1
Counterstream Radio
Inspect the unexpected
2
Media on Demand
Browse Music and Interviews

The Immersive Early Music of Joan La Barbara

The Immersive Early Music of Joan LaBarbara is a DVD of restored vintage recordings from 1976 – 1981 that will be released on MODE Records

The Latest Update

Quad Listening Event: The Immersive Early Music of Joan La Barbara Program Notes for December 17, 2017

Posted on December 18, 2017 by Harvestworks

The Immersive Early Music of Joan La Barbara, is a DVD of restored vintage recordings from 1976 – 1981 that will be released on MODE Records.  The works for the new release will include CYCLONE, AUTUMN SIGNAL and as lightning comes, in flashes.

Over the past 4 decades, Joan La Barbara has created a number of multi-channel works that were designed to be heard in quadraphonic sound and other unusual spatial arrangements of speakers. These works were initially performed in concert using multiple speakers and various systems designed to allow movement of sound from speaker to speaker.

To have these vintage works available in a contemporary format is to bring back to life works that have been nearly lost for several decades. For the surround sound format to be used for sonic art works is to enhance the viability of this medium as well as to preserve, in their original conceptual form, works that were created to immerse the audience in the artist’s sonic vision.

The Glass Box Theater

55 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011

Date:  Sunday December 17, 2017

Time:  5 pm

Composer/Vocalist Joan La Barbara has created a rich body of experimental works, many initially produced on analog tape and is a long recognized pioneer of extended vocal techniques as well as a renowned champion of new music.

She emerged from the New York Downtown scene to perform in the ensembles of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, including the premiere of Glass’ Einstein on the Beach. She has performed and recorded works by composers including John Cage, Robert Ashley, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Alvin Lucier, and her husband Morton Subotnick.

This collection includes a first release of the award-winning CYCLONE, first presented at a the ISCM World Music Days festival in Bonn, Germany in 1977. The other two works were initially issued on LP on the Wizard label, but now in new mixes.

The reissues offered here remixed to her original surround concept: as lightning comes, in flashes explores a vast array of La Barbara’s signature extended vocal techniques. Autumn Signal is a rare example of the composer’s work with Buchla synthesizer, which she utilized for spatialization as well as modification of vocals.

For this release, fresh 96khz/24-bit transfers were made from the original multi-track analog tapes. Then all new stereo and surround mixes were then created under the supervision of the composer.

Liner notes by Bernard Gendron trace La Barbara’s beginnings in the New Music world from the early 1970s Downtown Scene and her evolution as an avant-garde vocalist and composer. In addition, La Barbara contributes detailed notes on the works.

BIOS

Joan La Barbara, composer, performer, sound artist and actor is renowned for developing a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques (multiphonics, circular singing, ululation, and glottal clicks, her “signature sounds”) influencing generations of other composers and singers.  Awards, prizes and Fellowships: Foundation for Contemporary Art John Cage Award (2016), Premio Internazionale Demetrio Stratos; DAAD-Berlin Artist-in-Residency; Civitella Ranieri, Guggenheim and 7 National Endowment for the Arts (Music Composition, Opera/Music Theater, Inter-Arts, Recording, Solo Recital, Visual Arts), and numerous commissions. Her multi-layered textural compositions (for multiple voices, chamber ensembles, theater, orchestra, interactive technology, soundscores for dance, video and film) were presented at Brisbane Biennial, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Warsaw Autumn, MaerzMusik Berlin, and Lincoln Center.

MODE Records : The MODE catalog has wide circulation and is used as a resource for other presenters and archivists who are interested in keeping the history of American experimental music alive for the younger generation.

About La Barbara:

“Ms. La Barbara, a riveting stage presence.” Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, Saturday, July 22, 2017

“La Barbara’s solo work, ‘Solitary Journeys of the Mind,’ conjured the primal hum of an entire new universe created solely with her vocal techniques. Her piece transformed from a hopeful sacred chant to the emotional chaos of birth and death, with fluctuating vocal tones and unconventional vocabulary morphing to express love and loss without saying an actual word.” City Pages, Feb 24, 2017

Full Article

Review of Voice is the Original Instrument – The Wire

Read Here

http://www.joanlabarbara.com/press.html

http://www.ondarock.it/recensioni/2017-joanlabarbara-theearlyimmersivemusic.htm

Project Collaborators 

Harvestworks, Executive Producer

Mode Records

Joan La Barbara, Composer

FUNDED BY:

The Immersive Early Music of Joan La Barbara was supported by the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

More Updates ▼

Available Now! The Early Immersive Music of Joan La Barbara

Posted on October 10, 2017 by Harvestworks

MODE Records in partnership with Harvestworks announces the release of The Early Immersive Music of Joan La Barbara in CD and Bluray formats.  Become a Friend of Harvestworks and receive a complementary set!  

Release event at the Glass Box Theater at Mannes/The New School on Sunday December 17, 2017.  

More info to come!  

Final Mix and Timeline for Publication

Posted on January 10, 2017 by Harvestworks

Joan, Brian Brandt and Paul Geluso were in the studio on December 20th to do the final mix for the dvd.  We will start designing the booklet and our goal is to publish by June 30, 2017.  Release parties will be posted so keep in touch!  Thanks carol

 

THE IMMERSIVE EARLY MUSIC OF JOAN LA BARBARA

Posted on October 2, 2015 by Joan La Barbara

The A-to-D transfer of the original 2-inch 16-track analog master recording of CYCLONE was completed in August 2015. On October 6, Paul Geluso and I will begin re-mixing and mastering this work. While I have had access to portions of the mono mix done in 1977 with which I performed this work at PS1 in LIC/Queens and as the sound-sculpture prize winner at ISCM Weltmusiktage (World Music Days) in Bonn, the original master recording has been in deep storage since that time. I am very excited to hear the original recordings again and work on this new mix!

