Friday, August 22, 2008
Material available on radiOM.org has been selected from the ever growing archives of Other Minds. Here you will find recordings of OM's past music festivals and concert productions, selected recordings of new music sent to us by composers from around the world, and selections from 4000 hours of audiotape recordings from the KPFA Radio Music Department collection transferred to Other Minds in 2000. The KFPA tapes contain live conversations, interviews, and performances with many of the innovative musicians who created 20th Century new music. Check our site weekly for new additions. At least five new programs are made available each month.
The Other Minds Recordings
The Other Minds Music Festival brings to San Francisco annually a group of eight to twelve distinguished, non-conforming composers whose work has contributed to the redefinition of classical music, jazz, and various hybrid forms. The first event, held in November 1993, featured a world premiere of a collaboration piece by Conlon Nancarrow and Trimpin, performances by Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Robert Ashley, Foday Musa Suso, Julia Wolfe and many others.
In subsequent years we've had presentations from Sam Rivers, Laurie Anderson, Lou Harrison, Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros, Frederic Rzewski, Henry Brant, Luc Ferrari, Hamza el Din, DJ Spooky, James Tenney, Ellen Fullman, Evelyn Glennie, Ned Rorem, Tigran Mansurian, Fred Frith, Michael Nyman, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and numerous others.
The KPFA Recordings
KPFA-FM Radio in Berkeley California, a part of the Pacifica Foundation's radio network, was founded in 1949 by Lewis Hill, a journalist and poet who, along with a group of radio professionals, wanted "not only to disseminate the diversity of thought and art produced by this and other societies, but to make possible a way of life for individuals of artistic and intellectual abilities to contribute to the culture themselves." To promote this vision, KPFA capitalized the enterprise not through commercial funding, but through listener sponsorship, a model now imitated throughout the U.S. Significantly, KPFA quickly carved out an international reputation in music programming.
A fuller history of the KPFA Music Department led by composers, music critics, and music librarians exclusively from 1943-1992, is available here.
Other Minds acquired the KPFA portion of their archive in 2000 with the assistance of private donors and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and began raising funds necessary to begin the preservation phase of this project, digitizing some 4,000 analog reel to reel tapes. Partners were found in Fantasy Studios in Berkeley who began the process of restoring and digitizing the collection, now in varying degrees of slow decay. There is still much work to be done but thanks to grants awarded by the Rockefeller Foundation, The Amphion Foundation, Save America's Treasures, and the Grammy Foundation, OM has been able to increase its effort in the archiving and preservation of audio and visual material in our collections, and allowing the material to be accessed on this site by curious listeners around the globe. See Acknowledgements for a list of contributors to the project.
An important foundational element in keeping this project together has been the continual involvement of Charles Amirkhanian; first as Music Director for KPFA (1969 - 1992), then as co-founder (with Jim Newman) and Artistic and Executive Director of Other Minds. Amirkhanian, a recognized authority in the field of New Music composition and performance, has led the efforts of both organizations to create a forum for the avant-garde.
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