09/06/2020 54' 0''

In the late nineteenth century two facts conspired to change the face of music: the collapse of common practice tonality (which overturned the certainties underpinning the world of art music), and the invention of a revolutionary new form of memory, sound recording (which redefined and greatly empowered the world of popular music).

A tidal wave of probes and experiments into new musical resources and new organisational practices ploughed through both disciplines, bringing parts of each onto shared terrain before rolling on to underpin a new aesthetics able to follow sound and its manipulations beyond the narrow confines of ‘music’. This series tries analytically to trace and explain these developments, and to show how, and why, both musical and post-musical genres take the forms they do. 

In PROBES #27 we track the modern composer from the scrapyard to the office, then through the living living room and into the kitchen in search of new musical resources - including scrap-metal, typewriters, vacuum cleaners, dot matrix printers, industrial quantities of paper, telephones, and the humble bean.


01 Car crusher
02 Daniel W. Schmidt,And the Darkest Hour Is Just Before the Dawn’ (excerpt), 1978
03 Gamelan Son of Lion, ‘40 Random Numbered Clangs’ (excerpts), 1982
04 Lou Harrison, ‘La Koro Sutro’ (excerpt), 1973
05 Henry Threadgill, ‘Release’ (excerpts), 1976
06 Test Dept., ‘Shockwork’, ‘The Fall from Light’ (excerpts), 1984
07 Magnus Lindberg, ‘Kraft’, 1985
08 Stomp, ‘Bins’ (excerpt), 1987
09 Stomp, ‘Pipes’
10 From Scratch, ‘Pacific 3-2-1-Zero’ (excerpts), 1982
11 Skip LaPlante, ‘Glyptodont’ (excerpts), 1982
12 Footsteps
13 Ludwig van Beethoven, ‘Fifth Symphony’ (1804-1808), played by The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura (excerpt), 2014
14 Footsteps
15 Walking up gravel path, bing bong, opening door
16 La Monte Young,Poem for Chairs, Tables, Benches, etc.’ (excerpt), 1960
17 Leroy Anderson, ‘The Typewriter’ (excerpt), 1953
18 Krzysztof Penderecki, ‘Fluorescences’ (excerpt), 1961/62
19 [The User], ‘Symphony No.1 for Dot Matrix Printers. Part 16’ (excerpts), 1998
20 Tan Dun, ‘Paper Concerto’ (excerpt), 2003
21 Tan Dun, ‘Paper Concerto’ (excerpt), 2003
22 Golan Levin, Scott Gibbons, Gregory Shakar, ‘Dialtones’ (excerpts), 2001
23 Annie Gosfield, ‘Electric Sweepers and Vacuum Creepers’ (excerpts), 2015
24 Alison Knowles,Sounds from the Book of Bean’ (excerpt), 1981

Curated and produced by Chris Cutler.
2020. All rights reserved. © by the respective authors and publishers.
ResearchProbesChris Cutlergamelanscrap metal+listened-june-2020

Related RWM programmes