EASL_V2html The Electronic Arts Of Sound And Light
Volume 2 of Music for the Book
Ronald A. Pellegrino

Please note that as of 10/25/10 this and the other 7 CD pages on my site will include one sound sample and its associated program note, all the track titles for the particular CD, and an excerpt from the essay associated with the CD desciption found in my latest book, Realizing Electronic Dreams: A Composer's Notes and Themes. The new book includes complete essays for each CD plus detailed program notes for every track on every CD as well as numerous related photographs and illustrations.

If you do not have a good quality satellite sound system connected to the audio output of your computer, as the composer I would prefer that you NOT download the sound samples associated with each of my tracks. My pieces are like my spirit children and I don't want them to be treated badly by inadequate transducers. It's already bad enough that the sound samples are compressed versions (a current internet requirement) of what you would hear from the CDs which are in themselves digitized (distorted) versions of the analog sounds as I heard them originally. To navigate those shoals I test and adjust all my sound samples on 7 different audio systems and 3 different computers in my personal studios and scores of both systems out in the world. In a nutshell, what I've found is that all built-in computer sound systems STINK and should never be used for music. If you are more than half-serious about music, connect at least a good audio system to your computer. The better the audio system, the richer and deeper your musical experience, and the closer to hearing the music as the composer did.

Furthermore, please remember that the sound samples are just samples--not highlights, not the pieces, just out of context highly compressed excerpts that hang together in ways that give a sense of what one might expect to hear from various tracks. It's important to get beyond confusing the samples for the pieces. If you are at all interested in the quality of music, listening to a CD via a good audio system gets your ears reasonably close to the original music. In any case, avoid settling for dumbed down audio. The difference between even a decent satellite audio system hanging on the end of a computer and what you would hear from good standalone audio system is like the difference between night and day. Often I hear from young people who've grown up with buds in the ears that they doubt they could hear the difference between mediocre and good audio. My response to them is that now is a good time to educate your ear so you can have a lifelong deeper appreciation of the power and beauty of sound to affect your soul. Much is lost when music is considered no more than a commodity to be squeezed into smaller and smaller storage spaces. Go for the systems that can handle bigger files; they tell better stories.

The Electronic Arts Of Sound And Light
Volume 2 of Music for the Book

Excerpt from the Introduction


"...Volume 2 of Music for the Book is composed of solo pieces and collaborations. The solo tracks include one called Voice Sifting (1973), an audio illustration of what's involved in the search for a fully fleshed out synthesizer system voice. The instrument is an ARP 2600, one of a set of synthesizers I used on road shows at The University of Illinois Phoenix 73 Festival, both in my solo sets and in my duets with electronic music giant Sal Martirano. Another solo track called Early 70s Lamentations (1973) is an example of how throughout my life I have put music to work as a therapeutic vehicle for releasing personal psychological strains partly with the intention of achieving a like effect in resonant listeners. Tronic Folksong (1981) was composed in my Kelly Lane Studios but my mind and spirit were singing to the Pacific Ocean at Dillon Beach on the Sonoma coastline, one of my favorite destinations during the 24 years I lived in Petaluma. The track called Milwaukee River (1967) is a remix of my score for what was one of the earliest environmental consciousness-raising pieces in the movement. It clearly demonstrates that from my earliest work with music synthesizers I was committed to the vocal spirit issuing from electronic sound.

The collaborations include duets with Howard Moscovitz (Oakland Shuffle (1974)), Lawrence McDonald on clarinet (S&H Explorations (1972)), and James Gillerman on trumpet (UC-Berkeley Carillon Lark (1976); I played the carillon.). Additional collaborations include several Real* Electric Symphony performances, one at Old First Church in San Francisco with Gordon Mumma, Olly Wilson, and Howard Moscovitz, and another at Cat's Paw Palace for the Performing Arts in Berkeley with James Gillerman and Bob Lansdon. A track that is 100% acoustic but sounds very electronic is Bellows (1980), a performance at Texas Tech University by my group called The Real Time Electric Theater Band (RTETB). Everyone who studied with me at Texas Tech was a member of that band. Normally the RTETB involved a subset of the group configured differently for different projects but this performance of Bellows involved everyone; it was the opening act for a concert by composer Pauline Oliveros who was in residence as part of our Leading Edge Music Series…"

The Electronic Arts Of Sound And Light
Volume 2 of Music for the Book

Track titles plus program note and sound sample for Track 10

Track 1 - Oakland Shuffle (1974)
Track 2 - Voice Sifting (1973)
Track 3 - Bellows (1980)
Track 4 - Early 70s Lamentations (1973)
Track 5 - S&H Explorations (1972)
Track 6 - Early Earth Walk (1975)
Track 7 - UC-Berkeley Carillon Lark (1976)
Track 8 - Tronic Folksong (1981)
Track 9 - Milwaukee River (1967)

Track 10 - R*ES@Cat's Paw in Berkeley (1976). Joining me for this Real* Electric Symphony gig were Bob Lansdon on electronic music toys, including a fancy new delay unit, and James Gillerman on ARP 2600 and trumpet. As you can hear from the track, this was a highly compatible trio. The opening creature-like lead work was done on one of my collection of acoustic toys, toys with voices very close in sound quality and gestural shaping to what I was designing with electronic systems at the time.

From 1975-1977 I felt free for the first time in my adult life so I enjoyed what I approached as a field research period, a time to test my sonic and visual music work in public on three continents. As a free-lance artist/educator not attached to a single university I was completely free to travel at will; so as a solo composer/performer and with my ever-changing virtual group, The Real* Electric Symphony, I was involved in well over 100 public performances over several years. Cat's Paw Palace for the Performing Arts in Berkeley, CA was one of my favorite spaces. It was the perfect size to accommodate in an intimate setting an audience of several hundred people; it was covered completely in a beautiful hardwood dance floor; and was the brainchild and in the care of one of my favorite collaborators, dancer/choreographer Margaret Fisher.

During that period, for Real* Electric Symphony gigs, I sometimes hired a brilliant young man named Bob Lansdon who was completing a Ph.D. in mathematics at UC-Santa Cruz in the field of dynamical systems as well as doing optical research for Dolby Systems in San Francisco. He did considerable work at UC-Santa Cruz with Ralph Abraham, pioneering chaos theorist and author who was also a member of a pioneering group of math visualizers there. During that period I visited the UC-Santa Cruz campus a number of times to present my work in visual music to graduate math seminars which included many of the chaos and visualizing math researchers. It was generally agreed that we were exploring the same field along different but related paths. It was the Bob Lansdon connection that made those UC-Santa Cruz experiences possible.

Most of my art experiences with Bob Lansdon were connected with my laser animations either in presentation to their graduate math seminar or with some of our collaborative laser animation explorations in one of my Kelly Lane Studios. His performances on gigs with the R*ES were memorable. That for some unknown reasons he decided to cut his life short well before he reached his prime saddened everyone who knew him. His playing on this track is a testament to his talent and intelligence.

James Gillerman on ARP 2600 and trumpet was an SF Bay Area R*ES regular during this period. He was "there" in so many ways. Musically, always. Plus he often would haul in his trusty ReVox to record our events, and that was no small matter. Many of the recordings of the R*ES exist only because someone on their own, such as James Gillerman or Gordon Mumma, would make the extra effort to make it happen. I'm especially thankful decades after the fact. Sound sample.

To view selected sections of Emergent Music And Visual Music: Inside Studies, Part 1: The Book, click on one of the following:
Chapter 1, Emergent Music
Chapter 15, Visual Music Flavors

Information on Part 2: The DVDs.

Click Here to buy this CD or other parts of Pellegrino's projects.


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