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Emergent Music And Visual Music: Inside Studies, CD 3 - San Francisco 70s Free Music Scene
Artist/Band: Ron Pellegrino
For most free music artists in the 70s saying San Francisco referred to the entire San Francisco Bay Area from Santa Rosa at the top to Santa Cruz at the bottom. Part Two: The DVDs of Emergent Music And Visual Music includes the free sonic and visual music of North Bay artists at a Santa Rosa Hewlett-Packard recording session. Tracks 1, 2, and 8 on this particular CD feature free music from a weekend gathering in Petaluma at the Kelly Lane Studios of Electronic Arts Productions, a gathering that included members of a number of groups based in the City of San Francisco; represented were people from The Future Primitive Art Ensemble of San Francisco, Ubu, The Real* Electric Symphony, as well as other groups.
The SF Free Music Scene did not simply emerge, it positively erupted during the 1970s. The eruption had little to do with the powerful and world famous professional and academic establishments where people were doing the same things they would do anywhere in the Western world-pursuing normal art and academic materialistic objectives. For priming the Free Music pump credit needs to be given to the inspiring work of the resident and visiting artists of the Center For World Music during its 1973-74 tenure at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. It had a great educational program during the day and presented frequent evening concerts with low ticket prices so just about any musician could afford to hear the greatest musicians in the world. In a beautiful sounding intimate setting designed by Julia Morgan one could hear composers and performers from South India, North India, West Africa, Java, Bali, Sudan, Japan, China, and Korea. During that period I lived in Berkeley walking distance from St John's and during the many nights I spent in that heavenly environment I always had plenty of company. "Those of us fortunate to have been there under that roof at that one brief moment in time have been forever blessed by some of the most extraordinary art and artists the world has ever known..."
SF Bay Area Free Music artists during that period tended to be young dreamers magnetically attracted to the Bay Area by its overall environment-a combination of the majestic topography, Mediterranean weather, the richness and depth of its multicultural scene, and the very obvious brain and visionary power of potential collaborators populating the entire Bay Area.
Free Music is unfettered by notational practices unless, like abstract visual music scores based on moving light or body forms, the practices encourage free association and creative mingling. Instead it is music that has its roots in the deepest recesses of the human history of music making where the musically inclined join forces to converse and celebrate with each other using the sounds of their time. There is a visceral quality to free music that goes beyond the bounds of traditional music based on notated scores. The boundaries of free music are drawn by the emotional, technical, or conceptual limitations of the practitioners, not by academic or institutional strictures.
Free Music does not come from a single locus; it comes from all places and all times. It connects with the western experimental music scene but it's strongly influenced by the music of other cultures especially the compositional principles of North Indian music such as ragas and of African music born of the spinning out and layering of simultaneous complex interacting patterns. On the tracks of this CD one can hear the influences of multiple musics including world folk, classical, jazz, and Klezmer. Above all, the music is intensely conversational in nature.
Joining me on various tracks of this CD are Charles Moselle, David Simons, Howard Moscovitz, Gordon Mumma, Olly Wilson, and James Gillerman. For more detailed information on this and my other CDs go to the program notes on my website at http://www.ronpellegrinoselectronicartsproductions.org/