These Hopeful Machines

Episode 1

Everything Audible in the World Becomes Material

Expo Philips building By Wouter Hagens CC point via wiki THM Ep Feature ImageThe Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World’s Fair Expo 58, within which composers Iannis Xenakis and Edgard Varèse contributed electronic music components to a multimedia experience. Many of the pioneers of electronic music at the time were in attendance at this Expo. Image by Wouter Hagens (Own work) CC3.0

 
 

These Hopeful Machines - Episode 1

Recording and electricity crack open the world of sound.

We start at the Brussels World’s Fair, Expo ’58 where a number of threads in the story were to converge and thence to radiate.

Then we go back in time to Rabelais who wrote presciently about frozen sounds back in the 16th Century.

We look at a variety of very early technologies and concepts that were to play an important role in the development of electronic music: Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville’s Phonautograph; Thomas Edison’s phonograph and Emile Berliner’s gramophone; John Cage’s CREDO manifesto; Luigi Russolo’s intonarumori – mechanical noise instruments; Percy Grainger’s and Conlon Nancarrow’s work with player pianos; early electronic instruments the Theremin and Ondes Martenot; the mind-boggling work done by Russian film-makers, laboriously piecing together optical soundtracks; and much more.

From These Hopeful Machines on 09 Jul 2013

Written and presented by James Gardner, produced by Tim Dodd and James Gardner for Radio New Zealand.

Scroll down for handy links, a bibliography and the playlist for this episode.Grateful thanks for help in the production of Episode 1 go to:

Mark Brend; Warren Burt, for the Percy Grainger ‘Sea Song’ recording; Luciano Chessa, for the intonarumori recording; Patrick Feaster, for the Emile Berliner recording and information on early recordings; Jonathan Golove, for the Theremin Cello recording; Clinton Green, for the Jack Ellitt recording; Ian Helliwell; Roger Horrocks; Leta Miller; National Public Radio USA, for the recording of Bob Moog playing the Theremin; Pathé News, for footage of Maurice Martenot; Andrey Smirnov, for the Russian “Graphical Sound” examples; Jeff Stadelman; Dave Tompkins, for the Bell Labs vocoder demonstrations.

Links

Luciano Chessa talks about Luigi Russolo and the Intonarumori

Luciano Chessa album on Sub Rosa

Luigi Russolo’s manifesto, ‘The Art of Noises’

Some Futurist-related material

Information on the Novachord

Some more information on the Novachord

Video of the Novachord at The New York World’s Fair 1939-40

Demonstration of the Voder

Another video about the Voder

Maurice Martenot at Pathé

Trautonium demonstration from 1941 (in Dutch and German)

A presentation by Patrick Feaster

Patrick Feaster's own site devoted to early recordings etc.

Information about Patrick Feaster's book ‘Pictures of Sound: One Thousand Years of Educed Audio: 980–1980

Mark Katz on ‘Capturing Sound

Ian Helliwell’s short animation about The Atomium

Ian Helliwell’s page about music from Expo/World fairs

Virtual Philips Pavilion project

Andrey Smirnov on Sound in Z

Evgeny Sholpo's Variophone

Drawn sound composition by Georgy Rimsky-Korsakov for the Variophone

Arseny Avraamov's drawn sound

Nikolai Voinov's drawn sound

Theremin plays Theremin

Albert Glinsky – a brief Theremin history

Jonathon Golove on the Theremin Cello

Lydia Kavina, Theremin virtuosa

Pamelia Kurstin's TED talk on the Theremin

Pamelia Kurstin and pianist/composer Pete Drungle's live performance

John Cage

John Cage scores at the New York Public Library including ‘Imaginary Landscape No.1’

Walter Ruttmann ‘Melodie der Welt'

Jon Leidecker's excellent Variations series, looking at "appropriative collage"

The 'Memorabilia' series on collecting sound and manipulating audio

David Hendy's comprehensive series 'Noise: A Human History'
(Except in the UK, not available as a stream... but it is available on iTunes)

Instruments for New Music – Thomas Patteson's book on early electronic instruments – free download

Bibliography

Patrick Feaster
Pictures of Sound: One Thousand Years of Educed Audio: 980–1980
Dust-to-Digital 2013
http://www.dust-digital.com/feaster/

Evan Eisenberg
The Recording Angel: Music Records and Culture from Aristotle to Zappa (2nd ed.)
Yale University Press 2005
http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300099041

Mark Katz
Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music (revised ed.)
University of California Press 2010
http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520261051

Luciano Chessa
Luigi Russolo, Futurist: Noise, Visual Arts and the Occult
University of California Press 2012
http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520270640

Andrey Smirnov
Sound in Z: Experiments in sound and electronic music in early 20th-century Russia
Walther Koenig 2013
http://www.cornerhouse.org/bookstore/product/sound-in-z-experiments-in-sound-and-electronic-music-in-early-20th-century-russia-by-andrey-smirnov

Albert Glinsky
Theremin: Ether music and Espionage
University of Illinois Press 2000
http://albertglinsky.com/book1.html

Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner (eds)
Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music
Continuum 2004
http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/audio-culture-9780826416155/

Dave Tompkins
How to Wreck A Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop: The Machine Speaks
StopSmiling Books/Melville House Publishing 2011
http://howtowreckanicebeach.com/?page_id=14

Mark Brend
The Sound Of Tomorrow: How Electronic Music Was Smuggled Into the Mainstream
Bloomsbury 2012
http://minutebook.co.uk/sound-of-tomorrow/
 

Playlist

Format Key: 'Song title' (Composer) - Performers, Album title (Label)

Opening Collage

'Atomic Ranch' (McCluskey) - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, English Electric (100% Records)
'It's More Fun To Compute' (Bartos et al) - Kraftwerk, Computer World (Mute Records)
'Prelude/Outer Space/Radar' (Herrmann) - (no artist), The Day The Earth Stood Still (Twentieth Century Fox Film Scores)
'Pulsing' (The Body Electric) - The Body Electric, Various - It's Bigger Than Both Of Us: NZ Singles 1979-1982 (Propeller)
'Spoken Letter from Fred Judd to Tom Dissevelt' (Judd) - Fred Judd, Popular Electronics: Early Dutch Electronic Music from Philips Research Laboratories 1956-1963 (Basta)
'Moog 900 Series Electronic Music Systems Demonstration Record' (Carlos) - Ed Stokes (narrator), n/a (R. A. Moog Company)
'Bucephalus Bouncing Ball' (James) - Aphex Twin, Come To Daddy EP (Warp)
'Love Action (I Believe In Love)' (Oakey/ Burden) - The Human League, Dare (Virgin)
'China Bowl' (Judd) - F.C. Judd, Electronics Without Tears (Public Information)
'50 Cycles' (Jenkinson) - Squarepusher, Ultravisitor (Warp)
'The Gnome from Pictures at an Exhibition' (Mussorgsky arr. Tomita) - Tomita, Pictures at an Exhibition (RCA)
'Fool The Detector' (Funk) - Venetian Snares, Fool The Detector EP (Timesig)
'One Man, One Vote' (Zappa) - Frank Zappa, Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention (Rykodisc)
'Third Stone From The Sun' (Hendrix) - The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced? (MCA Records)
'Nasal Retentive Calliope Music' (Zappa) - The Mothers of Invention, We're Only In It For The Money (Rykodisc)
'Looking For The Perfect Beat' (Baker et al) - Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force, Planet Rock: The Album (Sony)
'Musique Concrète is Fascinating' (Judd) - F.C. Judd, Electronics Without Tears (Public Information)
'Tomorrow Never Knows' (Lennon/McCartney) - The Beatles, Revolver (Parlophone)
'Origin and Theory of the Tape Cut-Ups' (Burroughs) - William S. Burroughs, Break Through In Grey Room (Sub Rosa)
'The ARP Family of Synthesizers' (Powell) - Roger Powell, n/a (ARP Instruments)
'yet' (Barrett/ Obermayer) - FURT, OMNIVM (psi records)
'Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco' (Harvey) - Jonathan Harvey, Recovery/Discovery: 40 Years Of Surround Electronic Music In The UK (Sound and Music)
'Moog 900 Series Electronic Music Systems Demonstration Record' (Carlos) - Ed Stokes (narrator), n/a (R. A. Moog Company)
'Pop & Pour Coca Cola logo' (Ciani) - Suzanne Ciani, Lixiviation/Ciani Musica Inc. 1969-1985 (Finders Keepers Records)
'Turenas' (Chowning) - John Chowning, n/a (WERGO)
'Computer World' (Bartos et al) - Kraftwerk, Computer World (Mute Records)
'I Feel Love' (Summer et al) - Donna Summer, I Remember Yesterday (Casablanca Records)
'Rainforest (Version I)' (Tudor) - David Tudor and Takehisa Kosugi, Rainforest (Mode)
'Chameleon' (Maupin et al) - Herbie Hancock, Head Hunters (Columbia)
'Partially Submerged' (Kirk et al) - Cabaret Voltaire, The Voice Of America (Mute)
'Kontakte' (Stockhausen) - Karlheinz Stockhausen, Stockhausen Elektronische Musik 1952-1960 (Stockhausen-Verlag)
'Searching For The Spark' (Hillage) - Steve Hillage, Motivation Radio (Virgin)
'Origin and Theory of the Tape Cut-Ups' (Burroughs) - William S. Burroughs, Break Through In Grey Room (Sub Rosa)
'Music for a Magic Carpet' (Worsley) - BBC Radiophonic Workshop, BBC Radiophonic Workshop - A Retrospective (The Grey Area)
'Dr Who' (Grainer) - BBC Radiophonic Workshop, BBC Radiophonic Workshop - A Retrospective (The Grey Area)
'Woman's Hour - Reading Your Letters' (Baker) - No artist, The John Baker Tapes Volume 1 (Trunk Records)
'One Note Samba - Spanish Flea' (Jobim et al) - Perrey & Kingsley, Kaleidoscopic Vibrations (King Records)
'Fear Of A Black Planet' (Ridenhour et al) - Public Enemy, Fear Of A Black Planet (Def Jam Recordings)
'Frankenstein' (Winter) - The Edgar Winter Group, They Only Come Out At Night (Epic)
'The Making of Brain Salad Surgery' (Lake) - Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Brain Salad Surgery (Rhino)
'Dreamsong' (McNabb) - Michael McNabb, n/a (WERGO 2020-2)
'Thou Shalt Not Kill' (Zappa) - Frank Zappa, "Congress Shall Make No Law..." (Zappa Records)

