Williams Mix

Williams Mix (1951–1953) is a 4'15" electronic composition by John Cage for eight simultaneously played independent quarter-inch magnetic tapes. The first octophonic music,[1][2] the piece was created by Cage with the assistance of Earle Brown, Morton Feldman, and David Tudor, using a large number of tape sound sources and a paper score he created for the construction. "Presignifying the development of algorithmic composition, granular synthesis and sound diffusion," it was the third of five pieces completed in the Project for Music for Magnetic Tape (1951–1954), funded by dedicatee architect Paul Williams.[3]

The material, recorded by Louis and Bebe Barron, was organized in six categories: city, country, electronic, manually produced, wind, and "small" sounds; "subjected...to I Ching manipulations, producing constant jumps from one sound to another or buzzing, scrambled textures of up to sixteen simultaneous layers."[4] The 193-page score, "a full-size drawing of the tape fragments, which served as a 'score' for the splicing,"[5] is described by Cage as similar to "a dressmaker's pattern – it literally shows where the tape shall be cut, and you lay the tape on the score itself."[3] Thus, like a recipe, the piece may be recreated using different tapes and the score.

The work was premiered at the 25th Year Retrospective Concert Of The Music Of John Cage on May 15, 1958, and was recorded by Columbia Records producer George Avakian and issued by him on a three-LP set with a booklet including extensive notes and illustrations of scores.

Larry Austin later created a computer program, the "Williams (re)Mix(er)", based on an analysis of ""Williams Mix"", which could "yield ever-new Williams Mix scores." With this software, Austin created Williams (re)Mix[ed] (1997–2000), an octophonic variation of Williams Mix using different sound sources.[6]

In 2012, Tom Erbe became the first person to recreate "Williams Mix" from the original score, entering each tape edit from the 193 page score into the computer, and creating performance software carefully following Cage's notes.[7] Erbe's debut performance of "Williams Mix" was on Cage's 100th birthday, September 5, 2012, at Fresh Sound in San Diego.[8] Erbe also created a version of "Williams Mix" for clipping.'s 2014 album CLPPNG, using clipping. samples to re-record the work according to the original instructions.



  1. ^ Leider, Colby (2004). Digital Audio Workstation, p. 290. ISBN 978-0-07-142286-4.
  2. ^ Collins, Nicholas (2010). Introduction to Computer Music, p.26. ISBN 978-0-470-71455-3.
  3. ^ a b Hall, Patricia and Sallis, Friedemann (2004). A Handbook to Twentieth-Century Musical Sketches, p. 189. ISBN 978-0-521-80860-6.
  4. ^ Ross, Alex (2008). The Rest is Noise, p. 402. ISBN 978-0-312-42771-9.
  5. ^ Pritchett, James (1996). The Music of John Cage, p. 91. ISBN 978-0-521-56544-8.
  6. ^ Austin, Larry 2004. Hall, Patricia, and Friedemann Sallis, eds. "John Cage's Williams Mix (1951-3): the restoration and new realisations of and variations on the first octophonic, surround-sound tape composition", A Handbook to Twentieth-Century Musical Sketches, p.189. ISBN 978-0-521-80860-6.
  7. ^ Daniel James Wolf, "Williams Mix Remixed", October 7, 2013
  8. ^ Bobby Bray, "Random Music Box", San Diego Reader, April 29, 2012 .

Further reading

  • Schrader, Barry (1982). "Composing with Cutting and Splicing Techniques: Williams Mix by John Cage", Introduction to Electro-Acoustic Music. ISBN 978-0-13-481515-2.
Amazing (Kanye West song)

"Amazing" is a song by American recording artist Kanye West from his fourth studio album, 808s & Heartbreak (2008). The song includes vocals from American rapper Young Jeezy and was produced by West along with co-producer Jeff Bhasker. It also features background vocals from Mr Hudson and Tony Williams. The musical style of the song includes piano, bass and drums. The song sees West boasting and attempting to capture some of his former bravado, though his auto-tuned vocals sound draggy, low-pitched and depressed. Since being released, the song has received mixed reviews from music critics, with a number of them commenting on Jeezy's appearance.

"Amazing" was sent to US rhythmic contemporary and urban contemporary radio stations on March 10, 2009 as the third single from the album. Its accompanying music video was directed by Hype Williams and includes aerial shots of the Hawaiian Islands, with appearances from both West and Young Jeezy. The video was well received by critics. The song received nominations at the 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards as well as the Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. The song peaked on the Swedish Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100 at number 42 and 81 respectively in 2009. It was used by the NBA during the 2009 Playoffs, and is featured on both the NBA 2K10 and NBA 2K13 soundtracks. UFC Fighter Frank Mir has walked out to the song before his fights.

Bebe and Louis Barron

Bebe Barron (June 16, 1925 – April 20, 2008) and Louis Barron (April 23, 1920 – November 1, 1989) were two American pioneers in the field of electronic music. They are credited with writing the first electronic music for magnetic tape, and the first entirely electronic film score for the MGM movie Forbidden Planet (1956).

Ben Johnston (composer)

Benjamin Burwell Johnston, Jr. (born March 15, 1926) is an American contemporary music composer using just intonation. He has been called "one of the foremost composers of microtonal music" by Philip Bush (1997) and "one of the best non-famous composers this country has to offer" by John Rockwell (1990).

Bernard Parmegiani

Bernard Parmegiani (27 October 1927 − 21 November 2013) was a French composer best known for his electronic or acousmatic music.


CLPPNG is the first studio album by the hip hop group Clipping. It was released on June 10, 2014 through Sub Pop as the follow-up to their debut mixtape midcity.

Calling Time (song)

"Calling Time" is a song by Swedish eurodance musician Basshunter, which appears on his five studio album about this same title. The single was released on 27 September 2013.

Electroacoustic music

Electroacoustic music is a style of Western art music which originated around the middle of the 20th century, following the incorporation of electric sound production into compositional practice. The initial developments in electroacoustic music composition to fixed media during the 20th century are associated with the activities of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales at the ORTF in Paris, the home of musique concrète, the Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk (NWDR) studio in Cologne, where the focus was on the composition of elektronische Musik, and the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York City, where tape music, electronic music, and computer music were all explored. Practical electronic music instruments began to appear in the early 1900s.

Electronic music

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means (electroacoustic music), and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.The first electronic devices for performing music were developed at the end of the 19th century, and shortly afterward Italian futurists explored sounds that had not been considered musical. During the 1920s and 1930s, electronic instruments were introduced and the first compositions for electronic instruments were made. By the 1940s, magnetic audio tape allowed musicians to tape sounds and then modify them by changing the tape speed or direction, leading to the development of electroacoustic tape music in the 1940s, in Egypt and France. Musique concrète, created in Paris in 1948, was based on editing together recorded fragments of natural and industrial sounds. Music produced solely from electronic generators was first produced in Germany in 1953. Electronic music was also created in Japan and the United States beginning in the 1950s. An important new development was the advent of computers to compose music. Algorithmic composition with computers was first demonstrated in the 1950s (although algorithmic composition per se without a computer had occurred much earlier, for example Mozart's Musikalisches Würfelspiel).

In the 1960s, live electronics were pioneered in America and Europe, Japanese electronic musical instruments began influencing the music industry, and Jamaican dub music emerged as a form of popular electronic music. In the early 1970s, the monophonic Minimoog synthesizer and Japanese drum machines helped popularize synthesized electronic music.

In the 1970s, electronic music began having a significant influence on popular music, with the adoption of polyphonic synthesizers, electronic drums, drum machines, and turntables, through the emergence of genres such as disco, krautrock, new wave, synth-pop, hip hop and EDM. In the 1980s, electronic music became more dominant in popular music, with a greater reliance on synthesizers, and the adoption of programmable drum machines such as the Roland TR-808 and bass synthesizers such as the TB-303. In the early 1980s, digital technologies for synthesizers including digital synthesizers such as the Yamaha DX7 were popularized, and a group of musicians and music merchants developed the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI).

Electronically produced music became prevalent in the popular domain by the 1990s, because of the advent of affordable music technology. Contemporary electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from experimental art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music. Today, pop electronic music is most recognizable in its 4/4 form and more connected with the mainstream culture as opposed to its preceding forms which were specialized to niche markets.

