Thursday, June 08, 2006

Left Coasters

Here are two great resources for West Coast experimental music, that I've been meaning to post for a good long time:

The first is the Other Minds Archive at the Internet Archive, including much from the tapes of KPFA, the Bay Area Pacifica station. (I like this concert of works by composers mostly connected with the S.F. Tape Music Center (I like the Ramon Sender aquarium piece segueing into the Leedy Octet: Quaderno Rossiniano), this autobiography by Henry Cowell, and this 1947 rehearsal recording of Stravinsky conducting the Symphonies of Wind Instruments. There are also treasures by Lou Harrison, John Cage, Robert Ashley, Harry Partch and many others. It is disappointing, though, not to have anything by Robert Erickson, for a time Music Director at KPFA, a fine composer and an important teacher).

The second is a document archive collected by the late Jim Horton.

Both of these resources are Bay Area-centric. We really need some similar resources for Los Angeles, but I suspect that it would be a much more difficult topic to cover. L.A. is spread-out in all ways, centerless, and anything that isn't solid (and much of that which is) simply melts into air. But then again, that's why it's called the City of Angels.*

* Okay, I know that it's the City of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels on the River Porciuncula but I couldn't resist.

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