Experimental Intermedia, based in New York City, was founded in 1968 by Elaine Summers to provide organizational support for artists working in intermedia forms. Throughout its history EI has produced more than 1000 events in its New York lofts. EI has also produced many intermedia events in other cities in the U.S. and other countries. EI now produces 20 events each season; manages its compact disc label, XI; develops and implements international projects in collaboration with like-minded organizations in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and elsewhere. Phill Niblock, Director. For more information on the label, go to www.xirecords.org.
ELLEN BAND 90% POST CONSUMER SOUND (XI 124)
XI has released Ellen Band's first full-length CD. The CD includes her well-known piece Railroad Gamelan, an excerpt from her oldest analogue piece Closet Bird, and a binaural recording of Minimally Tough, a performance piece for leather jackets in motion.
"... her 'sound art' ... is celestial in its implications and down to earth in its reverence for everyday noises." - Kyle Gann, Village Voice
DAVID BEHRMAN MY DEAR SIEGFRIED (XI 129) 2 CDs for the price of 1
"David Behrman has been active as a composer and artist since the 1960s. Over the years he has made sound and multimedia installations for gallery spaces as well as musical compositions. Sam Behrman and Siegfried Sassoon met in 1920, when Behrman, then a young writer working at The New York Times, was sent to interview Sassoon at the start of the English poet's postwar American lecture tour. In that tour Sassoon was billed as 'England's Soldier-Poet.' He had a reputation both as a war hero and an anti-war poet and peace activist. Many years later, each author wrote about this youthful meeting, which inaugurated a long-lasting friendship and a correspondence, mostly conducted via trans-Atlantic letters between England and America, which continued into the 1950s.
"My Dear Siegfried provides a performance environment in which musicians interact with texts by the two authors and with music software designed to respond to the performers' actions. The texts and the software elements are arranged as a linear thread along which the piece progresses. In QSRL a sensor listens to what the performer is doing and a computer music system provides responses to information the sensor takes in. Viewfinder is a sound installation using software based on homemade synthesizer music of the early 1970s. In 'A New Team Takes Over', homemade synthesizer modules were used in this piece to distort recordings made off the air of press conferences by members of the new Nixon administration following the American election of 1968. 'Touch Tones', from the early days of music done with the help of newly-available, small, inexpensive 'microcomputers,' made use of a kind of primitive artificial intelligence scheme. 'Pools of Phase Locked Loops' was one of four pieces made in response to commissions to the artists of the Sonic Arts Union (Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma and me.) The recording is from a live performance at Radio Bremen in May 1972." — DB
DAVID BEHRMAN UNFORESEEN EVENTS (XI 105)
Unforeseen Events is the latest of many pieces Behrman has made with computer software designed to interact in real time with a solo performer. The four sections recorded here were made specifically with Ben Neill's performance style in mind. The electronic timbres are intended to complement the sounds of his instrument—the admirable and humorous mutantrumpet, with its three separately mutable and playable bells. Refractive Light consists of three small pieces based on an interweaving and overlapping of simple phrases. A musician strikes pitches which trigger responses in the form of sustained tones. The tones die out after a few seconds. While a tone is on it deflects the pitches of other "on" tones, so that harmonic changes occur at the on-and-off edges of overlappping layers. The idea can give rise to a kind of fanning or breathing rhythm which adapts itself to different styles of playing, and to a harmonic vocabulary with dozens or scores of family members.
WARREN BURT THE ANIMATION OF LISTS AND THE ARCHYTAN TRANSPOSITIONS (XI 130) 2 CDs for the price of 1
"There are any number of ways to hear Warren Burt's music for tuning forks; as many ways as there are listeners, probably. The most immediate one is simply to revel in its beauty and enjoy the music as sound. Or, to be more accurate, as clouds of sound; sonic colors that momentarily hover here and there, as they move slowly across the musical horizon. Of course, Warren Burt's music may also be heard as the mature work of a major experimental composer, one secure in his craft, and still filled with a sense of sonic adventure. An explorer in sound. A composer willing to experiment with multiple versions of the same piece, not to mention one who allows chance to determine the precise placement of the composite pitches of his three individually composed lines. I listen to the combinations of tones, each aggregate of which—because the tuning is acoustically pure and non-tempered—sounds clearer and more colorful, with unique personalities, and, sometimes, more of an edge. In this tuning, the chance-determined pairings of the composed lines always ring true, with even the dissonances vibrating cleanly, free of acoustic distraction, and with no sonic clutter to muddy up the sound. And within this microtonal world, sounds combine without losing their individuality, as the music slowly reveals its pitch and rhythm in slow, unhurried, chance-determined clouds of sound. In Warren Burt's hands, these tuning forks become some strange new instrument, complete with its own exotic tuning system, singing its songs somewhere on the verge of memory."
