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ROSENBOOM, DAVID - Future Travel

Black Truffle

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"Black Truffle presents the first vinyl reissue of David Rosenboom's unique Future Travel, originally released on the short-lived Detroit label Street Records in 1981 and here presented in an expanded edition with an additional LP of wild, previously unheard live and studio material from the same period. Future Travel emerged from the confluence of two important streams in Rosenboom's work at this time. First, his exploration of "propositional music," defined as "complete cognitive models of music" that start from the radical question, "What is music?" In this case, the music belongs to the universe of Rosenboom's In the Beginning (1978-1981), in which proportional relationships determine the material available to the composer in all musical parameters (harmonic relationships, melodic shapes, rhythmic subdivisions, dynamics, and so on). Second, the work documents a key moment in Rosenboom's long collaboration with synthesizer pioneer Don Buchla. Having played a role in developing concepts for some of the modules of the Buchla 300 Series Electric Music Box (an innovative analogue modular system controlled by micro-processors), Rosenboom went on to write the software for Buchla's hybrid analogue-digital keyboard synthesizer, the Touché, the instrument heard most prominently here. In a way that no purely analogue synthesizer could, the 300 Series and Touché allowed Rosenboom to work with the In the Beginning algorithms in real time, the synthesizers becoming "intelligent instruments" that actively collaborate with the performer. Developing the open structures of the electronic pieces from In the BeginningFuture Travel explored the possibilities of simply "playing the system," recording live at Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope studio in San Francisco. Future Travel is bracingly sui generis, existing in a unique universe where radical formalization spontaneously gives rise to expressive jazz harmonies and old-timey folk melodies. At several points throughout the record, the distinctive voice of Jacqueline Humbert is heard reading passages from the text component of In the Beginning, a dialogue between "The Double" (an embodiment of humanity's timeless desire to replicate itself in spiritual and technological copies) and two "Spirit Characters.: Fittingly, as all are conceived as embodiments of a future form of techno-human collective consciousness, distinctions between the three characters are not immediately evident in Humbert's delivery, just as the music blurs the boundaries between intelligent computing and human spontaneity. The record includes a 12-page booklet with notes about the album." - Black Truffle.

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