Andrew Czink performs Torrent, Trickle, an astonishing solo piano work
On Saturday July 7, audiences at Vancouver's Western Front Grand Luxe Theatre were treated to a lecture/presentation by Andrew Czink called "Torrent, Trickle - The Exploratory and the Performative in Doing Music." After a really first-rate explanation of his ideas about the relationship of his deep and long piano experience to improvisation and composition, he gave a stellar performance of this 30-minute work. Read more in this in-depth article at the SFU web site.
“The sound is excellent throughout.” —Computer Music Journal
“… glows with a human beating heart” —Mark Parlett, eContact
“Great label, superb compilation of all new music artists on the label. Highly recommended.” —Earwaves online magazine
“… amazing music…” —George Zahora, splendidezine.com
"some of the most challenging and rewarding electro-acoustic material available. I unreservedly recommend it..." —George Zahora, splendidezine.com
"a great display of international talent and collaboration. earsay has once again produced a compact disc of superb quality and musical interest." Computer Music Journal [No. 28, Vol.1, spring 2004]
“Czink’s composition invites us and sometimes grabs us by the scruff of the ears” —Mark Parlett, eContact
“Czink has achieved an impressive feat.” —George Zahora, splendidezine.com
“… chops to burn… ears saturated in music. Intense…” —Coda Magazine
“… an emotional chisel… sonically expressing something that is inexpressible, and ultimately beyond mere words or music.” —Mark Parlett, eContact
“… primal, cathartic… its frenetic sounds will certainly get your heart racing in short order. All [tracks] are tremendously powerful…” —George Zahora, splendidezine
“… a tour de force in both composition and subject… sumptuous and dynamic sound textures throughout.” —Anna Rubin, Computer Music Journal
“… one of the most viscerally dramatic discs I’ve heard in quite a while… huge slabs of extremely solid music” —George Zahora, splendidezine.com
“… shimmering bells of guitar, softly growling guitar.” —Andra McCartney, Musicworks
“… most engaging, creating an image of the guitar coming to life via some sorcerer’s apprentice and doing mischief… A most effective and evocative piece.” —Computer Music Journal
“The evocative strength of ‘Des ombres de la nuit’ on its own is worth finding this record and listening to it.” —François Couture, Délire actuel, CFLX-FM, Sherbrooke (Québec)
“La force évocatrice des "Des ombres de la nuit" vaut à elle seule que vous mettiez la main sur ce disque.”
“interesting electronic writing and challenging flute parts, utilizing many extended techniques for the flutist…'…the pieces are very evocative and Anderson plays them with conviction and thoughtfulness creating dramatic sound paintings and telling stories. In fact while I listened I was thinking, “this CD is a compendium of all the sounds you can make with a flute!” These pieces require deep listening, but I think you will enjoy the experience very much.' – The Flute View (USA)
"With eerie sonic overlays, spoken word, and original music, Flight 182 Meditations makes the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182 real in ways no amount of archival testimony and documentation can. – The Vancouver Observer
INTERVIEW – alcides lanza over lunch at SFU
We recorded the stimulating conversations had over lunch after alcides and Meg Sheppard's performances at the SFU Image Theatre on March 6, 1999. Here are text excerpts from two topics we thought might interest our readers:
1] the McGill Electronic Music Studio and the philosophy of maintaining really old gear like the VERY BIG MOOG Studio, analog tape recorders and so on, and
2] information on electronic studios in Argentina with a really great story about chickens.
The initials refer to the following around the table: al = alcides; bt = Barry Truax; jo = John Oliver; dk = Damien Keller; ac = Andrew Czink.
We hope you enjoy.
The McGill Electronic Music Studio
and the philosophy of maintaining really old gear like the
VERY BIG MOOG Studio, analog tape recorders and so on
jo: Is the MIDI studio still there, still running?
[MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, a communications protocol established in 1983 that allows electronic musical instruments to interact with each other.
al: the MIDI studio is running on G3s
jo: Is the MOOG studio still there?
