SpaceCraft - 30:49
Stop the War - 44:37
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Pt. 1 - 43:07
Kunstmuseum, Bern - 24:36
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Pt. 2 - 44:05
New Music America Festival - 30:50
Ferrara, Italy - 1:07:05
Mass. Pike - 10:56
Launched in 1966, Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV) is a live acoustic/electronic improvisational group. The group’s personnel have varied over the years, including flugelhornist Alvin Curran, Moog syntheziser player Richard Teitelbaum, pianist Frederic Rzewski, trombonist Franco Cataldi, saxophonist Gunther Carius, plus Allan Bryant, Carol Plantamura, Ivan Vandor, Steve Lacy, and Jon Phetteplace. Inspired by the earlier works of avant garde classical composers like John Cage and Karl Heinz Stockhausen, MEV discards any artificial boundaries, experimenting in the studio with gusto. The group has continued to record with different mixes of players over several decades..
While some avant garde music gives the novice listener brief themes to give a sense of direction, total freedom is the goal of MEV. The two parts which make up “Friday” are often slow to develop, with the drone of the synthesizer and electronics interspersed with brief snippets played by the other instruments, incorporating sudden shifts in volume. Wordless vocals, the electronic manipulation of the human voice, feedback and whistling all surge in and out of the main body of the work, keeping the listener guessing as to the next change in direction, without a dominant player. Like many forms of challenging music, the works of MEV require attention to appreciate the nuances of their group improvisations. This early recording documents MEV at the dawn of their existence.