The Avant Garde Project is a series of 20th-century classical-experimental-electroacoustic torrents digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today. This is wild stuff, so check it out if you've never heard this sort of music before. The analog rig used to extract the sound from the grooves is near state-of-the-art, producing almost none of the tracking distortion or surface noise normally associated with LPs.
AGP1-114 are now available for direct download in the archive at www.avantgardeproject.org
AGP115-116 and other recent AGP installments are also available at http://thepiratebay.org/user/loudav
AGP117 is a transcription of one of my most prized LPs, containing two works by the Romanian composer Iancu Dumitrescu. Medium II is for solo double bass, and Cogito / Trompe L'Oeil is for two double basses, prepared piano, and percussion.
In Medium II, the sounds produced by the double bass explore the edge between tones and noise, and yet an everpresent tonal center is provided by the notes produced by the open strings, giving the excursions into higher tones something of the feel of a raga. The rhythms of the piece remind me at times of the breathing of some great beast or of the surge of the ocean through a tidal cave. The addition of more instruments in Cogito introduces further tonal centers and still more timbral complexity, with considerably more sound energy in higher registers.
Dumitrescu describes Medium II as the hidden, mysterious reverse of Cogito, and suggests that the two works could even be played simultaneously. If you have the right media-playing software, you may be able to arrange such a performance for yourself. Personally, I tremble at the thought. The torrent includes a PDF file with scans of LPs liner notes.
I have waited until now to transcribe this LP because a CD of Medium III, Cogito, and other works used to be available on the Edition Modern label out of Romania. I am told that this CD is now out of print, though you may be able to find one of the few remaining copies through internet distributors. I have never heard the CD, and so cannot say how different Medium II is from Medium III, or how different the two performances of Cogito are. If someone who has the CD judges the two releases to be different enough, I would be delighted to include a transcription of the CD in a future AGP installment.
01 - Medium II [23:38]
02 - Cogito, Trompe L'Oeil [19:57]
Equipment used for A/D conversion: Lyra Helikon phono cartridge, Linn LP12/Lingo turntable, Linn Ittok tonearm, Audioquest LeoPard tonearm cable, PS Audio PS2 preamplifier, Kimber PBJ interconnect, M-Audio Audiophile USB A/D converter.
NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, this recording is currently out of print. If you know otherwise, please let me know ASAP, as I do not wish any artists to be deprived of the royalties that they so richly deserve.