ALLISON CAMERON RAW SANGUDO (XI 112)
Allison Cameron's compositions can be characterized as rigorous forms within which specific sound worlds are explored. She experiments with the physicality of sound on various instruments, using pithy material to exploit instrumental colours. Most of her works to date have been written for a variety of chamber ensembles encompassing both traditional and unusual groups of instruments.
MARY ELLEN CHILDS KILTER (XI 114)
"Kilter is significant as a title because it displays Mary Ellen's habit of insisting we remember what, if left to ourselves, we'd be quite happy to forget. She's moved on, compelled like the rest of us to negotiate a strange, often lovely land, in an oddly menacing time. What she writes are signposts in that land, or lanterns which led the way home one night." - Bill Morelock, NPR
PHILIP CORNER 40 YEARS AND ONE: PHILIP CORNER PLAYS THE PIANO (XI 125)
"This man and his work represent the real 'speculum musicae' of the past 40 years. The example of his music embodies a lifelong commitment to an integral radicalism. ... this is a venerable tradition that Philip has written so eloquently about, and continued in his music. A tradition that stems from 'Charlie' Ives through John Cage and Lou Harrison. All of these composers would ultimately admonish us to do one thing: to open our ears—and LISTEN!" —Peter Garland
FAST FORWARD SAME SAME (XI 108)
Fast Forward is a composer and performer best known for his compositions for percussion, and music theater works for diverse instrumentation. His compositions push the juxtapositions of structured rhythms and total chaos to their limit, delivering a sonically dense and theatrically gripping performance. Same Same is a collection of live recordings from three concerts which took place in New York City during the period 1990-1994
ELLEN FULLMAN BODY MUSIC (XI 109)
A follow up to her amazing LP on the Het Apollohuis label, featuring Ellen's unique Long Stringed Instrument, an 80-foot instrument with approximately 80 strings. A must have if you're into experiencing loud, power-drone sound sculpture at a transcending peak.
DANIEL GOODE CLARINET SONGS (XI 113)
Daniel Goode's Clarinet Songs has long been a favorite on the new music concert circuit. It is a 75-minute suite for solo clarinet which Goode began writing for himself in 1979, and reached its current form in 1991. It uses all of Goode's virtuosic techniques distilled into sixteen "Songs without Words," a poetics of the new clarinet. It is made up of a series of individual pieces, each a sound world of its own, based on some unique material, perhaps a specific technical, poetic, or sonic idea, or some synthesis of these. Most use circular breathing for continuity and use alternate fingerings which produce non-tempered intervals with unusual, striking timbres.
MALCOLM GOLDSTEIN THE SEASONS: VERMONT (XI 120)
"Two pieces recently converted to digital, one a group setting from 1983, the other a solo from 1997. This recording of 'The Seasons: Vermont', which had previously existed in excerpt form on a Folkways LP, features the veritable OO/XI/What Next? dream-syndicate of Robert Black (bass), Mark Steven Brooks (wood flutes, electric guitar, percussion), Joseph Celli (oboe (extended, perhaps?), English horn, ocarina), Malcolm Goldstein (violin), Tom Guralnick (tenor, soprano & bass saxophones, vaccuphones), Brian Johnson (vibraphone, percussion), and Kenneth Karpowicz (intensified vocalizing, accordion). Said grouping waltzes through all four quarters in a Vermont hour, emoting on freely occurring sonics/timbres/genres in said state and plagiarizing nature in general ... The other piece, 'Soundings' for solo violin; is all scrape/pluck/drag; a call back to the composer's work with Fluxus villains like Philip Corner and meta-musicians such as James Tenney. Fine sounds all around."
TOM JOHNSON THE CHORD CATALOGUE (all 8178 chords possible in one octave) (XI 123)
"I like to think of The Chord Catalogue as a sort of natural phenomenon—something which has always been present in the ordinary musical scale, and which I simply observed, rather than invented. It is not so much a composition as simply a list. I have often tried to explain that my music is a reaction against the romantic and expressionistic musical past, and that I am seeking something more objective, something that doesn't express my emotions, something that doesn't try to manipulate the emotions of the listener either, something outside myself." —Tom Johnson (from the liner notes)
TOM JOHNSON MUSIC FOR 88 (XI 106)
Simplicity and clarity have always been among Tom Johnson's chief concerns as a composer. That concern led him to research number theory, particularly by Pascal, Fermat, and Euclid, and these sources suggested musical structures somewhat more complicated than those that he had used before. Music for 88 is the result of these researches. It contains nine sections (six of which are on this recording), each of which is a musical demonstration of a mathematical phenomenon.
