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Electronomusic - 9 Images - John Pfeiffer

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    "Electronomusic" - a new but obvious name for musically organized sound built from electronic technology. The label implies sonic results which differ markedly from "electronic music." They do, but it other differences apply even more to the aesthetics of and foundation from which the ultimate musical architecture is built. New devices, manipulations, methods of sound organization - the hardware of the system was conceived on a new musical aesthetic: one which intends to bridge some previous musical experience with the new freedoms of electronically oriented sounds. It may he as valid as any new musical philosophy. The validity lies in the listener - the seeker of meaningful aural sensation, musically communicative sound.

    Rather than bend this new aesthetic toward an abstraction, a safe obfuscation with a new language, this premiere collection attempts to conjure up images - mental and emotional pictures of events, scenes. moods. Its purpose: a kind of exploration of the aesthetic idea without stretching the musical credibility gap to the extreme. But an image is your interpretation a collation of memory, fantasy, imagination triggered into being by the force of some sensation. Sonic sensation is a powerful image stimulus, and a new art of sound can perhaps prod your psychological forces into creating in you new dimensions of musical experience.

    About the Aesthetic
    A satisfying musical experience is an acquired taste, bouncing among highly diverse levels of sophistication and exposure. Different cultures thrive on widely different musical vocabularies. Within our taste for musical events the parade of "In" styles gallops along at the pace of fads. But the weight of style moves in a paradoxically logical and orderly fashion, maintaining some shred of a past satisfaction while feeling in the dark. It keeps a toehold on orientation while probing for new islands of expression. The solid ground has most often been musical sound customary musical instruments, generators of sounds which are immediately identifiable as musically stimulating. Electronically created or modified sound emerging from loud-speakers, possibly from storage or manipulation of the tape machine, can escape all the conventional stylistic: limitations. It can, but should it? Taking a leaf front past experience - no. Perhaps the logical, transitional step into the fallaciously implied antiseptic world of electronic-music satisfaction is one which balances liberation with orientation—head-in-the-stars-feet-on-the-ground idea. And in this age of radical avant-gardism, that's not a very popular idea. But as experimentalists, we can't all follow the popular routes. The concept of holding onto some familiar feature of musical orientation while exploring totally new ideas in other features is the basic aesthetic of "electronomusic."

    About the Works
    This aesthetic discipline is entertained in various ways during these nine studies. The three-part -sp..iber retains a similarity to the classic toccata, invention and prelude. forms along with a sonic profile of the clavier family. But the diatonic scale is abandoned along with classically ordered overtones. Inharmonic Side-Band forms this sound structure, and the images, of violence resolving to PLACE is emphasized by a quiet intrusion of the comforting scale that forms our musical security.

    Musical sound owes its life to a string - starting with a vocal cord. moving through plucked, bowed and struck strings, supplemented along the way with air columns for variety. REFLECTION OF A STRING is an ode to this idea reflecting on it, savoring it. sustaining it. To depart from our old, familiar scale or the identity of a famous string would violate the eulogy, but the Contraformer reflects sounds of strings, sustains, folds them repeatedly peacefully respectful.

    Drops drop. sounds sound-- analogies in rhythm. Drops are forms in space. But a "drop" suggests motion: motion and sound are events in tune. Can sounds then he Drops in time? Perhaps.

    Dimensions of time and space occupy our physical attention, our physical being. But our conceptual being can 'carp time and space limitless. Fantasy, imagination, emotion the transformations of physical order- can interpret, clarify, contradict, affirm or deny, even create. It happens in moments. And musical events are moments strung together, time ordered, mcxxi ordered. During those moments sound can order the sensory bring to re-form time, space and their occupants. While a second measures time, a moment measures experience. Parametric Blocks are stacked in sound to build these Moments.

    Flight always has a point of departure, an interface between the solid and the vaporous. To transcend that point of discontinuity the physical world forces a body to exert force, spend energy. And escape is the reward. Take Off generates the metered, rhythmic steam in a familiar pattern, with Transformer sounds straining to escape.

    Forests confront us in many structures of experience. Unique in a sense of massive sameness punctuated with contrasting trivial or meaningful Hashes, forests blend redundancy with novelty. In FORESTS an Alphormer structures a continuity of sound within the convention of the tempered scale while a "set" of sonic events Bitters in and out of ambiguity.

    A paean is a pavane is a patent-peacock, to us, but also the inspiration for a classic dance of stately, prideful pro-portions. This PAVONE is of classic form and tempo, and the Duotonic Transform imagines a dancing couple through two complex overtone structures. One above and one below the basic tones, these two rich formants move constantly—sometimes almost merging, producing a kind of intimate vibrato. Later they move apart so widely that the full auditory range is quietly engaged.

    Repetition, symmetry, order - they exist in nature, an music, fashion.... Perhaps they form the discipline of the world. perhaps only the routine, but maybe also the logic. For whatever purpose they were intended, they give us a sense of balance. ORDERS is a study in rhythm (the simplest repetition) in a series of sequential sound patterns - some in rigorous symmetry. Pattern repetition projects the architecture. The sonic material is the lowly sine wave, notoriously uninteresting in its virgin state.

    And after following the lesson of an orderly world, tribute is paid to the sonic randomness of a segment of civilization—the modern business office. Simultaneous sounds of business machines normally encountered create a cacophony of disorder. But individually they represent percussion instruments of a mammoth orchestra. We imagine that they could dispose themselves in rigorous rhythm AFTER HOURS.

    About the Sound
    The names I have applied to the "instrumentation" of these works arc shorthand descriptions of the technical methods of producing the various sounds. But they mean as little to the musical results as any instrumentation. Most of the devices and techniques are built around an idea of transformation - converting a known sound into a different but predictable one with controlled parameters. From this concept the sound is essentially "formed" rather titan constructed. And the word "form" appears logically in most of the identifying names.

    Added all together, this collection is an exercise in musical creativity and hopefully, the means will be justified by the end.

    - JOHN PFEIFFER
    Track Listings:
    Side A
    1 Warm-Up, Canon And Peace [For Inharmonic Side Band] 7:28
    2 Reflection Of A String [For Contraformer] 3:07
    3 Drops [For Programmer And Sines] 2:47
    4 Moments [Events For Parametric Blocks] 6:37
    5 Take Off [For Metric Transperformer] 3:32

    Side B
    1 Forests [Modes For Alphormer And Set] 12:52
    2 Pavone [A Duotonic Transform] 3:20
    3 Orders [For Sequential Sines] 5:45
    4 After Hours [For Ordered Simpliformer] 3:05
    Artist Name(s):
    John Pfeiffer
    Year:
    1968
    Style:
    Classical, Minimal
    Album Type:
    Studio
    Formats:
    Compact Disc, LP 33 1/3
    Cover & Packge Design:
    Dave Hecht, Thom Neville
    Studio Name:
    Composed and recorded in the Electronomusic Studio of John Pfeiffer
    Engineer(s): John Pfeiffer
    Label / Publishing
    Label Name:
    RCA Victrola
    Catalog Number(s):
    VICS-1371
    Location:
    New York City, NY USA
    Editions / Reissues
    1. 1970 - LP - RCA Victor LSP 34062 - Italy
    2. 1970 - LP - RCA Victrola VICS-1371, 940.060 - France
    3. 2007 - CD - Creel Pone 82 - US
    Album Locator
    [+] Amazon
    [+] Amoeba
    [+] Discogs
    [+] Ebay
    [+] Google
    [+] YouTube


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