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AB

Andy Battaglia

Andy Battaglia is a writer in New York, where he contributes to the Wall Street Journal, The Wire, The National, Slate, The Daily Beast, eMusic, Resident Advisor, Bookforum, and several other publications. He also helps organize Unsound Festival New York, a festival of adventurous music made up of concerts and attendant talks, presentations, and so forth. More information can be found at www.andybattaglia.com.

 

Abstract:

"Circuits in the Grid: The Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in Harlem in the '50s, '60s & '70s"

A sonic sanctuary and freewheeling lab for aural work of various kinds, the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center was established in New York in 1959 on the outskirts of Harlem, in an old milk-processing plant by the East River. The center played home to the pioneering room-sized RCA Mark II Synthesizer and enterprising composers including Milton Babbitt, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Edgar Varese, Bulent Arel, Mario Davidovsky, Alice Shields, Pril Smiley, Wendy Carlos…the list goes on. For all its institutional pedigree and enduring importance in the history of electronic sound production, the center was also a fascinatingly weird and idiosyncratic place, situated in a lively neighborhood where so much of the city teems. Most of the lore attached to early electronic-music centers of the era favors tales of institutional settings in Europe, where funding was ample and the infrastructure of nationalized radio made for a receptive context. In America, the story was different, and thus more slapdash and forcedly resourceful in a very classic sort of mid-century American way.

My Speakers Sessions

Sunday, March 25
 

9:00am EDT