Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Alien Bog / Beautiful Soop
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Special Interest, New Age, Rock, Classical
Listen to Samples
A heady electronic brew!
Steve Benner | Lancaster, UK | 01/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc contains two important works in the early output of one of America's foremost pioneers of electronic music-making, Pauline Oliveros. Both works date from the time that she was director of the San Francisco Tape Music Center at Mills College, Oakland, CA. They utilise the original Buchla Box 100 series analogue synthesiser (specially created for the Center by Don Buchla) as well as a tape delay system of the composer's own devising. "Beautiful Soop" dates from 1966, while "Alien Bog" was completed the year after, in 1967. This CD (produced in 1997) marks the first time that both works have been available commercially in their entirety, making it a very important release indeed.Both pieces here are large-scale compositions, of the kind rarely tackled by composers of electroacoustic music nowadays. Of the two, "Alien Bog" is perhaps the more accessible, although newcomers to this kind of thing may find its 33-minute length to be a little daunted. The work's title refers to the influence on its composition that Oliveros claims for the sounds that emanated from the 'frog pond' (now sadly built on!) outside the studio window while she worked on it. The sound sources are clearly electronic and highly reminiscent of those early 60's space fiction movie soundtracks. At the same time, it has a very naturalistic feel to it. Carefully structured, it builds gradually from its slow, warbling beginnings towards a complex and highly organic climax, which is followed by a short, quiet coda.In contrast, "Beautiful Soop" is largely built upon a bed of recordings of readings of Lewis Carroll's nonsense poetry, subjected to the composer's complex tape delay system, (produce a deep reverberation and echo effect) and overlain with an electronic 'commentary' from the Buchla synthesiser. It is not much shorter than the previous work and may prove hard going for listeners not in tune with this kind of music. The fragments of nonsense rhymes bounce and echo most disconcertingly around the composition's sound stage, mixing and blending with one another and with the contrasting electronic textures, to form a very heady soup indeed! As with much of this composer's output, there is no easy listening here (although it is not without its smattering of humour, either). Overall, this disc is an essential purchase for any student of mid to late 20th century electronic music, as well as for anyone else with an adventurous ear!"