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Ode To Gravity:
Vocal Yokels

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 60 mins
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

An eclectic mix of text-sound compositions, world music, and other bizarre recordings, some of which were presented at the 1970 Fylkingen Festival in Stockholm. Highlights of this adventurous free-form radio program include Arne Mellnäs’ “Far Out,” a hauntingly beautiful auditory portrait of Laura Nyro, in which elements of some her best known songs are artfully mixed and manipulated to eloquently evoke the career of this talented singer-songwriter. Also heard are a couple of pieces of sound poetry by Charles Amirkhanian, some of which may have been improvised on the spot by the host, and a program closing montage of electronic music, excerpts from “The Merchant of Venice”, committee meeting roll calls, and other sundry sounds. Filling in the gaps of this lively and engaging program are selections of world music, wolves howling, and the sounds of breathing. Taken in its entirety this program is a testament to the radically avant-garde experimentation that was a mainstay of KPFA programing during the later half of the 20 century.

Musical Selections:  I Revolutionens Snö (“In the Snow of Revolution”) (1969) (3:36) / Ilmar Laaban (3:42) -- Poésie Action [title could not be confirmed] 3:03) / Bernard Heidsieck -- Dactl Dactl Mther Mther Mther Bongg Bongg Frgid (1971) (2:34) / Charles Amirkhanian -- Ana Winta (4:51) / Sawaya Quartet -- [unidentified excerpt] (1:13) / Canterbury Fair -- [excerpt, English Speech Instruction LP] (1:53) -- [last track of side one from the LP “The language and the music of the wolves”] (2:39) -- As Easy [excerpt] (2:31) / Bob Cobbing -- I Put a Spell On You (1956) (2:21) / Screamin’ Jay Hawkins -- [counting] (4:01) / Charles Amirkhanian -- [humming] (4:11) / Charles Amirkhanian -- [first track of side two of the UNESCO LP “Music of the Dan”] (1:21) -- Far Out: Portrait of Laura Nyro (1970) (10:20) / Arne Mellnäs -- [fifth track of side two of the UNESCO LP “Music of the Dan”] (4:11) -- [mix of excerpts from William Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice,” Berkeley City Council meeting, Folkways LP “This is Rhythm, and electronic music by Ralph Lundsten from Odeon LP] (9:17)
Genres:  Sound Poetry; World Music
Subject:  Fylkingen (Society); Sound poetry; Text-sound compositions; World music; Music -- Lebanon ; Rock music; Animal sounds; Blues (Music); Electronic music; Music -- Africa
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Laaban, Ilmar, 1921-2000 ; Heidsieck, Bernard, 1928-; Cobbing, Bob, 1920-; Hawkins, Screamin' Jay; Mellnäs, Arne; Nyro, Laura; Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616; Lundsten, Ralph, 1936-
Recording Date:  6/30/1971
First Broadcast Date:  6/30/1971
 
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