07 05 2013

New on Unkant Publishing "Cosmic Orgasm: The Music of Iancu Dumitrescu" ed. Andy Wilson


Cosmic Orgasm: The Music of Iancu Dumitrescu
ed. Andy Wilson

ISBN: 978-0-9568176-5-5
Published: Apr 2013
402 pp 


Ben Watson: Why The AMM Says ‘Listen to Dumitrescu!’    1
Ben Watson: Spectrum Festival Preview    3
Ronsen, Peyret, Leroy: Iancu Dumitrescu - Acousmatic Provoker    7
Ben Watson: Statement at Conway Hall, Spectrum 2008    38
In Resonance with Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram     39
Out to Lunch: Our Kinetic Kynicism Knows No Bounds    84
Iancu Dumitrescu: On the Inside Looking In    87
Tim Hodgkinson Interviews Iancu Dumitrescu    95
Tim Hodgkinson: A Note on Phenomenology    107
Costin Cazaban: An Adventure in Experimental Music    109
Eugene Thacker: Pulse Demons (extract)    125
Andy Wilson and Ben Watson: The Music of Iancu Dumitrescu     131
Ben Watson: Spectral Music at the Beginning of the 21st Century    159
Guillaume Ollendorff: At the Heart of Chaos    163
Guillaume Ollendorff: The Society of the Spectrum    171
Tim Hodgkinson: The Tasks of the Composer    193
Iancu Dumitrescu: Reply to Tim Hodgkinson    207
Tim Hodgkinson: Reply to Iancu Dumitrescu    213
Ryan Kirk: Interviews Dumitrescu    215
Ana-Maria Avram: Composer From Bucharest, Romania    237
Iancu Dumitrescu: Biographical Notes    245
Iancu Dumitrescu: Catalogue of Works    253

Pressbook    263
Discography    285
Related Recordings    359

Index    369

Press Book
This composer appeals to the intellectual avant garde, as well as noise mongers. Dumitrescu writes a lot of excellent music for contrabass, andAulodie Mioritica (Gamma) is a concerto for said solo instrument and chamber orchestra. There are some extended techniques: whistling harmonics, snap pizzicatos and multiphonics, in both the solo and accompaniment parts, along with a colourful battery of percussion instrument. The work is severe; intense, raucous, and very exciting Ursa Mare (Grande Ourse), for tape and an ensemble (again the Hyperion Ensemble, conducted by the composer), includes a huge percussion section. 
     Like all of Dumitrescu’s music, the focus is on texture and a fascination with bizarre, unorthodox noises, though this work is considerably more restrained than most of his other compositions. The sounds that he creates both acoustically and electronically are like some strange hybrid of whale calls and grinding metal.
Dean Suzuki
The important Romanian thinker Petre Tutea, a kind of guru both for the philosopher E.M. Cioran in his youth, and for the historian of religions Mircea Eliade, used to say in the 60’s, just after coming out of prison, that today, now that we can concentrate enormous energies onto small areas, there are no longer great and small powers. Applied to contemporary music, this idea could be read as an equality of opportunity amongst compositional schools from countries previously unrecognised on the level of Europe as a whole. And this is particularly true of the Romanian school which had seemed very cut off from the continental experimental music field. 
      As Olivier Messiaen noted as early as the first Warsaw Festival of Contemporary Music, experimental music, promoted in France by such as Boulez and Schaeffer, finds an exceptionally fruitful soil in Romania under the uncontested leadership of Iancu Dumitrescu. But obviously this experimental school of composers is not the first manifestation of Romanian composed music. Emerging under the influence of Byzantine art, absorbing the sediment of popular ritual and magical traditions, it enters the European circuit in the 20th century through the work of George Enescu, whose major achievement was to integrate great Romanian music into a universal musical culture, establishing for those who came after him a model of composition and interpretation both paradigmatic and implicit. The theoretical and formal achievements of Enescu form a link between the modern and the archaic, and this synthesis is repeated and perpetuated both by the post-War musicians and those of the 1930’s and their disciples of the 60’s, amongst whom Stefan Niculescu, Aurel Stroe and Anatol Vieru laid out the milestones for the new wave of creators. This period is one of original research, even if orientated mainly to serialism. Three tendencies dominate: the exploration of the principle of heterophony (Niculescu), the mediation of traditionally organised layers, with palimpsest used as an analogical model (Stroe), and the neo-modal researches of Vieru. 
     For the next generation, it is spectralism. Almost at the same time as the French composers of the Itineraire group (if not before them) the young Romanian school of composition opens up the new world of the interiority of sound. Whilst the French musicians, not so dissimilar to their serialist predecessors, concentrate on a scientific treatment of resonance, the Romanians penetrate into the spectral universe, finding legitimacy in a consensus newly rediscovered after numerous sterile diversions into the (serial) avant garde. And this new, and paradoxically immemorial, vision, in which resonance affirms itself as the primordial source of archetypes, bursts onto a Romanian musical scene revitalised by such as Ana-Maria Avram, Horatiu Radulescu and Iancu Dumitrescu, whose musics have long since achieved recognition in the Europe-wide field of experimental music. 
      As Harry Halbreich and many other musicologists of note have established, Iancu Dumitrescu stands at the cutting edge of the whole range of new tendencies, representing a musical avant garde uncorrupted by compromise – in which the taste for invention merges with intellectual speculation in the philosophical sense of the word. As the outstanding figure in Romanian composed music, Iancu Dumitrescu developed from the 1970’s the concept of acousmatic – a pre-Socratic term that refers to the art of concealing the sound source to render a message more mysterious. Dumitrescu’s approach to acousmatics consists in associating in the mind the metaphors engendered by the concealment of sound sources, “drawing the listener towards new revelatory spheres of a cryptic adventure” as the Berlin musicologist Robert Zank put it. Among the French acousmaticists of the INA-GERM group, however, the concealment of the sound source is purely a matter of physics. 
     Works like Cogito / Trompe l’Oeil / Pièrres Sacrées / Harryphoniesbear witness to the fact that with Dumitrescu sound prospecting is a spiritual adventure. Meanwhile, in the Médium or Movemur et sumus series, composed for different string instruments, the composer approaches spectralism in terms of how to get resonance, revealing new modalities of interpretative use of the classical instruments. Synthesising – within the limits of the possible – the different sounds made by artisanal classical instruments with sound objects produced electronically or naturally, Dumitrescu’s works propose a ‘diagonal’ reconfiguration of music already taken up and assimilated in France, Germany, England and other countries. The countless recordings, public concerts and CDs now available in the Western repertoire testify to the calibre of the Romanian composer. 
George Astalos, tr. Tim Hodgkinson.



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