Horacio Vaggione

La Maquina de Cantar

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La Maquina de Cantar is a short LP by Argentinian electro-acoustic composer Horacio Vaggione. It first appeared in 1978 on the label Cramps. Ampersand reissued it on CD in 2002. The 17-minute "La Maquina de Cantar" (The Singing Machine) relies solely on an IBM computer. Produced in the early '70s, it features a lush synthesized tone and works by accretion. The music is looped and the composer slowly transforms the mass by adding and subtracting layers -- another variation on the process of composition through accumulation also explored by Robert Fripp (his Frippertronics albums of the late '70s and early '80s) and Pierre-André Arcand (his "macchina ricordi"). "Ending," also 17 minutes in duration, is a duet between Vaggione and Elizabeth Wiener, both playing Moog-type synthesizers. Here again they accumulate looping sequences to create hypnotic kaleidoscopes that recall Philip Glass' "Music in Twelve Parts," with a sound closer to Larry Fast's early albums under the project name Synergy. When everything stops at the 11th minute to make room for a chorale-type hymn, the proceedings get very close to Rick Wakeman's The Six Wives of Henry VIII -- except Wakeman would not have repeated the theme for six minutes, multiplying the synthesizer parts until they were a hair short of breaking into oversaturation. This is space music when it still had a place in the experimental field. It is far removed from Vaggione's later work in academic electro-acoustic music (what he is best known for). It didn't age very well, making it more of a historical document.

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