11/03/2021 60' 38''
Leo the Lion (MGM), 1928

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 #29 composers turn to nature, not as pastorale but as concrete musical resources. We look at animals, vegetables and one or two minerals as they are directly incorporated into musical works, as leading voices:  there are birds, wolves and whales, obviously, but also less cuddly creatures, plants, cacti, rocks and stones. We also consider some of the motives and ideologies at work, and hear minerals make sounds that are hard to credit.

Musical references

01  Gregorio Paniagua, ‘Anakrousis’, 1978
02  MGM lion
03  Olivier Messiaen, ‘Chronochromie’ (excerpt) 1960
04  Jim Fassett, ‘The Symphony of the Birds’ (excerpt), 1960
05  Einojuhani Rautavaara, ‘Cantus Arcticus’ (excerpt), 1972
06  Hatebeak, ‘Seven Perches’, 2015
07  Caninus, ‘Brindle Brickheadz’, 2004
08  Hollis Taylor, ‘Owen Springs Reserve 2014’ (excerpt), 2017
09  Sybil Glebow, ‘Cello and Wolfpack 1’, 1982
10  Phillip Kent Bimstein, ‘Pasturale’ (excerpt), 1990
11  Jim Nollman, ‘The Lesson’, 1982
12  David Rothenberg, ‘Whale Music’, 2008
13  Bob clears his throat
14  Squeak
15  Wildebeest, pig, mouse
16  Bernie Krause & Human Remains, ‘Fish Wrap’ (excerpt), 1988
17  Flight of the Bumblebee
18  David Rothenberg and Timothy Hill, ‘Chirped to Death’ (excerpt), 2013
19  Wind in grass, trees, crickets
20  John Cage, ‘Branches’ (excerpt), 1976
21  Chris Cutler, ‘Echinopsis Mamillosa’ (excerpt), 2009
22  Cornelius Cardew and Scratch Orchestra, ‘The Great Learning, Paragraph 1’ (excerpt), 1969
23  Christian Wolff, ‘Stones’ (excerpt), 1968-71
24  Philip Dadson, ‘An Archaeology of Stones’ (excerpt), 1995
25  Pinuccio Sciola, Sounding Stones, 2010
26  Friedemann Dahn, ‘Aura’ (excerpt), 2012
27  Hannes Fessmann, unidentified track
28  Tan Dun, ‘The Map’ (excerpt), 2002
29  Gregorio Paniagua, ‘Anakrousis’, 1978
30  X-Ray Spex, ‘Oh Bondage! Up Yours!’ (excerpt), 1977

Curated by Chris Cutler.
2021. All rights reserved. © by the respective authors and publishers.
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