Programme Proper

'Concret PH' (Xenakis) - Iannis Xenakis, Archives GRM: les visiteurs de l'aventure concrète (INA/GRM)
'Poème Electronique' (Varèse) - Edgard Varèse, Varèse: The Complete Works (Decca)
'Chant pour les différentes eternitées' (Cittanova) - Darius Cittanova, Masterworks from France Program No. 428 New French Instruments presented at the Brussels Fair (Gotham Recording Corp)
'Amphitryon 38' (Oram) - BBC Radiophonic Workshop, BBC Radiophonic Workshop - A Retrospective (The Grey Area)
'Genese, Music for Five Audio-Frequency Oscillators (Finale)' (Badings) - Henk Badings, More Electronic Music By Badings (Basta)
'Kontakte' (Stockhausen) - Karlheinz Stockhausen, Stockhausen Elektronische Musik 1952-1960 (Stockhausen-Verlag )
'The Future Will Be Silent' (McCluskey et al) - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, English Electric (100% Records)
'Tardis' (Hodgson) - BBC Radiophonic Workshop, BBC Radiophonic Workshop - A Retrospective (The Grey Area)
'Under Erebus' (Cree Brown) - Chris Cree Brown, n/a (Composer's Private Recording)
'La Bataille' (Janequin) - Ensemble Clément Janequin/Dominique Visse, Les Cris de Paris: Chansons de Janequin et Sermisy (Harmonia Mundi)
'Les paroles dégelées' (Schaeffer) - Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Schaeffer ‎- L'Œuvre Musicale (INA-GRM)
'Foil' (Brown/ Booth) - Autechre, Amber (Warp Records)
'Au Claire de La Lune' (Traditional) - Léon Scott, n/a (Public domain archive recording)
'Phonograph Blues' (Johnson) - Robert Johnson, The Centennial Collection (Columbia)
'Trick recording 1889' (Berliner) - Emile Berliner, n/a (Public domain archive courtesy of Patrick Feaster)
'Bowman Suite' (Schmidt) - Atom™, The Eccentric Electrics of Atom™ & Friends (The Omni Recording Corporation)
'Pete Standing Alone' (Sandison/ Eoin) - Boards of Canada, Music Has the Right to Children (Warp Records)
'Trickaufnahme' (Hindemith) - Paul Hindemith, n/a (Public domain archive)
'Quartet (IV: Fast)' (Cage) - Third Coast Percussion, John Cage - The Works for Percussion 2 (Mode)
'Gesang der Jünglinge' (Stockhausen) - Karlheinz Stockhausen, Stockhausen Elektronische Musik 1952-1960 (Stockhausen-Verlag)
'Robots' (Hütter et al) - Kraftwerk, The Man Machine (Capitol)
'Power' (West et al) - Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-a-Fella Records)
'BAKU ­- Symphony of Sirens' (Avraamov) - Leopoldo Amigo and Miguel Molina, BAKU Symphony Of Sirens - Sound Experiments In The Russian Avant Garde (ReR Megacorp)
'JetSex' (Cecil) - Tonto's Expanding Head Band , Tonto's Expanding Head Band (Private Label G3B-06-01-14 (limited edition of 1000), Steam Music' (Cary) - Tristram Cary, Soundings: Electroacoustic Works 1955-1996 (Tall Poppies)
'Étude aux sons réalistes' (Savouret) - Alain Savouret, Archives GRM: l'art de létude (INA/GRM)
'Five Orchestral Piecs op.16' (Schoenberg) - London Symphony Orchestra/Robert Craft, iv: Peripeteia (Naxos)
'Electricity' (McCluskey/Humphries) - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, The OMD Singles (Virgin)
'Risveglio di una città' (Russolo) - Daniele Lombardi, Musica Futurista - The Art of Noises (Salon Recordings)
'Reach For The Dead' (Sandison/ Eoin) - Boards of Canada, Tomorrow's Harvest (Warp Records)
