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Translating to "Light Flowers, Dark Flowers", Alvin Curran's 1978 release on his cooperative Ananda label receives its first remaster and reissue, bringing to life this joyfully surreal album of synthetic and acoustic instruments, field recordings and voice, unveiling itself like a cinematic work of dovetailed stories both reflective and energetically active.
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Liner notes by Alvin Curran and Francis Plagne
Label: Black Truffle
Catalog ID: BT 078LP
Squidco Product Code: 30798
Recorded at RCA Italiana Studios, in Rome, Italy, in April, 1975, by Rodolfo Grappa.
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• Show Bio for Alvin Curran
"Born December 13, 1938, Providence, Rhode Island. From five years: piano lessons, trombone, marching bands, Synagogue chants, Jazz, and his father's dance bands. Becomes an artist at age 13 in an apple tree at the house of his lifelong friend, poet Clark Coolidge. Hears Spike Jones, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Satchmo, The Boston Symphony Orcherstra, Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, The Band of America, Thelonius Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, Coltrane, Bartok and Christian Wolff.
With a fortuitous bang, he begins his musical journey (1965 in Rome) as co-founder of the radical music collective Musica Elettronica Viva, as a solo performer, and as a composer for Rome's avantgarde theater scene. In the 70's, he creates a poetic series of solo works for synthesizer, voice, taped sounds and found objects. Seeking to develop new musical spaces, and now considered one of the leading figures in making music outside of the concert halls -- he develops a series of concerts for lakes, ports, parks, buildings, quarries and caves -- his natural laboratories. In the 1980's, he extends the ideas of musical geography by creating simultaneous radio concerts for three, then six large ensembles performing together from many European Capitals. By connecting digital samplers to MIDI Grands (Diskklavier) and computers, since 1987, he produces an enriched body of solo performance works -- an ideal synthesis between the concert hall and all sounding phenomena in the world. He creates a visually striking series of sound installations, some of them in collaboration with visual artists including Paul Klerr, Melissa Gould, Kristin Jones, Pietro Fortuna, Umberto Bignardi, Uli Sigg. Throughout these years he continues to write numerous pieces for radio and for acoustic instruments.
Studies composition with Ron Nelson (B.A. Brown University 1960) and with Elliott Carter and Mel Powell ( M.Mus., Yale School of Music 1963). During summer vacations, plays European crossings with the "Brunotes" on the Holland American Line, in a Greek Dance Band in the Catskills, and in the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas.
Continues studies and friendship with Carter in Berlin (1964 Ford Foundation Grant), meets Stravinsky, Xenakis, Berio, Yuji Takahashi, Andriessen, Remo Remotti, and above all Rzewski. Goes to Darmstadt, hangs with Babbitt and Earl Brown, hears Stockhausen and Ligeti. Goes to Rome with Joel Chadabe and plays piano in bars on via Veneto, meets Franco Evangelisti and Cornelius Cardew.
In the Musica Elettronica Viva years (1966 -1971 in Rome), performs in over 200 concerts in Europe and the USA with Teitelbaum and Rzewski, Carol Plantamura, Ivan Vandor, Alan Bryant and Jon Phetteplace; and makes significant artistic encounters with Giuseppe Chiari, Edith Schloss, AMM, Cardew, Steve Lacy, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Steve ben Israel, Anthony Braxton, Simone Forti, Steve Reich, Joan La Barbara, Michael Nyman, La Monte Young, Trisha Brown, Ashley, Behrman, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Larry Austin, Bill Smith, Ketoff, Robert Moog, Nuova Consonanza, MEV2, Meme Perlini, Mario Ricci, Maria Monti, Prima Materia, Ron Bunzl, Phil Glass, Charlemagne Palestine, Terry Riley, George Lewis, Evan Parker, Gregory Reeves, Serge Tcherepnin, Kosugi, Pulsa, Maryanne Amacher, John Cage, David Tudor, Morton Feldman. Scelsi becomes his friend and mentor.
From 1975-80 taught vocal improvisation at the Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica (Rome) and from 1991 to 2006 was the Milhaud Professor of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California. Currently teaching privately in Rome in addition to master classes, residencies, and lectures at Oberlin, Peabody, Brown, Berkeley, The Hague, Haifa, Bolzano, Northwestern, Yale, Beijing, etc."-Alvin Curran Website (http://www.alvincurran.com/Curran_bio.html)
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• Show Bio for Alexis Rzewski
1. Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri 24:48
1. Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri 26:58
sample the album:
"The first-ever vinyl reissue of Alvin Curran's classic Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri, originally issued in 1978 on Ananda, the cooperative label run by Curran, Roberto Laneri, and Giacinto Scelsi. Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri (Light Flowers Dark Flowers) - its title inspired by an intersection in Milan - is the second in the series of four solo recordings Alvin Curran issued in the 1970s and early 1980s, preceded by Songs and Views from the Magnetic Garden (1975), followed by The Works (1980) and Canti Illuminati (1982).
Each of these solo works combines field recordings with performances on synthesiser, various acoustic instruments, and voice, arranged in languorously paced, dreamy sequences. Far from the bracing pointillism of much musique concrete, the elements encountered on the meandering course followed by Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri - whether a frenetic piano improvisation, dense layers of Serge synthesiser and ocarina, or a monologue from Frederic Rzewski's five-year old son, Alexis - often occupy the foreground of our attention for minutes at a time. As Curran explains, his approach is like that of a filmmaker in the editing process, working with "whole blocks of recorded time".
The purring of a cat, toy piano, a child counting, plaintive synthesiser tones, the cacophony of exotic birds at the London Zoo - each disappears into the next, until, on the LP's second side, a solo piano performance takes centre stage, moving unexpectedly from percussive minimalist permutations to a halting rendition of "Georgia on My Mind". A subtle yet stunning work that more than forty years on still seems charged with possibility, Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri arrives in a loving reproduction of the original sleeve, featuring Edith Schloss' beautiful cover painting, remastered audio and with new liner notes by Alvin Curran and Francis Plagne."-Black Truffle
Liner notes by Alvin Curran and Francis Plagne
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