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
AGP115-117 and other recent AGP installments are also available at http://thepiratebay.org/user/loudav
AGP118 is a complete transcription of two LPs released on the Nonesuch label in 1970 (H-71224 and H-71231).
The first includes HPSCHD for harpsichords & computer generated sound tapes by John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, and String Quartet No. 2 by Ben Johnston. Both works are available in other recordings, but two different AGP partisans specifically requested these original recordings of the works, which I've been assured differ materially from the recordings currently available on CD. Johnston's string quartet is one of his microtonal works, more of which can be found in AGP9.
The second features The Nude Paper Sermon: Tropes for Actor, Renaissance Consort, Chorus, and Electronics, by Eric Salzman. I remember listening to this latter work repeatedly in my youth, but I hadn't heard it in years before transcribing it for this installment. It is noteworthy among other things for being one of the earliest art works to be described as "post-modern" (in the LP liner notes). While the use of that term in 1970 pre-dates the eventual meaning of the term, the description is apt in that the texts recited by the actor are not offered in earnest but merely as examples of the ongoing cultural chatter of the time.
Both LPs are in excellent condition, with only very occasional light tracking distortion in some of the louder vocal passages in track 3. The torrent includes a PDF file with scans of the liner notes of the two LPs. I've also scanned an insert with HPSCHD on old-style computer printout paper with 1 of 10,000 sets of computer-generated instructions for producing one's own version of HPSCHD by adjusting volume, treble, and bass controls in each stereo channel every five seconds. That is, the liner notes say there were 10,000 such sets, but mine is numbered 12024. BTW, unlike last week, I've actually included the PDF file this time. Last week's PDF file can be downloaded at www.avantgardeproject.org/Dumitrescu.pdf.
NOTE: This week's installment is one minute too long for an 80-minute CD. If you are burning to CD, I recommend leaving out the Johnston string quartet and including it with AGP120--two weeks from now.
01 - Cage/Hiller, HPSCHD [21:04]
02 - Johnston, String Quartet No. 2 [14:59]
03 - Salzman, The Nude Paper Sermon, side A [21:31]
04 - Salzman, The Nude Paper Sermon, side B [23:21]
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.