V/A - Unsettled Choruses: A Terrain of Humming and Phonetics 1930-1974
"Unsettled in more senses than one, these fourteen choral works, reaching across the central third of the 20th century, represent some special moments in the story of music for voices, and within the creative musings of their composers. Generations later, they remain as outliers, but also as bearers of central truths about musical materials of their times, evading common categorizations -- radical or moderate, experimental or formalist, Stravinsky or Schoenberg. The eight composers are eminent figures -- each represented in other productions of New World Records. Their pieces here, however, have found no settled place in the choral culture, let alone in recordings -- excepting Pauline Oliveros's Tuning Meditation and Ernst Toch's Geographical Fugue. Yet there could be something special about these choral cases. In their individuality and diversity -- a small cauldron of mid-20th-century energies -- they might raise questions still not settled in our 21st century. At the least, they seem to offer fresh experiences among the more conventional tonalities of recent choral creation, and the more uniform notions of what constitutes good choral sound. Since the earliest chant, choral singing has been poised between two poles of expression, both of great interest to modern composers: a meditative state of pure sonority -- humming, melismas on vowels, drones -- and a discursive state of phonetic movement -- words projected through collective utterance. Through our fourteen choruses, emanations from the poles of humming and phonetics lead to a sense of musical 'language' itself in a state of re-thinking, not by notions of post-tonal styles replacing 19th-century harmonic grammar, but more by combinations of different sonic materials available on the terrain -- chromatic, 12-tone, modal, neo-classic, noise, drone, sound poetry. This is choral music 'unsettled' by its own times and embracing the situation with creative enthusiasm." --John McCaughey (from liner notes)" - New World Records.
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.