Difference between revisions of "CECM/Anthology of Slovak Electroacoustic Music"

From Monoskop
Jump to: navigation, search
(7. Roman Berger – Transgessus I)
(One intermediate revision by the same user not shown)
Line 12: Line 12:
 
In the second half of 1950s the Slovak music life was enriched by a young generation of composers showing an intensive interest in a confrontation with current world events, with music trends in "the West", with penetration into composition techniques of the 20th century. Among them there were also some composers daring to resort to untraditional sound sources and in primitive home and later studio conditions they created their first "tape recorded" and electronic compositions. Along with theoretical and composers' reflection preconditions for the formation of professional studios were created which were given space in television and radio, mainly thanks to composers and sound engineers working there (in the Czechoslovak Television in Bratislava they were mainly [[Ilja Zeljenka]], [[Ján Rúčka]] and [[Ivan Stadtrucker]], in Bratislava Radio [[Peter Kolman]], [[Peter Janík]] and [[Ján Backstuber]]). It was the effort made by the composer Peter Kolman that succeeded in acquiring the statute of an experimental workplace for one of the studios in Radio Bratislava in 1964, followed in 1965 by the formation of an [[Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio|Experimental Studio of the Czechoslovak Radio]] in Bratislava linking up with the form of studios in Cologne and in [[Polish_Radio_Experimental_Studio|Warsaw]]. This choice was not a coincidence. German centres (Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, Cologne etc.) and Warsaw with its only festival of contemporary music in Eastern Block at that time (the Warsaw Autumn) were creating bridges for our music with the world. Starting with personal composers' participation and contacts through radio and television programmes a basis was created for confrontations of studio production linking up well with Darmstadt composer school and Polish "timbre music" with aspects of a workplace using analogue studio equipment.
 
In the second half of 1950s the Slovak music life was enriched by a young generation of composers showing an intensive interest in a confrontation with current world events, with music trends in "the West", with penetration into composition techniques of the 20th century. Among them there were also some composers daring to resort to untraditional sound sources and in primitive home and later studio conditions they created their first "tape recorded" and electronic compositions. Along with theoretical and composers' reflection preconditions for the formation of professional studios were created which were given space in television and radio, mainly thanks to composers and sound engineers working there (in the Czechoslovak Television in Bratislava they were mainly [[Ilja Zeljenka]], [[Ján Rúčka]] and [[Ivan Stadtrucker]], in Bratislava Radio [[Peter Kolman]], [[Peter Janík]] and [[Ján Backstuber]]). It was the effort made by the composer Peter Kolman that succeeded in acquiring the statute of an experimental workplace for one of the studios in Radio Bratislava in 1964, followed in 1965 by the formation of an [[Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio|Experimental Studio of the Czechoslovak Radio]] in Bratislava linking up with the form of studios in Cologne and in [[Polish_Radio_Experimental_Studio|Warsaw]]. This choice was not a coincidence. German centres (Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, Cologne etc.) and Warsaw with its only festival of contemporary music in Eastern Block at that time (the Warsaw Autumn) were creating bridges for our music with the world. Starting with personal composers' participation and contacts through radio and television programmes a basis was created for confrontations of studio production linking up well with Darmstadt composer school and Polish "timbre music" with aspects of a workplace using analogue studio equipment.
  
In the middle 1960s in Czechoslovakia was published a representative survey on electronic music written by a Czech musicologist [[Vladimir Lébl]], followed by his translation of the book ''La musique concrète'' by [[Pierre Schaeffer]]. As soon as in 1965 several compositions of the classicists of concrete, tape and electronic music appeared in radio broadcasting and in 1966 the first (and until recently the only one) LP of electronic music by both domestic and foreign composers was published so that general public was given a possibility to confront Slovak and world production. On the initiative of a musicologist [[Peter Faltin]] and composers [[Peter Kolman]] and [[Ladislav Kupkovič]] in the late 1960s [[International_Seminars_on_New_Music,_Smolenice|International Seminars on New Music]] were held at Smolenice castle near Bratislava. The first three seminars (1968-1970) brought to Slovakia [[Karlheinz Stockhausen|Stockhausen]], [[Maurizio Kagel|Kagel]], [[György Ligeti|Ligeti]], [[Witold Lutosławski|Lutosławski]] but also compositions by Cage, live electronics of [[Cornelius Cardew|Cardew]] and [[Petr Kotík|Kotík]] and others and they opened an important space for presentation of wide range of domestic music production to the world. It seemed that there was a way open to electronic and experimental music. Unfortunately, the new political situation of the early 1970s pushed more strongly than ever before this (and not only this) area of creativity far beyond the borders of cultural events and it required a lot of effort to keep it alive. A range of composers was forced to be in a quiet corner, the established contacts were lost, public interest in experimenting decreased.
+
In the middle 1960s in Czechoslovakia was published a representative survey on electronic music written by a Czech musicologist [[Vladimír Lébl]], followed by his translation of the book ''La musique concrète'' by [[Pierre Schaeffer]]. As soon as in 1965 several compositions of the classicists of concrete, tape and electronic music appeared in radio broadcasting and in 1966 the first (and until recently the only one) LP of electronic music by both domestic and foreign composers was published so that general public was given a possibility to confront Slovak and world production. On the initiative of a musicologist [[Peter Faltin]] and composers [[Peter Kolman]] and [[Ladislav Kupkovič]] in the late 1960s [[International_Seminars_on_New_Music,_Smolenice|International Seminars on New Music]] were held at Smolenice castle near Bratislava. The first three seminars (1968-1970) brought to Slovakia [[Karlheinz Stockhausen|Stockhausen]], [[Maurizio Kagel|Kagel]], [[György Ligeti|Ligeti]], [[Witold Lutosławski|Lutosławski]] but also compositions by Cage, live electronics of [[Cornelius Cardew|Cardew]] and [[Petr Kotík|Kotík]] and others and they opened an important space for presentation of wide range of domestic music production to the world. It seemed that there was a way open to electronic and experimental music. Unfortunately, the new political situation of the early 1970s pushed more strongly than ever before this (and not only this) area of creativity far beyond the borders of cultural events and it required a lot of effort to keep it alive. A range of composers was forced to be in a quiet corner, the established contacts were lost, public interest in experimenting decreased.
  
 
In 1970s electronic production in Slovakia was losing its acquired position and after emigration of some of its protagonists, especially [[Peter Kolman]], the head of the [[Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio|Experimental Studio]] for many years, its existence and development were in jeopardy. In order to survive the studio, now under the name Electroacoustic Studio extended its activities by producing sophisticated radio programmes for other radio departments (literary-dramatic, symphonic, folklore...). The less space for authentic compositions was left the more intensive it was used and it is not surprising that a number of compositions of this period have been successful in international competitions and on stage. Beside the nestors of the Slovak electronic music there are activities of a new generation of authors along with some Czech and Moravian composers and in the studio composing guests from Hungary, Germany, Romania, Finland ... With the coming of a new generation of sound engineers and through the efforts of young composers along with founding personalities of the Slovak electroacoustic production, the Experimental Studio has in a way succeded to keep continuity with its previous profile. But its coverage is amplified by the refreshment and establishment of new contacts from abroad, especially by a systematic exchange of information and material, its entrance into international contexts, its conceptional partner collaboration. The production acquires new dimensions through the enrichment of the studio by progressive technology, computer dispositions and experience with a wider scale of authors. In public, it is getting its way through new production on concerts, replays, regular radio broadcasts, participation in domestic and foreign festivals of music production, professional and scientific seminars, symposiums, composers competitions, in pedagogical, research, consulting and lecturing practice. A number of compositions and authors is given international recognition at competition and festival confrontations (Bourges, Varese, Stockholm, Paris, Warsaw Autumn ...), new promising names of young Slovak authors of electroacoustic and computer music, audiovisual and multimedial compositions appear.
 
In 1970s electronic production in Slovakia was losing its acquired position and after emigration of some of its protagonists, especially [[Peter Kolman]], the head of the [[Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio|Experimental Studio]] for many years, its existence and development were in jeopardy. In order to survive the studio, now under the name Electroacoustic Studio extended its activities by producing sophisticated radio programmes for other radio departments (literary-dramatic, symphonic, folklore...). The less space for authentic compositions was left the more intensive it was used and it is not surprising that a number of compositions of this period have been successful in international competitions and on stage. Beside the nestors of the Slovak electronic music there are activities of a new generation of authors along with some Czech and Moravian composers and in the studio composing guests from Hungary, Germany, Romania, Finland ... With the coming of a new generation of sound engineers and through the efforts of young composers along with founding personalities of the Slovak electroacoustic production, the Experimental Studio has in a way succeded to keep continuity with its previous profile. But its coverage is amplified by the refreshment and establishment of new contacts from abroad, especially by a systematic exchange of information and material, its entrance into international contexts, its conceptional partner collaboration. The production acquires new dimensions through the enrichment of the studio by progressive technology, computer dispositions and experience with a wider scale of authors. In public, it is getting its way through new production on concerts, replays, regular radio broadcasts, participation in domestic and foreign festivals of music production, professional and scientific seminars, symposiums, composers competitions, in pedagogical, research, consulting and lecturing practice. A number of compositions and authors is given international recognition at competition and festival confrontations (Bourges, Varese, Stockholm, Paris, Warsaw Autumn ...), new promising names of young Slovak authors of electroacoustic and computer music, audiovisual and multimedial compositions appear.
Line 239: Line 239:
 
* By means of technique of synchronous transposition are clusters generated out of violin voice material - polyphony of varied density ('color') based on the system of micro interval scales (not only another kind of scale, overarching tempered tuning, but a whole scale system);
 
* By means of technique of synchronous transposition are clusters generated out of violin voice material - polyphony of varied density ('color') based on the system of micro interval scales (not only another kind of scale, overarching tempered tuning, but a whole scale system);
 
* A crossing of the border of the orchestral set, consonance and beat (f.e. the complete composition is a continuous accelerando ending in a kind of 'super-allegro', impossible to reach in an other way);
 
* A crossing of the border of the orchestral set, consonance and beat (f.e. the complete composition is a continuous accelerando ending in a kind of 'super-allegro', impossible to reach in an other way);
* The composition crosses the borders of actual convention in the sphere of electronic music poetry,
+
* The composition crosses the borders of actual convention in the sphere of electronic music poetry, it leads to its basic categories: the opening epic Grave is interrupted by lyric polyphonic elements; the moment of genesis of a lapidary form is a moment of jump into the dramatic part of composition.
it leads to its basic categories: the opening epic Grave is interrupted by lyric polyphonic elements; the moment of genesis of a lapidary form is a moment of jump into the dramatic part of composition.
+
  
 
And in conclusion, another aspect of 'transgression'. I returned to the Electroacoustic Studio after a very long break. A part of my work consisted of inspiring dialogues with my partner [[Juraj Ďuriš]] about basic questions of composition and art. And the dialogue/reflection of working process 'converged' into a common idea: not to accept the charming suggestions of intelligent equipment, but to 'cross' the magical border of technological ideology.
 
And in conclusion, another aspect of 'transgression'. I returned to the Electroacoustic Studio after a very long break. A part of my work consisted of inspiring dialogues with my partner [[Juraj Ďuriš]] about basic questions of composition and art. And the dialogue/reflection of working process 'converged' into a common idea: not to accept the charming suggestions of intelligent equipment, but to 'cross' the magical border of technological ideology.
  
 
It seems to me, that the principle of transgression is universal in character." (Roman Berger, September 1993)
 
It seems to me, that the principle of transgression is universal in character." (Roman Berger, September 1993)

Revision as of 15:24, 28 January 2013

Anthology of Slovak Electroacoustic Music 1966-1991 (2-CD) and 1989-1994

Publisher: Centre for Electroacoustic and Computer Music, Bratislava, 1992 (CD 1, 2) and 1994 (CD 3).
Project, dramaturgy and supervision: Juraj Ďuriš and Andrej Zmeček.
Notes: Milan Adamčiak.

Introduction

For many years Slovak music of the 20th century has been developing under the pressure of a totalitarian system. Anything new and unconventional in comparison with the set bounds of the culture of the socialist society threatened its strength and safety of the aesthetic criteria in the eyes of the dogmatic cultural policy and therefore was expelled to the margin of the social interest, culture, even beyond the borders of arts. This "modus vivendi" has made itself felt in attitudes to the avantgarde in arts, to trends in artistic and creative efforts in the world, especially to events beyond the "iron curtain". Everything coming from there or resembling it was considered strange, undesired and deserving denouncment, hence suppressed. Not surprisingly, the same distain was also imposed for the area of New Music that had been waking up interest in new music material, new forms of its organization, new ways of music notation, production and presentation especially among young composers since the second half of the 1950s. For a culture that abandoned progressive trends of the development of the arts in the first decades of the 20th century and that made impossible any contacts with current events in the world, everything that had not reached the interest of general and professional public was considered new; for the "people" the development had ended with the late Romanticism, spiced with Impressionism or Neo-folklorism at the most and at the "socialist realism". The new was strange, exotic and extravagant and it had to make its way both to the audience and to the powers of our culture. The same was true also for the electroacoustic music that was stigmatized with "alienation", "dehumanization", "technicism" and therefore pushed out to the margins of the arts.

Conditions for the electroacoustic music to enter the music events in Slovakia were difficult and they influenced its fight for its right for life for many years. In the middle of 1960s an a priori negative evaluation of this music could be still found in the press and public events. No material and technical conditions were created for its existence and development. Organized on the initiative of several Czech and Slovak composers, musicologists and technicians on the premises of the Research Institute of Radio and Television the first (and the only one) Electronic Music Seminar held in 1964 in Plzeň appealed to many persons interested in this kind of music creativity as a miracle, as a liberation. It was for the first time in our cultural context that a seminar manifested and dealt seriously with issues of electronic music that had already gone through the initial phase of its formation - interest of composers and theorists, first experiments and compositions for film and TV.

In the second half of 1950s the Slovak music life was enriched by a young generation of composers showing an intensive interest in a confrontation with current world events, with music trends in "the West", with penetration into composition techniques of the 20th century. Among them there were also some composers daring to resort to untraditional sound sources and in primitive home and later studio conditions they created their first "tape recorded" and electronic compositions. Along with theoretical and composers' reflection preconditions for the formation of professional studios were created which were given space in television and radio, mainly thanks to composers and sound engineers working there (in the Czechoslovak Television in Bratislava they were mainly Ilja Zeljenka, Ján Rúčka and Ivan Stadtrucker, in Bratislava Radio Peter Kolman, Peter Janík and Ján Backstuber). It was the effort made by the composer Peter Kolman that succeeded in acquiring the statute of an experimental workplace for one of the studios in Radio Bratislava in 1964, followed in 1965 by the formation of an Experimental Studio of the Czechoslovak Radio in Bratislava linking up with the form of studios in Cologne and in Warsaw. This choice was not a coincidence. German centres (Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, Cologne etc.) and Warsaw with its only festival of contemporary music in Eastern Block at that time (the Warsaw Autumn) were creating bridges for our music with the world. Starting with personal composers' participation and contacts through radio and television programmes a basis was created for confrontations of studio production linking up well with Darmstadt composer school and Polish "timbre music" with aspects of a workplace using analogue studio equipment.

In the middle 1960s in Czechoslovakia was published a representative survey on electronic music written by a Czech musicologist Vladimír Lébl, followed by his translation of the book La musique concrète by Pierre Schaeffer. As soon as in 1965 several compositions of the classicists of concrete, tape and electronic music appeared in radio broadcasting and in 1966 the first (and until recently the only one) LP of electronic music by both domestic and foreign composers was published so that general public was given a possibility to confront Slovak and world production. On the initiative of a musicologist Peter Faltin and composers Peter Kolman and Ladislav Kupkovič in the late 1960s International Seminars on New Music were held at Smolenice castle near Bratislava. The first three seminars (1968-1970) brought to Slovakia Stockhausen, Kagel, Ligeti, Lutosławski but also compositions by Cage, live electronics of Cardew and Kotík and others and they opened an important space for presentation of wide range of domestic music production to the world. It seemed that there was a way open to electronic and experimental music. Unfortunately, the new political situation of the early 1970s pushed more strongly than ever before this (and not only this) area of creativity far beyond the borders of cultural events and it required a lot of effort to keep it alive. A range of composers was forced to be in a quiet corner, the established contacts were lost, public interest in experimenting decreased.

In 1970s electronic production in Slovakia was losing its acquired position and after emigration of some of its protagonists, especially Peter Kolman, the head of the Experimental Studio for many years, its existence and development were in jeopardy. In order to survive the studio, now under the name Electroacoustic Studio extended its activities by producing sophisticated radio programmes for other radio departments (literary-dramatic, symphonic, folklore...). The less space for authentic compositions was left the more intensive it was used and it is not surprising that a number of compositions of this period have been successful in international competitions and on stage. Beside the nestors of the Slovak electronic music there are activities of a new generation of authors along with some Czech and Moravian composers and in the studio composing guests from Hungary, Germany, Romania, Finland ... With the coming of a new generation of sound engineers and through the efforts of young composers along with founding personalities of the Slovak electroacoustic production, the Experimental Studio has in a way succeded to keep continuity with its previous profile. But its coverage is amplified by the refreshment and establishment of new contacts from abroad, especially by a systematic exchange of information and material, its entrance into international contexts, its conceptional partner collaboration. The production acquires new dimensions through the enrichment of the studio by progressive technology, computer dispositions and experience with a wider scale of authors. In public, it is getting its way through new production on concerts, replays, regular radio broadcasts, participation in domestic and foreign festivals of music production, professional and scientific seminars, symposiums, composers competitions, in pedagogical, research, consulting and lecturing practice. A number of compositions and authors is given international recognition at competition and festival confrontations (Bourges, Varese, Stockholm, Paris, Warsaw Autumn ...), new promising names of young Slovak authors of electroacoustic and computer music, audiovisual and multimedial compositions appear.

During the profiling of Slovak electroacoustic production, permanently struggling for its justified and reasonable existence, the Experimental Studio has come to an autonomous and authentic programme and activities in a close cooperation with the role of the radio in Slovak and international cultural context. It initiated and served as a base for the formation of the Centre for Electroacoustic and Computer Music in Slovakia - CECM. One of the outcome of its initial activities is also this selection of compositions in a form of the first collection of electroacoustic and computer music from the production of the Experimental Studio of the Slovak Radio in Bratislava summarizing its activities for more than 25 years.

Milan Adamčiak, August 10, 1992 (text from the booklet of Anthology of Slovak electroacoustic music 1966-1991 2-CD)

CD 1

1. Jozef Malovec – Orthogenesis




8'30", 1966-67. OGG

One of the first Slovak composers oriented towards the production of electronic music is Jozef Malovec (1933). He graduated in composition from the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Prague (in classes of Jaroslav Řídký and Vladimír Sommer). Since 1957 he was working at the department of symphonic, chamber and vocal production of the Czechoslovak Radio in Bratislava. He stood at the creation and formation of the Experimental Studio in Bratislava. An introverted chamber music is his domain.

Orthogenesis is the first authentic composition in the field of electroacoustic music that was composed in the Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio in Bratislava and it was composed after the author's experience with film and scenic electronic music production based on his deep animation for ideas of the Christian philosopher Teilhard de Chardin. Malovec's interest in a confrontation of new, electronically processed material with fragments of conventional, habitual or trivial is reflected here. The composition won a prize at the competition of electronic music in Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA in 1967.

2. Peter Kolman – E 15




11'52", 1974. OGG

An initiator and co-founder of the Experimental Studio in Bratislava Peter Kolman (1937) studied composition at the Academy of Music and Drama in the class of Ján Cikker. He graduated in 1961. In his production an accent is given to electroacoustic compositions beside his chamber compositions in post-Webern style. Since 1978 he has been living and working in Vienna.

E 15 is Kolman's sixth and last composition created during his engagement in the Experimental Studio of the Czechoslovak Radio in Bratislava of which he was an artistic director in 1964-78. The composition makes use of a tension between several sequences in the course of music changing accents of individual parameters (density, fluency, polyrythmics, timbre etc.) in a dynamic bow. The composition won second prize at the competition in Bourges in 1974.

3. Miro Bázlik – Simple Electronic Symphony




22'13", 1975. OGG
Sonata, 6'36" Cantus firmus, 3'27" Madrigal, 3'40" Ciaccona, 8'20"

Graduated in mathematics a piano player and composer Miro Bázlik (1931) studied composition in the class of Ján Cikker and devotes himself to concert activities and composing in which an important role is played by his intensive interest in the work of Johann Sebastian Bach to whom a number of instrumental and electroacoustic compositions with distinctive conception are devoted.

Simple Electronic Symphony is Bázlik's eighth electroacoustic composition made in the Experimental Studio. It is arranged into four following rather independent parts: Sonata, Cantus firmus, Madrigal and Giaccona, designations of which reveal author's effort to make the cyclic form of a symphony special. A polarity of traditional and unconventional can be found also in the use of vocal or precomposed material in a variety of transformations by studio means so that the cycle loses neither homogeneity nor tension.

4. Ivan Parík – Music To Vernisage II




10'56", 1970. OGG
Flute – Miloš Jurkovič

Ivan Parík (1936) studied composition in Bratislava at the Academy of Music and Drama in classes of Ján Cikker and Alexander Moyzes and he has been working there as a teacher since 1968. His music is based on Webern miniature, characteristic lyricism and accent on directness of the music process. Several compositions - and electroacoustic compositions especially - possess an interpretative character. They are a transformation of a different real artistic project, a honour to work or production.

Music To Vernisage II for flute and tape is one of many instrumental and electroacoustic compositions in which the author manifests its friendship with a painter and graphic artist Miloš Urbásek, one of the representatives of lettrism and concrete arts in Slovakia. Parík musically transforms his serial and variation principle of arranging geometrical fragments in a transparent and sensitive selection of timbre and weight, shape and dynamism, their arrangement in the space. The flute part was played by Miloš Jurkovič - it is one of the first compositions using studio electronics in a harmony with live concert interpretation from the production of the Experimental Studio.

5. Roman Berger – Epitaph For Nicolaus Copernicus




19'26", 1973. OGG

Roman Berger (1930) was given the basic music education in his native Silesia, later he studied composition in the class of Frico Kafenda and at the Academy of Music and Drama in Bratislava, in 1965 he graduated from the class of Dezider Kardoš. Beside his composition and pedagogical activities he does also scientific and research work, mainly in music theory. He used to work as a repertory adviser and teacher in the field of electroacoustic music.

Epitaph For Nicolaus Copernicus. The composer performance of Roman Berger shows features of his contemplative personality, binding logic of thinking with pregnancy of problem formulation. This spirit characterizes also his electroacoustic composition Epitaph For Nicolaus Copernicus in which from an overcomposed material presented by the winds harmony a consistent arch shape is built sensitively using means of studio equipment and a wide range of composer's operations. The composition gained an honourable mention in Bourges in 1974.

CD 2

1. Magdalena Długosz – At the Roots




12'09", 1991. OGG

Magdalena Długosz (1954) studied composition at the State Music Academy in Krakow in the class of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar and music theory in the class of Józef Patkowski. She works at the Music Academy in Kraków in Electronic Music Studio, she is the author of several electroacoustic compositions and compositions for instruments and tape.

The composition At the Roots puts next to each other poetics and techniques of Kraków and Bratislava studios in a rare complex atmosphere with a sensitive selection of polyphony of a fluent course with nuanced timbre and tectonic transformation of structures used. Partially using materials prepared in a priva Color te studio of Krzysztof Suchodolski the composition was realized in cooperation with Edward Kulka from the EMS in Kraków in the Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio in Bratislava as Długosz's 11th electroacoustic composition.

2. Jozef Malovec – Theorem




5'15", 1971. OGG

Theorem is probably the most overcomposed work of the Teilhard cycle by Jozef Malovec (Orthogenesis - Cement - Taboo - Theorem - Garden of Joy). It is built up on viewing problems of existence and on an internal struggle to get them under control from different perspectives. In the form of confrontations of different just being created sound structures with fragments of "memory" he creates a tension between something close and remote, continuous and discontinuous, noble and banal.

3. Juraj Ďuriš – Dreams




8'34", 1987. OGG

Juraj Ďuriš (1954) graduated from the Slovak Technical University in 1978 and since then he has been working in the Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio. He achieved his music and composition education through private studies, he participated in creation of several electroacoustic compositions and produced a number of his own compositions of which Memories (3rd place, Varese, 1985) and Dreams (1st place, Varese, 1987 and IREM Stockholm, 1988) won in competitions. He participates in several multimedial activities and computer art projects.

Dreams composition is curis's 4th author electroacoustic composition. Its basic material consists of sound spectrum of differently resounding cymbals, modified and supplemented by synthesizer and piano music structures. In a dynamically shaped and at the same time homogeneously impressing process the author creates a variety of tensions between real and imaginatory, between not yet identifiable and transformed world of shapes and colours.

4. Lothar Voigtlaender – Meditations sur le temps




12'45", 1975. OGG

In the Experimental Studio of the Czechoslovak Radio in the second half of 1970s three electronic compositions were created by composers of the former German Democratic Republic - Lothar Voigtlaender (1943) and Georg Katzer. Voigtlaender was given his music education in Dresden and Leipzig and beside vocal and instrumental compositions he composed several electroacoustic pieces in Freiburg, Bratislava (Meditations sur le temps, 1975 and Structum I, 1977), Budapest and Bourges were his compositions won several prizes.

Meditations sur le temps is a composition consisting of three parts, inspired by the poetry of Eugene Guillevic, fragments of which performed by solo voice and a choir are used by the author along with synthetic material and instrumental structures. The composition is based on polarities of dominant and background, harmony and rhythm with an evident symbolizing charge of individual music sequences. The composition won second place at the international competition of electroacoustic music in Bourges in 1977.

5. Viťazoslav Kubička – ...And Even A Rock Would Cry




7'55", 1982. OGG

Viťazoslav Kubička (1953) is one of the authors of the younger generation who paid a lot of attention to electroacoustic music straight after his graduation from the Academy of Music and Drama in Bratislava in 1979 where he studied composition in the class of Ján Cikker. Since 1982 he worked as a repertory adviser of the Experimental Studio and he made a number of his electroacoustic compositions there.

The ...And Even Rock Would Cry composition is a meditative work built on cantability of the basic instrumental material (fragments of melodic and harmonic structures of a cello part) transformed by a vocoder, digital echo, equalizer etc. There is a distinct author's effort to reach a partnership between this "thematic" material and ostinato of timpani and dynamizing synthetically created structures.

6. Martin Burlas – The Cross And The Circle




16'19", 1989. OGG
Trumpets – Kamil Paprčka and Anton Popovič

Martin Burlas (1955) graduated from the Academy of Music and Drama in Bratislava from the composition class of Ján Cikker in 1980. He works as a music director in the Slovak Radio and as a composer, instrument player and vocalist in a postindustrial music group "Sleepy Movement". He created a number of chamber and electroacoustic compositions, he participates in multimedial projects.

The Cross And The Circle is one of the compositions of Burlas' cycle of a poetic view on ecological problems and human attitude to the world presented in electronic compositions Cry of Trees (1980) and Oasis (1984). On the basis of a composition in six parts (individual parts are as follows: Prologue and Cry of Birds, First Warning, Idyl, Apprehension and Second Warning, Good Humour, Epilogue) for two trumpets and tape he confronts various forms of several sequences symbolizing in a way constellations of human, natural and civilization factors.

7. Tadeáš Salva – Harmonics




5'54", 1971. OGG

One of the most individual authors of his generation Tadeáš Salva (1937) was given an introduction into composition by Jan Zimmer at the Academy of Music and Drama in Bratislava and then in Poland by Bolesław Szabelski in Katowice. Later he worked as a repertory adviser in the music broadcasting of radio and television and later on in SĽUK - an ensemble of folk artistic traditions. In his music an influence of Polish timbre and aleatoric school is uniquely melt with his inspirations from music folk performance accenting its balladic nature.

In Harmonics Salva used synthesizer transformations and layering of sound by a unique Slovak folk instrument - "fujara", a sheperds' long pipe often using the sound of natural harmonic tones. The solo part is played by Jozef Pesko.

CD 3

1. Peter Zagar – Music From the Studio




8'28", 1991. OGG
Piano – Peter Zagar

Peter Zagar (1961, Bratislava). During his studies at grammar school he took private composition lessons with Viťazoslav Kubička. He graduated in 1986 at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Ivan Hrušovský's composition class. From 1987 to 1992 he was engaged as a music producer in Slovak Radio in Bratislava; at present he works in the public relations department of the Slovak Philharmonic. His work includes symphonic, chamber, vocal and electroacoustic compositions.

The composition Music From the Studio employs exclusively sampled real noises and fragments of human voice sequenced into more complex rhythmical structures, complemented with sampled piano sound in the ending as basic material. The piece was realized in the Experimental Studio and first performed within the framework of the opening concert of the International Forum of Electroacoustic Music - IFEM '92, co-performed by the Group of Contemporary Dance (choreography Zuzana Hájková).

"I have certain doubts, standing face to face with the possibility of using electronic equipment in musical composition. I have not had good experiences with the use of common composition techniques in electroacoustic music. A similar thing happened in my latest work. The section I had prepared in detail "on paper" came out rather awkwardly. This brought me to the conclusion that work with written notes and work with actual sounds are two completely different things. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. When I write for conventional instruments I have a reasonably exact idea of the resulting sound. When working in a studio the relationship between the idea, its materialization and the result is somewhat different. My experience forces me to abandon detailed ideas in favor of opening myself to the process of materialization. Electroacoustic music is thus for me reduced to live-electronic.

Although most of my Music from the Studio is played from a tape, the entire composition is influenced by live playing. Having prepared the sounds I created the piece spontaneously on a sampling synthesizer.

There is another aspect of electroacoustic music that fascinates me: the ability of sound combinations to carry very precise, yet highly musical (abstract) meanings. Again, all preconceived steps are generally overshadowed by improvisation.

Why the doubts mentioned at the beginning? It is a question of music perception. For me music is a process. The sound has a secondary meaning. The strongest musical effects are created by the inner structure of the work. My critical attitude towards electronic equipment is therefore inevitable, if I am stressing the question of process. Machines offer me something else." (Peter Zagar, June 1992)

2. Marek Piaček – Flauto dolce '91




7'59", 1991. OGG
Flute – Marek Piaček

Marek Piaček (1972, Bratislava) studied flute at the Bratislava Conservatoire and graduated in 1992. Simultaneously he attended private lessons in music composition with Ladislav Burlas and since 1989 with Ilja Zeljenka. He now studies at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in the composition class of Ilja Zeljenka and has participated in theoretical seminars on music composition in Boswill (Switzerland); scholarship at the Nottingham Trent University. Cooperates with the following music ensembles: Tulen (The Seal), The Scratch And Sniff Ensemble, Pozon sentimental, Vapori del Cuore, La foca dello '000 (zerocento), plays flute in the Veni ensemble. He won several awards for his compositions (Flauto dolce '91 - 1st Prize, Varese 1990; Honourable Mention, IREM Arhus 1991).

The composition Flauto dolce '91 was realized in two versions - concert version and studio one; both of them adapted for both 2- and 4-channel reproduction. The composition employs exclusively the sounds of a cross flute. The original sounds were gradually sampled, modified and layered by computer sequencer and multiplayback montage. The solo part was performed by the author.

"The composition creates space for the confrontation of the "sweet" flute sound and everyday life. The flute was once considered an indecent instrument. Aristotle said it was too exciting. Consequently, the flute could symbolize our world. However, the flute is only a child of innocence in comparison with what surrounds us nowadays. It is really exciting and sweet instrument, but - at last - it would be misused by the surrounding world for its own benefit and the "sweet sound of flute" would not be heard at all." (Marek Piaček, October 1994)

3. Juraj Ďuriš – Portrait




8'06", 1989. OGG

Juraj Ďuriš (1954, Nitra) graduated from the Slovak Technical University in 1978 and since then has been working in the Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio. He achieved his composition education through private studies, participated in the creation of several electroacoustic compositions and produced a number of his own compositions, of which Memories (3rd Prize, Varese, 1985) and Dreams (1st Prize, Varese, 1987) won in competitions. He is the co-founder and present chairman of the Centre for Electroacoustic and Computer Music in Bratislava.

Most of the melodic and harmonic structures in Portrait are divided from a single harmonics violin tone layered into vertical clusters. Computer controlled memory system used for the mixing and for the control of dynamic courses enabled interactive interpretations of complex structures.

"I believe that we could better understand the thoughts and actions of our conscious existence by analyzing our subconsciousness. Sound as a medium independent of words provides us with sufficient space for abstraction, allows access to the realm of fantasy - directly into the subconscious of the artist. Symbols communicated by the performer evoke respective images directly in the subconscious of the listener. As we work with the sound medium in the sphere of electroacoustic music, where the work itself is a symbol, the evaluation of connections takes place in multidimensional space. Interpretation of the idea or of the sound material itself are one and the same - or are closely related. Good interpretation is a sign of the synthetic complexity of expression (i.e., sound, form, various quantities, warmth,É rhythm, etc.). It is a complex term within the multidimensional space of perception - of the idea, the image of the idea and the material at the same time. Questions like: in what space it takes place, in what way, by what means, how to optimally work with them in order to create a complex - not fragmented - artwork, 'how to release internal energy' comes to mind. Working and creating at this boundary is exciting." (Juraj Ďuriš, October 1994)

4. Miro Bázlik – Epoche II




17'21", 1984-94. OGG
Cello – Jozef Podhoranský

Miro Bázlik (1931, Partizánska Lupča) is a composer and pianist. He studied piano at Bratislava Conservatoire and graduated mathematical analysis from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the Carolinum University in Prague in 1956. He simultaneously attended private composition class of J. Elias and piano lessons with F. Rauch and L. Moravec. After his return to Slovakia, he has completed the studies of composition with Ján Cikker at the Academy of Music and Drama in Bratislava in 1961. Besides his work as composer and performance artist, he periodically returned to pedagogical activities in the spheres of music as well as mathematics at both Comenius University and the Academy of Music and Drama. Bazlik as both composer and performer has been influenced by his interest in the works by J. S. Bach whom he has dedicated several instrumental and electroacoustic compositions of remarkable conception. He is one of the pioneers of electroacoustic music in Slovakia.

Epoche II composition for tape and cello solo. The sophisticated mathematical conception was realized by simple means of classical analog techniques - real sounds of symphony orchestra instruments have been cutted and collected into sequences and complex vertical cluster structures without using the digital technology of today. On this recording the solo cello part was performed by Jozef Podhoranský. Remix of the original quadrophonic composition from 1984 was realized under the supervision of author in the Experimental Studio in March 1994.

"I believe that any rule - natural as well as mathematical - can be employed in composing music, only if we can find the appropriate transformation of the rule.

Epoche II is concert version of a composition for violoncello and tape. The tape was composed on the strength of a mathematical formula, the so called First ergodic theorem, in which the transformation of probability rate was expressed by means of a matrix that gradually "stabilized" itself into a matrix with equal figures in each column.

In nature, this process can be compared with a physical transition from the turbulent flow of a liquid in a tube to a nonturbulent motion. Rich polyphony in the range of five octaves (the complete range of a violoncello) was achieved by means of gradual application of the above described transformation on a twelve-tone scale, enriched by admixing of twelve tone clusters constructed on the strength of the ergodic theorem, as well. In this way, musical space was created and then gradually harmonically stabilized. It is an analogy with the effect of a physical field upon a material point.

The cello part was composed in the same tone scale by means of dodecaphonic technique. The concert version is to be performed on a multichannel loudspeaker system, using a 4-channel, eventually 2-channel tape master. The solo cello part is played live." (Miro Bázlik, March 1984)

5. Robert Rudolf – Scar




13'01", 1994. OGG

Robert Rudolf (1963, Bratislava) attended private lessons on composition with Juraj Hatrík. Later he studied with Juraj Pospisil at the Conservatoire in Bratislava. From 1984-1991 he studied composition with Ivan Hrušovský at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Bratislava, 1989-90 studied with Yoshihisha Taira at Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris where he graduated. 1990-91 he studied musicology and electroacoustic composition with Francois-Bernard Mache and Michael Zbara. Currently he lives and works in Paris.

The composition Scar combines sampled natural sounds, sounds of Asian music instruments and human voice as source materials. All sounds were processed by digital computer controlled montage system DYAXIS and by complex algorithms of digital effects processor AKG ADR 68 K.

"The fundamental feature of a scar is that it grows with you and never leaves you. Even an inconspicuous one never lets you forget about its existence. The composition Scar was realized in 1991-1994 in the Experimental studio. The composition is based upon the human voice. The remaining sound material - closely or remotely related to human voice - permanently adapts itself to the basic score in order to diminish the contrasts, in order to "play about the same thing" all the time. When somebody has said all, he can forget about his scars for a while." (Robert Rudolf, October 1994)

6. Viťazoslav Kubička – The Way




5'22", 1991. OGG

Viťazoslav Kubička (1953, Bratislava) is an author of the middle-aged generation who has devoted much attention to electroacoustic music from immediately subsequent to his graduation from the Academy of Music and Drama in Bratislava in 1979, where he studied composition with Ján Cikker. From 1981 to 1991 he worked as repertoire adviser in the Experimental Studio and carried out a number of his electroacoustic compositions there. He is presently director of the private music studio Jakub.

The composition combines natural, pure sounds with sampled, tempered, tuned instruments, creating an imaginative story. The author explores what is for him a typical creative scheme - the connection of a classical analog montage system with the possibilities of digital effect processors.

"The composition was realized in the Experimental Studio of Slovak Radio. It was performed for the first time during a concert of the Österreichisches ensemble für neue Musik (The Austrian Ensemble for New Music). This piece is a combination of so-called 'music of noises' and piano, played by the author. The stereo version of the composition for radio broadcast was realized first. The composition's commissioner had stipulated an interesting demand: he asked for the piece to be delivered on four DATs in a 'loose' 4-channel version. A new type of sound-player 'carrier' (in this particular case DAT-player carrier) was commissioned by the ensemble that same year, the so-called Klangmobil. It was a custom-made bicycle with a special platform behind the seat where a DAT-player was positioned. Experimental compositions were performed by four of these bicycles in the following manner: all of them started simultaneously from the same point and took different previously determined routes in a concrete area. As a matter of course, the individual sound tracks were replayed without synchronization - as stipulated by the organizer. The famous American composer John Cage was one of the 'riders' on the first night of my piece." (Viťazoslav Kubička, September 1994)

7. Roman Berger – Transgessus I




13'38", 1993. OGG
Violin – Alexander Jablokov

Roman Berger (1930, Ciezsyn, Poland) was given basic music education in his native Silesia at the Academy of Music in Katowice, later he studied composition in the class of Frico Kafenda and at the Academy of Music and Drama in Bratislava, in 1965, he graduated from the class of Dezider Kardoš. Besides his composition and pedagogical activities he also does scientific and research work, mainly in music theory. In the 1970s he, besides other activities, worked as repertoire adviser and lecturer of electroacoustic music; his composition Epitaph for Nicolaus Copernicus was honourably mentioned at the International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges in 1974. Since 1984 he has conducted (with Belo Riecan) regular seminars on Music and Mathematics. Co-founder of the ISCM Slovak section, member of Club of Rome Czecho-Slovak Section. He was awarded the Herder Prize by the Vienna University for his achievements in the sphere of musical composition and theory in 1988.

The composition Transgessus I was realized by means of transformation of the fragments from the recording of the composition Convergences I using digital sound processing, computer transformations, multitrack technology and computer controlled mixing. The first night of the composition took place within the framework of the opening concert of the International Forum of Electroacoustic Music - IFEM '94 in Bratislava.

"The composition Convergences I (1968-69, recorded in 1990, violin solo Alexander Jablokov), creates the conception and material base of Transgressus I. The idea of transgression was already coded into the cycle Convergences: In the late 60ies there was a general opinion about the impossibility of connection of structures and techniques of New music - and mainly styles related to them - not only with basic structures of traditional composing, but even between each other. Convergences are an attempt to cross this barrier with the help of certain "basic modulations", following transformations, processes of morfogenesis, etc. In the background is a non-verbalized phrase 'From Xenakis - to Gregorian chorale', containing an intuition of unity, universality of musical space.

The Transgessus I composition is the next step in this direction. Ad illustrandum some aspects of 'crossing the border':

  • By means of technique of synchronous transposition are clusters generated out of violin voice material - polyphony of varied density ('color') based on the system of micro interval scales (not only another kind of scale, overarching tempered tuning, but a whole scale system);
  • A crossing of the border of the orchestral set, consonance and beat (f.e. the complete composition is a continuous accelerando ending in a kind of 'super-allegro', impossible to reach in an other way);
  • The composition crosses the borders of actual convention in the sphere of electronic music poetry, it leads to its basic categories: the opening epic Grave is interrupted by lyric polyphonic elements; the moment of genesis of a lapidary form is a moment of jump into the dramatic part of composition.

And in conclusion, another aspect of 'transgression'. I returned to the Electroacoustic Studio after a very long break. A part of my work consisted of inspiring dialogues with my partner Juraj Ďuriš about basic questions of composition and art. And the dialogue/reflection of working process 'converged' into a common idea: not to accept the charming suggestions of intelligent equipment, but to 'cross' the magical border of technological ideology.

It seems to me, that the principle of transgression is universal in character." (Roman Berger, September 1993)