On the Threshold of Beauty: Origins of Dutch Electronic Music 1925-1965

On the Threshold of Beauty: Origins of Dutch Electronic Music 1925-1965

by Kees Tazelaar (Text by)

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Overview

On the Threshold of Beauty is an exciting and detailed reconstruction of the emergence of electronic music in the Netherlands. Kees Tazelaar—composer and head of the Institute of Sonology at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague—relates its turbulent history from the earliest beginnings in the mid-1920s through to the postwar era and the emergence of musique concrète. This history begins around 1930 at the Philips Physics Laboratory and the creation of the now-legendary Philips Pavilion at Expo 58 in Brussels, for which Le Corbusier, Iannis Xenakis and Edgard Varèse collaborated on an extraordinary son et lumière extravanganza. In 1960 Philips divested itself of the laboratory, and it was absorbed into a new studio at Utrecht University, where Gottfried Michael Koenig became artistic director in 1964. Tazelaar also looks in detail at the influence wielded by the Contact Organization for Electronic Music during this period, and at the work of Dutch electronic pioneers Jan Boerman and Dick Raaijmakers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789462080652
Publisher: nai010 Publishers
Publication date: 04/30/2014
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Daniel Teruggi 7

Introduction 9

Part 1 Electroacoustics and Electronic Music at Philips Research Laboratories

1 Developments in Electroacoustics at Philips before 1945 17

Philips Research Laboratories 17

Radios and Loudspeaker Development 18

Film Sound: The Loetafoon and the Film "Philips Radio" 22

The Philips-Miller Recording System 26

Stereophonic Sound 28

Synthetic Sound 33

The Philiolist Loudspeaker Violins 36

2 After World War II: Towards Electronic Music 38

"Canned Music" and a Music Laboratory 38

Collaboration with Leopold Stokowski 40

Leopold Stokowski and Roelof Vermeulen at the Concertgebouw 45

Multiplication of Concerts 50

Ambiophonics and Reverberation 53

The Gravesano Music and Electroacoustics Conference 59

Electronic Musical Instruments for the Fair of Science 62

3 The Studio at Philips Research Laboratories 64

Henk Badings and the Nederlandse Radio Unie 64

Henk Badings' "Kaïn en Abel" and the Studio Equipment in Room 306 66

"Variations électroniques" and Philips' Commercial Animation Films 72

The Electronic Popular Music of Dick Raaijmakers, aka Kid Baltan 77

Tom Dissevelt's "Electronic Movements" 80

More Electronic Music by Hen Badings 83

Ton de Leeuw's "Antiphonie" for Wind Quintet and Electronic Sounds 86

The Composer Dick Raaijmakers 87

The End of the Studio in Eindhoven 93

Part 2 Electronic Music for the Philips Pavilion

4 Preliminary Technical and Artistic Outline 101

Initial Concept 101

The Electroacoustics Division (ELA) and Its Studio 106

ELA at the 1958 World's Fair 109

Sound and Light Spectacles 111

5 Realizing the Music for the Philips Pavilion 114

Le Corbusier, Edgard Varèse, lannis Xenakis: Artistic Considerations 114

Philips' Doubts about Edgard Varèse 118

The Garage at Strijp III and Willem Tak's Test Scenario 120

Edgard Varèse in Eindhoven and Preparations for Musical Production 127

The Laborious Recording of "Le Poème électronique" 139

Anton Buczynski's Contribution 144

The Integration of Reverberation and Panning 147

Iannis Xenakis' "Interlude sonore" 153

6 Le Poème électronique in Brussels 157

The Sound Installation 157

Edgard Varèse in Brussels 166

Presenting "Le poème électronique" to the Public 168

Part 3 Electronic Music Pervades Public Culture: Organizations, Studios, Concerts, Education

7 The First Steps towards a Dutch Electronic Music Studio 172

Walter Maas and the Founding of Gaudeamus 172

Werner Meyer-Eppler's Lectures 174

Electronic Music at the Nederlandse Radio Unie 175

8 An Organization for the Promotion of Electronic Music 177

The Contactorgaan Elektronische Muziek 177

Defining Electronic Music and Staging the First Concerts 180

The International Days of Experimental Music at the 1958 World's Fair 185

9 A Temporary Studio for Electronic Music Education and Production 188

A Studio at Technische Hogeschool Delft 188

Electronic Music for Film and Theater 192

The Composers Jan Boerman and Rudolf Escher 197

10 Continuing the Work of the Philips and TH Delft Studios in Utrecht and Bilthoven 200

Plans for New Studios in Utrecht and Amsterdam 200

New Studios in Utrecht and Bilthoven 206

Tom Dissevelt's "Intersection," Dick Raaijmakers' "Vijf plastieken," Jan Boerman's "Alchemie 1961" and Rudolf Escher's "Summer Rites at Noon" 209

The Battle over Leadership of the Studio in Utrecht 213

Gottfried Michael Koening at Gaudeamus: Critical Remarks on Sound Spatialization 219

The Bilthoven Electronic Music Course 222

The Utrecht Studio under Henk Badings and Rudolf Escher's Final Attempt 224

Tom Dissevelt's "Fantasy in Orbit" 226

11 Private Projects 230

The Mood Engineering Society 230

The First Private Studios and Their Early Productions: Jan Boerman, Ton Bruynèl, Dick Raaijmakers 231

12 Towards Stability in Utrecht and The Hague 246

Gottfried Michael Koenig's Formative Years 246

Koenig at the Cologne Studio 250

Koenig at STEM 255

Kees van baaren and the Establishment of a Studio at the Royal Conservatoire 262

Acknowledgments 266

List of Illustrations 268

Notes 269

References 296

Appendix: Foreign Quotations in Original Languages 300

Index 307

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