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    Kenneth Gaburo – Five Works For Voices, Instruments and Electronics

    Five Works For Voices, Instruments and Electronics is a CD released in early 2002 courtesy of our fine, feathered friends at New World Records. The works by Kenneth Gaburo contained on it span from 1957 to 1974, and offer much goodness for lovers of strange and gargled sound waves of the vintage variety. “Antiphony IV (Poised)” (1967) is another in a long line of avant-garde classical / electronic crossovers from the later classic era—pitting lone vocal sounds in the left channel and dark, electronic swirls in the right against (or with) a lot of quirky instrumental blat in the soft, chewy center. In “String Quartet In One Movement” (1956), “Sometimes all four instruments make one line, sometimes they split into four completely distinct entities; most often they are balanced into exquisitely formed hierarchies, with one held note on one instrument being temporarily in the foreground—only to be immediately replaced by a fragment of another line in another instrument as the focus of attention. It’s almost as if the music were woven, rather than composed—each line existing both as an object on its own and as part of a larger making of musical gestures.”

    “Mouthpiece: Sextet For Solo Trumpet” (1970) contains almost six minutes of rather humorous-sounding mouth farting, spitting, gurgling, popping, hissing…and even a little actual trumpet playing from Jack Logan. “Unlike most trumpet music, where the phoneme ‘t’ or ‘k’ is used to articulate the trumpet, here the trumpet is used as a filter for every phoneme the voice is capable of generating. Phonemes are spoken or sung through the trumpet, and sometimes they are used in playing to get other phonemes that result when processed through the trumpet as filter.” “Antiphony III (Pearl-White Moments)” is even more fried than its child, “Antiphony IV.” Austere, alien activities charge the air on a barren, lysergic world as electronically-altered, vocal soundscapes melt your face off. “Once again, a poem by Virginia Hommel provides the basis. Here, however, it is articlated contrapuntally, one word at a time, by both the chorus and the tape. Each word is heard—sometimes spoken, sometimes whispered, sometimes shouted, sometimes electronically modified on the tape, in the order presented in the poem. As well as that, though, words are fragmented, displaced, referred to each other, and connected with each other, and text is painted with sound differently for each word.”

    The best is saved for last on this CD, with “The Flow Of (U)” (1974)—a long web of cradling minimalism delivered via “one note sung by three singers for 23 minutes.” Barely (and very obscurely) released before in excerpt form on a Musicworks CD, this is the CD premiere of this entire piece, perfectly primed for your bedroom. Turn out the lights, lay down and close your eyes to allow another previously unknown monster of minimalism to billow throughout your room. P.S. The nice beating is thoroughly entrancing.

    Label: New World Records Catalog Number: 80585-2 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 5 Total Time: 66:32 Country: United States Released: 2002 More: Discogs, Forced Exposure, Last.FM, Official, Tokafi, Wikipedia

    Text ©2003 Arcane Candy

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