Electronic musical instrument

An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound using electronic circuitry. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an electrical, electronic or digital audio signal that ultimately is plugged into a power amplifier which drives a loudspeaker, creating the sound heard by the performer and listener.

An electronic instrument might include a user interface for controlling its sound, often by adjusting the pitch, frequency, or duration of each note. A common user interface is the musical keyboard, which functions similarly to the keyboard on an acoustic piano, except that with an electronic keyboard, the keyboard itself does not make any sound. An electronic keyboard sends a signal to a synth module, computer or other electronic or digital sound generator, which then creates a sound. However, it is increasingly common to separate user interface and sound-generating functions into a music controller (input device) and a music synthesizer, respectively, with the two devices communicating through a musical performance description language such as MIDI or Open Sound Control.

All electronic musical instruments can be viewed as a subset of audio signal processing applications. Simple electronic musical instruments are sometimes called sound effects; the border between sound effects and actual musical instruments is often unclear.

In the 2010s, electronic musical instruments are now widely used in most styles of music. In popular music styles such as electronic dance music, almost all of the instrument sounds used in recordings are electronic instruments (e.g., bass synth, synthesizer, drum machine). Development of new electronic musical instruments, controllers, and synthesizers continues to be a highly active and interdisciplinary field of research. Specialized conferences, notably the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, have organized to report cutting-edge work, as well as to provide a showcase for artists who perform or create music with new electronic music instruments, controllers, and synthesizers.

Glow (Donavon Frankenreiter album)

Glow is the title of Donavon Frankenreiter's fourth album, released on October 5, 2010.

Hugh Le Caine

Hugh Le Caine (May 27, 1914 – July 3, 1977) was a Canadian physicist, composer, and instrument builder.

Le Caine was brought up in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) in northwestern Ontario. At a young age, he began making musical instruments. In youth, he started imagining "beautiful sounds". He attended high school in Port Arthur at Port Arthur Collegiate Institute (P.A.C.I.). After completing his master of science degree from Queen's University in 1939, Le Caine was awarded a National Research Council of Canada (NRC) fellowship to continue his work on atomic physics measuring devices at Queen's. He worked with the NRC in Ottawa from 1940 to 1974. During World War II, he assisted in the development of the first radar systems. On an NRC grant he studied nuclear physics from 1948 to 1952 in England. Le Caine wanted to devise new ways to produce those "beautiful sounds", so he established his own electronic music studio where he began to build new electronic instruments after World War II.

Imaginary Landscape No. 5

Imaginary Landscape No. 5 is a composition by American composer John Cage and the fifth and final installment in the series of Imaginary Landscapes. It was composed in 1952.

John Cage

John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was also Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives.Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title. The content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is often assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance. The work's challenge to assumed definitions about musicianship and musical experience made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance. Cage was also a pioneer of the prepared piano (a piano with its sound altered by objects placed between or on its strings or hammers), for which he wrote numerous dance-related works and a few concert pieces. The best known of these is Sonatas and Interludes (1946–48).His teachers included Henry Cowell (1933) and Arnold Schoenberg (1933–35), both known for their radical innovations in music, but Cage's major influences lay in various East and South Asian cultures. Through his studies of Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism in the late 1940s, Cage came to the idea of aleatoric or chance-controlled music, which he started composing in 1951. The I Ching, an ancient Chinese classic text on changing events, became Cage's standard composition tool for the rest of his life. In a 1957 lecture, Experimental Music, he described music as "a purposeless play" which is "an affirmation of life – not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we're living".

Langham Research Centre

Langham Research Centre is a group devoted to authentic performances of classic electronic music, and the creation of new music from their instrumentarium of vintage analogue devices. Founded in August 2003, they comprise the composers / producers Felix Carey, Iain Chambers, Philip Tagney, and Robert Worby. Their new music follows in the traditions of the Radiophonic Workshop, using reel-to-reel tape machines, sine wave oscillators and other vintage machinery abandoned by the BBC.

