All of your favorites, in one place.
Works by Bülent Arel, Charles Dodge, Ingram Marshall, Ilhan Mimaroglu, Daria Semegen, Alice Shields. The Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center was the first electronic music center to be established in the United States. From 1959 to the late 1970s, it was one of the premiere sound facilities in the world. The vast majority of pieces composed at the Center - approximately three hundred - were composed during this period. Some have become classics of music history.
This selection, drawn from those seminal years, is an excellent overview of the wide variations in musical style and aesthetic that was encouraged by the Center’s guiding spirit, Vladimir Ussachevsky. Charles Dodge’s Earth’s Magnetic Field is a relaxed, expressive piece in which he captures a sense of radiance. The New York Times called it one of the “ten most significant works of the 1970s.” Ingram Marshall’s Cortez manipulates a speaker’s voice to create a brooding meditation on an apocalyptic poem by poet-friend Snee McCaig.
Alice Shields was a young member of the Center’s initial team. Musique concrète sound sources and the composer’s prerecorded voice form the basis for Dance Piece No. 3 (1969) and Study for Voice and Tape (1968). Bülent Arel was also a member of the Center’s initial staff. His brightly colored Postlude from “Music for a Sacred Service” builds from a stately beginning to a virtuosic conclusion. Ilhan Mimaroglu’s Prelude No. 8 (To the memory of Edgard Varèse) was inspired by a presentiment of his friend’s death and is expectedly somber in mood.
Daria Semegen studied with Lutoslawski and Arel. Electronic Composition No. 1 was a winner of the 1975 International Society for Contemporary Music prize. Both it and Out of Into, a collaboration with Arel, are prime examples of her muscular, dramatic style, full of timbral and dynamic contrasts that gives her music the breadth and the seriousness of orchestral drama.