Throw-back to festivals

Thinking of the New Music Box article by Caitlin Schmid (, who asks for information about festivals, we came up with this. Facebook has a custom called ‘Throw-Back Thursdays’, or TBT. This is one that has just been digitized. We’re having some problem with images on the EMC Blog at the moment, so for details, see our Facebook Page: It’s on full public access, so you should be able to see it, but here’s the text, for those who can’t.

This is from Classic Masterworks of Experimental Music Festival, University of Redlands, October 1982, that I curated. The theme of the festival was ‘Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear’ (tag line to The Lone Ranger), as all the music played came from the 1950s and 1960s. The afternoon (in the chapel) was a Musicircus, including New York School, Fluxus, and Scratch Orchestra pieces; the evening, in Watchorn Recital Hall, was more formal, including Terry Riley, In C, Frederic Rzewski, Les Moutons de Panurge, and Cage, 4’33”, among others. These two pictures are from the afternoon. On the first one, Robert Clarida, wearing a flashy stage band uniform jacket with a large glittery red treble clef motif, performs Cage’s 45′ for a Speaker on a ladder, in honour of its performance at Black Mountain College in 1952 (where Cage stood on a ladder). Bob was scared of heights and the position of the ladder, on the edge of a stage, made it seem even higher. It was a very brave act. The second picture depicts the performance of George Brecht’s Piano Piece 1962 (the vase of flowers) and Incidental Music. In the link, you can see the first of Incidental Music’s five pieces in the picture (the seat is tilted and rested against the piano; wooden blocks are stacked until at least one block falls). The third piece from Incidental Music is the picture — or rather, the picture is the outcome of the third piece, which reads, ‘Photographing the piano situation’.

The Cox who Rowes in the West

I have been working on a project about Southern Californian music; specifically the composers who were associated with Cold Blue Recordings. Cold Blue was founded by Jim Fox. On of the first Cold Blue artists is the composer/guitarist/saxophonist Rick Cox, whose recent album with the film composer Thomas Newman (35 Whirlpools below sound) was one of our favourite new albums of the last fall.

Casting about for sources, I found this interview with Rick on the blog Guitar moderne, in which he explained much about his background and ways of working. Rick Cox is known for his guitar preparations: bulldog clips, and other objects that are attached to, or applied to the guitar strings and pickups. Those of you who are AMM fans will know Keith Rowe’s pioneering work in this area — putting his guitar down on a table and essentially ‘deconstructing’ it as a kind of string electronic instrument. Rick does something similar, only he applies it to the luxurious, languorous Los Angeles musical style. You can see his interview here: .

The Cold Blue site, where you can get the Newman/Cox recording and a host of other fantastic music, is here: . Upcoming albums include music by Peter Garland, Michael Byron, Daniel Lentz, and Jim Fox himself; recent releases include an album by John Luther Adams. If you like British experimental and minimal music, this LA stuff is definitely worth a look.

Fizzle archive and new show

Andy Woodhead sends the following:


Thanks to all who came down last week, it was lovely to see so many people out!

The recording is now up in the archive here:

(I’ve done excerpts of both sets and put them together in a little mash up because of various really boring reasons to do with Mixcloud’s upload policy)

Coming up on the 10th at the Lamp we have another absolute belter of a gig for you:

Bruce Coates – Saxes
John Edwards – Bass
Mark Sanders – Drums

Plus early set from

Richard Scott – Violin
Tapiwa Svosve – Shruti Box

Doors at 7, Early Set 7.15, Main Band 8pm.

£5 OTD

See you all there!

The Lamp Tavern, 157 Barford Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B5