MEMORABILIA. COLLECTING SOUNDS WITH... Kees Tazelaar. Part II
Music selected by Kees Tazelaar
The first electronic music studio in the Netherlands was founded in 1956 at Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven. This studio moved to the Utrecht University in November 1960, and was then called STEM (Studio voor elektronische muziek, but 'stem' also means 'voice').
Gottfried Michael Koenig became artistic director of STEM in 1964. Instead of just a studio, STEM became a large institution for production, research, education and preservation of electronic music that had a pioneering role in the development of voltage control techniques, algorithmic composition, digital sound synthesis and electronic composition theory. In 1967, STEM was named Institute of Sonology.
Frits Weiland, who was a staff member at STEM practically from the beginning, immediately understood the importance of setting up an archive. This analogue tape archive now is one of the main archives of electronic music, and contains master tapes from compositions produced at Philips starting in 1956, until the late eighties, when analogue recording techniques gradually disappeared.
Since I started to teach analogue studio techniques at the Institute of Sonology in 1993, I have felt a great responsibility for this archive. An important aspect of that responsibility is to have and maintain a set of top quality tape recorders that are capable to play back the material from the archive.
Digital transfers and reconstructions of early electronic music compositions have led to remarkable CD-releases with works by composers such as Henk Badings, Dick Raaijmakers, Tom Dissevelt, Edgard Varèse, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Luctor Ponse, Ton de Leeuw and Jan Boerman. However, the music selection for contains many unreleased treasures from the archive too.
Kees Tazelaar, February 2013