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File under: Avantgarde

Larry Austin, Douglas Kahn, Nilendra Gurusinghe

Source Music of the Avant-garde, 1966–1973 (Book)

Label: University of California Press

Format: Book

Genre: Sound Art

In stock


*2023 stock* The journal Source: Music of the Avant-garde was and remains a seminal source for materials on the heyday of experimental music and arts. Conceived in 1966 and published to 1973, it included some of the most important composers and artists of the time: John Cage, Harry Partch, David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Robert Ashley, Pauline Oliveros, Dick Higgins, Nam June Paik, Steve Reich, and many others. A pathbreaking publication, Source documented crucial changes in performance practice and live electronics, computer music, notation and event scores, theater and installations, intermedia and technology, politics and the social roles of composers and performers, and innovations in the sound of music.


 “Collects interviews, scores, essays, artwork, poetry, photos, and maple syrup fudge recipes that were originally printed in the avant-garde music journal Source. Printed semi-annually in relatively small runs of 2000 between 1966 and 1973, Source dished with some pretty heavy-hitting artists and musicians, including Morton "Subotnick" Feldman, Robert "Wilson" Ashley, John "Lennon" Cage, Pauline "McCartney" Oliveros, David "Fats" Tudor, Harry "Not Patch" Partch, Steve "Philip Glass" Reich, Anthony "Unbreak My Heart" Braxton, and many others with nicknames too ridiculous to recount here. And talk about your "right place, right time" luck: Source was there to document all the crazy changes in performance practice, live electronics, computer music, notation, installations, politics, technology, and social conceptions of art-music that we're always trying to one-up one another in our purported "vast knowledge of" here in the TMT office. Score.”—Tiny Mix Tapes

"Compelling and historically important. . . . The new print and audio editions of Source are a valuable resource for composers, scholars, and performers. . . . I highly recommend both!"—Michael Boyd Computer Music Journal

Fascinating. . . . A healthy collection of prose descriptions trying to account for what was going on at the time. . . . Provides from-the-horse’s-mouth accounts from the practitioners themselves.”—Stephen Smoliar Examiner.com

Source: Music of the Avant-garde, 1966-1973 brings its extraordinary, historical explorations and experimentations to a new audience of contemporary music devotees, researchers, composers, students, and educators. This welcome volume reproduces Source's original, provocative issues in an unparalleled repository of articles, scores, graphics, photos, editorials, and reviews, featuring contributions by some of the 20th century’s leading experimental and pioneering composers and performers. Larry Austin and Douglas Kahn have provided us with a true gem and an invaluable resource for future study.”—Elainie Lillios, Associate Professor of Composition at Bowling Green State University

Source was an audacious piece of new music entrepreneurship that could only have happened in the 1960s. I well recall discovering it in the stacks at the university library, flipping the pages and learning that you could just jump right off the edge of the known musical world. This was not a journal that provided information or mere perspectives on new music: it showed you the music itself. It brought you into direct contact with the excitement, provocation, beauty, audacity, ingenuity, and insight of the leading experimental musicians of the day. You might be offended, intrigued, inspired, amused, baffled, but the point was that you were right in there, seeing what was going on and deciding for yourself what you wanted to make out of it. How wonderful it is for this liberating historical moment to be reincarnated; who knows what musical adventures this re-publication will inspire.” —James Pritchett, author of The Music of John Cage

This long awaited reissue of important documents from the late 1960s, including graphic scores, essays, and articles, is an indispensable anthology of cross-disciplinary ideas about music and composition. This is a fascinating treasure trove of musical counterculture, absolutely relevant today.” —Christian Marclay, visual artist and composer

Source was an essential document of its time, a music magazine that made beautiful music—and beautiful art. This was one of the reasons why I was delighted to be able to reissue all the recordings on a three CD set on Pogus. This book now puts all the print issues in one’s hand, bringing us as close to having Source again as we are ever likely to get."—Al Margolis, Pogus Productions (www.pogus.com)

There was a glorious moment at the cusp of the 1970s when all our musical road maps became obsolete overnight. Young composers relied instead on the accounts of voyageurs, many of which were printed in the pages of Source. Austin and Kahn’s meticulous compendium carries us back to that heady, pre-Web time when anything seemed possible.”—Nicolas Collins, Editor-in-Chief, Leonardo Music Journal 

File under: Avantgarde
Cat. number: 9780520267459
Year: 2011

Table of Contents

Preface: Source in the Cause of New Music, by Douglas Kahn
Introduction: Larry Austin on Source, from an interview by Douglas Kahn


The Editors | Preface
Giuseppe Chiari | Quel che volete
Robert Ashley
• in memoriam...Esteban Gómez (quartet)
• in memoriam...John Smith (concerto)
• in memoriam...Crazy Horse (symphony)
• in memoriam...Kit Carson (opera)
plus Letter to the Editor
Earle Brown | Form in New Music
Harry Partch | Lecture
Harry Partch | And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma
Robert Ashley, Larry Austin, and Karlheinz Stockhausen | Conversation