GUY KLUCEVSEK FLYING VEGETABLES OF THE APOCALYPSE (XI 104)
Ensemble pieces for strings, percussion, guitars, and woodwinds on Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse feature Bobby Previte, Tom Cora, David Hofstra, John King, Laura Seaton, and more.
"Startling sounds by a master of experimental accordion music." — Keyboard
"His criminal infractions on 'The Blue Danube' deserve to replace the original." — Village Voice
"The music expressed was complex, sly, virtuosic, and deeply felt and imaginative." — Philadelphia Inquirer
RICHARD LAINHART TEN THOUSAND SHADES OF BLUE (XI 115) 2 CDs for the price of 1
Bronze Cloud Disk (1975) for multitracked, processed bowed tam-tam; Two Mirrors Face One Another (1976) for multitracked, processed bowed Japanese temple bells; Cities of Light (1980) for multitracked, processed voice; Ten Thousand Shades of Blue (1985) for realtime interactive computer music system; Staring at the Moon (1987) for realtime interactive computer music system with bowed and struck vibraphone; Walking Slowly Backwards (1989) for vibraphone
MARY JANE LEACH CELESTIAL FIRES (XI 107)
"The works of Mary Jane Leach explore the physicality of sound, working very carefully with the timbres of instruments, creating combination, difference, and interference tones. Space is also an important concern: how sound changes when it is moved around a room."
Includes a piece for 7 bassoons, four 8-part pieces for a cappella women's voices, and a piece for alto flute and voice. Beautiful sound strokes that don't mock the title.
ALAN LICHT A NEW YORK MINUTE (XI 128) 2 CDs for the price of 1
"A New York Minute lasts 2 CDs long: the title track consists of compiled, multi-tracked weather-reports from everyday in January 2001 in the city. Well, there we got our addictive quality of a repetition of the same but not quite the same. In the differences, those slots and gaps we fill in our desire, in that mood between active and passive in a sort of state of weakness lies sensuality, fluidity, moments of lust whatever. There is nothing we can do about the weather. But it is the most basic piece of information everybody takes in and processes all the time. And why not transformation in a minute or so, becoming part of it all. Remington Khan the longest track of all, recorded live, functions as a purely musical companion to A New York Minute. It keeps going and going goes on and on till you feel the boundaries of consciousness, pushing you forward, softly. Restrained, full of weird little moments, feelings, small sound patterns, that build up. Somewhere in there a kind of singing. An odd kind of expression of a collective voice. A perfect deep deadpan moment. 14 Second Fifth, the other live track, is a loop that lasts 14 seconds, of a perfect fifth (pitch internal). Another Sky is pure calm, balm, yet within the realm of the unpredictable, causing a heightened attentiveness in the listener. Patterns reversing patterns, very subtle shifts and balances, made out of multi-tracked chord organ (one of those portable organs with an electric motor). Becoming organ. It ends on a very light note, but will resonate for a while." [Jutta Koether, liner note writer]
ANNEA LOCKWOOD/RUTH ANDERSON SINOPAH (XI 118)
"This is not an album of environmental sound for relaxation, though listening to it might have a calming effect. Nor is it sonic nostalgia for a tame or even cute nature. Some of these sounds (especially if played loudly on speakers with good bass response) can bite!" — Warren Burt
LOGOS DUO LOGOS WORKS (XI 117)
Logos Works contains eight works by the Logos Duo featuring both Darge and Raes on various instruments, as well as other performers on a wide range of instruments.
"This latest recording comes as they look back upon 25 years of collaboration as the Logos Duo. More than a retrospective, we see them affirming a long artistic relationship and forging new horizons--together and on divergent musical paths. In this, their work is a metaphorical journey: an inward exploration of the elegance of algorithmic composition and a voyage out into distant soundscapes. This CD from Godfried-Willem Raes and Moniek Darge is both a literal and figurative journey; in sound and music we have the YinYang energy that is the Logos Dui. Enjoy!" —Douglas Quin
JACKSON MAC LOW OPEN SECRETS (XI 110)
Open Secrets features Mac Low and Anne Tardos performing works for multi-track voices; and Robert Bethea, Andrew Bolotowsky, Daniel Goode, and Gabriela Klassen performing instrumental pieces. Winds/Instruments for flute, clarinet, trombone, violin, and narrator, could well become a classic of new music, not only being beautiful, but also displaying Mac Low's witty use and love of words.
GEN KEN MONTGOMERY PONDFLOORSAMPLE (XI 126) 2 CDs for the price of 1
These two discs represent some of Gen Ken Montgomery's sound art and compositional work from 1981-2001. Pondfloorsample is a collection of sonic explorations utilizing common devices meant to hold something other than sound. As with much of his sound work, the sonic material contains many sounds of everyday life. Having composed extensively for multi-channels, Pondfloorsample was specifically designed as a stereo audio piece enabling Montgomery to reach a larger audience.
