By Simon A.W.

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It was also the stuff of inspiration. As the guitarist John Fahey testified, “I’d match the Anthology up against any other single compendium of important information ever assembled. Dead Sea Scrolls? Nah. ) As would happen with Flynt’s music, obscure recordings of country blues, gospel, country music, Cajun music, jug band music, fife and drum music, hillbilly fiddle tunes, harmonica virtuosi, minstrelsy, sermons—you name it—suddenly became available on compact disc. The appealingly rough sound quality of Flynt’s hours of unreleased recordings meshed nicely with the sound and sensibility of much older recordings that saw the light of day on Revenant and similar reissue labels.

This is not to deny that many of these works (Cage’s compositions in particular) are still being performed; rather, it is to emphasize our unprecedented access to recorded materials from this earlier period. Many listeners today are inclined to view these materials as unproblematic representations of experimental music from the 1960s. In Records Ruin the Landscape, I consider what it means for contemporary listeners to construct narratives of experimental music in the 1960s through the lens of recordings.

The second analysis focuses on UbuWeb, an online collection that does not seek permissions, does not raise money, and does not charge a fee to its users, but instead operates through tactical alliances with an ensemble of institutions that provide bandwidth and server space. UbuWeb founder Kenneth Goldsmith recently titled an online posting “If We Had to Ask for Permission, We Wouldn’t Exist,” and this summation provides a starting point to discussing this controversial entity. As with many other online resources, UbuWeb and dram can be understood as contributing to the ongoing transformation of listeners’ means of historicizing experimental music from the 1960s.

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A Note on Corona at High Humidity by Simon A.W.

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