AGP123 - US Electronic Music IV | Columbia-Princeton

  1. Davidovsky, Electronic Study No 1 [5:56] [MP3]

  2. El-Dabh, Leiya [5:25] [MP3]

  3. Babbitt, Composition for Synthesizer [10:41] [MP3]

  4. Luening, Gargoyles [9:25] [MP3]

  5. Davidovsky, Electronic Study No 1 [5:56] [FLAC]

  6. El-Dabh, Leiya [5:25] [FLAC]

  7. Babbitt, Composition for Synthesizer [10:41] [FLAC]

  8. Luening, Gargoyles [9:25] [FLAC]

  9. AGP 123 notes [TXT]

  10. LP liner notes [PDF]


AGP123 continues our series of electronic compositions from the USA with a collection from some of the early leaders of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, which was established in 1959 and was one of the earliest centers for electronic music in the USA. Four of these tracks come from a Columbia LP released in 1964 and devoted to music from the center, and the rest are collected from various other LPs.

I've never been a huge fan of the nasal, ping-poing timbres that characterize so much of the output from the center, but the relatively limited tonal range does bring out the rhythmic and structural elements in these works. The three electronic studies by Mario Davidovsky are unjustly neglected works in contrast to his Synchronisms, which I suspect are so popular in part because they provide show pieces for the musicians who are paired with electronic sounds, while the electronic studies are purely electronic. Otto Luening's Gargoyles for violin and tape also demonstrates the interesting structures that can be produced with a limited range of electronic tones.

The LPs transcribed for this and the next installment are all in quite good condition, but the combination of pressing noise characteristic of so many American releases and the hiss characteristic of much early electronic music does increase the ambient noise level in many tracks. The installment includes a PDF file with scans of the liner notes from all of the LPs in this installment as well as AGP124.

NOTE: Five tracks originally in AGP123 have been deleted because the LPs they appeared on are being re-issued by New World Records in a series of CDs.