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A history of electronic music

In These Hopeful Machines "James Gardner traces a personal path through the evolving world of electronic music – and meets some of the people who made it happen. In six content-rich episodes he looks at over 100 years of recording techniques, electronic instruments and gizmos, and their use in popular music, art music and their position in Western culture." [more inside]
posted by coleboptera on Aug 10, 2014 - 27 comments

80 years of electronic music, heard in a selection of 55 tracks by Bleep

A bit over a year ago, Warp Record's digital music shop, Bleep.com, presented their guide to recorded* electronic music, spanning from 1930 to 2010 (also as a Facebook timeline, which apparently kicked the whole thing off). The overview of recorded electronic music was presented as a selection of 55 tracks, almost five and a half hours in full. Part of this presentation was a (now expired) promotional deal to purchase the collection of songs as a lot, but you can still read about each piece of music on Bleep and hear 49 of the tracks in a playlist on Grooveshark. There's more to hear and read below the fold. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 31, 2013 - 26 comments

Olivier Messiaen's "Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus"

To say that Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant-Jesus (Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus) is a masterpiece is a gross understatement. Over sixty years after its composition, it has rightfully earned the recognition of being one of the most important piano works of the 20th century. ... [It] is one of the most personal and intimate pieces Messiaen ever wrote, and it gives the listener a close look at Messiaen the person. Messiaen was a deeply religious person, and although his faith influenced every single piece he wrote, the Vingt Regards is almost like his own personal spiritual diary. - Keith Kerchoff [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Dec 13, 2012 - 16 comments

Just in time for Sunday, Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps

Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time is beautiful and strange. The approximately fifty minute piece was written and premiered in a Nazi prison camp, having grown out of the composers friendship with musicians he met while imprisoned. [more inside]
posted by idiopath on Mar 4, 2012 - 21 comments

Bird songs of Messiaen

The bird songs of Messiaen as transcribed by Messiaen.
posted by ennui.bz on Mar 8, 2011 - 8 comments

Ondes Martenot, or, When Maurice Met Leon.

When Maurice Martenot met Lev Sergeivich Termen in the early 1920's and heard his revolutionary new musical instrument the Theremin, he was inspired to create his own electroacoustic instrument , which he christened Ondes Martenot. Next year will mark the 80th anniversary of the first performance of this remarkable hybrid keyboard which, aside from its lovely and ethereal sound, is also aesthetically pleasing visually, with its handsome collection of multiple speakers. See and hear the instrument being played and explained in this video interview and demonstration by Jean Laurendeau, which closes with a lovely rendition of the theme from Star Trek. And, here's the instrument in use, live, alongside who else? Radiohead. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 25, 2007 - 20 comments

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