Halim El-Dabh

Crossing Into the Electric Magnetic

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This recording spans the history of legendary composer Halim El-Dabh, from his early work with manipulated wire recorders, through his work at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Studio, to his sound sculpture work. Compared with the works other electronic music composers from that period, El-Dabh's work is unusually organic and emotive -- devoid of much of the futuristic-sounding oscillations and bleeps often associated with the genre. Included in this recording is a work recorded in 1944 using manipulated wire recorders, which predates Pierre Schaeffer's musique concrète by nearly four years. Also included are selections from El-Dabh's electronic opera Leiyla and the Poet, an excerpt of which appears on the Columbia-Princeton recording Electronic Music Masters. An important document of the early work of an important 20th century composer.

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