Dialogo / Italy / RE 2021
Horacio Vaggione (born 21 January 1943) is an Argentinian composer of electro-acoustic and instrumental music who specializes in micromontage, granular synthesis, and microsound and whose pieces are often scored for performers and computers (mixed music). His music is regularly played worldwide in major centers and festivals of contemporary music.
La Maquina de Cantar is his first solo recorded work; originally released on the Italian Cramps Records label as the 18th volume of the Nova Musicha series dedicated to contemporary avant-garde composers, La Maquina de Cantar is now made available again on Dialogo in a faithful reproduction of the original gatefold cover artwork, including also an inner sleeve with the English translation of the liner notes.
From the original liner notes of “La Maquina de Cantar”:
Horacio Vaggione was born in Cordoba (Argentina) in 1943. He co-founded, in 1965, the Centro de Música Experimental de la Universidad de Cordoba, Argentina. In 1966, he was awarded a Fullbright scholarship that allowed him to travel through the USA, where he visited several electronic music studios (Columbia, Illinois, California) and met John Cage. From 1969 to 1972, while living in Madrid, he belonged to a “live” electronic music group with Eduardo Polonio and Luis de Pablo. He was also in charge of the ALEA group’s electronic music studio.
In 1973, he visited the Far East. In 1974/75 he toured in the USA and Europe, more precisely with E. Wiener and the Kevan Cleary and Dance Company, while he was working in various electronic music studios (New York, Oakland, Montreal and Paris). [From 1978 he] lives in Paris, where he teaches electronic music techniques (synthesisers) and collaborates with Martin Davorin-Jagodic and Costin Miereanu on audio-visual performances.
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La Maquina de Cantar was produced in 1971, using the IBM 7090 computer owned by the data processing centre of the University of Madrid. Sound synthesis was carried out by a team under the technical advice of Florentino Briones, director of the centre. The complete system is a “hybrid”, as it is made up of digital and analogue operations. To begin, the composer writes his “score” in musical notation and then transcribes it into decimal numerical notation. This numerical notation is then transcribed into the machine’s language, in the form of punch cards; in this way, the computer receives all the data that it has to process and translate into sound. At the same time, the POPOVA program, which supports all the operations, is also launched. The sound is produced in the central unit of the IBM 7090, via high-speed magnetisation changes. So, the sound values will be expressed in the form of the number of magnetisation changes (bits). Once the sound and its envelope have been generated through this digital process, the next step is to send this information to an analogue section, consisting of a series of filters, a VCO (voltage-controlled oscillator), and an echo chamber. Contrastingly, Ending is a work for live electronic keyboards. In this version, three Minimoog synthesisers (played by the composer) and a Yamaha organ (played by E. Wiener) were used.
The work is dedicated to Robert Ashley.