First of all….
For all fans of experimental music, a big hand for Sean McCann of Recital Records, California, for the re-release of my CD Electric Landlady. Originally released in a CDR version in 2003, the music has been auditorally tweaked for this new 2020 release. Here the box for CD, composed on the Epson needle printer pictured above:
Here the blurb inside:
On August 29 1952, pianist David Tudor premiered a work of silence composed by John Cage that famously lasted 4 minutes and 33 seconds. The title of the work is essentially variable, being as Cage writes the “total length in minutes and seconds of its performance,” which at its premiere was 4’ 33”. Almost a decade later, Cage wrote a copy of the piece in proportional notation for Irwin Kremen, consisting of the numerals I, II, and II – indicating the three movements – followed each by the Latin word “Tacet”. In late 2002 I scanned the score as part of a project working with an Epson 90 dot-matrix printer (other works I used included Beethoven’s “Für Elise”, as well as a number of drawings and pictures, including the Mona Lisa – the idea being to see what the Mona Lisa sounds like). This particular rendering of Cage’s handwritten score (Track 1) is in fact somewhat contrary to Cage’s intentions, because every performance on the Epson 90 will be more or less identical. For this reason I have titled it differently: “Electric Landlady” – in honour of a felicitous misprint of the famous Hendrix record I once encountered in IT. Tracks 2 and 3, which were played live without post-editing, are based entirely on samples taken from this recording, with the (accidental) addition of a booming guitar sound that came with the PC programme I was using: amusingly it is a sample for a noise reduction plug-in! However, it provided a lovely drone that underscored the overall impression in the two variations of a manic hurdy-gurdy. Track four is simply an extended disco remix of Track one, using whatever took my fancy in a DJ programme, plus some groovy stuff I wrote on a synthesiser programme. A number of other variations are in the pipeline, and will accompany the magnificently beautiful version of “Für Elise” my printer produced. As a historical footnote, it was my great fortune to meet and work with John Cage in August 1972 when I was one of 52 tape recorder operators and slide projectionists at the performance of Cage and Lejaren Hiller’s work “HPSCHD” at the ICES festival, London. Malcolm Green
To get a listen, here a sample (the really hard core bit) on the Recital bandcamp page:
For real die-hards, another chunk on the old Seedy CDs page:
And for anyone with a few bob to spare, here is one of the two (only) original printouts (two A4 sheets with eternally yellowing sticky tape):
Clips from further historic CDRs can be heard here: