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AGP164 - Roland Kayn (1933-2011) | Simultan: Cybernetic Project for 1-5 rooms (1974)
AGP164 comprises a complete 24-bit, 44.1 kHz transcription of a remarkable 3LP collection of electronic music by Roland Kayn, who was born in Germany and was largely active in the Netherlands. Simultan: Cybernetic Project for 1-5 rooms, is one of his major works of electronic music, composed at the Instituut voor Sonologie, Rijksuniversiteit, Utrecht, and the Studio de Recherches et de Structurations Electroniques Auditives, Brussels. It was performed first in 1974 and released in Germany on what is now an out-of-print and very rare 3LP set on Colosseum Records (COLOS SM 1473).
This work is composed in what I would describe as the Utrecht style of electronic music, with sound elements that explore the boundaries between tone and noise, massed to produce dauntingly complex timbres, and with a strong emphasis on sustained tones (as opposed to the ping-poing sounds more characteristic of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Studio of that time). I recommend listening to it at a high enough volume to be disquieting (so to speak).
The work is described as being for 1-5 rooms, meaning that the sounds are to be simultaneously projected from multiple rooms in one building. It's not entirely clear from the notes how this is done. The original tapes were available with as many as 16 tracks, so perhaps some tracks were projected in one room and some in another. Having only a stereo version to work with, one could simultaneously play the piece in two or more rooms, starting from a different track in each room. This may be very different from what the composer intended, but it's an intriguing thought. One could for example do this in a series of different offices in a suite, or a series of different rooms in a residence hall.
The LPs transcribed for this installment are in excellent condition, and were provided through the exceptional generosity of an AGP partisan in the Netherlands. Because they contain electronic music of such complexity, I did not do any de-clicking, to avoid possible false positive changes to the data stream. The installment includes a PDF file with scans of the booklet that came with the set, with notes in both German and English.
Roland Kayn’s website: http://www.kayn.nl/