3 August 2009

Michel Portal in Köln 1977

Continuing our Michel Portal series, here is a fairly short piece recorded in Köln in 1977. His input here is more as a player and less as a composer/leader. This piece is also less jazz-related than previous postings and perhaps better categorised as new or contemporary music.

This was recorded sometime in 1977 at Studio Elektronische Musik (WDR), Köln, Germany

The players are:

Michel Portal: cl
Othello Liesmann: cello
Munir Bashir: oud
Fujiro Yuasa: shakuhachi
Thomas Kessler: electronics

1. Dialoge für zwei europäische und zwei außereuropäische Instrumente, Live-Elektronik und Tonband (Kessler) 18:12

Scholleck (who uploaded this piece at Dime) notes that "Kessler's list of works lists "Dialoge für 2 aussereuropäische u. 2 europäische Musiker und Vocoder" (1977). Reconstructing how and for what occasion this ensemble came to life is a little hard these days, but after all it is possible this actually is not a Portal-lead group, and he's "only" one interpreter here among others (it appears the latter at least is true in this recording at hand of the Kessler-composition)."

Portal is adept in crossing musical boundaries and was an important contributor to Stockhausen's "Aus den sieben Tagen" from 1968. This work appears to have led to the formation of New Phonic Art in 1969, a group of improvisors who made at least one record. It would certainly be very interesting to hear the Stockhausen work in total, originally issued as seven lps and later as seven cds. The cds can be ordered directly from the Stockhausen Verlag, though on the expensive side, but including a huge booklet. It would be interesting to know if any of our readers has heard it and has views about it.

More info here:


Meanwhile, dig in! More Portal to come!


kinabalu said...


Discobole said...

Well, the New Phonic Art appears in three recordings, one for Wergo, one for DGG, and one in the "Drama and Correspondence" record by Globokar.
Carlos Roque Alsina also wrote pieces for the ensemble plus an orchestra, which have not been published on record.
I will post soon on lesparolesgelees.blogspot.com two different concerts from French radio.

sotise said...

K, thanks for this , and I love the cycle 'aus den sieben tagen' which is largely a potent almost transcendental series of Free improvs under the direction of herr Stockhausen, who more or less 'mixes' ,what is now known as live electronics.... ooh yesss, THOSE 'potentio metres'
All are loosly based on instructions ,such as for 'Kommunion'

"play a vibration in the rythm of the limbs of a fellow player,...in the rythm of the cells,molecules, atoms the smallest particles".

rumour is that copious quantities of LSD were consumed ...
the resulting music is totally unique , something akin to AMM ,at once more formal and less predictable, AMM apperently even performed a couple of these pieces

incredible soundscapes whose use of primitive electronics ,such as ring modulation, microphone feedback .. can never be replicated.

no other performances can match the intensities of the group assembled for these unique documents.

sound on the original lp's is grainy ... as if envoloped by some dense grey vibrating miasma.

some might find the explorations of Hinduism .. trite and stinking SOMEWHAT OF incense ,.. but no , it aint pachouli oil..... I Believe Stockhausens absorption of the Hippie Zeitgeist to have been sincere and profound.

definately worth having .. INSPIRATIONAL....

Hopefully for the cd's Stockhausen didnt fuck to much with the original sound to make it more "modern".

sotise said...

also anyone who explores 'aus den sieben tagen' should check out Mauricio Kagels contemporaneous oeuvre ,featuring some of the very same performers..
Acustica is another milestone of Electro acoustic 'directed free improvisation'
theres an idea for a series of posts... Kagels out of print DG records... are suis generis .

kinabalu said...

Thanks for the added info, Discobole. The one I knew about is the one featured here:


I've managed to locate an mp3 version of the seven cd "Tagen" on the net and started to listen through it all. From what I can hear, the mix is closeted and soemwhat "roomy" as if the acoustics of the studio had an independent role in the performance of the work. Sounds very mcuh like a live, on the spot type of recording. It didn't sound modernised to me, certainly not like the pristine typical ECM recording.

I checked the public library to see if they had the full "Tagen", but alas, only the one cd-version of the Ensemble Musique Vivant dir. by Diego Masson, made in 1969. This one is fairly easily obtainable.

However, checking the inner lp sanctum, the librarian returned with half a dozen lps, which I think are the ones pictured here (the DG avant garde series):


Dunno anything about their general availability as yet, but shall investigate further. The records can in fact be borrowed, so ...

kinabalu said...

And here is the actual thing:


Discobole said...

Well, Kagel is coming at lesparolegelees.blogspot.com, and not only DGG.
I have (not with me right now) 3 or 4 of the 7 tagen. If you can wait till next April or May, I will post them...