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Monumental late piece by composer Roland Kayn set for debut release

Ilse Kayn and Jim O'Rourke discuss A Little Electronic Milky Way Of Sound

A lost magnum opus of electronic music is set for its first ever release this autumn. A Little Electronic Milky Way Of Sound is a late work by the composer Roland Kayn – a former member of the groundbreaking Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, who went on to forge his own style of cybernetic music – which is one huge piece running to almost 14 hours and spanning tape music, musique concrète and electronic and electroacoustic sounds.

Kayn, who was born in Germany in 1933 and lived in the Netherlands from 1970 until his death in 2011, amassed a rich body of work over several decades of study and collaboration, which ranged across electronic sound exploration, live performance and philosophy. His early musical ideas were influenced by the information theory of philosopher Max Bense and the mathematical approach of composer and teacher Boris Blacher; he began working at the Studio for Electronic Music at Westdeutscher Rundfunk Studios in Cologne in 1953. In the mid-60s, he was one of the founders alongside Franco Evangelisti of Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, a group that also featured Ennio Morricone, and he played organ in that group’s groundbreaking mix of live electronics and improvisation.

Roland Kayn, 1958. Copyright LRKA (Lydia-und Roland Kayn Archive) Bussum

“At that time it was his longest composition, I think,” his daughter Ilse Kayn reports down the phone line from Holland. Her father, she recalls, moved to an old farm in eastern Groningen in 1999, which gave him the space to establish an extensive studio, archive and living space. The piece remained unreleased until now, she explains, as “I had to find my way through the bureaucratic jungle. I’m not bilingual so contracts in Italian, German and English are not always easy to understand.” The project finally got off the ground with the help of the Helsinki based archive specialists Frozen Reeds, whose last release was the acclaimed 2016 Julius Eastman set Femenine.

The task of audio restoration of this mammoth piece fell to longtime Kayn enthusiast Jim O'Rourke. “Kayn’s work has been paramount in my way of thinking about creating music with electronics, for sure,” he emails. “I have known his work from about 30 years ago when Christoph Heemann first introduced me to his music. At the time, the LPs were still available, and I actually bought them at a grocery store in Aachen, ha ha. I was in college at the time, so I started thinking of trying to go to the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht and became quite obsessed with composers who worked there, like Leo Kupper and later Jaap Vink, a good deal because of pictures included in the Kayn box sets.” He tells me about what he calls his own “lame attempts at Kayn-inspired music”, including “A Young Person’s Guide To Drowning”. “Ever since,” he says, “I have been a very vocal supporter and fan of Mr Kayn’s work.”

Ilse recalls that a Revox tape machine was one of Kayn’s main instruments during the composition of a piece. For O’Rourke, “these works are a little rougher both in construction and execution than his earlier works. I definitely want to retain that as much as possible while taking care of the problems that have surfaced from digital degradation… The original recordings were either recorded directly to DAT or ADAT, formats that deteriorate over time, so most of the work is finding the anomalies in the waveforms where data has been lost and interpolating the waveform from what remains.”

One of the remarkable things about A Little Electronic Milky Way Of Sound is its sheer length – it was conceived as a single piece running to almost 14 hours. “There have been huge scale works like this before, I am thinking of some of Gunner Møller Pedersen’s works for example,” muses O'Rourke. “But this does seem like it was Kayn’s ‘summing up’ of his work. At this point since I am working on it on a very microscopic level instead of a macro level, I am learning a lot about his work just by looking at the waveforms. I always knew phase relationship was a big part of how his pieces worked, but actually looking at it has been kind of eye opening.”

Ilse attempts to sum up her father’s idea of cybernetic music. "He would always explain it with throwing stones in the water,” she says. “You get those circles… it's about the crossings.” The 16 CD set will be released by Frozen Reeds in October, and is available for ordering at their site here.

Two rare Ornette Coleman albums to be reissued as double CD

Never before reissued on CD, Real Gone Music will release 1969's Ornette At 12 and 1972's Crisis

Two Ornette Coleman albums are set to be reissued on CD for the first time since their original release on Impulse!. 1969’s Ornette At 12 features Coleman on alto saxophone, trumpet, and violin plus Dewey Redman on tenor saxophone, Charlie Haden on bass, and his son Denardo Coleman on drums, who was aged 12 at the time of recording. 1972's Crisis was recorded live in 1969 at NYU with the same line up as Ornette At 12 but with the addition of Don Cherry on flute and trumpet.

The freshly remastered albums will be released on a single CD on 9 September, featuring the original gatefold album art and liner notes by Howard Mandel, author of Miles, Ornette, Cecil: Jazz Beyond Jazz. The CD is available for pre-order now.

