50 Years Of Tangerine Dream

A 50-year retrospective of electronic music group Tangerine Dream is featured in the latest episode of the Echoes podcast.

Tangerine Dream-50 Years of Electronic Meditations: The Echoes Documentary features interviews with band members from the 70’s to today, including Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann, Christoph Franke, Klaus Schulze, Thorsten Quaeschning and Ulrich Schnauss.

Host John Diliberto also talks with a variety of synthesists influenced by Tangerine Dream, including Robert Rich, Ian Boddy and Steve Roach, who share their perspectives on the group. And it even features composer Steve Reich sharing his take on the group’s borrowing from his Music For 18 Musicians.

You can listen to the documentary below or at the Echoes site:


Summary:

50 years ago Tangerine Dream began recording their electronic music in what was then West Berlin. Founded by Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream has epitomized the electronic age of music, recording over 150 albums of synthesized compositions. Their film soundtracks include “Sorcerer” “Thief,” “Risky Business,” and “Legend.”

Tangerine Dream founder and last original member, Edgar Froese left the planet in 2015, but the group continues on with music he composed.

On Echoes, we draw upon over a dozen interviews with the Dream members past and present including Froese, Peter Baumann, Christoph Franke, Klaus Schulze, Thorsten Quaeschning and Ulrich Schnauss and many others to celebrate 50 years since the release of their debut album, Electronic Meditation.

Philip Glass’s Music In Eight Parts Gets Official Debut After 50 Years

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A lost work by minimalist composer Philip Glass has been found and restored, after 50 years, and is getting its world premier as a recorded work.

Music In Eight Parts was performed a handful of time in 1970, but the manuscript was lost for decades. It was recently found and put up for auction at Christie’s Auction House in New York City in late-2017.

Since then, the score was obtained by Glass’s publishers, Dunvagen Music Publishers, and a new arrangement has been made, with Glass’s supervision, for the current Philip Glass Ensemble, featuring woodwinds, keyboard, and voice.

The Philip Glass Ensemble recorded its parts remotely in April 2020, and they were assembled by music director Michael Riesman at his home studio in Manhattan.

Here’s what the publisher has to say about the work:

“Glass defines Minimalism in his music as existing from 1965 to 1975 – up to and including his opera Einstein on the Beach (1975-76) These largely theoretical pieces such as Music in Similar Motion (1969), Music in Fifths (1969), Music with Changing Parts (1970) all led to Glass’s seminal compendium Music in Twelve Parts (1971-74.)

So how can a major piece from this time go missing?

It’s theorized that after Glass’s 1975 opera, Einstein on the Beach landed the composer in a fair amount of debt, Glass was forced to sell a number of scores. In Glass’s archive, only fragmentary sketches of MUSIC IN EIGHT PARTS remained as evidence of the piece’s existence. Glass “never intended this early music to last” and yet these pieces have ended up being some of his most appreciated.

MUSIC IN EIGHT PARTS is immediately recognizable as being of Glass’s minimalist musical language in full stride and it is played with absolute mastery by the specialists of this repertoire.”

This world premiere recording was produced by Lisa Bielawa, Richard Guérin, and Michael Riesman and features artwork by artist Sol LeWitt, frequent collaborator of Glass’s including works like Dance from 1979. It was LeWitt that designed the cover for the original recording of Music in Twelve Parts in the 1970s.

You can preview Music In Twelve Parts at the Orange Mountain Music site.

Terry Riley Lost Interview + ‘Music With Balls’

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This video, via Cuneiform Records, captures a lost interview with seminal minimalist composer Terry Riley.

Riley’s pioneering electro-acoustic music of the 1960’s explored combining tape delay with electronic and acoustic instruments to create feedback loops that allowed live layering of sounds.

His hypnotic 1969 album, A Rainbow In Curved Air, influenced musicians like Pete Townshend of The Who and classical composers like Steve Reich alike. Hearing the album now, it’s easy to appreciate how it blew people’s minds in the 60’s and has an influence that extends all the way to modern electronic music.

The 2005 Henry Kaiser interview was recorded for a DVD that was never released of Riley’s 1969 multimedia project with sculptor Arlo Acton, Music With Balls, embedded below:

Music With Balls was first televised on KQED in April 1969. It was a synthesis of abstract visuals, featuring Arlo Acton’s spherical sculptures of glittering titanium, and a soundtrack on which Terry Riley played hypnotically repetitive music using the feedback from two tape machines.

