New musics rise from the secret projects and surplus junk of World War II.
In this episode ...
Pierre Schaeffer and musique concrète;
Early tape recording: the life-threatening steel wire tapes at the BBC, the German Magnetophon and Bing Crosby’s Ampex;
Guitarist Les Paul shows some recording chops with his overdubbing techniques;
John Cage’s early experiments with sound and recording;
Louis and Bebe Barron and their ‘electronic tonalities’ for The Forbidden Planet;
The Theremin in the movies: Miklós Rósza, Bernard Herrmann and Dr Samuel Hoffman;
Electronic keyboards from the 50s: the Solovox, Ondioline and Clavioline;
Homer Dudley’s Vocoder;
Robert Beyer, Werner Meyer-Eppler and Herbert Eimert set up a studio for elektronische Musik at Cologne Radio;
Karlheinz Stockhausen gets to work in Paris with musique concrète but gets disillusioned and moves to Cologne.
Written and presented by James Gardner, produced by Tim Dodd and James Gardner for Radio New Zealand.
Scroll down for handy links and a bibliography.
Grateful thanks for help in the production of Episode 2 go to:
Mark Ayres; Mark Brend; Christopher Fox; Ian Helliwell; Adrian Hollay, for being Karlheinz Stockhausen; Martin Iddon; Penny Lomax of the ABC’s The Music Show, for Tristram Cary interview material; Fiona McAlpine; Claudia Meyer-Hesse of the International Music Institute Darmstadt, for the 1956 archival recordings of Stockhausen and Alois Hába; National Public Radio (USA), for the interviews with Bebe Barron and Bob Moog;
Ian Pace; Rula Schaad; Jeff Stadelman; Dave Tompkins, for the Bell Labs vocoder demonstrations.
- Pierre Schaeffer talking about his research and musique concrète (in French) — from about 6’20”, we see him in his studio
- The Clavioline
- The Ondioline
- Georges Jenny on the Ondioline in 1948 (Dutch newsreel)
- Sampling the Solovox and Univox (Clavioline)
- Instruments for New Music – Thomas Patteson's book on early electronic instruments – free download
- Jean-Jacques Perrey on ‘I’ve Got A Secret’, 1960
- Jean-Jacques Perrey website
- Les Paul Wikipedia article
- Les Paul article at Sound On Sound
- Les Paul Foundation website
- John Cage
- John Cage scores at the New York Public Library including ‘Imaginary Landscape No.5’ and ‘Williams Mix’
- Ian Hugo’s experimental film ‘Bells of Atlantis’ with electronic music by Louis and Bebe Barron
- Bebe Barron on NPR
- Magnetic Tape history
- Joe Meek, A Portrait
- Barry Cleveland’s book ‘Joe Meek’s Bold Techniques’
- A video about the Vocoder, produced by The New Yorker
- Karel Goeyvaerts
- Karlheinz Stockhausen (official site)
- Pierre Henry
- Sean Williams is studying the performance practice of 1950s electronic music
- Jon Leidecker's excellent Variations series, looking at "appropriative collage"
- 'Memorabilia' series on collecting sound and manipulating audio
Pierre Schaeffer (translated by Christine North and John Dack)
In Search of a Concrete Music
University of California Press, 2012
Electronic and Experimental Music: Technology, Music and Culture (6thedition)
Electronic and Computer Music (Fourth Edition)
Oxford University Press 2013
New Music At Darmstadt: Nono, Stockhausen, Cage and Boulez
Cambridge University Press 2013
The Music of John Cage
Cambridge University Press 1996
David W. Patterson (ed.)
John Cage: Music, Philosophy, and Intention 1933–1950
How to Wreck A Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop: The Machine Speaks
StopSmiling Books/Melville House Publishing 2011
The Sound Of Tomorrow