other listening

Acoustic records of the underwater soundscape at PALAOA - Antarctica. Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, PANGAEA

Audio stream files, sound spectrum images and 24hr-to-1min timelapse videos above land on-site, 2005-2011: www.doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.773610, 2013: www.doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.844106?format=html

Scientific background: Marine mammals use sound for communication, navigation and prey detection. Acoustic sensors therefore allow the detection of marine mammals, even during polar winter months, when restricted visibility prohibits visual sightings. The animals are surrounded by a permanent natural soundscape, which, in polar waters, is mainly dominated by the movement of ice. In addition to the detection of marine mammals, acoustic long-term recordings provide information on intensity and temporal variability of characteristic natural and anthropogenic background sounds, as well as their influence on the vocalization of marine mammals.

Scientific objectives: The PerenniAL Acoustic Observatory in the Antarctic Ocean (PALAOA, Hawaiian "whale") near Neumayer Station is intended to record the underwater soundscape in the vicinity of the shelf ice edge over the duration of several years. These long-term recordings will allow studying the acoustic repertoire of whales and seals continuously in an environment almost undisturbed by humans. The data will be analyzed to (1) register species specific vocalizations, (2) infer the approximate number of animals inside the measuring range, (3) calculate their movements relative to the observatory, and (4) examine possible effects of the sporadic shipping traffic on the acoustic and locomotive behaviour of marine mammals.

The data, which are largely free of anthropogenic noise, provide also a base to set up passive acoustic mitigation systems used on research vessels. Noise-free bioacoustic data thereby represent the foundation for the development of automatic pattern recognition procedures in the presence of interfering sounds, e.g. propeller noise.

For more information, please have a look at their joint paper on the whole project here.

Sergiu Celibidache, Carnegie Hall 1984

In 1984, at the age of 71, conductor Sergiu Celibidache agreed to give a three-week intensive rehearsal and teaching residency at the Curtis Institute of Music which culminated in a performance at a Carnegie Hall 60th anniversary benefit concert with the student orchestra. It was also Celibidache's "American debut".

First, what Harold C. Schonberg wrote the night before this concert.

Then what John Rockwell wrote the night after.

Then, listen to the unreleased tape of the concert.

Also, here is a transcript of one of his sessions from this time at Curtis.

Susan Synnestvedt, a member of the Chicago Symphony who was concertmaster of the Curtis orchestra during Celibidache`s visit recalled, "He is obsessed with trying to create certain moods and colors. His whole concept is that every phrase has a shape and it comes from one phrase and leads to another. He feels there is a truth in music, and it should be discovered." For further research...

Lobi van Beethoven. Sonata No.13 Op.27 No. 1, II. Allegro molto e vivace + balafon playing from Ghana. 1) 2:O3
Vivaldi 1-octave below. Concerto RV 159 in La maggiore. 1) Allegro 2) Adagio 3) Allegro. Concerto RV 271 "L'Amoroso" in Mi maggiore. 1) Allegro 2) Cantabile 3) Allegro
“The Aeolian organ [ghau kilori] is a wind instrument which is not played by man but blown by the wind. The instrument we recorded consists of four bamboo-canes (ghau), about 15 to 18 feet in length. After stripping off the foliage the men cut an opening in the internodes of the upper part of the canes…In practice, each cavity does not give one precise sound, but a multitude of harmonics, some of which emerge more clearly than others, depending on the force of the the wind. A real storm is needed for the Aeolian organ to be heard properly. On this recording the sound of the waves can be heard breaking on the shore and the leaves of the coconut palms and other trees rustling in the wind. The ghau kilori used to be built for one particular event: the committing of a body to the sea. The sound of the Aeolian organ was thought to call the spirit of the dead man back to his village before it went to dwell in the island of Malapa, situated off the south-east tip of Guadalcanal.” (OCR 74 liner notes). -- 1) 2:15

John McLellan (1968 - Oct. 29, 2014)

An extraordinary musician; a truly original drummer and improviser in a language of rhythmic orchestration and dynamics, counterpoint in ideas, space, touch, spirit...

The recent passing of this dear friend and close associate of ours had a most profound affect on us all. The cause of his death was Mesothelioma. I saw him for the last time on October 26th at Tuft's Hospital in Boston.

I was first introduced to Johnny through violist Mat Maneri back in 2004. They already had a deep rapport going back many years, and a closely connected family style of improvisation developed with the father of it, Joe Maneri... something which can only really thoroughly be understood via aural transmission, listening and first-hand experience, rehearsals... Around the same time I also formed a quartet with Johnny, saxophonist Jonathan Moritz and Eivind Opsvik, which we called THE UP.

