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** VERY LAST COPIES** As is the case with La Monte Young's Theater of Eternal Music, David Hyke's Harmonic Choir and Pauline Oliveros's Deep Listening Band, Roberto Laneri has had a life long penchant for the droning mysteriosa of the Sound Current and with the Prima Materia ensemble he has expressed it in a disciplined, expansive and singular way (Terry Riley). In 1977 an obscure Italian private label issued a record that sounded like it came from outer space. A long and dense trance-inducing drone of sustained notes, rich with overtones and harmonic embellishments, coming from a space so vast and unexplored that seemed almost of non-human, even electronic nature. Paradoxically, each and any molecule of that sound was produced using only the most original and archaic instrument, the human voice.
The name of the group was Prima Materia (First Matter), a project that took shape in 1973 in San Diego, and the record – “The Tail of the Tiger” – was issued by the Ananda label, owned by Roberto Laneri, Alvin Curran and Giacinto Scelsi. The record soon disappeared and over the became almost a legend among collectors and experimental music lovers. The musicians of the group Prima Materia individually researched and developed unusual vocal techniques (originally used in Tantric rituals in North India, Mongolia and Tibet), based upon the use of overtones coupled with a special state of inner concentration, which was the essential condition for both the emission and control of long-sustained and complex vocal sounds. Their capacity to sustain a note for what seems an eternity, and then continue to provide endless variations generates a continuous and sustained drone of sound, in which the overtones are clearly perceived.