Avant-garde Women (1968-85)

Avant-garde Women (1968-85)

In his liner notes for the record New Music For Electronic Media: Women In Electronic Music from 1977, producer and KPFA Music Director Charles Amirkhanian reveals how women composers were starting to explore new terrain at the time. 

Leaving behind expressionistic and purely synthesized sounds that were characteristic for the Avant-garde until the late Sixties, they shaped the idea of an intermedia art by mixing various kinds of sonic material. Often this approach had a link to human life, or was bringing humor into a world formerly known for academic sobriety.

This selection is an expanded view of the development as presented by Amirkhanian, featuring mainly different artists, and an extended time frame.

Only 4 of the 10 tracks are available for Spotify listeners.

Christina Kubisch – Circles 1

one of the composer’s Italian pieces for flute in various combinations (1984, Tochnit Aleph)

Eliane Radigue – Σ = a = b = a + b

two 7”-singles, made to be listened to separately or simultaneously, synchronously or asynchronously, and at any speed (1969, Povertech Industries)

Ruth White – Owls

poem by Charles Baudelaire set to music (1969, Black Mass Rising)

Barbara T. Smith – Mass Meal

soundtrack for a psychedelic happening in the artist’s studio in Santa Ana, CA (1969, Small World)

Brenda Hutchinson – Interlude from Voices of Reason

computer assisted composition, based on language and stories (1984, Tellus)

Ruth Anderson – SUM (State Of The Union Message)

examining the connection between tv ads and the condition of her fellow countrymen (1973, Arc Light Editions)

Suzanne Ciani – Second Voice: Sound of Heat

sound sculpture collaboration with artist Harold Paris, partly based on Ciani’s early experimental work at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab (1970, Dead-Cert Home Entertainment)

Catherine Christer Hennix – Equal Temperament Fender Mix

exploring the triangle of jazz, minimalism and electronic music (1976, Empty Editions)

Frankie Mann – I Was A Hero (From ‘The Mayan Debutante Revue’)

song about artist-scientists who feverishly believe that they were hatched from Einstein’s Egg (1979, Lovely Music, Ltd.)

Ellen Fullman – Swingen

rosin-coated fingers brushing across a web of dozens, up to 70 feet long metallic wires, of which the composer’s Long String Instrument is comprised (1985, Superior Viaduct)

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