Back in July of 2010 at a gig of guitarist Chris Welcome's quartet, I happened to have my camera with me and simply couldn't take it off Johnny. He was killing me! On display for all to see... At his best. Taking the music to levels only he could. On the day of his death, it suddenly hit me that it was time to release this footage. (For years I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, since it was essentially focused on him.) Luckily I had just gotten it back, as it was on a hard drive which had recently broken and cost me hundreds of dollars to get the data back from. It is the only video that exists of its kind, and a truly important document of his character which needs to be more widely understood and appreciated. He is so beautiful, so brilliant, entranced, serving the music so fully, so originally, so naturally. Watching it for me now is essentially prayer in his remembrance. I feel relieved that more people will see and hear him in action like this now. Chris's music too and the playing of all involved is also so important and connected, sympathetic, honest, inspired...

With love, I offer,

Excerpt from a conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman, 1967: 1) 25:28. [source]

Adagios from Vivaldi's Op. 9 Concerti Nos. 2 & 11 simultaneously... A major / C minor: 1) 2:27; Nos. 8 & 9... D minor / Bb major: 1) 3:04; from Violin concertos: B-minor + Eb major: 1) 3:37; B-minor + F major: 1) 4:32
The three slow middle movements from Brahms three Violin Sonatas simultaneously. (Arthur Grumiaux, Gyorgy Sebok). 1) 6:56.
Two Machaut motets simultaneously. 1) Fins Cuers Dous + Bone Pastor
Doubles of Gidon Kremer playing the Bach Sonatas and Partitas: 1) 3:32; 2) 3:23; 3) 2:28; 4) 4:58
Bach's Goldberg Variation No. 13 with Helmut Lachenmann's Guero for piano. (Rosalyn Tureck and Helmut Lachenmann, piano). 1) 3:58
Chopin's Prelude in C# minor for piano combined with Carter's Fragment for string quartet. (Martha Argerich, piano; Arditti Quartet). 1) 4:05
Scriabin's Prelude Op. 11 No. 15 for piano combined with Feldman's first of two Pieces for Clarinet and String Quartet. 1) 2:26
Andante from Mozart piano sonatas 16, 17, 18 simultaneously... B major / D major / F major. (Mitsuko Uchida, piano). 1) 9:32
Bach Cello Suites Allemande from Nos. 1 & 5 simultaneously... G major / C minor. (Pierre Fournier, cello). 1) 4:35
Chopin Ballades Nos. 2 & 3 simultaneously... F major / Ab major. (Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, piano). 1) 8:10
John Coltrane, Soldier Field, Chicago, August 15, 1965. (John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums). A rare and incredibly profound bootleg of the group headlining the Downbeat Jazz Festival. To quote from Coltrane: The Story of a Sound - "His performance at Soldier Field....has been understood as a famous breaking point - a Dylan-at-Newport, or a Rite of Spring. As with both of those examples, the challenge put forth from the artist to the audience is half-overstated and half-real. The set was 37 minutes long. The quartet, with Archie Shepp as an extra on tenor, yoked together a set out of the theme from "Nature Boy" and "Blue Valse."... It aggravated a great part of the crowd, prompting, according to some witnesses, a large exodus....casual jazz fans who had been in the sun all day at a free festival, listening to more straightforward performances by Woody Herman and Gerry Mulligan and Monk and Joe Williams..." 1) 35:55

Erwin Nyiregyhazi

At a thrift shop I frequent on the upper west side of Manhattan where LPs are $1 each, a came across this record not knowing who Ervin Nyíregyházi was, just going by the jacket which made it clear these were historic recordings of someone quite phenomenal. It wasn't until the following day when I listened to the music and read the notes on the inside that in the matter of an hour my life was changed forever by this incredible story and pianism.

Links of interest: Wikipedia entry; Documentary posted on Youtube; the 2007 biography "Lost Genius" (priced at just cents!, used...) ; Various other recordings and memorabilia...

Also, the remaining out-of-print CBS recordings from the 1978 sessions (continued from Side A on the above LP), which are in fact the only studio recordings of him which exist. Nyiregyhazi's piano playing is about the most engaging I've ever heard, in particular for this music.

Quite possibly the best LP of Schoenberg's music I've ever heard. 1) Variations on a Recitative for Organ, Op. 40; 2) Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31.
Schoenberg's MS score of Variations on a Recitative for Organ, Op. 40. [pdf]
Dduukkee Eelllliinnggttoonn. The 1944 & '46 recordings simultaneously of Duke Ellington's orchestra at Carnegie Hall playing "The Blues" from Black, Brown and Beige. Marie Ellington sings in the 1944 version, Joya Sherrill the one from '46. Al Sears tenor saxophone on both. 1) 5:35
D-minor loves... Mozart's Requiem superimposed over Coltrane's Impressions live at the Village Vanguard. 1) 8:21
The sound of the wall in the apartment next door being destroyed. 1) 10:45
Albert Ayler interviews: 1964, 1966, 1970.
John Coltrane interview, Japan, 1966. 1) 11:39
"Feldman loved to challenge students' assumptions about what ideas were au courant, about which composers were radical and which were conservative. He proclaimed, for example, a love for Sibelius, who had long been derided in progressive circles as a retrograde Romantic. When I visited the small archive of Feldman papers at SUNY Buffalo, I came across an exam paper in which the composer asked his students to analyze Sibelius's Fifth Symphony alongside Webern's Concerto Opus 24." (Alex Ross, New Yorker Magazine.) Superimposed... 1) Sibelius 5 + Webern Op. 24; 2) Sibelius 4 + Feldman Piano Concerto & Cello Concerto
Pablo Casals: A Living Portrait. Side 1; Side 2.

