Thursday, March 3, 2016

Musica Elettronica Viva - 2008 - MEV 40

Musica Elettronica Viva
MEV 40

Disc 1
1. Spacecraft [1967] (30.49)
2. Stop the war [1972] (44.39)

Disc 2
1. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, pt. 1 [1982] (43.07)
2. Kunstmuseum, Bern [1990] (24.37)

Disc 3
1. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, pt. 2 [1982] (44.05)
2. New Music America Festival [1989] (30.51)

Disc 4
1. Ferrara, Italy [2002] (67.03)
2. Mass, Pike [2007] (10.57)

CD1-1 recorded at Akademie der Kunste, Berlin on 5 October 1967;
CD1-2 recorded at WBAI, New York on 31 December 1972;
CD2-1 and CD3-1 recorded at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in April 1982;
CD2-2 recorded at Kunstmuseum, Bern on 16 November 1990;
CD3-2 recorded at the Knitting Factory, New York on 15 November 1989;
CD4-1 recorded at Ferrara, Italy on 9 June 2002;
CD4-2 recorded during the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood Music Center, Lenox, Mass. on 2 August 2007.

Front cover (reproduced above), front door of original MEV studio, via Peretti 27, Rome, courtesy Alvin Curran.

Allan Bryant - homemade synthesizer (CD1-1);
Alvin Curran - mbira thumb piano mounted on 10-litre oil can, contact mics, amplified trumpet, voice, VCS3-Putney synthesizer, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn, Serge modular synthesizer, Akai 5000 and 6000 sampler and Midi keyboard, computer, MAX/MSP, Kontakt-sampler, piano, shofar, MacBook Pro, toy boom boxes;
Carol Plantamura - voice (CD1-1);
Frederic Rzewski - amplified glass plate, contact mics, piano, electronically-processed prepared piano, voice, small instruments;
Richard Teitelbaum - modular Moog synthesizer, PolyMoog and MicroMoog synthesizers with SYM 1 microcomputer, contact mics, voice, Prophet 2002 sampler, DX 7 keyboard, Macintosh computer, computer with MAX/MSP, Crackle box, Kurzweil K2000 sampler keyboard and MacBook Pro with Ableton Live, small instruments;
Ivan Vandor - tenor saxophone (CD1-1);
Garrett List - trombone (all except CD1-1 and CD4-2);
Gregory Reeve - percussion (CD1-2);
Karl Berger - marimbphone (CD1-2);
Steve Lacy - soprano saxophone (CD2-1, CD3, CD4-1);
George Lewis - trombone (CD4-1).

A fourty-year overview on 4 sprawling CDs. MEV were and still are: Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, Richard Teitelbaum, Karl Berger, Allan Bryant, Steve Lacy, George Lewis, Garrett List, Carol Plantamura, Gregory Reeve, Ivan Vandor. "Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV) was begun one evening in the spring of 1966 by Allan Bryant, Alvin Curran, Jon Phetteplace, Carol Plantamura, Frederic Rzweski, Richard Teitelbaum and Ivan Vandor in a room in Rome overlooking the Pantheon. MEV's music right from the start was also totally open, allowing all and everything to come in and seeking in every way to get out beyond the heartless conventions of contemporary music. Taking its cue from Tudor and Cage, MEV began sticking contact mics to anything that sounded and amplified their raw sounds: bed springs, sheets of glass, tin cans, rubber bands, toy pianos, sex vibrators, and assorted metal junk; a crushed old trumpet, cello and tenor sax kept us within musical credibility, while a home-made synthesizer of some 48 oscillators along with the first Moog synthesizer in Europe gave our otherwise neo-primitive sound an inimitable edge. In the name of the collectivity, the group abandoned both written scores and leadership and replaced them with improvisation and critical listening. Rehearsals and concerts were begun at the appropriate time by a kind of spontaneous combustion and continued until total exhaustion set in. It mattered little who played what when or how, but the fragile bond of human trust that linked us all in every moment remained unbroken. The music could go anywhere, gliding into self-regenerating unity or lurching into irrevocable chaos -- both were valuable goals. In the general euphoria of the times, MEV thought it had re-invented music; in any case it had certainly rediscovered it." --Alvin Curran. "This 4CD set, covering the years 1967-2007, comprises the best surviving recorded documents from four decades of performances, personally curated by its three core members -- Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, and Richard Teitelbaum. As such, it is an invaluable historical anthology of one of the pioneering and truly legendary exponents of live-electronic music." Features: "SpaceCraft" (1967), "Stop The War" (1972), "Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Pts. 1 & 2" (1982), "Kunstmuseum, Bern" (1990), "New Music America Festival" (1989), "Ferrara, Italy" (2002), "Mass. Pike" (2007).

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