The Editors | Is the Composer Anonymous?
Toshi Ichiyanagi | Appearance, for 3 Instruments, 2 Oscillators, 2 Ring Modulators
Morton Feldman | Conversations Without Stravinsky
John Cage | 4'33"
plus correspondence and telephone conversation with the Editor
Gordon Mumma | Alvin Lucier’s Music for Solo Performer 1965
Jerry Hunt | Sur (Doctor) John Dee and Tabulatura Soyga


Larry Austin, Stanley Lunetta, John Mizelle, and Arthur Woodbury | Groups Section
• Gordon Mumma and Larry Austin | Sonic Arts Group
• Robert Ashley | The ONCE Group
• Musica Elettronica Viva | WORDS . . .
David Behrman | Wave Train
Will Johnson | First Festival of Live-Electronic Music 1967
John Mizelle | Radial Energy I
Frederic Rzewski | Plan for Spacecraft
Pauline Oliveros | Some Sound Observations
Robert Moran | Titus Number 1 for Amplified Automobile
The Editors | Comment


Robert Ashley | The Wolfman
John Cage and Lejaren Hiller | HPSCHD, interview by Larry Austin
Larry Austin | Accidents


Anna [Annea] Lockwood | Glass Concert 2
Christian Wolff | Edges
Dick Higgins | Boredom and Danger
Stanley Lunetta | Spider-Song
Max Neuhaus | A Max Sampler: Six sound oriented pieces for situations other than that of the concert hall
Larry Austin | Events/Comments


Dick Higgins | The Thousand Symphonies
Philip Corner | Anti-personnel Bomb
Editors and Respondents | Events/Comments: Is new music being used for political or social ends?
Jani Christou | Enantiodromia
Frederic Rzewski | Street Music and Symphony


John Cage and Calvin Sumsion | Plexigram IV: Not Wanting to Say Anything about Marcel
• Barbara Rose | Not Wanting to Say Anything about Marcel
John Dinwiddie | MEWANTEMOOSEICDAY: John Cage in Davis, 1969
Dick Higgins | Towards the ’70s
Arthur Woodbury | Velox
Pauline Oliveros | The Indefinite Integral of Psi Star Psi d Tau Equals One
Mark Riener | Phlegethon
Alvin Lucier | I Am Sitting In A Room and Vespers
Ben Johnston | How to Cook an Albatross
Jocy de Oliveira | Polinterações


Sven Hansell and Harvey Matusow | Fylkingen 1970
• Åke Hodell, Mr. Smith in Rhodesia
• Bob Cobbing, Chamber Music
• Ferdinand Kriwet, Rundscheibe XIII
Lowell Cross | Audio/Video/Laser
Morton Feldman | Boola Boola
Larry Austin | Caritas and Transmission One
Stanley Lunetta | Moosack Machine
Peter Garland | “Sea Fever”
Larry Austin | Editorial


David Rosenboom | Noise Abatement Resolution
Anna [Annea] Lockwood | Piano Burning and Tiger Balm
Nelson Howe | Fur Music
Nicolas Slonimsky, Möbius Strip-Tease
Stanley Lunetta | Events/Comments
• Donald Buchla | On the Desirability of Distinguishing between Sound and Structure
The Editors | International Carnival of Experimental Sound


Alvin Lucier | Gentle Fire and Queen of the South
“Naked Software”
• Harvey Matusow | Naked Software: 12-Cassette Spatial Sound System
• Anna [Annea] Lockwood: River Archive
• John Lifton | Project: International Concert of Public Noise
• John Lifton | Interface 3A
Stuart Marshall | “Exhibition on 3 Hills”
Steve Reich | “Music as a Gradual Process” and Pendulum Music
Anthony Braxton | 8KN-(J-6)
Cornelius Cardew | The Great Learning
Cornelius Cardew | The Scratch Orchestra: Draft Constitution
George Brecht | Land Mass Translocation
Christopher Hobbs | The Friesian Cow
a.d.r. | Portsmouth Sinfonia
Gavin Bryars | Verbal Pieces
Pauline Oliveros | Sonic Meditations


Ken Friedman and Stanley Lunetta | Editorial
• Ken Friedman | International Sources: Notes on the Exhibition
Ken Friedman | NYCS Weekly Breeder
Max Neuhaus | Water Whistle
Robert Filliou | Telepathic Music
Image Bank | New York Corres-Sponge Dance School of Vancouver
Nam June Paik | “My Symphonies” and “Postmusic”
Charles Amirkhanian | “xvurt” and “bcuhla”
John Paul Rhinehart and Stanley Marsh 3 | Chromatic Tree Harp

Appendix: Complete Contents of Source

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