Join 3,375 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Spectrum: New American Music 1968-1974
August 20, 2012 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Spectrum: New American Music was a series of five LPs released by Nonesuch between 1968 and 1974, featuring works by composers like Stefan Wolpe, George Rochberg, and Milton Babbitt, performed by Arthur Weisberg's Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Nonesuch released a Spectrum compilation on CD in the 1990s; everything that's not on the CD is available at Internet Archive (Part 2), courtesy of the Avant Garde Project.

The Internet Archive version is FLAC only. If you'd rather have mp3s, you can download them at UbuWeb.
posted by roll truck roll (10 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice, now I know what I'm listening to at work today!
posted by idiopath at 10:19 AM on August 20, 2012


Brilliant.
posted by mykescipark at 10:21 AM on August 20, 2012


Awesome post, thanks.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:06 PM on August 20, 2012


As long as they include How You Satisfy Me and don't just focus on the more ambient stuff it should be a decent series.
posted by item at 12:24 PM on August 20, 2012


Even outside the Spectrum series, Nonesuch had some weird contemporary classical music, including electronic music inspired by the fluctuations of the Earth's magnetic field.
posted by jonp72 at 12:46 PM on August 20, 2012


I couldn't get enough of the New American Music series (which I believe was broader than the Spectrum series -- but it's been so long, I don't really remember) when I was young, wanna-be serial/avant-garde composer. I still remember the thrill of saving up for records, calling in orders, and waiting for them to arrive like sonic telegrams telegram from the future where art and mathematics (and sometimes mysticism) conspired to create nearly incomprehensibly complex temporal structures that glittered and refracted consciousness like light through a diamond.

Great stuff, so exciting to see it on the blue.
posted by treepour at 1:04 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome.

Incidently, for those who want to convert flac to mp3 or just want a lightwight player to play flacs natively: foobar2000.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:26 PM on August 20, 2012


It's amazing that the music written back then STILL sounds so fresh, innovative and ahead of its time, whereas the crap churned out by the likes of the post-minimalists sounds so tepid, banal, simple and inelegant. What happened to intellectualism in American contemporary music? We all must look to Europe for that now.
posted by ReeMonster at 2:49 PM on August 20, 2012


It's amazing that the music written back then STILL sounds so fresh, innovative and ahead of its time, whereas the crap churned out by the likes of the post-minimalists sounds so tepid, banal, simple and inelegant.

So, I'm far from an expert; other folks can feel free to I think that there's still a lot of interesting and innovative American classical music, but it's not in the same circles as it was in the 60s. The really interesting music today is on the edge between classical and rock/popular music: Jefferson Friedman, basically everything put out by New Amsterdam Records, Dan Deacon, etc., etc., etc.

I still haven't listened to everything in the Spectrum recordings, but I think they're really well balanced. There's some difficult and complex stuff in them, but there's also stuff that's just plain fun to listen to.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:25 PM on August 20, 2012


Oops. I hit post mid-revision. I meant to preface this by saying "other folks can feel free to correct me."
posted by roll truck roll at 4:26 PM on August 20, 2012


« Older Jumbo Fingerprints Made From Random Stuff...  |  "Waking up married after a dru... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments