Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Craig Kupka

California crystal shop jazz abstractions for modern dance. Kupka has a cult following in the states, not so sure about Europe or elsewhere. He should have a wider one. Kupka was a fixture in the Los Angeles dance scene in the 70s, and this LP was intended for dance and movement instruction at schools, including Cal State LA where he taught. Here's a photo of him. Good facial hair, good glasses, great healing percussion/keyboard blissout music for the hectic holiday season. Surrender yourself to the new age. It's funny that I've ended up posting several things in the past few weeks with the word "technique" in the title.

And with this I think I'll close up shop for the year. Will return in January with possibly a new mix and lots of other stuff. Thank you all so much for reading this blog! Thanks especially to fellow bloggers/musicians/artists/archivists who continually inspired and energized me in 2010. Happy holidays, safe travels, and see you in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

This Old Man

"An electronic musical-poetic treat for elementary and high school people revealing more wonders of our earth-ship." White magic life lessons for kids. I love the insane scribble in the upper right corner.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Out of the Blue

Watched this the other night. Dennis Hopper film from 1980 -- kind of similar to Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains! Linda Manz is the kid who does the haunting narration in Days of Heaven.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Eau, Mer, Profondeur

You are weightless in a coral jungle gym, watching a family of seahorses float by in order of height. Little bubbles are floating upward out of your oxygen tank... Norm at Lunar Atrium has the absolute best collection of this kind of music -- scores and scores of unknown 70s underwater soundtracks improvised by tight turtleneck-wearing Italian guys with roomfuls of percussion instruments and tone generators. This album, by A.R. Luciani, was a birthday present last summer -- thanks Norm!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Printing Fabric By Hand: Beginning Techniques

By Gisela Hein, from the Van Nostrand Reinhold Creative Craft Series. Purchased here.

How is everybody doing? Trying to get some music stuff together for future posts but finding it a bit tough going. I basically have just been listening to Ariel Pink and Vince Guaraldi's Christmas album lately. On the reissue front I did want to mention that Jean Le Fennec's Phantastic appears to be out on CD (great French pop weirdness -- check Mutant Sounds) and also that one of my vinyl holy grails, A. Alessandroni's "Industriale" library LP, is now on itunes (!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

What Can I Do?

Ideas for games and activities by the Girl Guides' Association.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm starting to see some best-of lists coming out. My top music experience of 2010 happened, accidentally, last night. I teach at a small school in the middle of the woods. Nothing ever happens around here. But a friend called after dinner and said students were performing final projects in the art building, and that one of them involved a 5 hour long looped guitar sound sculpture. "come get me sounds cool." It was freezing out and snowing softly by the time we got there. Wandering through the bowels of the building I could hear low-pitched sounds pulsing through the concrete walls. There was nobody at all in the atrium where the installation was set up. Just three guitar amplifiers with effects pedals and a wall projection which had run its course and stalled on a final image of a lurching human figure -- the performer? He or she had left by that point, probably to take an exam or something, but the guitar case was still there. And sound, glorious sound. The emptiness of the room seemed almost pre-scripted, as if wandering in out of the snow and "discovering" this wall of sound were an intended part of the experience. Each amplifier was set up to cycle through a common sequence of notes. But they were out of phase with each other, or rather passed in and out of phase, so that sporadically they would "speak" to each other in a rich and resonant chord before sloping back into their own private patterns. Resolve - unresolve - resolve - unresolve. It was quite loud and finally an unhappy looking architecture student wandered out into the atrium and scowled at us. Just simple pulses of sound gathering force and then dissipating, in an endless procession of the same. So beautiful. We were zoned out and completely silent taking it all in, before we noticed how shabby the bench we were sitting on was and started to wonder how many art students had slept with one another on it. We left and then there really was nobody there.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Some images from a series of French art books put out by Jean-Pierre Moulin and Yvan Dalain in the early 60s. There are twelve books in all: J'aime le cinéma, J'aime l'opéra, J'aime marionettes, J'aime théâtre, J'aime dessin animé, J'aime strip-tease, and so on. Most of the pics below are from J'aime la mime and J'aime la danse. Photography by Monique Jacot and Jeanloup Sieff. The first image tells an interesting story. I want to know more about the difficult, visionary choreographer.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ebay "16mm"

Also, this is the coolest thing I have ever seen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lions love

I was watching Agnes Varda's 1969 film "Lions Love" when the music started to sound both utterly foreign and eerily familiar. It turns out it was composed by Joe Byrd from The United States of America! Two huge spheres of influence colliding! The music is weird and Charles Ives-y and early modern and, at times, fuzzed out and rocking. This would have been right around the time of Byrd's American Metaphysical Circus, and there are a few cuts featuring the unmistakable voice of Dorothy Moskowitz. Perhaps these were outtakes that never made it onto the USA album? Score. The film is also very interesting, featuring Superstar Viva of Andy Warhol fame and the two dudes who wrote Hair.

R. Murray Schafer

A few R. Murray Schafer-related things that I need to get off my desktop. He's the Canadian music ed. guru I mentioned a few posts back. These first few are from Schafer's book The Composer In the Classroom. I love his teaching technique in the gym photo.

And then here are some photos of Schafer's World Soundscape Project out of Simon Fraser University in the late 60s and early 70s, which involved taking field recordings of ambient urban and rural sounds. Schafer's fellow sound artists are Bruce Davis, Jean Reed, Peter Huse, Howard Broomfield, and Barry Truax. Parallel universe "band photos" -- I love it!