Alwin Nikolais - Choreosonic Music of the New Dance Theatre of Alwin Nikolais [LP]

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2013 release. ''Choreosonics'' was what Alwin Nikolais called his musical
accompaniments to his choreography -- a unique theater exposition that modern
dance scholar Isa Partsch-Bergsohn describes as ''a whole new theater of
motion, light and sound.'' In 1953, Nikolais began drawing audiences to his
dance concerts at the Henry Street Playhouse in New York City, in which dancers
became sources for sculptural shapes; by moving through changing atmospheres
of light and sound, their relationships to the stage elements became carefully
integrated into a new kind of audiovisual abstract theater art. Nikolais' sonic
accompaniments were designed to share and support the total visual dynamics.
Performances with names like Prism, Cantos, and Totem were critically lauded for
their multidisciplinary achievements, while Nikolais' collaboration with Harry
Partch on The Bewitched (1957) established his name alongside another true
maverick of American sound design and composition. In his own work, some of
Nikolais' dancers were also trained as percussionists, improvising with voice,
hand claps, foot stomps, drums, rattles, bells, gongs, cymbals, wooden blocks,
whistles, tubes, pipes, pieces of wood, aluminum, steel and tin containers, glasses,
elastic bands, coils of wire, and pianos, while other dancers worked through the
choreography. David Berlin, who assembled and constructed the sound
recording equipment, operated from the sound booth from a window overlooking
the stage, while Nikolais directed the improvisational experiments. He then
manipulated the recorded sound, linking sounds together and editing them in a
process similar to that of film editing. Nikolais generally tried to avoid easy
identification of sounds' sources, thus inviting the ear to perceive the sound itself
divorced from its initial derivation. Choreosonic Music of the New Dance Theatre
of Alwin Nikolais, originally released in 1959 and now reissued by Cacophonic,
captures these revolutionary sonic experiments for all to hear.
TRACKLISTING
A1. Eruptions and Evolvements
A2. Lythic
A3. Illusional Frieze
A4. Shivaree
A5. Aeolus
A6. Paraphrenalia
B1. Lyre
B2. Prismatic Forest
B3. Fixation
B3. Glymistry
B4. Fetish

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