Saturday, 6 June 2020

Peter Zinovieff ‎– "Electronic Calendar - The EMS Tapes(1964-79)" (Space Age Recordings ‎– ORBIT015CD) 2015

Minted Inventor,and early electronicist,Peter Zinovieff, is one history's most enigmatic and influential electronic music composers. The EMS Tapes is the a complete retrospective of his earliest experiments in 1965 through to the dissolution of his studio and the bankruptcy of his company, EMS Synthesizers, in 1979.
In 1964 Zinovieff sold his wife's wedding tiara,we've all got one of those stuffed in a cupboard...haven't we?... to purchase the first computer housed on a private estate and converted his garden shed into the most advanced music studio in the world, housing 384 oscillators, as well as a collection of filters, noise generators, ring modulators, signal analyzers, and amplifiers. The center of the studio was the computer, which ran on a massive 8kb of memory priced at £1 per byte (£8000), allowing thousands of musical parameters to be sequenced several thousand times per second. Throughout the 1960s and '70s Zinovieff's studios became a place of pilgrimage for musicians looking to discover previously unheard sounds;like famous ideas leeches David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Pink Floyd.  Other less vampire like visitors included Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, King Crimson, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, to name-drop but a few.

Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop,were regular visitors from 1966 to 67,as they and Zinovieff formed what was probably the first Electronic group, called, catchily, Unit Delta Plus.Which performed at a few of those Psychedelic happenings such as "The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave" in '66,with various Beatles hanging on to try and nick some ideas.
The Electronic Calendar begins with "Chronometer '71," composed in the form of a graphical score by Harrison Birtwistle and created from recordings of Big Ben and the Wells Cathedral clock, sequenced by Zinovieff's computer to a pre-determined structure that controlled tape machines in a system resembling an early sampler. The piece was created in the second iteration of Zinovieff's studio, which was also home to the world's first series of narrow filter bands used as a sound analysis system, recording the response of each filter to the applied signal; Zinovieff had created the world's first vocoder. The second disc opens with Zinovieff's interpretation of "Agnus Dei," followed by "ZASP," a collaboration with Alan Sutcliffe. In 1967 "ZASP" won second prize at the IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) Congress; Iannis Xenakis beat it out for first place. The CD closes with the last piece of music recorded in the EMS studio before it was destroyed by a flood in 1979; aptly titled "Now's the Time to Say Goodbye," it features interview fragments of Zinovieff fading in and out.
Synth Pop this ain't. 


Disc One:

01.  - Chronometer '71
02.  - Birthday Song
03.  - Four Interludes for a Tragedy
04.  - Glass Music
05.  - Tristan (Short Section)
06.  - China Music
07.  - Tristan (Long Section)

Disc Two:

01.  - Agnus Dei
02.  - Zasp Parts 1 to 3 (with Alan Sutcliffe)
03.  - Un Known 1
04.  - Tarantella
05.  - Un Named 1
06.  - January Tensions
07.  - June Rose
08.  - Un Named 2
09.  - A Lollipop for Papa
10.  - M Piriform (with Justin Connolly)
11.  - March Probabilistic
12.  - Un Named 3
13.  - Raasay Digitised....missing track here
14.  - Now's the Time to Say Goodbye


Anonymous said...

The link doesn't seem to be working?

Thanks for all the recent uploads on early electronic music, I've been enjoying them a great deal.

Best wishes to you and yours.

Jonny Zchivago said...

sorry i forgot to add the link,will do so in the morning,

Unknown said...

Many, many thanks for the recent electronic music uploads, especially Delia and Dafne (and the EMS related music/musicians/synth builders). Cheers. Ricardo

Jonny Zchivago said...

hi,yeah will add it tomorrow,link will be here.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, can't find track 13 here. If possible, please, upload. Thanks in advance! Best, Robert

Jonny Zchivago said...

Missing Track 13: