04/05/2022 68' 8''
Grainger and Cross' "Kangaroo Pouch" machine sketch. Supplied: Grainger Museum

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 #33 we begin to trace the impact of the application of electricity on the world of music and look more closely at the Musical Telegraph, the two-hundred-ton Telharmonium (a 19th century mechanical synthesizer) in America, as well as the Theremin and the visionary Rhythmicon in the USSR.

Musical references

01  Gregorio Paniagua, ‘Anakrousis’, 1978
02 Orchestra tuning
Ludwig van Beethoven, ‘Symphony No. 5 introduction (Australian Chamber orchestra)
04 Anton Bruckner, ‘Symphony No. 4’ (excerpt), 1874
05 Oscar Peterson Trio ‘Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)’ (excerpt), 1965
06 Gustav Mahler, ‘Ninth Symphony’ (excerpt), 1908
Arnold Schoenberg, ‘Third Violin Quartet, 1st Movement’ (excerpt), 1927
08 Arnold Schoenberg, ‘Third Violin Quartet, 1st Movement’ (excerpt), 1927
09 Richard Maxfield, ‘Sine Music (A Swarm of Butterflies)’ (excerpt), 1959
10 Ebow on a bass guitar, played by Jesús Rico (excerpt), 2015
11 Footnote
12 Large gong

13 Andrey Smirnov plays Theremin’s oscillator in Moscow
14 End Footnote

15 Oboe A
16 Sine A
Brotherhood of Bob, ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’
Philippe Glandien, electric guitar heterodyning demonstration, guitar unfiltered
19 Philippe Glandien, electric guitar heterodyning demonstration, with aggressive high cut to remove original notes
20 Footnote
21 Percy Grainger, ‘Free Music No. 2’ performed by Lydia Kavina, 1936 (for six Theremins)
22 Alexandre Dubuque, ‘Don’t Scold Me My Dear’ played by Lev Termen, 1954
23 Bohuslav Martinů, ‘Fantasia for Theremin’ (excerpt), 1944
24 Ennio Morricone, ‘Once Upon a Time in America’, arranged for Theremin, performed by Katica Illényi (excerpt)
25 Miklós Rózsa, ‘Spellbound Concerto’ (excerpt), 1945
26 Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, ‘Electricity’ (excerpts), 1967
27 Bernard Herrmann, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still - Prelude’, 1951
28 Javier Díez-Ena, ‘Berlin Ghost Opera’ (excerpt), 2017
29 BlueBlut, ‘Bondage’ (excerpt), 2014
30 Johann Mattheson, ‘Aria from Suite No. 5 in C minor’, 1714 or before
31 Percy Grainger, ‘Free Music No.1’, 1936
32 Henry Cowell, ‘Rhythmicana’ (excerpts), 1931
33  Gregorio Paniagua, ‘Anakrousis’, 1978

Curated by Chris Cutler
2022. All rights reserved. © by the respective authors and publishers.
ResearchProbesChris Cutlerradioelectricity

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