[Robert Moog invented the first Voltage-Controlled Electronic Music modular synthesizer in the mid-1960s. MORE INFO at the Synthmuseum]
al: Yes. We refuse to sell it.
bt: Good for you.
al: We are really going to make a very good effort next year to find extra money to be able to repair it properly because, you know, the technology is old, and you don't have the money so it's noisy, but it's still working. It's an excellent pedagogical tool.
bt: I think it's true. I think it's a mistake that everyone just charged ahead, everything being digital. It doesn't work pedagogically with all students. I keep the Sonic Studio a mixture of analog and digital, and it actually, it's my bias, but, as a computer music composer, it's my bias, but I think it's better pedagogically to have both.
al: I agree with you.
bt: And I think it's going to come back, I think it's going to come back, because digital is not getting the interactivity...
al: A few years ago I was really under pressure from some of the higher-ups, they said "oh the MOOG synthesizer and the ARP and the Synthi, sell everything, all the analog stuff" and so I did a minimum list of things I'd like to keep. And the thing is, the electronic studio has to keep prerequisite courses for people who try to get into the Sound Recording program. And the Sound Recording Program is one of the strongest programs at McGill. And so I said, we have to keep at least two analog two-track tape recorders. "Why two, just one [they asked]" No, two because at least you can copy from one machine to the other. Two four-tracks in the same direction and two eight-tracks: that's my minimum requirement. The rest could be DATs and ADATs, that's fine. Not only because of the SRP, you know, you might as well teach them all the newest digital technology, but they are going to get a job in a small recording studio and there is going to be an old tape by you or me that at least it has to be cleaned up, decoded, and passed to ADAT, so they have to know something about this...we cannot completely switch. So that's my minimum these days.
Information on electronic studios in Argentina (LIPM and others) with a really great story about chickens.
al: I have known Conrado Silva [composer] for 35 years.
jo: Do you know what he's up to now?
al: Not very recently. But I know that he runs a studio in Brazilia. We [wife actress/singer Meg Sheppard] have never been to Brazilia. He's an ex-student of John Cage. We did many projects together.
jo: When was the last time you were down there?
al: Last year
al: [to dk:] What's the problem about Argentina? Tell me. I come from there. I need to know.
dk: ...not many resources...
al: What about the exditella with Kröpfl ? That's phenomenal machinery... They have Next computers and very good rapport with Stanford with the exchange program.
[Editor's note: alcides clarified in a later email the following: <"exditella": means Instituto Di Tella in Buenos Aires. Within it there was the CLAEM [Centro LatinoAmericano de Altos Estudios Musicales], directed by Ginastera. I was part of the first bunch of fellows there [with Nobre, Valcarcel, etc]. In local argot we used to say "el ex Di Tella", which you transcribed your own way. The composer's name is Francisco Kröpfl. He developed the EMS studios at the Di Tella [CLAEM]. The operation survives today as the only surviving part of the CLAEM, but under a different name: LIPM [Laboratorio de Investigacion y Promocion Musical or similar]].
al: What about the electronic studio in Santa Fe? I bet you didn't know about that one?
dk: No I didn't.
al: There is something there. What about the studio with Oscar Bazan in Córdoba?
dk: Yah okay, I know that one.
al: Did you know that the chickens used to steal his splices...he used to hang all his splices...I went to school with this guy. So he set up his own laboratory at his home in Cordoba, he's poor and they have this chicken farm in the back, well a few chickens just to eat the eggs. So he set up all his tape recorders and everything there and apparently he was doing a piece with lots of splices so he cut all these ..so he put the splicing tape on all these sounds one, two three, seventeen... apparently the chickens they developed a taste for magnetic tape and they were eating them.
["splicing" is a technique used in tape-based studios to put different recordings together. Different sections of sound material recorded on magnetic tape (often "mylar") are cut up, then put together in new combinations using a special adhesive tape. The process is called splicing.]
bt: I'm not sure I'd want to have chicken in that restaurant.
az: Mylar-fed chicken...a new delicacy.
To learn more about alcides lanza, please visit his page at the Canadian Music Centre
Interview with Christopher deLaurenti
about his show The Sonar Map on KSER (Seattle)
earsay: Tell us a bit of the history of "the Sonar Map."
The Sonar Map was originally a quarterly magazine devoted to challenging new music: noise, out jazz, new composition, and electroacoustic music. In 1996, I stumbled upon a copy and sent the editor a copy of my cd, Three Camels for Orchestra. He liked the disc and asked me to write some articles and reviews. While I enjoyed writing and reviewing new music cds, I really wanted to share the music in a more tangible form.
