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Arc Light Editions

BARTLETT, MARTIN - Ankle On: Electronic and Orchestral Works

"Martin Bartlett was an inspiring and original thinker, composer, writer, performer, and organizer. His preoccupation with building aleatoric elements into electronic music distinguishes his work. He devised elegant and open interactions for instrumental performers and computer-controlled synthesizers which included building his own electronic devices and extensive work on the Buchla 400. He worked with or studied under Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, and David Tudor, and collaborated extensively with Don Buchla, and some of their live performances are included on the LP Anecdotal Electronics (ALE 009LP). He also studied Carnatic vocal music with V. Lakshminarayana Iyer in Madras, South Asian music with Pandit Pran Nath, and gamelan with K.R.T. Wasitidipuro. He founded the Vancouver Community Gamelan in 1986. His performances were often collaborative -- for the Western Front's second anniversary in 1975, he devised the four-channel piece "One Piece for Everyone", where he prepared and cooked a cauliflower curry on a table connected to a self-built synthesizer, while reading from texts on food. When the curry was cooked, the piece ended, and everyone was fed. Bartlett was a prolific writer, and he expresses himself in fresh, lucid, and wonderfully descriptive prose, offering clear thinking on social aspects of electronic music performance; on the barriers between the performer and the "black box" and on possibilities for organic systems in electronic music. He also wrote the incandescent manifesto-like piece "Electronic Recalcitrant" (which forms the cover artwork for Anecdotal Electronics), in which he hoped that electronic music would be imbued with "organic codes of growth and metamorphosis" so that he could "pluck elegant and fleshy electronic sound fish from the frothy algorithmic sea of possibilities". It is unclear why Bartlett's work remains unknown. Perhaps it is because it remained largely inside the academy. Perhaps his commitment to live performance and community activity means it was more transient than the work of others. Perhaps his openness about his sexuality played a part in his music not receiving much recognition -- one can only speculate. But correspondence in his archive shows that rejection from labels was a source of great personal discontent, leading to Bartlett working with the Western Front to release his final opus "Pythagoras' Ghost" shortly before his death. Bartlett died young, of AIDS-related causes, in 1993, but his music is characterized by an irresistible and unselfconscious charm that renders his sound unique.

Arc Light Editions releases an LP "sketchbook" of live recordings, experiments, and spoken word titled Anecdotal Electronics (ALE 009LP), and a CD of Bartlett's longer electroacoustic and orchestral works, titled Ankle On. Compiled and edited by Luke Fowler with Jennifer Lucy Allan. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi." - Arc Light Editions.
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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.



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