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The Electronic Arts Of Sound And Light: Volume Two of Music For The Book
Artist/Band: Ron Pellegrino
After finishing THE ELECTRONIC ARTS OF SOUND AND LIGHT (released in early 1983), I dove into a to-do list that had been building for four years. While working on that book I was busy with full-time university teaching and electronic arts gigs on the road. I was also fending off agents from Van Nostrand Reinhold, my publisher, who, for several years running, pressured me to complete the book. So it pleased me immensely when I discovered 25 years later that, despite being out of print for over two decades, my book had morphed into a good seller online, and that readers and critics over the years referred to it as a "classic", a "bible", a "treasure", and "seminal".
To clarify further as well as flesh out the positions I took in my 1983 book on composition and aesthetics, I decided to publish multiple volumes of audio and video representative of what was happening in my electronic arts garden during the 14 year period (1967-81) covered by the book. Video examples are found in Part Two: The DVDs of EMERGENT MUSIC AND VISUAL MUSIC: INSIDE STUDIES (2009).
The music on this CD is made public for the first time outside of my solo and collaborative live performances. When that early book was published I had been operating for over a decade with a policy of only making my music available to the public via my personal appearances-concerts, lecture-demonstrations, and radio and TV shows. I am not a musical materialist; instead I always prefer my music to be in and of the moment. I also want to be completely free of any pressure to repeat what I did musically in the past (such repetition being the tried and true method for establishing a commercial identity). Plus this is finally the right time to release my electronic arts work in media that made sense.
Volume 2 of Music for the Book is composed of solo pieces and collaborations. The solo tracks include one called Voice Sifting (1973), an illustration of what's involved in the search for a fully fleshed out synthesizer system voice on an ARP 2600. Another solo track called Early 70s Lamentations (1973) is an example of how throughout my life I have put music to work as a therapeutic vehicle for releasing personal psychological strains with the intention of achieving a like effect in resonant listeners. Tronic Folksong (1981) was composed in my Kelly Lane Studios but my mind and spirit were singing to the Pacific Ocean at Dillon Beach on the Sonoma coastline, one of my favorite and frequent destinations during the 24 years I lived in Petaluma. The track called Milwaukee River (1967) is a remix of my score for what was one of the earliest environmental consciousness-raising pieces in the movement; it clearly demonstrates that from my earliest work with music synthesizers I was committed to vocal spirit issuing from electronic sound.
The collaborations include duets with Howard Moscovitz on Moog synthesizer (Oakland Shuffle (1974)), Lawrence McDonald on clarinet (S&H Explorations (1972)), and James Gillerman on trumpet (UC-Berkeley Carillon Lark (1976); I played the carillon.). Additional collaborations include several Real* Electric Symphony gigs, one at Old First Church in San Francisco including Gordon Mumma, Olly Wilson, and Howard Moscovitz, and another at Cat's Paw Palace for the Performing Arts in Berkeley including James Gillerman and Bob Lansdon. A track that is 100% acoustic but sounds electronic is Bellows (1980), a performance at Texas Tech University by my group called The Real Time Electric Theater Band. Everyone who studied with me at Texas Tech (1978-1981) was a member of that band. Normally performances involved a subset of the group configured differently for different projects but this performance included everyone; it was the opening act for a concert by composer Pauline Oliveros who was in residence as part of our Leading Edge Music Series.