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Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

La Monte Young MP3

Another fine Other Minds entry from the Internet Archive, at archive.org. It’s a recording, from 1965, of a La Monte Young piece comprised of sequential bangs on a gong, performed by Peter Winkler at the Third Annual Festival of the Avant Garde in San Francisco. To be clear, this is no clang fest. The gong decays in a manner that’s entirely elegant, not regal or militaristic. You barely sense the plosive, just the denouement. Furthermore, on this old recording, the tape hiss is almost as loud as the taped material, but to modern ears the patina sounds almost purposeful, like a treated field recording. Search for “henry flynt” (the essayist and artist after whom it was composed) at the archive.org.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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