"Rainforest (Version I, Music for Dance)" is a wonderful live electronic work that has become a new music classic since its creation in 1968 for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Performed throughout the world, the 21-minute dance was also notable for its stage set that included helium-filled reflective silver mylar pillows designed by Andy Warhol. "Version I" was performed by Takehisa Kosugi and David Tudor in eight channels for a sound system that surrounded the audience. Long sustained tones produce a mysterious sustained atmosphere, semi-melodic phrases seem like small bagpipes, a pulse of short string-plucking sounds is produced, and a variety of raw and pure waveforms create a dense forest of electronic birds, frogs, and other unnamed creatures. "Sliding Pitches in the Rainforest in the Field: Rainforest (Version IV, Electro-Acoustical Environment)" was first created in 1968 at Chocorua, NH. Inside a large barn, many unique, vibrating resonant objects (bells, beams held between the teeth, dual metal transducers, parabolic reflectors attached to circular hat-like cages, etc.) were suspended from the ceiling, and the audience moved throughout the space interacting with the ear-level objects and appreciating the gentle sounds emitted by them. This piece was developed by Tudor with many other composers and artists (Phil Edelstein, Bill Viola, Andres Zravic, John Driscoll, Michael Quigly, Nick Collins, Ralph Jones, Martin Kalve, Linda Fisher, Prent Rodgers) from 1968 to 1982. The electronics heard as sources in "Version I" -- the calls of electronic birds and other creatures -- now cause the objects' vibration over a seemingly vast and dense landscape.
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AllMusic Review by "Blue" Gene Tyranny
feat: Takehisa Kosugi