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.
AGP1-118 are now available for direct download in the archive at www.avantgardeproject.org
AGP119-122 and other recent AGP installments are also available at http://thepiratebay.org/user/loudav
AGP123 continues our series of electronic compositions from the USA with a collection from some of the early leaders of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, which was established in 1959 and was one of the earliest centers for electronic music in the USA. Four of these tracks come from a Columbia LP released in 1964 and devoted to music from the center, and the rest are collected from various other LPs.
I've never been a huge fan of the nasal, ping-poing timbres that characterize so much of the output from the center, but the relatively limited tonal range does bring out the rhythmic and structural elements in these works. The three electronic studies by Mario Davidovsky are unjustly neglected works in contrast to his Synchronisms, which I suspect are so popular in part because they provide show pieces for the musicians who are paired with electronic sounds, while the electronic studies are purely electronic. Otto Luening's Gargoyles for violin and tape also demonstrates the interesting structures that can be produced with a limited range of electronic tones.
The LPs transcribed for this and the next installment are all in quite good condition, but the combination of pressing noise characteristic of so many American releases and the hiss characteristic of much early electronic music does increase the ambient noise level in many tracks. The torrent includes a PDF file with scans of the liner notes from all of the LPs in this installment as well as AGP124.
14 – Davidovsky, Electronic Study No 1 [5:56]
15 – Davidovsky, Electronic Study No 2 [6:30]
16 – Davidovsky, Electronic Study No 3 [5:23]
17 – Davidovsky, Synchronism 1 [4:19]
18 – Davidovsky, Synchronism 2 [5:56]
19 - El-Dabh, Leiya [5:25]
20 – Babbitt, Composition for Synthesizer [10:41]
21 – Luening, Gargoyles [9:25]
22 – Luening and Ussachevsky, Concerted Piece [8:41]
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, these recordings are 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.