back in stock as of
july 23rd, 2013
first in stock on
january 25th, 2007
|em records (japan) #em 1063 cd|
richard lerman “music of richard lerman • 1964-1987” double compact disc set
disc one: "travelon gamelon" album
- two discs of classic richard lerman !! including his early 80s folkways material !!!
= cd-extra program =
- promenade version [boston, ma, july 2, 1979] 6:04
- concert version [pittsburg, pa, june 6, 1981] 14:16
- promenade version [amsterdam, the netherlands, april 27, 1982] 5:08
- concert version [amsterdam, the netherlands, april 27, 1982] 14:28
- concert version [wellington, new zealand, july 31, 1986] (previously unissed)
disc two: selected works
- score of "travelon gamelon"
- movie of "travelon gamelon" [vancouver, canada, feb 22, 1987]
= cd-extra program =
- for two of them  7:36
- sections for screen, performers and audience  9:22
- end of the line: some recent dealings with death  14:18
- accretion disk, event horizon, singularity  8:37
- 2 1/2 minutes for a basf loop  13:22
- soundspot  2:10
- music for plinky and straw  11:49
- score of "how to make a tape delay for 2 sony walkman pro cassette recorders"
- score of "accretion disk, event horizon, singularity"
- score of "2 1/2 minutes for a basf loop"
- score of "music for plinky and straw"
- movie of "music for plinky and straw"
|em and i must have some sort of subconscious esp-link going on at the moment... for their first release of 2007 here’s a two-disc collection of richard lerman’s folkways material, including probably his most well-known record “travelon gamelan”...|
in an effort to complete my collection of folkways records i picked up a copy of “travelon” only a few weeks ago; it’s really one of the best 80s folkways records (i’ll bestow that honor to dariush dolat-shahi’s “electronic music, tar, and sehtar” - seriously - em: take note - i’ll write liner notes & everything...)
simply put: “travelon gamelon” is music composed for and performed on bicycles. it’s an amazing recording (done out out in the streets; tony schwartz-style) using seemingly ordinary objects to make extraordinary music; ranging from gamelan-esque repeating metal rhythms to drones of whirring clicks and plucked/bowed spokes. it’s a great, trance-inducing record.
em, have, for the umpeenth time, delivered an excellent package featuring the entirety of “travelon gamelon” on the first disc (along with an unreleased take, the score of the piece and a quicktime movie,), paired with a compilation of lerman’s work from the mid-60s through the mid-80s. highly recommended !!!
|em records press release...|
music of richard lerman 1964-1987
*lots of scarce photos
*36p thick booklet
liner notes written by:
arthur j. sabatini & richard lerman
"as a sound artist, performer and composer, richard lerman traverses worlds of sound and music. for over forty years, he has been gathering, scanning, seeking sounds and creating works that weave through nature and draw upon living communities and memories in notable landscapes. (some of his work references regrettable historical events such as the disappearance of chilean citizens under general pinochets regime and the internment of japanese-americans during the world war ii.) his recordings and performances rely on everyday objects and traditional instruments as well as basic, self-invented equipment and state-of-the-art technologies, as they were available since the 1960s. lerman's scores and instructions are deceptively simple, yet produce extraordinary results. as a filmmaker, sound documentarian, installation artist, and collaborator with other artists, he demonstrates that his conception of sonic reality and musical experience is interdependent with visuality, motion, actual sites and moments, theatricality, live audiences, and politics. as the various pieces convey, his art takes him from studios and concert halls to cities and the outdoors worldwide. "
(excerpts from liner notes by arthur j. sabatini)
every bicycle riders will dream of 'music for bicycles', if it really exist. sure you know "bicycle" sung by queen...but it's only 'words' about bicycles. yet you may think what's about "tour de france" performed by kraftwerk?? no, it's only thier 'concept' to bicycle races in europe & played on computer.....so now you might doubt if there's the real musical piece for bicycles?? but, listen everybody, it does exist!