Radiophonic works include two editions of BBC Radio 3's Between The Ears: guest+host=ghost, featuring Peter Blegvad and Nick Cave; and Gateshead Multi-storey Carpark, featuring the infamous building from Get Carter.Live performances include an authentic tape-only version of John Cage's Fontana Mix at Tate Modern; John Cage's Williams Mix at Jerwood Space; live soundtrack to The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari at Notting Hill Arts Club; Robert Worby's Trios for Sinewave Oscillator & John Cage's Radio Music and Imaginary Landscape at Tate Britain.In 2011 they performed a solo concert at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, showcasing their new work LOL alongside an array of 20th century modernist classics.In March 2012 they took part in English National Opera's John Cage centenary celebrations, with an authentic electronic Cage performance at the MusiCircus staged at the Coliseum.The group headlined London's Cafe Oto in September 2012, with a programme celebrating John Cage's centenary, including the UK premiere of WBAI and Speech.Their work includes OBAMIX, a musique concrète chorale for treated soprano, setting extracts from 3 of Barack Obama's defining speeches. This premiered in February 2013 with soprano Alwynne Pritchard performing alongside Langham Research Centre at London's Kings Place. LRC have since performed OBAMIX at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

In March 2013, Langham Research Centre presented a new work, Eschatology, with Peter Blegvad at the Borealis festival in Bergen, Norway. Eschatology was broadcast live in 2014 in Between The Ears, BBC Radio 3's experimental radio strand.

In April 2013 LRC performed music by John Cage at London's Barbican Centre alongside pianist Ian Pace and mezzo-soprano Catherine Carter, as part of the Barbican's Bride and the Bachelors exhibition, featuring the work of Marcel Duchamp, Cage, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.

In August 2013, Langham Research Centre presented a concert length musical theatre piece, Freedom or Death commissioned by Borealis Festival to mark 100 years of women's suffrage in Norway. Performed by Langham Research Centre and Catherine Carter, the piece draws its libretto from Emmeline Pankhurst's 1913 speech, Freedom or Death, and is a semi-staged work with choreography by Marquez & Zangs.

Langham Research Centre released John Cage - Early Electronic and Tape Music, an acclaimed LP/CD of new realisations of John Cage's music on the Sub Rosa label in April 2014.In May 2014, Ny Musikk Oslo commissioned Langham Research Centre to write Muffled Cyphers, a new work in response to J. G. Ballard's 1970 modernist novel, The Atrocity Exhibition. The piece - for amplified small sounds, sine-wave oscillators and tape - was premiered at the 2014 Only Connect festival in Oslo, Norway, with slide projections by Jeremy Welsh.

In September 2014, the group produced and performed a special live edition of Between The Ears for BBC Radio 3. Their radio version of Eschatology was written by Peter Blegvad and starred Harriet Walter and Guy Paul as the last survivors of an apocalypse.In 2016 the group produced The Dark Tower, a new concert work for Spitalfields Music Summer Festival, responding to the life and work of Nikola Tesla. The work was premiered in the Pathology Museum of St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. They toured the UK with the Goldfield Ensemble, performing repertoire inspired by Cold War era technology.

In 2017 Langham Research Centre appeared at Tower Bridge's Bascule Chamber Concerts as part of Totally Thames Festival, creating a contemporary response to Handel's Water Music, exactly 300 years after that work's premiere on the Thames. The concerts featured a second new piece by the group, a work for clarinet and electronics, performed by LRC and Kate Romano.

2017 also saw the release of the first album of Langham Research Centre's own work. Tape Works Vol. 1, on the Nonclassical label reflects a range of works from LRC's early “musique concrète” miniatures to recent modular works of extended duration.

List of compositions by John Cage

This is a list of compositions by John Cage (1912–1992), arranged in chronological order by year of composition.

Noise music

Noise music is a category of music that is characterised by the expressive use of noise within a musical context. This type of music tends to challenge the distinction that is made in conventional musical practices between musical and non-musical sound. Noise music includes a wide range of musical styles and sound-based creative practices that feature noise as a primary aspect.

