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Ode To Gravity:
15th Anniversary Program

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 123 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

On March 4, 1970 Charles Amirkhanian broadcast the first in a series of programs called “Ode to Gravity”. The focus of the program was avant-garde and contemporary music, with significant forays into the realms of poetry and experimental literature, as well as visual and performance art. Initially inspired by a live theater piece by Amirkhanian, in which assorted objects ranging from a marble to a mattress to a car fender were dropped from a balcony into a circle of spectators, the radio program, “Ode to Gravity” became the longest running avant-garde music show on American radio. In this 15 year retrospective you will hear excerpts from past programs, including the first. These include the sound poetry of Liam O'Gallagher; Leonard Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata; James Petrillo’s city wide chess happening; John Dinwiddie’s and Phil Corner’s avalanche of pianos from a Berkeley piano shop; George Antheil’s Pianola Rolls; an interview with composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky; as well as an installation and live concert by Bill Fontana & Stuart Dempster. (from KPFA Folio)

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Border Dissolve in Audio Space [excerpt] (1970) / Liam O’Gallagher -- Sonata, for clarinet and piano [excerpt] (1941-42) / Leonard Bernstein -- Improvisational Format, for 15 or more pianos [excerpt] / John Dinwiddie -- C Major Chord [excerpt] / Phil Corner -- Surprises / The Last Poets
Performers:  David Oppenhiem, clarinet (Sonata)
Leonard Bernstein, piano (Sonata)
Genres:  Avant-Garde; Sound Poetry
Subject:  O'Gallagher, Liam; Avant-garde (Music) ; New music; Text-sound compositions; Sound poetry; Sonatas (Clarinet and piano); Participatory art; Living chess; Interactive art; Piano ensembles; Piano music
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; O’Gallagher, Liam ; Bernstein, Leonard, 1918-1990; Petrillo, James; Dinwiddie, John; Corner, Philip
Recording Date:  2/28/1985
First Broadcast Date:  3/4/1985
 
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Experimental Dada Poetry / Raoul Hausmann -- If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso (1923) / Gertrude Stein -- Geographic Fugue (1930) (2:50) / Ernst Toch -- Ballet Mécanique [excerpt] (1923-25) / George Antheil -- Also Sprach Zarathustra [excerpt] / Ivan Wyschnegradsky -- Fog Calling / Stuart Dempster & Landscape Sculpture with Foghorns / Bill Fontana [excerpt of both pieces playing simultaneously]
Performers:  The Abbey Singers (Geographic Fugue)
Genres:  Avant-Garde; Sound Poetry
Subject:  Antheil, George, 1900-1959; Wyschnegradsky, Ivan, 1893-1979; Avant-garde (Music) ; Sound poetry; Text-sound compositions; Player piano music; Microtonal music; Quarter-tone piano; Unconventional instruments
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Hausmann, Raoul, 1886-1971; Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946; Toch, Ernst, 1887-1964; Antheil, George, 1900-1959; Wyschnegradsky, Ivan, 1893-1979; Fontana, Bill, 1947-; Dempster, Stuart
Recording Date:  2/28/1985
First Broadcast Date:  3/4/1985
 
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