an indistinct world.
Opposition: Concrete and abstract- intrinsically distinctive sound worlds averse to fusion. Gradually lines between the two become blurred, one unfolding into the next. Formal coherence created by the interaction of their conflicting character, their independent evolution, and their momentary amalgamation.
Mechanics: Exploring mechanical timbres- their innate brute quality and their potentiality to transform into various textures. I would like to thank George Cremaschi, the bassist I've collaborated with and whose sounds are heard throughout this piece.
Peter Milligan's (2003) Not I is a text collage, comprised solely of a reading of Samuel Beckett's notoriously difficult play for an illuminated Mouth and a shadowy Auditor.
"Enter the Dame" is a scene from The Hudsucker Proxy, the fifth film by the Coen Brothers (1954/19957). It is a perfectly composed vignette, which marries sound and vision and narrative with the Coen's signature virtuosity. The 'Dame' is a reporter trying to scam information out of Norville Barnes, newly appointed President of Hudsucker Industries and complete unknown.
Francois Bayle (1932) studied with Messiaen and Stockhausen before joining Pierre Schaeffer's Group of Musical Research (GRM), which he would eventually lead. The gyroscopic disorientation of Motion-Emotion (1985) forms the centerpiece of tonight's program.
Of Slideshow, Dolf Kamper has this to say:
When I asked my friend Oznog Peterson if he wanted to contribute anything to ARTSaha! this year his answer, after a long pause, was "I've got a slideshow that's fun to watch."
"What, like pictures of your travels?" I asked.
"Well… you can learn a lot about people from pictures they take, like reading someone's wallet… It may not sound interesting but it can be just as interesting to hear an everyday story about them. That's all stories are anyway, nothing but what happens to someone, or what someone sees."
I immediately tried to imagine what Oznog's wallet might look like, then I tried to imagine what his photo album might look like. When I realized I couldn't possibly imagine either I got really excited about seeing his slideshow at ARTSaha!
Oznog is impossible to describe in one or two words. You will get a much clearer picture of who he is by watching his slideshow. I remember him telling me a story once about when he lived above a movie theater in Frankfurt. The theater only showed home movies all in video or Super8 with no sound and was mostly frequented by lonely Alzheimer's patients looking for clues. That might be where he got the idea for sending us this program – he told me after an evening of those movies he began to feel a real empathy towards the people on screen. I think Oznog was deeply intrigued by the flickering screen filled with family picnics and Christmas-tree gatherings. Eventually, he even met a girl who reviewed the movies for a local column.
Bernard Parmegiani (1927) is also a pupil of Pierre Schaeffer's. "Echos/Melopee" is an excerpt from his 1984 composition La Creation du Monde.