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Signor Grinderino

for tape

Year:  1988   ·  Duration:  8m

Year:  1988
Duration:  8m


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This work juxtaposes three technologies, an organ grinder, a 78rpm phonograph record, and an AKS synthesizer. Almost all the sounds in this rounded binary structure are derived from the sound of the organ grinder, often distorted beyond recognition, and the original sound source is revealed in the final moments. The sound source is a 1915 Ford Dabney tune called The Georgia Grind recorded by an organ grinder. On the 78rpm record (a copy of which I own) the performer is identified as "Signor Grinderino" – perhaps the first conscious joke played by the recording industry on the public. The recording also appears on a 1973 Folkways LP, Ragtime Entertainment.

This piece was realized at the Electronic Music Studios of the University of Toronto, Canada, and re-mastered in Studio A of the Experimental Music Studios, University of Illinois, Urbana, Il, United States of America.

Performance history

09 Mar 1989: Realised at Walter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, Music Department, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

19 Mar 1999: Realised as part of 'Stolen Music', a concert of music by Matthew Davidson, presented at the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Illinois, United States of America

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