Tokyo 1972 – TELETOPA

splitrec CD23 and LP23 (limited edition of 300)

teletopa_squareIn 1968 the young Sydney composer David Ahern studied in Germany with Stockhausen where he met Cornelius Cardew. The next year he travelled onto London attending Cardew’s classes in ‘Experimental Music’ at Morley College and – in a mammoth seven-hour concert at the Roundhouse on 4 May – participated (with Cardew) in performances of La Monte Young’s String Trio and also took part in the realisation of Paragraph 2 of Cardew’s The Great Learning which proved to be the catalyst for the formation of the Scratch Orchestra. These were revolutionary and defining moments in C20th music.

Returning to Sydney in 1970, one of his aims was to set up an electro-acoustic improvisation group – Teletopa was founded in Sydney in late 1970 by Ahern, Peter Evans and Roger Frampton.

Tokyo 1972 – The Triple LP release – features two 50min  improvisations from a radio session at NHK studios Tokyo. The group was Ahern, Frampton, Evans and Geoffrey Collins and they were completing a 1972 world tour. The group broke up on their return to Sydney. Only a small example of their work has ever been released before.

Liner notes are a manifesto by Ahern from a 1971 pamphlet, and a newly penned Potted History of Teletopa by Geoffrey Barnard, who had been a member of the group from September 1971 until July 1972.

The tapes have sat in boxes for 42 years – with this release we can hear that Sydney in the early 1970’s had a group at the forefront of musical experimentation with a unique take on free improvisation.

This document is not just important for Australian music – it should establish them posthumously as one of the most interesting improvising collectives in experimental music anywhere in the world at this time.

An alternative title for this extraordinary double album might have been The Shock of the Now. That an album of improvisation made 42 years ago can sound so blindingly new is a marvel, and a tribute to the artistry of the groundbreaking Sydney band… A remarkable aspect of the music-making is that the collective seems not to impose sounds on silence so much as pluck them from it. Daringly long pools of emptiness are gently ended by a gong, or shattered by sounds whose source can only be guessed at, sometimes involving such extremes of the sonic spectrum that you may fear for your speakers’ integrity. This is a major document of improvisation.” John Shand – Sydney Morning Herald.

Frans de Waard reviewing Tokyo 1972 in Vital.
“If AMM and MEV were already on your list, then this double CD by Teletopa should not be missed. An essential historical release.”

“The suitably pure white album design, with a selection of black/white/grey photographs of the group, lend weight to the idea of the album as a once lost relic – the great manifesto of a mythical musical organism – now recovered for new generations to appreciate.” Joseph Cummings. 

“D’une certaine manière, on pourrait parler d’installation improvisée, ou plus simplement d’improvisation in situ au sens le plus littéral du terme. Que ce soit avec des instruments, des objets ou avec l’espace lui-même, Teletopa se propose, dans ces deux improvisations de cinquante minutes (les dernières avant la dissolution du groupe), d’improviser l’espace et l’environnement dans lequel il joue. L’espace résonne, les bruits se multiplient, l’environnement est transformé. Je n’ai rarement entendu d’improvisations aussi ancrées dans le présent, dans la spontanéité. Rien ne pouvait produire cette musique sinon là où elle avait lieu. Et de ce fait, jamais plus elle ne pourra se reproduire. Il y a quelque chose de magique, d’unique. Septembre 1972, NHK, Tokyo, Japon, les quatre membres de Teletopa ont à ce moment produit une performance sonore hors du commun, une performance longue, dure, bruitiste et brute, archaïque et austère, mais une performance présente, sans passé ni futur, une performance qui avait tout son sens à ce moment, qui n’en avait pas avant et qui n’en a plus aujourd’hui, sauf à travers le témoignage offert dans cet enregistrement. Un témoignage dont on se contentera et se délectera avec avidité et nostalgie. Car il est juste superbe” Julien Héraud.

This project have been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Buy now:
LP (x3) AU$50.00

Add to PayPal Cart

CD (x2) AU$35.00

Add to PayPal Cart

Digital download €15.00

Buy @ Subradar

Advertisements