Over the past summer, while doing the re-mixes of the A-to-D transfers of the works for this project, we also did several passes of the digital transfer of the original monaural mix of CYCLONE, using the original light-panning device constructed for me by Ralph Jones back in the ’70’s.  We were all thrilled that the box still works and works quite well.  The photo published on July 27, 2015 with a sound sample from another work (“as lightning comes, in flashes”) is from test sessions using the penlight and light-panning device in Harvestworks studios.

Joan La Barbara

Summer Update

Posted on July 27, 2015 by Harvestworks
Like this? Login or register to make a playlist of your favorites pieces.

The rough mixes have been completed by Alex Thompson and preliminary final mixes by Paul Geluso at Harvestworks.  Here is sample. 

Tape Transfers now completed by Sonicraft

Posted on April 28, 2015 by Harvestworks

All of the available tapes have been tansfered and are now complete at Sonicraft.  We are still hoping to get the original masters from Hank but are moving forward on the project and now are looking forward to a 2016 release with Mode Records.

Update on The Immersive Early Music of Joan La Barabara

Posted on February 22, 2015 by Harvestworks

Hi,  Thanks for following our project and for being patient while we gather the resources for the project.  Joan and I are working with Hank O’Neal, who built the Downtown Sound Studio where the Cyclone recording was made. Hank discovered a box of tapes in Scranton PA with Joan’s name on it.  Then winter set in.  I will update you as soon as the weather is permitting us to visit the vault.  

Overview

Over the past 4 decades, Joan La Barbara has created a number of multi-channel works that were designed to be heard in quadraphonic sound and other unusual spatial arrangements of speakers. These works were initially performed in concert using multiple speakers and various systems designed to allow movement of sound from speaker to speaker.

 

The works for the new release will include CYCLONE, AUTUMN SIGNAL and as lightning comes, in flashes.  The total running time is 66 minutes.  We have raised $7500 towards the $17685 budget.

 

We will return to the original analog tape formats for these “vintage” works and transfer the material to a high-quality digital format at Sonicraft Studios, remix at Harvestworks Studios and release a DVD with both the surround and stereo versions.

 

“CYCLONE” (1976) was an international jury selection as sound sculpture, awarded a multi-media prize and presented live in performance (as “Wind/Tornado Piece/Cyclone”) at the 1977 ISCM Weltmusiktage (World Music Days) in Bonn, Germany. The idea of the work was that the sonic cyclone should occur as erratically and suddenly as in nature and that the sounds would begin to spin around the audience, enveloping them in the sonic storm. For this project, we would return to the 1-inch 16-track master tapes.

 

“Autumn Signal” (1978) was La Barbara’s first “soundance”, inspired by the shifting word patterns of Emmett Williams’ textwork “Sweethearts” and the multiple movement and multiple viewpoint/focus perspectives of Merce Cunningham’s choreography. Sounds traveled around the perimeter of the sonic space, while others traveled on diagonals and fanciful trajectories. “Autumn Signal” was released in a stereo version on LP and later on cd, but it has not been heard in its original quadraphonic format since the mid ’80’s.  We will keep the four channel format.

 

“as lightning comes, in flashes” (1981) was originally done as a large-scale outdoor performance work, using multiple singers and dancers and large costumes which unfurled and were left behind as tangible remnants of the ephemeral sonic work. La Barbara subsequently created an 8-channel vocal composition that created a distinctive sonic environment by using variations of her own voice. We will remix to 5.1 surround.

 

To have these vintage works available in a contemporary format is to bring back to life works that have been nearly lost for several decades. For the surround sound format to be used for sonic art works is to enhance the viability of this medium as well as to preserve, in their original conceptual form, works that were created to immerse the audience in the artist’s sonic vision.

 

The MODE catalog has wide circulation and is used as a resource for other presenters and archivists who are interested in keeping the history of American experimental music alive for the younger generation. The product also drives external events creating more visibility for the artist and increasing sales. Harvestworks would promote the product though our email newsletter, YouTube channel and concerts. A special effort will be made to access the audiophile and the home theater market.

Start and End Dates

11/15/201312/15/2014

Location

New York City, New York

7 updates
Last update on December 18, 2017

Project Created By

New York City, New York
Harvestworks’ mission is to support artists in the creation and presentation of art works achieved through the use of new and evolving technologies. Harvestworks is a leader in the field, committed to fostering innovative work and developing broad audiences through high-visibility programs. We are dedicated to presenting the highest quality work across the arts and…

In Collaboration With

Executive Producer
New York City, New York
New York, New York
Composer
New York, New York

Comments

One response to “The Immersive Early Music of Joan La Barbara”

  1. The A-to-D transfer of the original 2-inch 16-track analog master recording of CYCLONE was completed in August 2015. On October 6, Paul Geluso and I will begin re-mixing and mastering this work. While I have had access to portions of the mono mix done in 1977 with which I performed this work at PS1 in LIC/Queens and as the sound-sculpture prize winner at ISCM Weltmusiktage (World Music Days) in Bonn, the original master recording has been in deep storage since that time. I am very excited to hear the original recordings again and work this new mix!

Leave a Reply