[Now Available] The Early Immersive Music of Joan La Barbara

MODE Records in partnership with Harvestworks announces the release of The Early Immersive Music of Joan La Barbara in CD and Bluray formats. (2017)

The Early Immersive Music of JOAN LA BARBARA

  1. as lightning comes in flashes (1981) 22:05
    for 8-track tape. New 2017 stereo mix
    Joan La Barbara, all voices
  2. Autumn Signal (1978) 13:20
    for 8-track tape, mixed to 4-channels
    Joan La Barbara, all voices.
  3. CYCLONE (1976–77) 30:39 for 16-track tape Joan La Barbara, voices, percussion, phase shifters, Bruce Ditmas, ARP 2600 synthesizer, steel guitar, percussion. FIRST RELEASE

mode 298
• CD $14.99
• Surround & hi-res audio Bluray $24.99
• CD quality download (from Mode) $12

Become a Friend of Harvestworks and receive a complimentary CD and Bluray Set!

Joan La Barbara is a long recognized pioneer of extended vocal techniques and a champion of new music. She emerged from the New York Downtown scene to perform in the ensembles of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, including the premiere of Glass’ “Einstein on the Beach.” She has performed and recorded works by composers including John Cage, Robert Ashley, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Alvin Lucier, and Morton Subotnick.

Composer/Vocalist Joan La Barbara has created a rich body of experimental works, many initially produced on analog tape. This collection includes a first release of the award-winning “CYCLONE,” first presented at a the ISCM World Music Days festival in Bonn, Germany in 1977. The other two works were initially issued on LP on the Wizard label, but appear here in new mixes.

The reissues offered here are remixed to her original surround concept: “as lightning comes, in flashes” explores a vast array of La Barbara’s signature extended vocal techniques. “Autumn Signal” is a rare example of the composer’s work with Buchla synthesizer, which she utilized for spatialization as well as modification of vocals.

For this release, fresh 96khz/24-bit transfers were made from the original multi-track analog tapes. Then all new stereo and surround mixes were created under the supervision of the composer.

Liner notes by Bernard Gendron trace La Barbara’s beginnings in the New Music world from the early 1970s New York Downtown Scene and her evolution as an avant-garde vocalist and composer. In addition, La Barbara contributes detailed notes on the works.

Also available on Bluray with special features:
• The stereo soundtrack is presented in uncompressed 24-bit PCM audio.
• The surround versions are presented in 24-bit 5.1 Surround Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
NOTE: this is a high-quality audio Bluray. There is no video with the music.

  •      BIOS

Joan La Barbara’s career as a composer/performer/sound artist explores the human voice as a multi-faceted instrument expanding traditional boundaries, creating works for a wide array of media, developing a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques (multiphonics, circular singing, ululation, and glottal clicks that have become her “signature sounds”), which has garnered awards in the United States and Europe and numerous commissions, recently from the West Deutscher Rundfunk; Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company; a choral work for the University of Iowa Center for New Music; and the solo cello work A Trail of Indeterminate Light. 73 Poems, her collaborative work with text artist Kenneth Goldsmith, was included in The American Century Part II: SoundWorks at The Whitney Museum of American Art.

La Barbara has collaborated with artists including Lita Albuquerque, Judy Chicago, Ed Emshwiller, Kenneth Goldsmith, Peter Gordon, Bruce Nauman, Steina, Woody Vasulka, and Lawrence Weiner. She has premiered landmark compositions by noted American composers, including Morton Subotnick’s chamber opera Jacob’s Room, his Hungers, and Intimate Immensity; the title role in Robert Ashley’s opera Now Eleanor’s Idea, his Balseros, and Dust; Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach; Morton Feldman’s Three Voices; Steve Reich’s Drumming; and John Cage’s Solo for Voice 45 from Song Books.

In addition to her internationally acclaimed discs of Feldman and Cage (New Albion), Sound Paintings and the reissue of La Barbara’s seminal works from the 1970s Voice is the Original Instrument(Lovely Music) and Shaman-Song (New World Records), she has recorded for A&M Horizon, Centaur, Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch, Mode, Music & Arts, MusicMasters, Musical Heritage, Newport Classic, Sony, Virgin, Voyager, and Wergo.

Related Resources:

John Cage: One11 and 103 (mode 174)
Joan La Barbara: Silent Scroll – (La Barbara, voice. With Newband)
and works by Cage, Partch, and Drummond (mode 18)
Morton Subotnick: Gestures (mode 97)


Mode Records

“Persistence of Memory” performance at MaerzMusik/Berliner Festspiele

“Angels, Demons and Other Muses” performance at Roulette

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