Buy Ambient Century

The Ambient Century - Mark Prendergast

UK Edition Release
New 2003/2009 Edition

In association with Amazon

The Ambient Century - Mark Prendergast

US Edition Release
New 2003 Edition
In association with Amazon

 

UK Edition Release
November 2000
In association with Amazon

US Edition Release
January 2001
In association with Amazon

 

Published by Bloomsbury Books

 

 

Book One - The Electronic Landscape

 

Introductory Essay

Forty two entries including: Gustav Mahler, Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, Frederick Delius, Charles Ives, Luigi Russolo, Leon Theremin, Arnold Schoenberg, Leopold Stokowski, Edgard Varese, Olivier Messiaen, Paul Bowles, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Miles Davis, Gyorgi Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, Iannis Xenakis, Wendy Carlos, Toru Takemitsu and the individual histories of Vinyl Records, Magnetic Tape, Keyboards, Synthesizers, Computers and Compact Disc.

 

"It was the summer of 1968. For some a time of student unrest, for others a time of discovery. For the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen it was a time of intense emotional upheaval. His wife and children had left him. Alone in his house in Kurten, near Cologne, he contemplated his fate. Ideas of suicide crossed his mind. He went on hunger strike and vowed to wait for his family to return. As time passed he began to write Japanese-style verses like:

  1. Play a sound,
  2. Play it for so long,
  3. Until you feel that you should stop

or

  1. Play a vibration in the rhythm of the universe
  2. Play a vibration in the rhythm of dreaming

That such words could lead to what Stockhausen termed 'intuitive music' is one of the great fascinations of the twentieth century. Here the composer was getting right inside what it meant to create sound, no longer only concentrating on the external but also the internal processes of becoming aware of what a sound was actually like when first encountered. Or, more accurately, when it was encountered in a different way. Stockhausen played a piano tone after four days of fasting. What he heard changed his life forever."

 

StockhausenKarlheinz Stockhausen in his studio.

 

 

 

 

 

Ennio MorriconeEnnio Morricone at the podium.