Various Artists

CDCM Computer Music Series, Vol. 17: Music from the Center for Contemporary Music (Ccm)

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This richly varied CD contains six very different and intriguing works by composers associated with the Center for Contemporary Music, located at Mills College in Oakland, California. The CCM, established in the early 1970s, was one of the first public-access non-profit resources, its openly creative spirit extending to many activities within the musical community. In John Bischoff's The Glass Hand ... "the performer calls forth textures and cues alterations by counting sonic features within the textures themselves." The digital sounds are spectacular and have never been heard before. "Electronic music is like travel on water, acoustic music like travel on land. On land an intentional act is needed to move. But on water, motion is constant; efforts must be made to direct the motion in an intended direction, but no energy is really required to maintain a particular state of motion." Chris Brown's Chain Reaction is a "music in which the musicians cross the boundaries of each other's instrumental territory, where their instruments interact and influence each other directly ... ." The piece is filled with humor, dense and propulsive energy, and sensuous breathy sax and lipping noises. Tom Erbe's After A Day uses normally unwanted artifacts and "poorly recorded source material" to create a beautiful and mysterious soundscape. Maggi Payne's Resonant Places explores the normally hidden sonic nature of public and private spaces (a BART tunnel, stove vents, the ocean heard through mailing tubes, etc.) and mixes them into a transcendent tone poem. Alvin Curran's Animal Behavior is made from bizarre, looping samples which accumulate into a droll zoo of electronic "animals," political and otherwise. The final piece is CCM Flotsam which consists of intriguing short segments from four composers which can be freely re-ordered in their playback on CD machines with indexes.

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