WOLFMAN

Robert Ashley

"This edition on compact disc introduces us to the most extreme experimental side of the famous American composer. The program starts with 'The Fox' (1957), the first electronic music work by Robert Ashley which already displays the future electronic music theatre style. Dark atmospheres and primitive tape collage techniques recorded at home, mixing the electronic tape and the voice in a single 'live' pass. The title track, 'The Wolfman', was composed in early 1964 and first performed on Charlotte Moorman's festival of the avant-garde in New York in the fall of the same year, gaining considerable reputation as a threat to the listener's health. For the occasion instigated by Feldman, Robert Ashley composed a piece of tape music, 'The Wolfamn Tape', to be played along with the vocal performance of 'The Wolfman'. The idea of a tape composition, which is to come out of the same loudspeakers as the voice and the feedback (the main sound source for this composition), is to fill-in the ongoing performance sound and to transform the performance into an elaborate version of the 'drone' under the influence of electronics. The choice of what sounds should be on the tape is determined by the need to have the whole range of frequencies brought into the feedback, but to give those sounds a short duration-in other words, a blizzard of very short sounds across the whole frequency range-so that the illusion of the sounds coming from all parts of the room is preserved. For the performance of 'The Wolfman' recorded here, produced at the University of California at Davis, Robert Ashley used an earlier (1960) tape composition entitled 'The 4th of July'. That composition changes gradually from a parabolic-microphone documentation of a backyard party into a layering of tape loops and tape-head feedback. 'The Wolfman Tape' (1964) is, as descibed above, a tape composition made for a short performance of 'The Wolfman'. It uses tape-speed manipulation and mixes of many layers of 'found' sounds, both from AM radio and from recordings made using different kinds of microphones. 'The Bottleman' was composed in 1960 as music for an experimental film by George Manupelli. The 40 minutes long version preseted here involves contact microphones on a surface that holds a loudspeaker some six feet away. The loudspeaker is broadcasting open-circuit 'hum' (at the American standard of approximately 60 hertz). That pitch is raised slightly through tape manipulation and the result is mixed with vocal sounds and other 'found' sounds played back at various tape speeds. All compositions previously unreleased. The digipak CD comes with a 12 pages booklet including liner notes written by the composer and the complete score of 'The Wolfman', first issued in Source magazine."

Track Listing:

1. The Fox (5:15)
2. The Wolfman (18:10)
3. The Wolfman Tape (6:01)
4. The Bottleman (43:30)

Alga Marghen (Italy) A 10NMN.048
Lovely Price: $30.00

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