Listen to Haden's “Song For Che” from Crisis:

Win two tickets to Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids

The Wire Presents series continues this August with Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids at London’s The Old Queens Head. We have two pairs of tickets to giveaway

Our ongoing series with London’s The Jazz Cafe continues on 2 August with a special gig from Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids to be held at the Cafe’s other venue, The Old Queens Head.

As featured in The Wire 389, the alto saxophonist veteran of Cecil Taylor’s Black Sun Ensemble formed his own spiritual jazz outfit Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids during the 1970s, and last year the group reformed to make We Be All Africans, which was released by Strut.

We're offering two free pairs of tickets, you just need to guess what year the photo below was taken. Email us your answers via this link with the subject heading: Idris Ackamoor competition.

The Pyramids at Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids will play at London's The Old Queens Head on 2 August. Tickets are available via Resident Advisor.

For those of you who already have tickets, please note that this event will no longer be held at The Jazz Cafe in Camden.

I Called Him Morgan London screenings

Swedish film maker Kasper Collin's acclaimed documentary about the star-crossed relationship between jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his common law wife Helen is screened in London this week.

Morgan was one of the most feted jazz musicians of the 1950s and 60s, recording extensively for the Blue Note label, but his life and career were blighted by drug addiction. He was shot dead by Helen in Slug’s Saloon in Manhattan, New York, in 1972, and I Called Him Morgan is a moving portrait of the couple's complex relationship leading up to that event.

Reviewing the film in The Wire 394, Derek Walmsley wrote: "There are many sad endings to the stories of musicians on Blue Note Records, but few are as shocking as Lee Morgan’s. Yet I Called Him Morgan, which centres on the second wind the trumpeter got from his partner after spiralling into heroin addiction in the mid- 1960s, carries an aura not of death but rebirth. By giving voice to collaborators and associates from across Morgan’s career, it transcends the tidy narrative arcs and tragic cliches of many jazz biopics, and has the unmistakable feeling of joyful lives lived to the full."

I Called Him Morgan screens at London Picturehouse Central on 26 and 31 July, and at London Bertha Dochouse on 28 July. NB The Wire will not be hosting the Q&A with Kasper Collin at the 26 July screening, as previously announced.

Laraaji to release two new albums this autumn

Following a series of reissues, Laraaji prepares two sets of new music for the All Saints label

Inspired by the renewed interest in his music and new age culture, the Harlem based electronic musician and laughter meditation practitioner Laraaji is set to release some new music this autumn. He has two albums in the pipeline, which follow reissues of 1984's Om Namah Shivaya on Leaving and the new age compilation I Am The Centre Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950–1990 on Light In The Attic. His current music was honed during recent live shows, deep listening sessions and appearances at various festivals such as Unsound and Moogfest.

Recorded with engineer Davey Jewell at Gary's Electric Studio in Brooklyn during August 2016, Laraaji produced nine hours of extended jams, which were then edited and mixed by Carlos Niño of Leaving.

The two releases are Sun Gong, comprised of two drone works exploring processed gong, and the double LP Bring On The Sun. Both will also be available in double disc format.

"Celestial music improvisation flows through my intuitive imagination,” declares Laraaji. “I feel my way through these spontaneous music and song compositions. They are gifts revealed by my undoing the ribbons of no longer essential thinking. As these ribbons fall away the gift of my authentic life, love and creative expression opens bathed through and through by a most timeless inner sunlight.”

Pre-order links: Bring On The Sun and Sun Gong. And you can watch a trailer below:

London day event for Unsound's Dislocation series

Unsound’s London Barbican dislocation includes The Caretaker, Liz Harris and Felicità in its line-up

Unsound festival extends its Dislocation series to London in December. The UK night follows similar Unsound dislocations in Almaty and Minsk, with more events to come in Murmansk, L’viv and Kazan. Taking over the Barbican Centre, Unsound Dislocation: London will explore geography and identity through freshly commissioned works, premieres and collaborations.

Participating artists include Nivhek aka Liz Harris with MFO, The Caretaker performing in the UK for the first time in six years with a video from Weirdcore, and Felicità joined by Śląsk Song And Dance Ensemble to perform a specially commissioned work. And Rabih Beaini will DJ through the night.

The event will take place on 8 December. Tickets costing £22.50–17.50 go on sale on 21 July (Barbican members can can grab one from 20 July).