"travelon gamelon (music for bicycles)" realized by the sound artist richard lerman, is used real bicycles as musical instruments and perfomed in 1970s-80s, then realized the exact musical pieces for bicycles which sounded like gamelon music in south-east asia. no joke, its serious, a real true story.
"travelon gamelon" had ever been released as the album on folkways records in 1983, included 4 tracks of promenade(!) & concert(!) version. it was long out of prints & became very hard to find sought-after album for experimantal/industrial music fans. it's long awaited re-issue & first time on cd format. this one & only original performances is not only one of unrivaled experimental piece but also ultimate "industrial" music that will appeal to heavy noise/industrial music listeners.
em records' first release in 2007, "music of richard lerman 1964-1987" is 2cd collection, "travelon gamelon (music for bicycles)" album for disc one with a unissued bonus track.
and disc two feature other various soundworks of lerman's entire pieces performed & recorded through 1964-1986. both discs are cd-extra (cd enhanced) incl. movies of his scarce performances on quicktime and scores/diagrams for those works on pdf file. liner notes written by arthur sabatini and richard lerman himself. english & japanese texts. a lot of photos & heavy booklet as usual. packed in duo case (same as idris ackamoor 2cd set).
liner notes to the original folkways lp of “travelon gamelon”:
folkways records album no. fx 6241
©1982 by folkways records & service corp., 43 w. 61st st., nyc ,usa 10023
i was born in 1944 in san francisco. after living in la, virginia, washington dc and other places, we eventually settled in milwaukee, wi, where i became interested in contemporary music at the age of 16.
i began working with electronic music in 1963 while at brandeis u. since 1967, i have also been involved with making 'personal cinema' since 1967, and now teach filmmaking and performance art at the boston museum school.
since 1976, i have performed in many us cities including milwaukee, st. louis, portland & eugene, or, san francisco & santa clara, ca, houston, chicago, ny and others. travelon gamelon was included as part of the new music america festival at the walker art center in minneapolis in 1980. it has also been offerred in many european festivals and cities including the 1979 muzicki biennale zagreb and in split, yugos., at the spiel und klangstrasse festival in essen, w. germany, at the 1981 world music days in brussels and gent, in amsterdam, utrecht and in london.
another major work that has received wide performance is incident at 3mile island: perhaps an elegy for karen silkwood which has performed at many of the above places as well as' at the jf kennedy center for the performing arts with the dance exchange of washington dc. currently, i am working with a group called sound/image/events made of mys~lf, tom pisek and larry johnson. i am also beginning to perform with david moss, as well as involve myself in creating different types of sonic sculpture.
why music for bicycles? the title came first. a gamelan orchestra is a large group of percussive instruments, usually metallic, from se asia. in fact, the sound of such a group is not unlike the timbre of amplified bicycles. the rhyme of the title, and its implication of a 'travelling' gamelan, seemed too good of an idea to pass up. i was further intrigued with using the bicycle as a sound source, as an instrument and as an image. memories from childhood of attaching cards to wheels to strike the spokes provided another impetus to pursue the pieces.
i had briefly amplified a bicycle in 196] for an early tape music piece by jamming a microphone against the frame and recording the sound for future use. this would have be been impossible in live performance -- too much feedback. using phono cartridges which i took apart, the first performance of an earlier version happened on feb. 4, 1977. four of the six cartridges broke. over the next 6 months i developed a way to safely house the cartridges in plastic and also increase their response.
it occurred to me that another version could be performed outdoors with riders and i conceived the promenade version. this necessitated designing and building 25 small battery powered amplifiers, getting horn-type loudspeakers to attach to the bicycles, making pickups, and organizing the event. with each rider individually amplified, the promenade version was first given in may, 1978 at u. mass.-boston.
musically, each of the 3 bicycles in the concert version is introduced with different rhythmic structures. each bicycle is turned upside down, and performed alone, with the players at the rear and front wheels striking the spokes only. each spoke has its own unique pitch. some bicycles have different timbres from each other. after each has completed their parts, there is a free middle section with all bicycles together. here, the piece is more improvisatory and other sounds are heard including: brakes being applied, cables being plucked, the frame and/or chain being struck and at the end of the section, the spokes being bowed. the third section is a retrograde canon of the first section. throughout, there are often electronic modifications of the sounds. what is heard by the listener is a blend of the 'live' sounds of the spokes being struck by metal or wood and the amplified (often modified and delayed) sounds of the bicycles.
