Wednesday, June 13, 2007


An incredible collection of electronic pieces composed and recorded between the years of 1948-1980 beginning with Clara Rockmore and ending with Brian Eno. The original version of this album no longer exists as the more current, updated version has more material, including a DVD that comes with the multi-CD box set. Regardless of the release date, the first pressing of this box is still an important collection of work.

In Brian Eno's foreword written for the booklet that accompanies the box, he likens the discovery of new ways to turn sound into "a plastic material- manipulable in space and time" similar to Debussy's introduction to the three-pedal Steinway, which would allow you to sustain one note while playing unsustained notes on top of that. Debussy composed many pieces specifically geared toward the use of the Steinway three-pedal piano. The same creative process occurred once it became possible to continuously expand pitch, duration, timbre, and loudness.

Not only are electronic compositions included but the written works of INA-GRM (Institut National Audiovisuel, Groupe de Recherches Musicales), WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk), Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, and Sonic Arts Union.

It's interesting to note how all of these experimentations in sound and recording have been assimilated into musical culture in such a way that their presence is almost imperceptible until taken out of their musical context and exposed in their raw form. You will most likely experience the majority of these recordings to be just that- sound manipulations in their rawest form. Taken into context with the time period in which they were manipulated, however, these works were serious psychological and philosophical probings into society's purported understanding of music and its role in the culture of that particular day and age.

Ohm: The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music: 1948-1980

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