New World

JOHNSON, TOM - Counting to Seven

"Tom Johnson (b. 1939) is a key figure in the contemporary music scene whose voice as a composer is instantly recognizable. A major champion of minimalism in the 1970s as a writer, he remains one of its most important adherents as a composer, although the word 'minimalist' does not cover everything that his music does. The characteristic elements of repetition and sparse material are there, but his extensive use of mathematics and, especially, counting, makes him unique. Johnson relies on more than counting, using algorithms, combinatorics, juggling, and tiling techniques, among other things. Johnson is as radical as Eliane Radigue or Phill Niblock, but he is also interested in sounds that can be enjoyed in the moment, and in this sense, he is a true heir of Feldman, who was one of his teachers. Counting to Seven (2014) is a set of short pieces lasting about 80 minutes, of which eighteen pieces are presented here. Although obviously vocal because they are text-based, some of the pieces include percussion. They can be performed by almost any group of at least seven people and are not written for trained singers or actors. It was around 1980 that Johnson developed a series of twelve solos in twelve languages called Counting Languages, under the inspiration of sound poets such as Charlie Morrow and Jerome Rothenberg in the United States and Henri Chopin, Bob Cobbing, and Bernard Heidsieck in Europe. He then wrote Counting Duets, (also called Counting Music), a set of five counting sequences for two performers speaking in one language. Some years later, after a performance by Vincent Bouchot from the ensemble Dedalus, Johnson 'reworked everything for seven voices. I changed the title to Counting to Seven, added about 30 languages, well-known, little known, living and dead, and put together an 80-minute version, which we began performing in 2014.' Johnson explores the tonalities and rhythms that come from repeating numbers sonorously in different languages. Every piece is different, with 1-7 as the connecting thread, like a set of short stories that forms a novel through a connecting character. The languages Johnson chose include major ones spoken in large swathes of the world -- French, Japanese, Hebrew, German. Some are more national -- Turkish, Hungarian, Gaelic, Georgian. Some are specific to certain places: Muruwari is spoken by Aboriginal people in northern Australia; Tajik is a variety of Persian spoken in Uzbekistan; Maninke is spoken in Guinea, Mali, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast." - New World Records.

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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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