In August of 1998, I approached KSER, a community radio station just north of Seattle, Washington, about doing a new music program. As a composer, I figured that doing a weekly show would sharpen my ears, force me to excavate a lot of new music and enrich my own musical ideas. Unlike the rest of Seattle radio, KSER is committed to marginalized musics and kindly offered me a slot for the Sonar Map. Although the Sonar Map magazine ceased publication in 1997, I helped myself to the name because I want my radio show to possess the same enthusiastic open-minded catholicism as the magazine.
earsay: What would a typical week sound like on the Sonar Map?
The Sonar Map comes in three flavors: composer-based shows, "theme" broadcasts where the compositions share an unusual or interesting relationship, and programs which survey a single genre such as the symphony or acousmatic music or piano music or opera etc.
I avoid conservative musics such as jazz, the blues, country, world music, celtic, reggae, rock and roll, heavy metal et. al. That stuff usually puts me to sleep. Because I do the show live, turn down the lights and listen to the music (some djs don't listen at air time!), I program what interests me as a composer and a listener: creative chamber, solo, orchestral, electronic, improvised, experimental, electro-acoustic and computer music. I like out jazz and free improv too, but I won't air much of those challenging musics until I make the transition from being an admirer to an aficionado.
Listing the titles of a few Sonar Map broadcasts should convey what I play: Arnold Schoenberg: the Hits, Pillage and Plunderphonic, Harry Partch Blowout, Variations, 20th Century Piano, From Data, Four Symphonies, and Water - I've done almost 50 programs in all.
For the Variations program, I played pieces that were comprised of variations and, in an unusual twist, interspersed several recordings of Stravinsky's Variations throughout the broadcast. During the Harry Partch Blowout, I played the 85 minute Revelation in the Courthouse Park complete, with no interruption along with several pieces from the criminally out-of-print World of Harry Partch LP. My goal is to create programs that will seduce the casual listener into new music as well as reward the longtime listener with old gems and new jewels.
The Sonar Map also has a web page with links to as many composers as I can unearth. Each week I post the playlists at http://www.eskimo.com/~foont/sonar.htm and write a squib about the broadcast.
earsay: What is your view of mixing different genres of music in a broadcast?
I'm all for it; good music is good music, regardless of the sounds and/or instruments it may or may not contain. What distinguishes music from sound is the listener's perception of context, organization and meaning; form, balance, tension, chaos, narrative(s), noise, timbral variety, etc. - none of those qualities are required for good music but they satsify my ears.
earsay: Have you ever done any live remix work on air?
No. I remix snippets and slabs of my own sounds in my live performances, but live weekly on-air remix work such as blending Ligeti into some prepared piano and then infusing a hothouse Expressionist orchestral piece such as Berg's opus 6 would force the Sonar Map into another direction. Occasional live remixing is definitely on the agenda for future shows, along with in-studio guests and live performers, but I do not want to seem vain by polishing my composition skills on-air. Listeners should love Berg before ever hearing my music or mixology.
earsay: Tell us a bit about your other activities promoting and creating new music
Aside from the Sonar Map, my new music rabble-rousing includes sporadic live performances - I perform solo on multiple cd players and I am one half of rebreather, which uses homemade and sabotaged consumer electronics. I've played festivals and dingy dives, so I'm more interested in sharing my music than milking the cash cow of arena rock. In addition, I'm part of the Tentacle Collective, which publishes the Tentacle (www.tentacle.org) a monthly print and web magazine devoted to publicizing creative electroacoustic music, out jazz, free improv, noise, new composition, post-classical, multimedia and other underground musics in the Pacific Northwest.
I believe it essential that composers not promote themselves but help their fellows garner recognition too. I've organized two festivals of electronic music, Electromuse One and electromuse2, as well as staged several single-evening events of new music in Seattle.
The Sonar Map airs every Wednesday night from 10pm to midnight and can be heard in the Seattle area on KSER 90.7 FM. The Sonar Map web site contains links to Chris's own compositions which are excellent, challenging, and gutsy, just the way we like it!