Creel Pone #2: Experimental music at its most embracing.

This article is continued on from the previous one which can be found here.

True to its ad-hock style the Creel Pone package continues on randomly, taking the happy listener on a dance through time and transformative listening. There have been a few ‘lists’ for me that have changed my ability to listen – and I mean that with all the weight and impact that statement contains. With any fine art, when the mind and body are open to an experience of greatness, the greatness gives back, permeates and transforms. I was a verified ‘indie chick’ before a most treasured guide (a muse of sorts)  took my hand and walked me into the larger and broader world of music. Not only has embracing truly great experimental music opened my mind to being able to appreciate the music I already loved (Jazz in particular) but it helped me understand and embrace music I had never understood (like Metal). The gifts available for the open mind in music are inexhaustible.


5.  Conrad Schnitzler & Gregor Schnitzler – Conrad & sohn

Conrad Schnitzler was a prolific German experimental musician and one of the forefathers of Krautrock (for which I have a particular fondness).

Schnitzler was born in Düsseldorf. He was an early member of Tangerine Dream (1969–1970) and a founder of the band Kluster. He left Kluster in 1971, first working with his group Eruption and then focusing on solo works. He continued to record from his home studio in Dallgow, Germany, creating CD-Rs which he sold independently. For this brilliant collection the first 1-5 tracks that feature Conrad with his son Gregor. For my money nothing goes past track 4 which combines train-track-heart-racing clammy synth beats with a stylized vocals sublimated to the synth, but still present enough they feel as though they are floating above the synth rather than sublimated in any way. I adore this track – and am sorry to say I listen to it over and over. Tracks 6-12 are heavily experimental – even for Schnitzler but are the very sounds of mother music cunt-pushing Krautrock into the world. PLEASE have a listen. I have posted track 3 above for your listening pleasure.

Listen to the full experience here.

6. Salvatore Martirano

What can I say about Salvatore Martirano?  I ADORE this small Creel Pone contribution and it has led to a deep love affair with his more experimental styles – especially what he does with Jazz and the room he gives (in this instance to Donald Smith) the singer to experiment with voice. A bit of a latent singer myself, this is the most inspired I’ve ever felt to get my voice going again.

Here is the info blurb:  One of the first musicians to experiment with computer-assisted composition, Salvatore Martirano made a significant impact on American musical life as a composer, teacher, instrument builder, and performer. Born Salvatore Giovanni Martirano, he started playing the piano at age five. In his late teens he served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a band clarinetist, and spent the years 1946 and 1947 touring with jazz bands. Years of further musical studies followed: with Herbert Elwell at Oberlin College (1947 — 1951), with Bernard Rogers at the Eastman School of Music (1952), and with Luigi Dallapiccola at the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, Italy (1952 — 1954). These years saw the emergence of Martirano’s first important compositions, such as the a cappella, twelve-tone Mass for double choir (1952 – 1955).

In 1969, Salvatore Martirano along with a group of engineers and musicians at the University of Illinois began work on the design and construction of a musical electronic instrument. The instrument, named the SAL-MAR CONSTRUCTION, is a hybrid system in which TTL logical circuits (small and medium scale integration) drive analog modules, such as voltage-controlled oscillators, amplifiers and filters. The performer sits at a horizontal control panel of 291 lightable touch-sensitive switches (no moving parts). The two-state switches are used by a performer to dial sequences of numbers that are characterized by a variety of intervals and lengths. A sequence may then bypass, address, or be added to other sequences forming an interlocked tree of control and data according to a performer’s choice. The unique characteristic of the switch is that it can be driven both manually and logically, which allows human/machine interaction. The most innovative feature of the human/machine interface is that it allows the user to switch from control of macro to micro parameters of the information output. This is analogous to a zoom lens on a camera.

What is incredibly exciting about this is the fluidity and combination of human / machine interaction. At a time when we could only think of machines as the enemy, Martirano is becoming musically married to his sound maker. You can hear it in the track I posted above, music made at the same time he was working on his machine. He makes instruments act like voice and voice move into the mechanistics zone. This music excites me so much.  Take a listen here. 

7. Bent Lorentzen – electronic music

Bent Lorentzen occupies a special position in modern Danish composition music. In the 1960s Electronic music inspired his creativity to take new paths, and since then innumerable other composition techniques have exerted an influence. Lorentzen was one of the earliest pioneers in the field of Danish electronic music (The Bottomless Pit in 1972 for the Nordic Music Days in Oslo, and Visions 1978), which was also introduced with an educational aim: the LP Elektronmusikkens materiale [The Material of Electronic Music, 1968] and the LPWater – electronic music for children, 1968. The possibilities of serialism perfectly matched his constructivism and his interest in sound as totality and potential for experiences, which were not limited by traditional musical elements. Bent Lorentzen’s music is often characterized as “sonic,” meaning that it has the actual sounds – the experience of sonority and materiality at its centre.

Here is no question: Lorentzen is a dramatist in no matter what genre he composes. Incidentally he resembles Richard Wagner in two ways [apart from a shared interest in altered seventh chords]: 1.) he writes most of his libretti himself, and 2.) the works are all part of an ambitious vision of a reformed musical life. He is the most prolific music dramatist in Denmark with – until now – 18 operas or Music-Theater pieces, of which many have been performed abroad and some of them feature German lyrics by Michael Leinert. Add to this the instrumental theatre and pantomimic Carillons (for actors and bells). In a genre all of its own is Comics (1987) for entertainer, orchestra, children’s and adult choir and amateur band.

The selection taken up by Creel Pone are 8 tracks simply titled ‘Electronic Music’. These individual tracks are:

1. The heavens

2. The Sea

3. The Mountains

4. The Sun

5. The Bottomless Pit

6. Shining rainbows, drifting clouds, flowing lava, running water

7. Visions, for electronics

8. Cloud-Drift, for electronics

To listen to the electronic take on each of this various responses to existing phenomena is outstanding. By adding the names to the various pieces I am forced to confront my own images associated with what has been suggested. This assaults my existing condition and forces me to forge  (at the very least)  branches on my listening neural pathways.  This is a series of tracks for the dark of the night, the sounds in the ears and the vision conjured up by the title. Rainbows have sharper edges than you ever imagined – but then, deep down we knew that didn’t we?

Listen to the tracks here. 

8. Oskar Sala & Harald Genzmer – Electronique et Stereophonie (1972)

Oskar Sala was a 20th century German physicist, composer and a pioneer of electronic music born in Greiz.  He played an instrument called the Trautonium, a predecessor to the synthesizer.

In 1948 Sala further developed the Trautonium into the Mixtur-Trautonium. The Mixtur-Trautonium allowed for the first time in music history the execution of sounds which had only been known in theory since the Middle Ages, but were never actually playable. Sala’s invention opened the field of subharmonics, the symmetric counterpart to overtones, so that a thoroughly distinct tuning evolved.

Sala presented his new instrument to the public in 1952 and would soon receive international licenses for its circuits. That same year, Harald Genzmer delivered the score to the first Concert For Mixtur-Trautonium And Grand Orchestra.

Harald Genzmer is a German composer.

These tunes  in the Creel Pone selection are a collection of various sounds, many unable to be recorded before. The listening experience is concentrated here. Sound blurts out at you from its own temporal place in history. Like all the pieces in the Creel Pone collection , this is not to be missed.

You can listen to the collection here.

And this concludes section 2.

You can read section one here.