Atmospheres by Györgi Ligeti with Animation Video Art

This video shows a video animation over a piece composed by Gyorgy Sandor Ligeti (1923 – 2006) who has experimented with sounds beyond the ones conventionally produced by the traditional instruments of the symphonic orchestra.
Atmospheres was performed first in 1960 and forms part of the first electronic music pieces which certainly don’t have to do much or maybe anything with what more superficial people call electronic music (like what Chemical Brothers and many others perform).
This piece also was chosen by movie director Stanly Kubrick for some scenes of his masterpiece A Space Odyssey.

Gong – The Legandary Band Performing Live in 2000

Gong is a group from the 1970s era and had disappeared for some while but has come back and this video shows the band Gong playing their first gig after their comeback in the year 2000. In this clip, Gong is performing the song Master Builder from their original album You. They still count with some of their original members: David Allen, Mike Howlett, Didier Malherbe and Gilly Smith.
The band’s concept has always been to play music beyond the mainstream. The band lived together in a commune in France after David Allen, born in Australia and who had founded the band Soft Machine, couldn’t enter the UK any more for legal reasons, decided to stay in France and to continue to experiment with musical sounds.
The band developed an unique style and was experimenting with lots of strange elements, specially focussing on improvisation as the vital part of music. They also liked to appear in rare costumes and still do so as you can see in this relatively recent video clip. The music is a combination of jazz and rock elements and can be regarded as part of fusion, the style from the seventies that concentrated on the fusion of jazz and rock elements, sometimes calles jazzrock too. However, they sure are a band that plays very progressive music, specially if you consider that they were playing this kind of sounds in the 1970s.

Can – German Electronic Music Band Playing Chain Reaction

Can is a german electronic music band from the early days of this rock music genre. Watch this video with the song Chain Reaction, music from 1974. You will listen to music which could be a production from the present days, however, this german rock group did this more than 30 years ago. It is avant-garde music even though Karlheinz Stockhausen, one of the most important composers experimenting with electronic and synthetic sounds, didn’t get very excited when he listened to the music of Can. That’s just because they belong to the field of rock music while Stockhausen belongs to what is called ‘serious music’ or concert music.
The german group was not very popular due to the experimental character of their music, but they had and have their audience. In fact, the music is quite interesting, specially if you consider the time it was made. There weren’t many computers out there…
The song of this video is from the album Soon Over Babaluma which contains interesting elements. It is full of ethnomusicology experiments that would become hugely popular in rock music of the 80s as well as proto dance, techno, big beat music that would become tremendously popular in the 90s. Fortunately the band is still known among the musicians who are interested in quality music and sound exploration and many bands of the 80s and 90s mention Can as a band that has influenced their music.
For those of you who would like to watch more videos with music of the german avant-garde rock music band Can, we recommend a visit to the fiesta-musical.com site where you can find clips with the band performing live on stage as well as documentary videos about their work.

Anthony Braxton at the Woodstock Jazz Festival – Impressions

In this video Anthony Braxton, Jack DeJohnette, Miroslav Vitous and Chic Corea are performing the John Coltrane song Impressions. The video clip also shows a little conversation of cats backstage. Anthony Braxton plays the alto saxophone on this tune and the clip shows his great improvisation while the felow musicians are cooking hot. The saxophone blowing here is not the traditional bebop style, instead extremely high notes beyond the ‘normal’ range of the alto sax are played with a very intense attack and blowing are mixed with ultra-fast runs through the scales. Also watch Jack DeJohnette constantly giving impulse to the performance.
Woodstock is best known for the legendary Rock Music Festival in the hippie era when Jimi Hendrix was performing the Star Spangled Banner with guitar allusions to falling bombs and explosions and Carlos Santana was playing latin rock befor the largest audience a rock festival had ever joined. However, this recording is from around 1991 when Woodstock already was a festival for jazz music… seems like the place keeps attracting some the most important musicians of the time, no matter if they are rockers or jazz cats …

Karlheinz Stockhausen – ‘Kontakte’

Karlheinz Stockhausen, composer, was born on August 22 1928 and died on December 5 2007. He was one of the most innovative composers of his time. His work is very interesting and should be listened to carefully. In his compositions there’s a lot of rhythm as well as sounds of electronic instruments and concrete sounds of the surrounding world together with the well known classical symphony orchestra textures arranged with his own personal style.
He was one of the first 20th century composers who included synthetically produced sounds and synthesizers into his compositions. He is considered as one of the fathers of the electronic music.

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Watch Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention perform live on stage in the early sixties. This kind of music was not very popular at the time nor is it in our days. However, this type of music is much more interesting than most of the modern ‘songs’. The musician sure have fun and the resulting music is an surprising mix of accoustic events.
It could be regarded as Free Jazz too, but especially with this sort of ‘songs’ the name doesn’t really matter. The words are only aproximations to the real things. Nevertheless, one can talk about the music, and talking about Frank Zappa’s music certainly is talking about freedom: freedom of speech and freedom of musical composition.
If you want to learn more about music, then the music of Frank Zappa sure is a good starting point since he has a very extense discography and his compositions range from country style songs and contemporary chamber music to punk rock and rap. All with his very personal style.
Observe the integration of almost any kind of artifact as a musical instrument, e.g. the small plastic bottle that produces sounds held in front of the microphone in the minutes of the music video shown here.