PHILL NIBLOCK FOUR FULL FLUTES (XI 101)
"The four pieces on this 80-minute CD are for multiple tracks of alto flutes, flutes, flutes and alto flutes, and bass flutes, performed by Petr Kotik, Susan Stenger, and Eberhard Blum." — Phill Niblock
"The aural effect is minimal to the max, but it isn't simplistic. The tones vibrate and glow, the densely packed texture shifting hues like a sonic aurora borealis." — John Rockwell, New York Times
PHILL NIBLOCK MUSIC BY PHILL NIBLOCK (XI 111)
Music by Phill Niblock features The Soldier String Quartet performing in Five More String Quartets, a piece for five multi-tracked string quartets and Early Winter for flute, bass flute, string quartet and synthesizer, which also features Susan Stenger, flute, and Eberhard Blum, bass flute.
In Five More String Quartets the musicians are tuned to specific pitches by calibrated sine tones as they play, and the sound they produce is recorded, unprocessed, to multitrack tape. The piece is built up by means of multitrack recording. Early Winter has a different structure: a mixing of recorded instruments, computer controlled electronic instruments, and live instruments in the studio.
PHILL NIBLOCK YPGPN (XI 121) 2 CDs for the price of 1
YPGPN (Young Person’s Guide to Phill Niblock) is the long-awaited re-release of a 2-CD set that was a joint production by the UK-based Blast First label and The Wire magazine in 1995. It includes the following works:
Held Tones (1982-94), Barbara Held, flute; Didjeridoos and Don’ts (1992), Ulrich Krieger, didjeridu; Ten Auras (1994), Ulrich Krieger, tenor saxophone; Ten Auras Live (1994), Ulrich Krieger, tenor saxophone; A Trombone Piece (1978-94), James Fulkerson, trombone; A Third Trombone (1979-94), Jon English, trombone; Unmentionable Piece for Trombone and Sousaphone (1982-94), George Lewis, trombone and sousaphone.
PAUL PANHUYSEN PARTITAS FOR LONG STRINGS (XI 122)
"As Panhuysen draws his resin-coated fingers along [the long strings], he conjures up unearthly soundscapes filled with tremuloius, palpitating tones and shimmering timbres. — Rahma Khazam, The Wire
Included with the CD is a 32-page booklet which details the history of Paul Panhuysen's work with installations through pictures and text.
ELIANE RADIGUE TRILOGIE DE LA MORT (XI 119) 3 CDs for the price of 2
Voted one of 1998's Top 15 Records of the Year in Modern Composition by the writers and critics of The Wire, Trilogie de la Mort is a work in three parts for anologue Arp synthesizer. The first third of the work, Kyema, is inspired by The Tibetan Book of the Dead and invokes the six intermediate states that constitute the existential continuity of the being. Kailasha, the trilogy's second chapter, is structured on an imaginary pilgrimage around Mt. Kailash, one of the most sacred mountains in the Himalayas. Koumé, makes up the last part of the trilogy and emphasizes the transcendence of death. [Note: Disc One of this recording was released previously by XI in 1991 as Kyema, Intermediate States (XI 103).]
MICHAEL J. SCHUMACHER ROOM PIECES (XI 127) 2 CDs for the price of 1
"Much music has been written to guide listeners through the course of a preconceived form. Although Michael J. Schumacher's music is distinctly his own it has been inspired by David Tudor and Morton Feldman as well as La Monte Young. Like their music it is about hearing sounds in themselves, about allowing the ear to register sonorities and then the hearing imagination may go to work, navigating amongst temporal realities and imaginary spaces, negotiating between a sense of control and perceived randomness, stasis and movement, finitude and limitlessness, Schumacher thrives on those creative tensions. At its most personal and expansive his singular music has the capacity to convey "intimate immensity." — Julian Cowley (from the liner notes).
LOIS V VIERK SIMOOM (XI 102)
This disc offers virtuoso performances by David Seidel, electric guitar; Gary Trosclair, trumpet; and Theodore Mook, cello.
"genuinely exciting" — New York Times
"a riotous, ecstatic, upbeat and technically sophisticated celebration of the electric guitar sound—not rock, but full of rock's energy and relevance" — Los Angeles Herald Examiner
"intense investigations of one particular instrument ... raw beauty which was both provocative and accessible" — EAR Magazine
PETER ZUMMO EXPERIMENTING WITH HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS (XI 116)
Experimenting With Household Chemicals explores a trombone-specific method for generating melodic movement, as well as a collection of related, "spinoff" melodic material for ensemble. This method is a new way of seeing and combining slide and lip movements, so that performance can precisely follow well-defined mental diagrams while generating unexpected melodic material not conditioned by other, more common musical habits.