Music of Changes: Cage, Chance Operations, and Indeterminacy

The New York School in 1962: Christian Wolff, Earle Brown, John Cage, David Tudor, and Morton Feldman.
The “New York School” in 1962: Christian Wolff, Earle Brown, John Cage, David Tudor, and Morton Feldman.

Click play for the seventh episode of No Sounds Are Forbidden. Host Matthew Friedman explores the profound impact of the work and ideas of John Cage on the American avant-garde. Seeking to liberate sound from the restraints of conventional music, Cage introduced new compositional practice based on chance, and nurtured a generation of composers whose music was in a state of continual change.

This episode features an interview with the composer Christain Wolff, and music by Cage, Wolff, Henry Cowell, Morton Feldman, and Sonic Youth.

You can download Karlheinz Essl’s Fontana Mixer, a generative sound environment based on Cage’s Fontana Mix here.

Synthetic Sound: The Second Electronic Music Revolution

Click play for the sixth episode of No Sounds Are Forbidden. Host Matthew Friedman explores sound synthesis, and how the invention of the electronic synthesizer inspired avant-garde composers, and transformed how listeners listened to music. This episode features music by Milton Babbitt, Morton Subotnick, Charles Wuorinen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Raymond Scott, Gershon Kingsley, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, and Johann Sebastian Bach.

buchla
The Buchla synthesizer.

Episode 6 Playlist: Synthetic Sound

rcaExcerpts, Narrated by John Preston
The Sounds and Music Of The RCA Electronic Music Synthesizer, RCA Victor Red Seal ‎– LM-1922

herrmann_daayBernard Hermann, Prelude and Outer Space
The Day the Earth Stood Still Soundtrack, Twentieth Century Fox Film Scores ‎– 07822 11010

rockmore_thereminHeitor Villa Lobos, Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, Clara Rockmore (Theremin)
Clara Rockmore’s Lost Theremin Album, Bridge Records ‎– BRIDGE-9208

rcaJohann Sebastian Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C-minor BWV 847
The Sounds and Music Of The RCA Electronic Music Synthesizer, RCA Victor Red Seal ‎– LM-1922

CPEMC1Milton Babbitt, Composition for Synthesizer
Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, Columbia Masterworks ‎– MS 6566

subotnick_silverapplesMorton Subotnick, Silver Apples of the Moon
Silver Apples of The Moon, Nonesuch ‎– H-71174

wuorinen_leptonCharles Wuorinen, Time’s Encomium
Lepton, Tzadik ‎– TZ 7077

Raymond_scottRaymond Scott, Powerhouse
The Music of Raymond Scott: Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights, Columbia ‎– CK 53028

carlos_bachJohann Sebastian Bach, Prelude and Fugue in C-minor BWV 847, Wendy Carlos
Switched-On Bach, Columbia Masterworks ‎– MS 7194

zodiacMort Garson, Aries – The Fire Fighter
Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds, Elektra ‎– EKS-74009

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

tangerine_phaedraTangerine Dream, Phaedra
Phaedra, Virgin ‎– VR 13-108

eno_ambient1Brian Eno, 2/2
Ambient 1: Music for Airports, Polydor ‎– AMB 001