Some of the music can feature acoustically or electronically generated noise, and both traditional and unconventional musical instruments. It may incorporate live machine sounds, non-musical vocal techniques, physically manipulated audio media, processed sound recordings, field recording, computer-generated noise, stochastic process, and other randomly produced electronic signals such as distortion, feedback, static, hiss and hum. There may also be emphasis on high volume levels and lengthy, continuous pieces. More generally noise music may contain aspects such as improvisation, extended technique, cacophony and indeterminacy. In many instances, conventional use of melody, harmony, rhythm or pulse is dispensed with.The Futurist art movement was important for the development of the noise aesthetic, as was the Dada art movement (a prime example being the Antisymphony concert performed on April 30, 1919 in Berlin), and later the Surrealist and Fluxus art movements, specifically the Fluxus artists Joe Jones, Yasunao Tone, George Brecht, Robert Watts, Wolf Vostell, Dieter Roth, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Walter De Maria's Ocean Music, Milan Knížák's Broken Music Composition, early LaMonte Young and Takehisa Kosugi.Contemporary noise music is often associated with extreme volume and distortion. In the domain of experimental rock, examples include Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, and Sonic Youth. Other examples of music that contain noise-based features include works by Iannis Xenakis, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Helmut Lachenmann, Cornelius Cardew, Theatre of Eternal Music, Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, Ryoji Ikeda, Survival Research Laboratories, Whitehouse, Ramleh, Coil, Brighter Death Now, Merzbow, Dror Feiler, Cabaret Voltaire, Psychic TV, Blackhouse, Jean Tinguely's recordings of his sound sculpture (specifically Bascule VII), the music of Hermann Nitsch's Orgien Mysterien Theater, and La Monte Young's bowed gong works from the late 1960s. Genres such as industrial, industrial techno, lo-fi music, black metal, sludge metal, and glitch music employ noise-based materials.

Octophonic sound

Octophonic sound is a form of audio reproduction that presents eight discrete audio channels using eight speakers. For playback, the speakers may be positioned in a circle around the listeners or in any other configuration.

Typical speaker configurations are eight spaced on a circle by 45° (oriented with first speaker 0° or at 22.5°), or the vertices of a cube to create a double quadraphonic set-up with elevation (Collins 2010, 60). In reference to his own work, Karlheinz Stockhausen made a distinction between these two forms, reserving the term "octophonic" for a cube configuration, as found in his Oktophonie and the electronic music for scene 2 and the Farewell of Mittwoch aus Licht, and using the expression "eight-channel sound" for the circular arrangement, as used in Sirius, Unsichtbare Chöre, or Hours 13 to 21 of the Klang cycle (Stockhausen 1993, 150; Stockhausen 2000, 60). While quadraphonic sound uses four speakers positioned in a square at the four corners of the listening space (either on the ground or raised above the listeners), this cubical kind of octophonic spatialization offers both horizontal and vertical sound spatialization, meaning listeners get a sense of height. In order for such movement in space to be heard, it is necessary that rhythms be slow, and pitches change mainly in small steps or in glissandos (Stockhausen 1993, 151, 163).

Some notable composers who have worked with octophonic spatialisation include Karlheinz Stockhausen, Jonathan Harvey, Gérard Pape, and Larry Austin. The first known octophonic (that is, eight-channel) electronic music was John Cage's Williams Mix (1951–53) for eight separate simultaneously played back quarter-inch magnetic tapes (Collins 2010, 26; Leider 2004, 290). Austin later made a surround-sound octophonic mix of Williams Mix, Williams (re)Mix[ed] (1997–2000), using the score and different sound sources (Austin 2004, 189). This version is intended to be played back on eight speakers surrounding the audience in a 360° circle, using (unlike Cage's original version) stereo source recordings heard in adjacent speaker pairs (Austin 2004, 205, 207). Octophonic sound (in the general sense of eight-channel playback) was stimulated primarily by "the equal coverage it provides to all listening angles" and also by the precedence of eight-channel (initially tape) sound and subsequent ease of playback (Leider 2004, 290).

Shangri-La Dee Da

Shangri-La Dee Da is the fifth studio album by American hard rock band Stone Temple Pilots. It was produced by Brendan O'Brien and released on June 19, 2001, by Atlantic Records.

The Comfort Zone (album)

The Comfort Zone is the second studio album by American R&B singer and actress Vanessa Williams, released by Mercury's Wing Records Label on August 20, 1991.


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