Wednesday, October 22, 2014

timewarp cults at the movies

Any cop then, Northern Soul?

In the trailer I sense some hints of bro-huggy, buzzed-up energy that feel suspiciously like a retro-fitting of the 70s with post-rave Brit mores (and perhaps also post-clubbing movies like Human Traffic).... I wonder if they have managed to catch the slowness and inertia of England in the early 70s.... or the strangely sour fanaticism that characterises all stages of the mod / soulboy continuum

The film involves a sort of doubling of nostalgia -- a 70s-recreation about a 70s scene that repeated / suspended-in-perpetuity the mid-60s

The trailer's sales pitch kicker is "if you weren't there, you'll wish you had been" - which effectively means "if you weren't there, you'll wish you had been - when you'd have been, er, wishing you were where / when you weren't"!

Just as retro depends on the existence at one point of the new, the non-retro, likewise nostalgia has to be for periods that were unmarked by nostalgia.... the definition of a golden age is that it's not harking back to a prior golden age, surely

Perhaps this explains why there haven't been hardly any films about timewarp cults and tribal revivals...  neither period drama flashbacks nor movies documenting or drama-tising the revival as it happens in real-time

These are the only really trad jazzy bits of It's Trad, Dad! (Dick Lester's first foray into popsploitation movies, I believe) I could find -- the other clips are from the non-trad bits like Chubby Checker added to the pic as it was being made and as they realised that the trad boom was going phut

This is about the original subcult but was instrumental in a revival of it, so....

Any movies about, or even involving Deadheads?

Here's a nearly 20 year old doc about the Decade-based tribe That Style Forgot

Not really on topic but here's a whole film about the London Rock 'n 'Roll Show, the rock'n'roll nostalgia extravaganza at Wembley  in 1972

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

this was tomorrow (slight return #2)

Cybernetic Serendipity Music ICA01 | ICA02
1968 ICA Nash House, The Mall, London SW1 
A1 Lajaren Hiller & Leonard Isaacson – Illiac Suite (Experiment 4). 1957, 4 minutes, Mono.
A2 John Cage – Cartridge Music (excerpt). 1960, 5 minutes, Stereo.
A3 Iannis Xenakis – Strategie (excerpt). 1962, 5 minutes, Stereo.
A4 Wilhelm Fucks – Experiment Quatro-Due. 1963, 5 minutes, Mono.
A5 J.K. Randall – Mudgett (excerpt). 1965, 7½ minutes, Stereo.
B1 Gerald Strang – Compusition 3. 1966, 2½ minutes, Mono.
B2 Haruki Tsuchiya – Bit Music (excerpt). 1967-1968, 2⅜ minutes, Stereo.
B3 T.H. O’Beirne – Enneadic Selections. 1968, 4¼ minutes, Mono.
B4 Peter Zinovieff – January Tensions. 1968, 10½ minutes, Stereo.
B5 Herbert Brün – Infraudibles. 1967, 8 ½ minutes, Stereo.

This record was made to celebrate and commemorate the Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition held at the ICA, London, 1st August to 20th October 1968. 
During the preparation of the Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition two things became apparent. 
One, that in order to show what was going on in the field computer music, it was necessary to include a considerable amount of material that was not strictly composed with or played by computer. Two, that dealing with an exploratory field, all attempts at a historical perspective or firm evaluation were out of place. The exhibition and this record, therefore, are essentially a reportage of current trends and developments in programmed and stochastic music. 
The first landmark in computer composition is Lejaren A. Hiller’s ‘Illiac Suite’, 1957. Many experiments have been carried out before, but these were either exploratory without yielding a tangible music, or were mostly concerned with the technical possibilities of imitating familiar sounds. 
Ideas which are relevant to composition with computers were frequently employed in the experimental musical composition of the past thirty years. The work of Joseph Schillinger, for instance, through its systematic analysis and programming, antedates the methods employed by computer composers today. The notion of randomness exemplified in the work of John Cage is also of crucial importance. Randomness (decision avoiding, or more concisely, leaving a decision to chance within an exactly specified range of possibilities) is one of the most important tools of the computer composer. 
Computer music falls into two categories: computer composition and computer sound. Specific works may employ one or both of these. ‘Illiac Suite’ is computer composed but performed by a string quartet. Pieces by James Tenney, Gerald Strang and Peter Zinovieff utilise the computer both as a tool to compose with and a sound-making instrument. The experimental pieces produced at Bell Telephone Laboratories make use of existing tunes like ‘A bicycle built for two’ but played and sung by a computer. 
As a souvenir of the Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition this record is a selection of work in progress. 
The cover shows a section of a score for “Four Sacred April Rounds’ 1968 by Peter Zinovieff

[text purloined from Cybernetic Serendipity Archive where there are lots of groovy photos and a few more videos]

Record to be reissued on vinyl says FACT -- although I doubt very much it was the "first electronic music compilation" as asserted . 

Or even as an exhibition of  art meets science  what about  E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) aka 9 Evenings at the Armory in 1966?  Perhaps lacking the computer-music element but they had John Cage... 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

retro-quotes # 79544011893

retro-quotes: a series of germane remarks, by others, plucked from all over the place, and from all over the time # 79544011893

"Modern Times - This is an era of immense originality and innovation in machinery. Which is very sad to a person like me, because I don't care. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but it's not interesting to me. These things weren't imaginable when I was young. It's almost as if all of humanity is concentrated on this, and we're being used for the transmission of these things; that's what bothers me. You're 25. Do something that angers me, or surprises me. Don't keep rediscovering things. Now the culture is made of old things, it's a collage. Art made out of art is not art. You're supposed to make art out of life. You go into studios and you see these mood boards or whatever? You think you saw that at Saint Laurent's studio? It's other people's art. I call that stealing" 
                                                                              -- Fran Leibowitz, 2014