Perfect follow-up to Sub Rosa's precedent double-LP Electronic Works & Voices 1961-1979, this release highlights Leo Kupper's earliest compositions with his GAME machine -- Générateur Automatique de Musique Electronique (Automatic Generator of Electronic Music) constructed during the 1960s. Purely electronic sounds into new structures, Leo Kupper shows through his four tracks a real spirit of renewal. Released in Sub Rosa's Early Electronic series.
Leo Kupper was born in Nidrum, Hautes Fagnes (Eastern Belgium) on the April 16th, 1935. He studied musicology at the Liège Conservatory, then became the assistant of Henri Pousseur who, in 1958, had just founded the Apelac Studio in Brussels. Kupper started to work on his first pieces there, but he would finalize them only upon putting together his own studio in 1967: the Studio de Recherches et de Structurations Electroniques Auditives (studio of audio electronic research and structuring). That is where he would compose, to this day, over forty works, most of them on instruments of his own design. In the '70s and '80s, he built a series of Sound Domes (briefly established in Rome, Linz, Venice, and Avignon), places where every sound, every phoneme uttered by the listening audience was transformed by hundreds of loudspeakers of various sizes organized in a dome shape. This device transformed sounds through space and time: something said could be morphed into another sound hours, days, perhaps years later. Leo had envisioned that a device like his, a place for contemplation, would be much-needed in cities where nature had been evacuated. In the late '70s, after discovering Iranian music master Hussein Malek, Kupper became one of the very few Western virtuosos of the santur.
The GAME machine: In 1961, having terminated his musicology studies, Leo Kupper left Liège for Brussels. By that time, centers for music research such as those in Cologne, Paris, and Milan had already produced works of experimental music, where pioneers were forging new and diverse routes in electronic music, "musique concrete" and electro-vocal music. The GAME machine was constructed during such period and spirit of renewal and technical exploration. The GAME consisted of a collection of variable "sonic cells" sensitive to modulations of positive and negative voltages and programmable manually through the aid of color-coded cables. Complex electronic loops and sound from loudspeakers and from microphone pick-ups were then either recorded by tape-machines or performed and interpreted by musicians who opened automatic channels, thus triggering automatic sound to exit the speakers. This in turn penetrated the machines by means of microphones and was replayed.