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Musica Elettronica Viva: Spacecraft [VINYL] (Our Swimmer)

One of the original innovators in electroacoustic improvisastion, the Italy-based group Musica Elettronica Viva with the core of Alvin Curran, Fredrick Rzewski, and Richard Teitelbaum are heard live at the Academy of Arts, in Berlin, Germany, on October 5th, 1967 in a sextet format using contact mics, electronics, trumpet, amplified gas plate, moog, voice and saxophone.
 

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product information:


UPC: 769791973657

Label: Our Swimmer
Catalog ID: WELLE 104LP
Squidco Product Code: 30509

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: Germany
Packaging: LP
Recorded in live performance at the Academy of Arts, in Berlin, Germany, on October 5th, 1967.


Personnel:

Alvin Curran-kalimba, electronics, trumpet, voice

Frederic Rzewski-objects, electronics

Allan Bryant-synthesizer

Richard Teitelbaum-synthesizer, electronics, voice

Ivan Vandor-tenor saxophone

Carol Plantamura-voice

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Artist Biographies:

"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)
9/22/2021

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"Frederic Anthony Rzewski (born April 13, 1938 in Westfield, Massachusetts) is an American composer and virtuoso pianist.

Rzewski (pronounced zheff-skee) began playing piano at age 5. He attended Phillips Academy, Harvard and Princeton, where his teachers included Randall Thompson, Roger Sessions, Walter Piston and Milton Babbitt. In 1960, he went to Italy, a trip which was formative in his future musical development. In addition to studying with Luigi Dallapiccola, he began a career as a performer of new piano music, often with an improvisatory element. A few years later he was a co-founder of Musica Elettronica Viva with Alvin Curran and Richard Teitelbaum. Musica Elettronica Viva conceived music as a collective, collaborative process, with improvisation and live electronic instruments prominently featured. In 1971 he returned to New York.

In 1977 Rzewski became Professor of Composition at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liège, Belgium, then directed by Henri Pousseur. Occasionally he teaches for short periods at schools and universities throughout the U.S. and Europe, including Yale University, the University of Cincinnati, the California Institute of the Arts, the University of California, San Diego, the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and Trinity College of Music, London.

Many of Rzewski's works are inspired by secular and socio-historical themes, show a deep political conscience and feature improvisational elements. Some of his better-known works include The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (36 variations on the Sergio Ortega song El pueblo unido jamás será vencido), a set of virtuosic piano variations written as a companion piece to Beethoven's Diabelli Variations; Coming Together, which is a setting of letters from Sam Melville, an inmate at Attica State Prison, at the time of the famous riots there (1971); North American Ballads; Night Crossing with Fisherman; Fougues; Fantasia and Sonata; The Price of Oil, and Le Silence des Espaces Infinis, both of which use graphical notation; Les Moutons de Panurge; and the Antigone-Legend, which features a principled opposition to the policies of the State, and which was premiered on the night that the United States bombed Libya in April 1986. Among his most recent compositions, the most interesting are the Nanosonatas (2006~2010) and the Cadenza con o senza Beethoven (2003), written for Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. Rzewski played the solo part in the world premiere of his piano concerto at the 2013 BBC Proms.

Nicolas Slonimsky (1993) says of him in Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians: "He is furthermore a granitically overpowering piano technician, capable of depositing huge boulders of sonoristic material across the keyboard without actually wrecking the instrument." "

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic_Rzewski)
9/22/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Composer/performer Richard Teitelbaum is well known for his pioneering work in live electronic music, and his early explorations of intercultural improvisation and composition. He received his masters degree in theory and composition from Yale in 1964. After continuing his composition studies with Luigi Nono on a Fulbright in Italy, he co-founded the pioneering live electronic music group Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV) with Frederic Rzewski and Alvin Curran in Rome in 1966, bringing the first Moog synthesizer to Europe the following year.

He returned to the United States in 1970 to create the World Band, one of the first intercultural improvisation groups which was made up of master musicians from India, Japan, Korea, the Middle East and North America. His works since then have frequently combined live electronics with the music of other cultures. In 1977 he spent a year in Tokyo, studying shakuhachi (bamboo flute) with the great master Katsuya Yokoyama. His recent CD, Blends (New Albion), for shakuhachi, electronics and percussion, featuring Yokoyama was named one of the ten best contemporary classical CDs of 2002 by The Wire Magazine of London.

He has performed his works at Berlin's Philharmonic Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Almeida Theater and South Bank in London, the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and in concerts and festivals throughout Europe, North America, East Asia and Latin America. He has been commissioned by leading performers, including pianists Aki Takahashi and Ursula Oppens. In 2002 he received a Guggenheim fellowship to create Z'vi, the second opera in a projected trilogy dealing with Jewish mystical expressions of redemptive hopes. Extended sections of Z'vi were premiered at the opening of the Frank Gehry designed Performing Arts Center at Bard College and at the 2003 Venice Biennale. It will be presented again at the Center for Jewish History in New York in April 2005. The first opera of this series, Golem: An Interactive Opera, was premiered at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1989, and subsequently performed in Amsterdam, Berlin, Linz, Victoriaville, Quebec and Seoul, South Korea.

