Startling and stunning in equal measure it is exciting, certainly necessary to get shaken up once in while out of the security of familiarity. As the title of this latest collection of terse, far-out and exotically challenging sounds collide creating a template for you to do so, this is a fast-forward journey into the provocative and evocative. The junction and spirit of inspiration interlinking between Pop Culture And The Classical Avant-Garde is well documented, as indeed are the accompanying sleeve notes here, and this selection of composers, artists and sound manipulators is spread across four cdâ€™s of undoubtable thrills. From Stockhausen to Coltrane extending the hotwire of radical improvisation to the twenty munities of Ravi Shankarâ€™s mystically charged Raga Bilaskhani Todi, from the humanity of Debussy to Bill Evans emotive Jazz this literally plays out like a roller-coaster of emotional highs and lows. Private Dreams and Public Nightmares, created before the BBC Radiophonic Workshop was established in 1958, highlighting (again) the importance of Daphne Oram alongside Desmond Briscoe and Norman Bain with a cut-up of sight and sound is to be found here. The full 27 minutes of Pierre Henryâ€™s Orpheus, the first major work of symphonic concrÃ¨te music, is included too. All of which merely scratches the surface of a less conventional appreciation of what collections of noise are capable of, just as the beauty of Classical notation likewise ignites the soul. Things and perspective might not quite feel the same after you listen to thisâ€¦
Karlheinz Stockhausen was a prolific composer and creator/ manipulator of sound. He lived between 1928 and 2007 in which time he composed some 376 works. His legacy and the ideas incorporated within last and inspire to this day, perhaps in ways that you may not even be aware of. Beginning to compose pieces at the beginning of the 1950â€™s what you will hear contained from that time is Kontra Punte (Counter-Points) from 1952-53.Â Which rearranges the classical repertoire into new, almost shapeless forms as he and composers of a similar mind-set challenged how music could be made after the second world war. Remaining otherworldly – with a spiritual dimension – redefining what was possible/ acceptable is an accolade only afforded to a few throughout the history of music.
This three cd boxset from EL charts the territory explored by Stockhausen while also including work by Pierre Boulez, examples of musique concrÃ¨te from Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry alongside others which used recorded sounds as raw material. These collages of stimulation exist in a unique space of their own, even now, reflecting an uneasy world around them, yet there is also something reassuring about the flowing, freeform of expression as they take your imagination and run with it. Stockhausenâ€™s own Gesang der JuÌˆnglinge inspired The Beatles – Revolution 9 and you can hear how too (and heâ€™s there on the cover of Sergeant Pepperâ€™s). The third disc: Electronic Music For The Mind And Body features further studies in those concepts like John Cageâ€™s magnificent Aria with Fontana Mix, as well as from Iannis Xenakis and the wonderful GyÃ¶rgy Ligeti. The collection is accompanied by an invaluable booklet containing photographs and text setting this incredible story in context. And if you want to look beyond the familiar worlds of melody and syncopation then this is a perfect starting point.
Release: October 26