George Antheil: Bad Boy of Music (1945–)

9 April 2021, dusan

George Antheil (1900-1959) was a radical American composer active in the early part of 20th century. He was recognised by the Parisian avant-garde literary community as a musical spokesman for their ideas. In the late 1920s Antheil participated in the operatic renaissance in Germany, and, after his return to America in 1933, he attempted to synthesize an American musical idiom in his neoromantic film, symphonic, chamber, and operatic scores.

In his autobiography, Antheil gives a fascinating account of the creative activity in Berlin, Paris, Vienna, New York and Hollywood, discussing his encounters with Igor Stravinsky, Hedy Lamarr, James Joyce, Man Ray, Ezra Pound, Sylvia Beach, W.B. Yeats, Erik Satie, Pablo Picasso, Cecil B. DeMille, Fritz Lang, Salvador Dalí and others.

First published by Doubleday, Doran & Co., Garden City, NY, 1945
Published in the UK by Hurst & Blackett, London, 1947
Reprinted by National Book Association / Hutchinson & Co., London, 1949
295 pages
via Tom Whitwell

Reviews: Milfred Norton (Hollywood Quarterly, 1946), Linda Whitesitt (American Music, 1984).
Commentary: Guy Livingston (ABC Radio National, 2015).

WorldCat

PDF (12 MB)

Jennifer Iverson: Electronic Inspirations: Technologies of the Cold War Musical Avant-Garde (2018)

29 April 2020, dusan

“Cold War electronic music—made with sine tone and white-noise generators, filters, and magnetic tape—was the driving force behind the evolution of both electronic and acoustic music in the second half of the twentieth century. Electronic music blossomed at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR [West German Radio]) in Cologne in the 1950s, when technologies were plentiful and the need for cultural healing was great. Building an electronic studio, West Germany confronted the decimation of the “Zero Hour” and began to rebuild its cultural prowess. The studio’s greatest asset was its laboratory culture, where composers worked under a paradigm of invisible collaboration with technicians, scientists, performers, intellectuals, and the machines themselves. Composers and their invisible collaborators repurposed military machinery in studio spaces that were formerly fascist broadcasting propaganda centers. Composers of Cold War electronic music reappropriated information theory and experimental phonetics, creating aesthetic applications from military discourses. In performing such reclamations, electronic music optimistically signaled cultural growth and progress, even as it also sonified technophobic anxieties. Electronic music—a synthesis of technological, scientific, and aesthetic discourses—was the ultimate Cold War innovation, and its impacts reverberate today.”

Publisher Oxford University Press, New York, 2018
The New Cultural History of Music series
ISBN 9780190868192, 0190868198
xi+303 pages

Reviews: Lucie Vágnerová (Integral, 2019), Ted Gordon (Current Musicology, 2019), James Davis (Music & Letters, 2019), Maurice Windleburn (Sound Studies, 2020).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (32 MB)

Dubravka Djurić, Miško Šuvaković (eds.): Impossible Histories: Historical Avant-gardes, Neo-avant-gardes, and Post-avant-gardes in Yugoslavia, 1918-1991 (2003)

25 August 2019, dusan

Impossible Histories is the first critical survey of the extraordinary experiments in the arts that took place in the former Yugoslavia from the country’s founding in 1918 to its breakup in 1991. The combination of Austro-Hungarian, French, German, Italian, and Turkish influences gave Yugoslavia’s avant-gardes a distinct character unlike those of other Eastern and Central European avant-gardes. The book explores movements such as Belgrade surrealism, signalism, Yugo-Dada, and zenitism; the groups Alfa, Exat 51, Gorgona, OHO, and Scipion Nasice Sisters Theater; or the magazines Danas, Rdeči pilot, Tank, Vecnost, and Zvrk.

The pieces in this collection offer comparative and interpretive accounts of the avant-gardes in the former Yugoslavian countries of Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia. The book is divided into four sections: Art and Politics; Literature; Visual Art and Architecture; and Art in Motion (covering theater, dance, music, film, and video). All of the contributors live in the region and many of them participated in the movements discussed. The book also reprints a selection of the most important manifestos generated by all phases of Yugoslav avant-garde activity.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2003
ISBN 0262042169, 9780262042161
xviii+605 pages
via agitprop

Reviews: Suzana Milevska (Springerin, 2004), Matthew S. Witkovsky (caa.reviews, 2004), Yevgeniy Fiks (Art Journal, 2004), Tyrus Miller (Modernism/modernity, 2005), Igor Marjanović (Design Issues, 2007).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (22 MB)