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The Immersive Early Music of Joan La Barbara

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

Updates

January 10, 2017Final Mix and Timeline for Publication

Posted 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

 

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October 2, 2015: THE IMMERSIVE EARLY MUSIC OF JOAN LA BARBARA

Posted 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

July 27, 2015: Summer Update

Posted by: Harvestworks

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

April 28, 2015: Tape Transfers now completed by Sonicraft

Posted 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.

February 22, 2015: Update on The Immersive Early Music of Joan La Barabara

Posted 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.  

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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.

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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!

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Project Details


Start and End Date

11/15/2013 - 12/15/2014

Location

New York City, New York

Updates (5 RECENT)

Last Updated January 10, 2017

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Harvestworks

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

Joan La Barbara

New York, New York

Role: Composer

Harvestworks

New York City, New York

Role: Executive Producer

Mode Records

New York, New York

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