Friday, March 31, 2017

Meet The ONCE Group

The ONCE Group was a collection ofmusiciansvisual artistsarchitects, and film-makers who wished to create an environment in which artists could explore and share techniques and ideas in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The group was responsible for hosting the ONCE Festival of New Music in Ann Arbor, Michigan, between 1961 and 1966. It was founded by Ann Arborites Robert Ashley, George Cacioppo, Gordon MummaRoger Reynolds and Donald Scavarda.
ONCE composers’ goals and ideals for their festival:
  • To exploit contemporary technological means to broaden mystery and subvert the machine.
  • To shrink distance between artist and spectator, spectator and spectacle.
  • To suggest a museum of creative presence, of living performance, of spontaneous action.
  • To machine a tool for visionary exploration.
  • To score music, light, poetry, dance, with a single notational system, thus pressing a unitary vision.
To create a lightshow, Cohen used a variety of light-projecting and light-manipulating devices such as slide and movie projectors, prisms, filters, projectors, a color wheel, a variety of lenses, and mirrors. To create a multidisciplinary performance, Cohen was convinced that electronic music would be the best sonic counterpart to the visual component, and he connected with two of the future ONCE composers: Robert Ashley (b. 1930) and Gordon Mumma (b. 1935). Using a variety of equipment such as amplifiers, oscillators, filters, and four-track tape recorders, the two men formed the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music and began composing electro-acoustic music for over one hundred Space Theater performances presented between 1958 and 1964.
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