Sunday, July 08, 2007














A few weeks ago, when talking with Martin Koenig out in Mazama, I became (re) interested in the Smithsonian Folkways label, one of those million things I've never gotten around to but always meant to. I went and scouted e-bay to see what happened to be around, saw the above item, bid and won it. Arrived this morning.

Pretty amazing 1957 LP release. Here's a track listing:

1) Bahnfahrt (a 1920s German burlesque piece incorporating industrial sounds)
2) Symphony of Machines/Steel Foundry - Alexander Mossolov
3) Dnieprotrot - Julius Meytuss
4) Dance - Cage
5) Ionization - Varese
6) Aeolian Harp - Cowell
7) Banshee - Cowell
8) Sonic Contours - Vladimir Ussachevsky
9) Fantasy in Space - Otto Luening
10) Symphony in Sonic Vibration - Halim El-Dabh
11) Transposition - Ussachevsky
12) Reverberation - "
13) Composition - "
14) Underwater Waltz - "
15-17) Natural Pipes - Roger Maren/Frederic Ramsey
18) Sonata for Loudspeakers - Henry Jacobs

The Jacobs piece, which is largely a demonstration of how he created the various tape-oriented sounds, is fascinating. For one thing, sonically (to an extent procedurally as well, albeit electronically) he seems to anticipate Reich. Apparently, he's been the subject of a decent amount of re-evaluation in recent years, including an NPR special. Still around, I think, in his 80s; seems to have gone through a psychedelic phase, involved with people like Alan Watts, etc.

8 comments:

Richard Harland Smith said...

Great... now I'm going to be walking around saying "Bahnfart" all day.

Herb Levy said...

I don't know how much you paid on ebay, and I know you like vinyl, but you might should know that you can get (supposedly) any Folkways release as a custom-burned CDs or custom-duped cassette via their Web site: http://www.folkways.si.edu/index.html

Brian Olewnick said...

Hi Herb,

Mine was cheapish, around $12. Yeah, I saw that offering on the site. If I ever get time to do such...

Meanwhile, I have my eyes on the obvious prize, the Harry Smith set. Might treat myself to it for my birthday.

btw, Herb, I'm going to be in San Antonio for a week in August, the 5th-10th, just in time for 120 degree weather, I think. It's for work reasons, an annoying course I have to attend so no chance really for any outings. But if you happen know of good eateries there, lemme know. I've no idea if there's any good reason for an Austinite ever to venture to San Antone but just in case...

Herb Levy said...

I've only been in SA a few times, so I'll have to check on possible restaurant recommendations.

But if you'll have a car & the time (& eat meat), I'd definitely recommend driving up to Llano for a meal at Cooper's, arguably one of the best Texas barbecue joints. http://www.coopersbbq.com/ It's about a 90 minute drive from San Antonio.

Unfortunately, I don't live in Austin. The hour or so trip between Austin & SA would allow for some kind of visit while you're there. Carol & I are up in Fort Worth, far enough away that a visit to SA is more than a day trip. But there may be another reason for us to go, so I'll let you know.

Herb Levy said...

Oh yeah, & one of the reasons I wrote "supposedly" is that I couldn't find a listing for the amazing "Sounds of the Junkyard" album.

Considering some of the other esoteric documentary style discs that they do have available, I can only imagine that this is either some kind of error, or that they're waiting to clear the rights for additional recordings to make a special edition extended release box set.

Brian Olewnick said...

Oops, yeah Fort Worth. You know how us (near) New Yorkers get those Texas towns confused.....

Nah, no car, unless the doc I'm going down with decides to splurge. As it is, from what I can find, there seem to be a bunch of passable BBQ places, though most who offer opinions think better ones are a drive away. Still searching around though since, aside from the books I bring down, putting food in my mouth might be my sole source of enjoyment while there.

Raw Power said...

Ah man, I've been dying to hear this on VINYL. Any chance you've done a rip you could share? A classmate of mine had the MP3s years ago.

Brian Olewnick said...

No, I only had the vinyl and, in fact, gave it away with almost all my vinyl this past fall to Jason Lescalleet. Jason was planning to sell them on EBay, but you might drop him a line to see if he still has it. tapeloops (at) hotmail (dot) com.