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The San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counterculture and the Avant-Garde

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This book tells the story of the influential group of creative artists―Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnick, Ramon Sender, William Maginnis, and Tony Martin―who connected music to technology during a legendary era in California's cultural history. An integral part of the robust San Francisco “scene,” the San Francisco Tape Music Center developed new art forms through collaborations with Terry Riley, Steve Reich, David Tudor, Ken Dewey, Lee Breuer, the San Francisco Actor's Workshop, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Ann Halprin Dancers' Workshop, Canyon Cinema, and others. Told through vivid personal accounts, interviews, and retrospective essays by leading scholars and artists, this work, capturing the heady experimental milieu of the sixties, is the first comprehensive history of the San Francisco Tape Music Center.

"Who knew, prior to this lovingly detailed account, that five musical discontents could construct what amounted to a cultural particle accelerator in a small San Franciscan house? This book allows readers a window onto the confluence of artistry, innovation, drugs, sexuality, poverty, resourcefulness and, most importantly, the sense of fun that permeated the air during those years."―Richard Henderson, critic for The Wire magazine

"As I devoured this vibrantly detailed history of the San Francisco Tape Music Center in the 1960s, I found myself wishing repeatedly that I'd been born a couple of decades earlier, so I could have been present for a string of historic events: the debut of the Don Buchla synthesizer, the premiere of Terry Riley's In C, Ramon Sender's Tropical Fish Opera, Pauline Oliveros's multimedia concert at the Trips Festival. The heroes of the Center were in the business of realizing unimagined possibilities, and they did much to shape the legendary culture of San Francisco in the later sixties."―Alex Ross

"Hats off to David Bernstein for flooding a dark corner of recent musical history with new light, as warm as it is brilliant."―Richard Taruskin, author of The Oxford History of Western Music

"This high-voltage oral history takes us straight back to the West Coast epicenter of experimental music in the early 1960s, where synthesizers and tape loops met light shows and LSD, and Merry Pranksters hung with the masters of minimalism. Reading it is like visiting a foreign country and realizing you were born there."―Fred Turner, author of From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism

Publishing Details
Written by: David Bernstein (Editor), Johannes Goebel (Preface), John Rockwell (Foreword)
Year Published: 2008
Date Published: 07/08/2008
Format: Hardback
Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 10 inches
Pages: 344
Language(s): English
Editions: 1
Publisher: University of California Press
ISBN-10: 0520256174
ISBN-13: 978-0520256170

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