'L'acoustique Ivresse' (Chessa) - Nicolas Isherwood, Trento Risuona Improvisation Orchestra /Luciano Chessa, n/a (Private Recording courtesy composer)
'Hyperprism' (Varèse) - Ensemble Intercontemporain/Pierre Boulez, n/a (Sony)
'Origin of Supernatural Probabilities' (Franke et al) - Tangerine Dream, Zeit (Castle Music)
'S950' (Panda) - Gold Panda, Half Of Where You Live (Ghostly International)
'Little Beige Sambo' (Zappa) - Frank Zappa, Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention (Rykodisc)
'Son Organisé - Art-Science' (Varèse) - Edgard Varèse, Edgard Varèse - Entretiens avec Georges Charbonnier (INA)
'Sea Song' (Grainger) - Percy Grainger, n/a (Private archive recording courtesy Warren Burt)
'Study No. 27' (Nancarrow) - Conlon Nancarrow, Complete Studies For Player Piano Volume 4 (1750 Arch Records)
'Musica Ricercata (Tempo de Valse (poco vivace - "a l'orgue de Barbarie"))' (Ligeti) - Pierre Charial, György Ligeti Edition 5 - Mechanical Music (Sony)
'The Planets (Jupiter)' (Holst) - Isao Tomita, The Planets (RCA)
'Pantomime' (Falla) - Clara Rockmore and Nadia Reisenberg, The Art of The Theremin (Delos)
'Olson' (Sandison/ Eoin) - Boards of Canada, Music Has the Right to Children (Warp Records)
'Ecuatorial' (Varèse) - Ensemble Intercontemporain/Pierre Boulez, n/a (Sony)
'Fête des Belles Eaux' (Messiaen) - Ensemble d'Ondes de Montréal, n/a (Atma Classique)
'Bloom (Instrumental)' (Eno/ Schwalm) - Brian Eno & J. Peter Schwalm, Drawn From Life (Venture)
'Rtw Sound of A Finished Kiss' (Gough) - Pimmon, Snaps * Crackles * Pops (Tigerbeat6)
'Trellises' (Cary) - Tristram Cary, Soundings: Electroacoustic Works 1955-1996 (Tall Poppies)
'"Rhapsody"' (Liszt' (Evgeny Sholpo, n/a (Archive recording courtesy of Andrey Smirnov)
'Vogel Circuits' (Gough) - Pimmon, Snaps * Crackles * Pops (Tigerbeat6)
'March Trot "Galop"' (G Rimsky-Korsakov) - Evgeny Sholpo, n/a (Archive recording courtesy of Andrey Smirnov)
'Prelude in C) - minor Op 3/1' (Rachmaninov) - Nikolai Voinov, n/a (Archive recording courtesy of Andrey Smirnov)
'Believe' (Higgins et al) - Cher, Believe (WEA)
'Axolotl Eyes' (Schmidt/ Podmore) - Irmin Schmidt and Kumo, Axolotl Eyes (Spoon Records)
'Melodie der Welt' (Ruttmann) - (no artist), speech (Public domain recording)
'Wochenende' (Ruttmann) - Walter Ruttmann, Walter Ruttmann - Weekend Remix (Intermedium intermedium)
'Journey No.1' (Ellitt) - Jack Ellitt, Artefacts of Australian Experimental Music 1930-1973 (Shame File)
'Open The Light' (Sandison/ Eoin) - Boards of Canada, Music Has the Right to Children (Warp Records)
'Imaginary Landscape No.1' (Cage) - Percussion Group Cincinnati, The Works for Percussion 1 (Mode Records)
'Flying Home' (Hampton et al) - The Benny Goodman Sextet, The Essential Benny Goodman (Columbia)
'Atomic Ranch' (McCluskey) - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, English Electric (100% Records)
'Orange Minuet' (Carlos) - Wendy Carlos, Clockwork Orange - Complete Original Score (East Side Digital)
'Londonderry Air' (Traditional) - Collins H. Driggs, The Magic Of The Novachord (Victor)
'Please Remain Seated' (McCluskey) - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, English Electric (100% Records)
'Sundown' (Sandison/ Eoin) - Boards of Canada, Tomorrow's Harvest (Warp Records)
'We'll Meet Again' (Parker/ Charles) - Vera Lynn with Arthur Young (Decca)