Alternate takes, superimposed

March 2010. It crossed my mind how on a lot of the old jazz records, alternate takes were often about the same length. Revisiting some of these albums after many years and listening to them with these tracks superimposed offered an exciting new insight into the sound of this music, perspectives on autonomy and indeterminacy naturally relevant to improvisation. A joyous play on these musicians' sounds and songs, multiplying aspects of this aural history into an abstracted afterlife of collage. So simple and so affecting!

Verdandi (2); Dalarna (2)
Black (2)
The hunting horns of Royale Foret Saint-Hubert! 1) La Saint Hubert; 2) Le Nouveau Depart; 3) Le Clocher de Dampierre; 4) La Royale
All 24 Op. 87 Preludes by Shostakovich begun simultaneously, directly followed by all the Fugues, in the same fashion. 1) 11:28
Seven sublime recordings of different Nocturno Responsorium by Gesualdo, simultaneously. 1) 4:45
Three LPs of harpist Nicanor Zabaleta begun simultaneously, conducted with the volume knobs. Left: Record 2, Side 1 - 18th century: CPE Bach and Beethoven's Variations on a Swiss Theme; Center: Record 3, Side 2 - Modern French and Spanish: Caplet, Pittaluga, Tournier, Haiffter; Right: Record 1, Side 1 - 16th century: Anonymous, Mudarra, Narvaez, Cabezon, Milan, Palero. 1) 17:57
All seven of "The Theme"s from the Plugged Nickel recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet simultaneously. 1) 10:22
Szeryng, Milstein, Heifetz. Three LPs combined of them each playing Bach's G minor violin sonata. 1) 16:42
A beautiful record of G.I. Gurdjieff's piano music. The only information on it is "played by Thomas de Hartmann." There is no date or label. Side 1; Side 2.
Beethreeven. Three LPs mixed together of three different string quartets (the Budapest, Amadeus and Yale) each playing the adagio from Beethoven's A-minor Op. 132. 1) 17:15.
Kol Nidre in Moscow. September 15, 1956. Side 1; Side 2; Side 3; Side 4.
The sound of all Bach's Goldberg Variations playing simultaneously - Glenn Gould, 1981. 1) 6:03.
Olivier Messiaen's Livre d'Orgue, live at Rutgers Presbyterian Church, NYC, February 24, 2008. Gail Archer, organ. 1) Reprises par Interversion; 2) Piece en Trio; 3) Les Mains de l'Abime; 4) Chants d'Oiseaux; 5) Piece en Trio; 6) Les Yeux Dans les Roues; 7) Soixante Quatre Durees
Mirra Alfassa. Also known as The Mother, I recently came across Mirra Alfassa for the first time in the sixth episode of Louis Malle's Phantom India (1969), at the ashram of Pondicherry. Cameramen were not allowed to film her, only record her voice. What she said, the sound of her voice -- I was so struck by it... 1) 1:36. (Translation: It never happens the same way twice. Generally, it happens when we least expect it. And it’s usually when we’ve surrendered our so-called knowledge, our convictions, and abandoned all hope that we enter a state where we’re able to receive it. Revelation is always present. It’s always here. We’re the ones who don’t let it in. Knowledge is always present. Enlightenment is always present, floating above everything, ready to be received. It’s only because we’re so completely blinded by everything we think we know and want to do that we can’t receive it. But at the moment we surrender, for whatever reason, it makes us a bit passive and open, and that’s when we receive it.)
Phantom India. Hours of beautiful footage documented by filmmaker Louis Malle in the early 1960s. I couldn't more highly recommend something to see, or hear. So for that matter, here are the sound environments of it all which I recorded and spliced out the French commentary from. Episode 1 - The impossible camera; Episode 2 - Things seen in Madras; Episode 3 - The Indians and the sacred; Episode 4 - Dream and reality; Episode 5 - A look at castes; Episode 6 - On the fringes of Indian society; Episode 7 - Bombay.

July 2005. SOUND COLLAGE. 1) 2:25

Chinatown recordings, loops. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Created By
Ben Gerstein