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Artist: LA BARBARA, JOAN
Title: Voice Is The Original Instrument
Format: LP
Label: Arc Light
Country: UK
Price: $30.00
“Voice Is The Original Instrument was the first record released by Joan La Barbara in 1976 on Wizard Records. This is the first time the original LP, with artwork, has been made available again. It has since become iconic as one of the initial examples of extended vocal techniques in experimental music. The human voice is the only instrument on the recordings. The works on Voice is the Original Instrument were some of Joans earliest compositions, researching the possibilities of the voice, in two rigorous études, "Circular Song" and "Voice Piece: One-Note Internal Resonance Investigation", and the more free-form "Vocal Extensions", which uses live electronic processing. "My reason for producing the LP was to get my music out to the world beyond NYC and the major cities in which I was playing concerts," she says. "At that time, Carla Bley and Michael Mantlerhad started JCOA/New Music Distribution Service which handled small independent labels, so there were quite a few artists in the NYC area who were producing their own albums and distributing them through that service." Just out of college and living in a Soho loft in New York, Joan began playing shows in New York with jazz and rock musicians, and with those in the new music scene. "I did commercials, which, strangely enough, led me to Steve Reich," she says. "A composer I was working with, Michael Sahl hired me to do some radio commercials and suggested me to Reich who was looking for singers who could imitate instruments, which was something I had been working on for some time and was part of my exploration of the voice. I worked with Reich on the development of "Drumming", imitating the marimba." - Arc Light Editions.

Artist: LA BARBARA, JOAN
Title: Tapesongs
Format: LP
Label: Arc Light Editions
Country: UK
Price: $30.00
“Tapesongs (1977) is the second of two crucial Joan La Barbara reissues on Arc Light Editions, following Voice Is The Original Instrument (1976) (ALE 005LP, 2016). Joan La Barbara is a composer, performer, sound artist and actor, renowned for her unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques, which have influenced generations of composers and singers. This reissue is presented in full collaboration with La Barbara. Tapesongs makes use of early electronics, and multi-tracked tape techniques to manipulate La Barbaras signature extended vocal techniques. It includes two essential pieces: John Cages Solo For Voice 45 and a burning take-down of Cathy Berberian in "Cathing". In 1977, La Barbara was living in NYC, playing concerts internationally and performing regularly with John Cage, who she described as a mentor. "I began working with John Cage in 1976 and we had done several performances of his “Solo for Voice 45” from Song Books in concert," says Joan. "Cage determined the 13-minute version for this version, overlaying all 18-pages of the score so that one hears the entire work in layers. Hearing it again after all these years is wonderful and brings back many memories." "Cathing" uses a recording of a radio interview Cathy Berberian did during the intermission of one of La Barbaras concerts at the Holland Festival: "She basically trashed those of us doing extended vocal techniques," she says. "She used the interview for her own self-promotion rather than taking on the mantle of the “mother” of vocal explorations. Rather tragic, I thought. So I created a work exploring extended vocal techniques and manipulating her spoken voice." "Thunder" is for six tympani and voice, using electronic devices (the same as used in "Vocal Extensions" from Voice Is The Original Instrument), and explores patterns through instruments and real-time composition with two jazz improvising musicians. The original artwork is an incredible shot of Joan buried to her neck in reel -to-reel tape. Remastered from original tapes by Rashad Becker. Kraftliner outer sleeve & art paper inner sleeve.” - Arc Light Editions.

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