Teitelbaum has received numerous awards, included a Guggenheim in 2002 to create his opera Z'vi, as well as two Fulbrights, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, and commissions from several German radio stations, the Venice Biennale, Meet the Composer/Readers Digest, and the Mary Flagler Cary Trust. In 2004 he received a commission from the Fromm Music Foundation to compose an interactive instrumental and computer work for the Da Capo Chamber Players to be premiered in fall, 2005.

In addition to Blends (New Albion), his many recordings include: Golem: an Interactive Opera, on Tzadik; The Sea Between with Carlos Zingaro, on Victo; Live at Merkin Hall with Anthony Braxton on Music and Arts; Concerto Grosso, for Human Concertino and Robotic Ripieno, on Hat Art; and Spacecraft with Musica Elettronica Viva, on Alga Marghen.

Teitelbaum maintains an active schedule. In March, 2005 he will be in residence at the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico, and featured composer at their International Festival of Electroacoustic Music. Following performances of his opera-in progress Z'vi and with Musica Eletttronica Viva in April, he will travel to Japan on a Freeman Foundation Research Grant in May.

Teitelbaum is also a Professor of Music at Bard College, in upstate New York, where he teaches electronic and experimental music, and co-chairs the music department of the Master of Fine Arts program."

-Inside Bard (http://inside.bard.edu/teitelbaum/biography/)
9/22/2021

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Ivan Vandor (born 13 October 1932) is an Italian composer, musician and ethnomusicologist of Hungarian origin.

Born in Pécs, Vandor moved in Rome, Italy with his family in 1938.

He began studying violin at 6 and piano at 8, and, from 1948 to 1954, was tenor sax in the group Roman New Orleans Jazz Band. He was later also member of the avant-garde groups Musica Elettronica Viva and Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza. In 1959 he graduated in Composition with Goffredo Petrassi at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory and in 1962 he obtained Italian citizenship.

Graduated in ethnomusicology at U.C.L.A., he is author of several books and essays. His compositions include several notable soundtracks, such as Mino Guerrini's Omicidio per appuntamento (1967), Giulio Questi's Django Kill (1967), Nelo Risi's Diary of a Schizophrenic Girl (1968) and Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger (1975)."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Vandor)
9/22/2021

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track listing:


SIDE A



1. Spacecraft I (13:52)

SIDE B



1. Spacecraft II (17:14)
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Musica Elettronica Viva, or MEV for short, was formed in 1966 in Rome by Allan Bryant, Alvin Curran, Jon Phetteplace, Carol Plantamura, Frederic Rzweski, Richard Teitelbaum, and Ivan Vandor. From the very beginning the group was based on musical freedom and the shunning of convention. Using contact microphones to record and manipulate sound wherever it could be found -- from box springs to vibrators -- and improvisationally combining those recordings with tenor sax, homemade synths and the very first Moog to trek cross the Atlantic, MEV made some of the most imaginative and abrasive sounds of the time.

Recorded in live performance at the Academy of Arts (Akademie der Kunste) in Berlin on October 5, 1967, Spacecraft is made up of a single piece of the same name -- a slow building, jarring and disquieting work that reveals the entire MEV ethos in its lone half hour. As group member Alvin Curran put it, "the music could go anywhere,gliding into self-regenerating unity or lurching into irrevocable chaos -- both were valuable goals. In the general euphoria of the times, MEV thought it had re-invented music; in any case it had certainly rediscovered it."

Our Swimmer present this first ever vinyl issue of MEV's Spacecraft, an early piece from the most free-spirited group of the 20th century avant-garde. Translucent green vinyl."-Our Swimmer



"Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV) was begun one evening in the spring of 1966 by Allan Bryant, Alvin Curran, Jon Phetteplace, Carol Plantamura, Frederic Rzewski, Richard Teitelbaum and Ivan Vandor in a room in Rome overlooking the Pantheon. MEV's music right from the start was also totally open, allowing all and everything to come in and seeking in every way to get out beyond the heartless conventions of contemporary music. Taking its cue from Tudor and Cage, MEV began sticking contact mics to anything that sounded and amplified their raw sounds: bed springs, sheets of glass, tin cans, rubber bands, toy pianos, sex vibrators, and assorted metal junk; a crushed old trumpet, cello and tenor sax kept us within musical credibility, while a home-made synthesizer of some 48 oscillators along with the first Moog synthesizer in Europe gave our otherwise neo-primitive sound an inimitable edge. In the name of the collectivity, the group abandoned both written scores and leadership and replaced them with improvisation and critical listening. Rehearsals and concerts were begun at the appropriate time by a kind of spontaneous combustion and continued until total exhaustion set in. It mattered little who played what when or how, but the fragile bond of human trust that linked us all in every moment remained unbroken. The music could go anywhere, gliding into self-regenerating unity or lurching into irrevocable chaos-both were valuable goals. In the general euphoria of the times, MEV thought it had re-invented music; in any case it had certainly rediscovered it."-Alvin Curran

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