Music Musicology Poetry Gallery

Abgesang (II)
Utrecht Series
1966/2009; 8:40 min.


Abgesang, in the sense of medieval Meistersinger the last portion of a stanza, is my first piece of electronic music. I reworked the piece 43 years later, adapting the original to contemporary esthetics with the intent to preserve the starkness and rawness of the original.

The piece is dedicated to A. Lucier who sponsored my work at Brandeis University despite my being a total beginner in electronic music. The work's first performance took place at a Brandeis University concert of January 1967.

Abgesang celebrates new sound materials having become available, as well as stereo renditions of sound by treating the two tracks as independent voices going alongside each other, with occasional nods to their coexistence. The flow of the revision is decidedly more continuous than was the original, transitions having been technically impossible except for uninterrupted sine waves.