the score, completed in early 1978, uses two systems of notation simlutaneously: one of traditional music rhythmic values and the other a graphic notation using bicycle wheels to notate the rhythms. this notation has allowed the piece to be performed by persons without or with little knowledge of reading music. the middle section is more playful and uses symbols that combine music notation and bicycle imagery
travelon gamelon has been performed in many cities. experience has shown me that the piece can serve as a good intro for persons not familiar with, or even hostile to new music or electronic music. at several out~oor events i have followed t. gam. with very much more abs~ract and less accessible music to a generally appreciative audience.
since these pieces, i have created many other pieces for outdoors. i have also adapted pieces originally conceived for indoors to also be performed outdoors. my constructing pickups has lead to explorations of other piezo-electric devices so that the pickups now cost about 60¢ to make. r have recently built new pickups and 'microphones' from such materials as copper and brass window screens, aluminum foil, paper and mylar.
side 1 band 1 6 min. 8 sec.
promenade version, boston, ma
the recording was made on july 2, 1979 at the opening of the boston museum of transportation. just prior to the event, a violent storm happened. at the beginning of the promenade, the sound of the wet pavement is heard, as is my warning to the 20 participants to, "watch out for the metal," on which i nearly spilled as i rode.
this is an edited version. the promenade lasted for 45 minutes through downtown boston. rather than try to match splice, i decided to present it here with quick fades and short pauses between these sections. the recording, made by myself is from the vantage point of a rider. i rode with amplified bicycle, cassette and microphones.
side 1 band 2 13min. 48 sec.
concert version pittsburgh, pa
this performance was at the 3 rivers arts festival on june 6, 1981. my appearance there was partially funded by meet the composer. the recording was made with ~ cassette recorder and in addition to the sounds of the piece, crowd sounds are heard on the large plaza where the event happened.
ten-speed bicycles were used and four of the six performers were students from allderdice hs) pittsburgh, coordinated by jeffrey stock.
bicycle 1: paul resnick & jennifer kovachs
bicycle 2: jack walworth & r. lerman (also on electronics)
bicycle 3: erick ekwurdzel & jeffrey stock
side 2 band 1 5 min. 12 sec.
promenade version amsterdam, the netherlands
both versions were performed at the melkweg (milky way multi-media center) for the 'toekomst (future) festival' on april 27, 1982. first heard are some instructions in dutch describing the route. as the riders leave, their obvious delight, and that of the audience can also be heard. later, ard hasselink of the melkweg explains to me that while people in amsterdam are so used to seeing demonstrations, this one they cannot comprehend for lack of signs.
we were accompanied by a bicycle/cart which dispensed liquid refreshment along the way. the recording was made from the vantage point of an observer. i ran after the group at the onset, and then towards the end, walked with them trhough the leidseplein -- a mall area with streetcar tracks and pedestrian traffic through it. this is also an edited version of the promenade.
side 2 band 2 14 min. 45 sec.
concert version amsterdam
immediately following the promenade, the concert version was offerred indoors, due to rain and drizzle. the dutch bicycles have a different sound: they were all single speed and all had relatively thick spokes. in amsterdam, the streets are rougher and the bikes all are 'loooser' with loose screws and an occasional broken spoke. i used fewer electronics to modify sounds.
bicycle 1: martijn van wensveen & andrej
bicycle 2: michael hanish & henkjan honig
bicycle 3: tim plowman & tom watson
recording by peter rubin
i would like to thank my wife saf and my 2 sons joshua and jesse for putting up with my experiments in music and sound at often, odd hours. happily, i can state that travelon gamelon received a fellowship from the mass. artist's foundation in 1978. thanks also to lessing kahn, jack walworth, dan moore, david stock and others.