PREVIOUS NEXT UP TOP
The Evolution of Electronic Music David Ernst copyright (c) 1977 by SCHIRMER BOOKS 389w

= 176-178 = ...Larry Austin organized the New Music Ensemble at Davis, California in 1963; it was made up of composers who performed free improvisations. Electronics were not initially employed, but have subsequently been incorporated into their performances.

The following year, Austin met Italian composer-pianist Franco Evangelisti in Rome. Evangelisti, who had previously realized tape compositions at Cologne (1956-7) and at the Polish Radio in Warsaw (1959), formed the Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza as a result of his contact with Austin.

This was the first European improvisation ensemble made up entirely of composers. The Nuova Consonanza included Mario Bertocini, John Heineman, Roland Kayn, Ennio Morricone, Jerry Rosen, Fredric Rzewski, Ivan Vandor, and Evangelisti. The timbral possibilities of conventional instruments were extensively explored in order that they might give the impression of involving electronic sources and modifications....

Shortly after the formation of the Nuova Consonanza, the British composer Cornelius Cardew formed the AMM ensemble in London (1965). Cardew states that AMM stands for "a very pure form of improvisation operating without any formal system or limitation." Live Evangelisti, Cardew had worked at the Cologne studio, where he was closely associated with Stockhausen....

...A group of American composers residing in Rome formed the Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV) in 1966. Two members of the group, Fredrec Rzewski and Ivan Vandor, had originally been associated with the Nuova Consonanza, and influences from that ensemble are apparent in the music of the MEV. Besides Rzewski, other American composers in the MEV included Alan Bryant, Alvin Curran, and Richard Teitelbaum.

= 180 = Although electronics do appear in improvisations by the Nuova Consonanza, the AMM and the MEV, their music seldom evolves only from these procedures. Similar concepts emerge as fundamental principles for an ensemble formed by Stockhausen in 1967, in which their chief concern is improvisational techniques. Originally conceived as a vehicle for predominantly improvised compositions, this group reveals a considerable refinement of Stockhausen's original ideas on collective improvisation. "Prozession" (1967), the immediate successor of "Hymnen," is the first work to employ a fixed ensemble consisting of piano, elektronium, electric viola, tam-tam, and filters. Stockhausen abandons the kind of complex tape delay networks found in "Solo," and limits electronic techniques to amplification and filtering of the viola and tam-tam.

Typed by Cheryl Vega 7-23-95


TOP OF DOCUMENT