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.
AGP1-50 are now available for direct download in the archive at www.avantgardeproject.org
AGP51-53 are available at http://thepiratebay.org/user/loudav
AGP54 is the second of three dedicated to the Italian composer Sylvano Bussotti. Born in 1931, he is one of the major Italian composers of his generation and while many of his works were recorded and released on LPs, few have found their way onto CD. AGP53-55 include a number of Bussotti's major works, only two of which appear to have been released on CD and none of which is currently available. This is surprising because Bussotti's works were of consistently high quality. They often remind me of Ligeti's works of the 1970's in making effective use of classical harmonies and tonally meaningful chromaticism in the context of the advanced compositional tools of his generation.
The second Bussotti installment includes his magnificent Rara Requiem and two shorter works. The Rara Requiem was composed in 1969-70 and is scored for voices, guitar and cello, winds, piano, harp, and percussion. This work features some of the finest late 20th-century vocal music I have heard--not as dense as Ligeti's Requiem or as extreme as Nono's "y entonces comprendio" from the same years, with darker harmonies than Berio's Sinfonia. The instrumentalists punctuate the vocal textures nicely. Frammento is a scoring of Voix de Femme from Pieces de Chair II (1958-59) with Cathy Berberian singing soprano and her husband Luciano Berio playing piano. Fragmentations (1962) is a work for one performer playing two harps.
All tracks but Frammento were transcribed from European pressings in excellent condition and very little tracking distortion. Frammento is from the Time Records series organized by Earle Brown. The LP used for the transcription is in excellent condition, but it was recorded in the early 1960s and so has a somewhat leaner, harder sound. The torrent includes a text file with liner notes from two of the three LPs from which these recordings were transcribed, as well as an image of the front cover of the Rara Requiem LP.
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.
01 - Rara Requiem, side A [28:23]
02 - Rara Requiem, side B [27:50]
03 - Frammento [9:28]
04 - Fragmentations [10:39]
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.