The interview is unedited, so it’s a little raw, but it offers a unique example of Riley discussing his process and demoing his approach, a style that has inspired other electronic musicians for 50 years.

Who Sampled Kraftwerk

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Kraftwerk has influenced a tremendous number of musicians, but it’s also remarkable how many musicians have directly sampled the seminal electronic band’s music.

This short video documents some of the musicians that have used samples of Kraftwerk in their music, ranging from Sir Mix-A-Lot to Pink to New Order to DJ Shadow, and in the 80s, 90’s, 00’s through today.

Subotnick Documentary Update

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Director Robert Fantinatto (I Dream Of Wires) has shared an update and preview for Subotnick, his upcoming documentary on electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick.

“Subotnick is now in its final stages of editing,” says Fantinatto. “We have edited all of the individual scenes and are now in the process of putting them in order, both chronologically and thematically, it’s a daunting task considering the vast amount of footage we’ve got to work with and deciding what to not show has been the most difficult part of the task.

Fantinatto says that the film will cover three distinct timelines:

  • “NOW”: Covering the year over which the 50th anniversary of Silver Apples of the Moon was celebrated over the course of several live concerts and other events…along with the creation of a brand new work “Crowds and Power”.
  • “THEN”: A chronology of Mort’s life and career, beginning with a visit to the East Los Angeles neighbourhood where he grew up, Boyle Heights, a place he had not been to since his childhood. Some other highlights include a visit with modern dance legend Anna Halprin and Nonesuch Records founder Jac Holtzman, a reunion 50 years in the making.?
  • “IDEAS”: Explorations of many of Mort’s ideas and influences from Stoic Philosophy, Darwin and Marshall McLuhan, to his groundbreaking work in music education.

“We are aiming to have the film done by this Summer,” adds Fantinatto,  “And we sincerely hope that we will have an opportunity to meet some of you as we tour the theatrical cut of the film sometime in the near future.”

’20 Systems’ Features A History Of Synthesis Via 20 Classic Synthesizers

Synthesist Ben Edwards, aka Benge, has released 20 Systems – his 2008 album, featuring 20 tracks made on 20 synthesizers spanning 20 years – for the first time in digital formats.

Each track on the album features sounds from a single synthesizer, starting from a 1968 Moog modular and ending with a 1987 Kawai K5M.

The album features a 58-page booklet that discusses each of the instruments and tracks, with a forward by Robin Rimbaud (Scanner).

Brian Eno described the album as “A brilliant contribution to the archaeology of electronic music.”

Here’s what Edwards has to say about the album:

“The purpose of the record is to demonstrate the development of the synthesiser from the first commercially available systems in the late 1960s to the introduction of fully digital systems in the late 1980s

Although not intended to be a comprehensive history of synthesisers, the listener will hopefully gain some insight into the character of each instrument, and on a more general level experience the evolving sound of synthesis over the years.

Each track is the pure sound of an individual instrument, with no additional processing, sequencing or effects applied to any of the recordings. If a system was equipped with an in-built sequencer, it was used, and there are several examples of sound-on-sound processes, where a track is made up of multiple layers of the same synthesizer.”

Tracks:

  1. 1968 Moog Modular 03:26
  2. 1969 EMS VCS3 05:12
  3. 1970 ARP 2500 03:07
  4. 1971 ARP 2600 01:43
  5. 1972 Serge Modular 04:05
  6. 1973 Roland SH2000 03:44
  7. 1974 Oberheim SEM 01:54
  8. 1975 Moog Polymoog 02:56
  9. 1976 Yamaha CS80 03:49
  10. 1977 Yamaha CS30 02:23
  11. 1978 Roland 100M 04:10
  12. 1979 Korg Lambda 01:42
  13. 1980 Korg Trident 02:03
  14. 1981 Yamaha CS70M 02:09
  15. 1982 PPG Wave 02:04
  16. 1983 Fairlight CMI 03:47
  17. 1984 Oberheim Xpander 01:44
  18. 1985 Yamaha CX5M 02:35
  19. 1986 NED Synclavier 07:28
  20. 1987 Kawai K5M 04:23

You can preview the album below or at Bandcamp: