|1||Meditations On 32 Parts Of The Body (1978)||15:20|
|3||Blue Wave (1980)||16:24|
Veils Of Transformation 1972-1980 is a collection of the earliest works of Gregory Kramer, one of the 20th century masters of textural electronic music. This collection is available on CD and cassette with liner notes from Gregory Kramer and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, who first brought this fascinating work to the attention of Important Records.
“Greg is one of the pioneers of electronic music and these pieces are unique opportunities to discover how intricate and dynamic early synthesizers are.” Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Kramer developed a musical language focused on continuous transformation of timbre, yielding a continuity of attention. This musical language, formed of timbral change, is a compelling aesthetic in its own right and a source of meditative experience. The four works on this album share a deep sense of order derived not from organizing pitches or rhythms, but from the evolution of timbre itself.
Gregory Kramer (b. 1952) is a pioneering electronic composer, inventor, researcher, teacher and author. In 1975 he co-founded Electronic Musicmobile, a synthesizer ensemble later renamed Electronic Musicmobile, a series of synthesizer concerts in New York from which he formed the Electronic Art Ensemble, a highly regarded all electronic quartet. His work extended to developing synthesizers and related equipment. Kramer also co-founded the not-for-profit arts organization Harvestworks in New York City. He is recognized as the founding figure of the intensely cross-disciplinary field of data sonification. Since 1980, Kramer teaches Buddhist meditation.
The four compositions collected here each represent Kramer’s unique approaches:
The structure of Meditations on 32 Parts of the Body (1978) is derived from the means of its production. Recording 5 people chanting an ancient meditation text, then layering to gradually achieve more than one million voices. The layering was all done using analogue tape recorders. The decomposition of the sound reflects the anomalies of tape machines out of sync, and the build up of artifacts from the audio tape itself, such as uneven response curves and tape hiss, are all engaged as musical materials.
Role (1972) was generated using one complex patch on a large hybrid Buchla 200/100 system. Emerging from a zeitgeist that valued pure synthesis as a combined artistic and technological research. At the time this piece was realized its as exceedingly difficult to produce electronic sounds that were internally complex.
Blue Wave (1980) is built on Kramer’s timbral development technique Veils Of Transformation which allows for disparate timbres to be woven into a continuously developing sound.
Monologue (1977) is a virtuosic performance of a massive patch on a Buchla/Electron Farm hybrid electronic instrument. Built into the patch is a pathway for continuous transformation of voice and voltage-controlled synthesizer. The blunt, raw and sometimes harsh sounds of this piece reflect an attitude prominent among composers that music can, or even should, be difficult, contrary to what’s already been done and, by all means, new.