KPFA-FM Music Dept. ➔ Sounds In Motion: Olympic Arts, 1984, 3 of 3

Analog Audio

Event Type
Interview and Music
Program Series
Sounds In Motion
Program Length
148 min
3 of 3
1984-08-11 | broadcast
| 402 | created
A series of works produced by the Independent Composers Association of Los Angeles in cooperation with the 1984 Olympics Arts Festival. Six composers were commissioned to create sound works for radio which could be transmitted during the period of the pre-Games Arts Festival in the Los Angeles area and nationally via American Public Radio. Gail Eichenthal introduces each segment, which also include interviews and explanations by the composers.

Part One features a work by John Cage, completed at the West German Radio in Cologne. The title of the work, “HMCIEX,” is derived from an alternation of the letters H, C, & E, representing the quote, “here comes everybody,” from “Finnegans Wake,” and the word “MIX.” The piece was composed by cutting up the names of 151 countries participating in the Olympic games, into syllables and rearranging them, using chance operations. This vocal track was then mixed with compilation of representative folk music from all of the countries participating (and boycotting) the 1984 Olympics.

Part Two features tape works by Paul Dresher & Joan La Barbara. San Francisco Bay Area composer Paul Dresher’s “Other Fire” contains field recordings made during his travels in India and Asia. The music portion of the piece features sounds processed through a harmonizer and delay system, and according to reviewer “Blue” Gene Tyranny, “maintains its mystery throughout with fascinating timbres and complex polyrhythmical combinations.” In “Time(d) Trials and Unscheduled Events,” Joan La Barbara utilizes vocal sounds which are inspired by athletes’ movements and sounds. According to the composer the work: “was conceived as a sonic animation based on filmed motion studies of Olympic athletes in action: long distance runners, the pacer overtaken by a sprinter, fancy divers, swimmers, shot-putters, weight-lifters and so on. I created the kind of sounds made by these athletes in action and blended these with sonic gestures inspired by these moving images. The entire work consists of eight layers of my voice on tape, with no processing used to change the sounds of the voice. the ‘extended’ techniques used here include ‘multiphonics’ (the simultaneous singing of several distinct pitches), resonance and overtone focusing and circular singing.

Part Three features works by Charles Amirkhanian and Pauline Oliveros. In “Gold and Spirit” Amirkhanian collected sounds from numerous Bay Area athletic venues, often featuring fairly obscure sports, and formed a collage of them in the multi-track studio with “art” cheers of his own devising. In “Open Circuits,” Oliveros uses simple analog electronic techniques to create a meditative sound design of special luxuriance.

Part Four features “Se Jong,” an electro-acoustic composition by Carl Stone, inspired by the church bells of Utrecht. In this realization the acoustic bells are modulated with digital delay. The final 15 minutes of this segment also includes additional interviews with all the featured composers of the series.
New music
Electro-Acoustic / Electronic
Musical Selections
Se Jong, for bells and electronics (1983) (10:23) / Carl Stone -- Other Fire [excerpt, talked over] (1984) (2:13) / Paul Dresher -- Open Circuits: Om Mani Padme Hum [excerpt, talked over] (1984) (1:22) / Pauline Oliveros -- Gold and Spirit [excerpt, talked over] (1984) (1:07) / Charles Amirkhanian-- Time(d) Trials and Unscheduled Events [excerpt, talked over] (1984) (3:20) / Joan La Barbara -- Se Jong [excerpt, talked over] (1983) (3:25) / Carl Stone
New music
Olympics -- Songs and music
Bell music
Electronic music
Sound poetry
Text-sound compositions
Digitized by the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP) supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.