Barreiro's OUT.FEST announces dates

Artists this year include This Is Not This Heat, Simon Crabb and others

Portugal festival OUT.FEST has announced dates and the first list of artists to perform at this year's event. Happening in Barreiro, a city just across the river from Lisbon, it'll take place between 4–7 October at various venues. Artists announced are This Is Not This Heat, Jejuno, The Pere Ubu Moon Unit, Casa Futuro, Nocturnal Emissions, Simon Crabb, Jonathan Uliel Saldanha & Coral Tab + Coro Be Voice and Bookworms.

Tickets are available now for 25€. Watch a short documentary of Les Graciés as they record, compose and perform the finished product at the 2016 edition.

Pablo Picco of Ø+yn soundtracks travel film with Argentine experimental music

Filmed in India and Nepal, the experimental documentary Kalinga Utkal follows Picco's journeys to the heart of the subcontinent’s Buddhist and Hindu cities

Pablo Picco of experimental folk group Ø+yn has made a travel film soundtracked by an array of Argentine alternative musicians. Called Kalinga Utkal, the film documents Hindu and Buddhist cultures in India and Nepal. Musical contributors include Pan Del Indio, Calato, Ø+yn, Mariano Rodriguez, and Uton, among others; but an audio recording of a Tashi Ling Buddhist ceremony will be released separately as The Bombastic And Repetitive Sound Of Tashi Ling Buddhas In Pokhara, Nepal on the More Mars label.

“The temple was somewhat small but the voices and the mood was very, very strong,” recalls Picco, when asked about the recording of that ceremony. “The recordings were made on a day they call ‘happy holy’, which is the international celebration of colours. At the beginning of that record, the recordings were made outside the temple. Getting there was pretty odd because it was VERY dark and the road was in some ways creepy.

“We woke up around 4am and drove by motorbike,” he continues. “But at some point we became very lost in the fog on the dark road… not a single soul was there at that hour... so we drove further and further hoping to get to some meeting point or something.

“Luckily we made it to the temple. We weren’t allowed to enter until the first callings were made – that’s the sound of horns at the beginning of the record – and then when the gong started, a monk inside opened the gate for us.

“The other sounds present on the disc were recorded the same day at the Pewa Tai Lake. Also the part of the clock and the crowd was recorded outside that cave too while they were touching and celebrating with a man that has special powers.”

You can watch the film below:

Ø+yn were featured on the 2015 Buh Records compilation ¡Salgan Al Sol!: Avant-Rock En La Argentina Del Siglo XXI, reviewed by Kek-W in The Wire 380. Subscribers can read his piece via Exact Editions.

Previously unreleased V/Vm recordings made available

V/Vm and Boomkat pay tribute to a rarely celebrated strand of Manchester's rave folklore

The fifth release in Boomkat Editions’ 12x12 series is a mixed and chopped set of James Kirby’s 2006 recordings as V/Vm. Called The Brabant Shrobbelèr, it’s a 20 minute selection of previously unreleased new beat tributes compiled and sequenced by Jerk van den Boschalottt and mixed by Demdike Stare's Miles Whittaker.

Stockport born Kirby is paying homage to the genre which, in Boomkat record shop’s words, is the “black sheep of Manchester’s dance music canon”.

“New Beat was a crucial part of the Manc Dance make-up, most often mixed up with Chicago, Detroit and New York house, and whatever UK bleeps and boops were bubbling through at that time. James Kirby aka V/Vm is all too aware of the fact,” states Boomkat, “and thanks to the influence and legendary DJ sets of V/Vm card holder Acid Alan – whose new beat collection spilled over the racks at a now defunct NQ record shop – its memory and place in Manchester’s rave folklore has been preserved by only a select few souls who really-cannot-be-fucking-chuffed with the constantly regurgitated putative history of our city’s club and warehouse culture.”

New Beat: Brabant Schrobbelèr is released today as a limited edition 12".

An illustrated history of sound recording to be published at the end of July

The Art Of Sound: A Visual History For Audiophiles documents the evolution from acoustic to digital recording during the last 160 years

The Art Of Sound: A Visual History For Audiophiles will be published at the end of July. Including inventor biographies of Emile Berliner, Thomas Stockham and more, author Terry Burrows’s text focuses on key changes in the evolution of recording. Ranging from Scott de Martinville's invention of the phonautograph in 1857 to the present day, it surveys four eras of recorded sound history: acoustic (1877–1924), electrical (1925–45), magnetic (1946–74) and digital (1975 onwards).

Illustrated with hundreds of archival photographs and various facsimile blueprints gathered from around the world, the book is published by Thames & Hudson in collaboration with the EMI Archive Trust on 27 July.