Space Explorations: Avant-Garde Music in Three Dimensions

Click play for the fifth episode of No Sounds Are Forbidden. Host Matthew Friedman explores how avant-garde composers rediscovered the spatial nature of sound in the 20th century, and explored the three-dimensional implications of their music. This episode features music by Charles Ives, Erik Satie, Edgard Varese, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, David Tudor, and Henry Brant, as well as Giovanni Gabrielli, and Georg Philipp Telemann.

phillips pavillion
The Phillips pavilion at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels. Designed by Le Corbusier, with Iannis Xenakis. The interior space resonated with Edgard Varese’s Poeme Electronique.

Episode 5 Playlist: Space Explorations

gabrieliGiovanni Gabrieli, Magnificat a 14, Taverner Choir, London Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, Andrew Parrott
Giovanni: Symphoniae Sacrae II, L’Oiseau-Lyre ‎– 475 9113


telemann_tafelmusikGeorg Philipp Telemann, Tafelmusik – Tafelmusik Suite In E Major, Rondeau, Musica Antiqua Koln, Reinhard Goebel
Tafelmusik, Archiv Produktion ‎– 427 619-2 AH4


ives_vareseCharles Ives, The Unanswered Question, The Cleveland Orchestra, Christoph von Dohnanyi
Varèse: Ameriques; Ives: Symphony No 4, The Unanswered Question, Decca ‎– 443 172-2


satie_essentialErik Satie, Tenture de cabinet préfectoral, Ensemble Erwartung
Essential Satie, EMI Classics ‎– 6 78153 2


varese_albumEdgard Varese, Poeme Electronique
Music of Edgard Varese, CBS Masterworks ‎– MP 38773


variations ivJohn Cage, Variations IV
Variations IV, Everest ‎– Everest 3132


stockhausenKarlheinz Stockhausen, Pole
Stockhausen: Spiral I & II, Pole, Wach, Japan, Zykus, Tierkreis, In Freundschaf, EMI Classics ‎– 50999 6 95598 2


tudor_rainforestDavid Tudor, Rainforest IV
Rainforest Versions 1 & 4, Mode – Mode 64


feldman_rothkoMorton Feldman, Music for the Rothko Chapel¸ Klangforum Wien
Orchestral & Chamber Works, Col Legno ‎– WWE 1CD 20506


henry_brantHenry Brant, Wind, Water, Clouds & Fire, Present Music, Kevin Stalheim
Henry Brant Collection Vol 3, Innova – 411


The Tale of the Tape: The First Electronic Music Revolution

Click play for the fourth episode of No Sounds Are Forbidden. Host Matthew Friedman explores the impact of magnetic tape recording technologies on avant-garde composers, and on the birth of electronic music. This episode features an interview with composer Pauline Oliveros, music by Oliveros, Pierre Schaeffer, Halim El-Dabh, Otto Luening, Ilhan Mimaroglu, Alice Shields, Lejaren Hiller, Steve Reich, and Jacob Druckman.

The San Francisco Tape Music Center in 1964. From left to right: Tony Martin Bill Maginnis, Ramon Sender, Morton Subotnick, and Pauline Oliveros.
The San Francisco Tape Music Center in 1964. From left to right: Tony Martin, Bill Maginnis, Ramon Sender, Morton Subotnick, and Pauline Oliveros.

Episode 4 Playlist: The Tale of the Tape

schaefferPierre Schaeffer, Cinq Etudes de Bruits
The French Avant-Garde in the 20th Century, LTM Recordings ‎– LTMCD 2571


antholohy_of_noiseHalim El-Dabh, Wire Recorder Piece
An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music Vol. 4, Sub Rosa ‎– SR250


pioneer_electronicOtto Luening, Low Speed
Pioneers Of Electronic Music, New World Records ‎– 80644-2


CPEMC1Halim El-Dabh, Leiyla and the Poet
Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, Columbia Masterworks ‎– MS 6566


cpemc2Alice Shields, Study for Voice and Tape
Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center 1961-1973, New World Records ‎– 80521-2


cpemc2Ilhan Mimaroglu, Prelude No. 8 for Magnetic Tape
Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center 1961-1973, New World Records ‎– 80521-2


oliveros_soupPauline Oliveros, Beautiful Soop
Alien Bog/Beautiful Soop, Pogus Productions ‎– P21012-2


women_electronicPauline Oliveros, Bye Bye Butterfly
New Music For Electronic & Recorded Media. Women In Electronic Music , New World Records ‎– 80653


reich_earlySteve Reich, It’s Gonna Rain
Early Works, Nonesuch ‎– 9 79169-2


hillerLejaren Hiller, Machine Music for Piano, Percussion and Tape
Twelve-Tone Variations for Piano/Machine Music for Piano, Percussion and Tape/Sonata No. 3 For Violin and Piano, Turnabout ‎– TV-S 34536


druckman_animusiiiJacob Druckman, Animus III for Clarinet & Tape
Animus III / Synapse/Valentine, Nonesuch ‎– H-71253

I Remember: The Music of the Holocaust

An undated archive photograph shows Auschwitz II-Birkenau main guard house which prisoners called "the gate of death". An undated archive photograph shows Auschwitz II-Birkenau's main guard house which prisoners called "the gate of death" and the railway with the remains of abandoned crockery. The railway, which was built in 1944, was the last stop for the trains bringing Jews to the death camp. REUTERS/HO-AUSCHWITZ MUSEUM
The Auschwitz II-Birkenau main guard house, “the gate of death.”

At the end Viktor Ullmann’s The Emperor of Atlantis, Kaiser Uberall accepts his fate: he will be the sacrifice which will restore the balance of life and death that his own arrogance and brutality so tragically upset. It is one of the most powerful moments in 20th century opera. It is a moment of hope and high ideals; a plea for humanity, and a promise of peace. It is also a moment of unimaginable horror and tragedy, for the opera was never performed during its composer’s lifetime. Ullmann died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau on 18 October 1944.

Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, begins tomorrow night. And as we approach that solemn day of remembrance for the millions murdered by the Nazis, I find my thoughts going back to the final moments of Ullman’s opera.

Continue reading “I Remember: The Music of the Holocaust”