October 3, 2014
John Cage and Iannis Xenakis among contributors to the world’s first survey of experimental electronic and computer-generated music.
The Vinyl Factory are excited to announce the reissue of the ICA’s ground-breaking compilation Cybernetic Serendipity Music, originally released in 1968 to coincide with their exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity, which proved to be a landmark in the history of audio/visual art, and the first exhibition of its kind in the UK devoted to the relationship between music and early computers.
Both unique and extraordinarily influential, Cybernetic Serendipity Music captured a nascent scene on the cusp of a synth-led electronic revolution and was the only compilation of its kind to bring together the musicians, composers and inventors pushing the boundaries of early computer music on one record, a good six years before Kraftwerk’s Autobahn changed modern music for ever.
It documented a frontier spirit where pre-eminent composers John Cage and Iannis Xenakis rubbed shoulders with the likes of Peter Zinovieff, the founder of EMS and inventor of the game-changing VCS3 synthesizer, with music that was either composed by computers or, in Zinovieff’s case, even performed by them.
With only a handful of copies pressed and exclusively available from the ICA at the original exhibition, Cybernetic Serendipity Music has long held holy grail status among collectors and enthusiasts of early electronics, with the original record, on the rare occasions it becomes available, often changing hands for upwards of £150.
Now to mark their forthcoming archival exhibition of Cybernetic Serendipity in the Institute’s Fox Reading Room this autumn, The Vinyl Factory are teaming up with the ICA to reissue Cybernetic Serendipity Music on vinyl for the first time since 1968, faithfully reproducing the artwork – taken from one of Peter Zinovieff’s visual scores – and housed in a Garrod & Lofthouse-style sleeve in an edition of 500 copies.
Click here to pre-order a copy from The Vinyl Factory online shop.
Cybernetic Serendipity: A Documentation will open at the ICA on 14th October and run until 30th November 2014. Click here for more info.
See the full track list below:
Lajaren Hiller and Leonard Isaacson – Illiac Suite (Experiment 6)
John Cage – Cartridge Music (excerpt)
Iannis Xenakis – Strategie (excerpt)
Wilhelm Fucks – Experiment Quatro-Due
J.K. Randall – Mudgett (excerpt)
Gerald Strang – Compusition 3
Haruki Tsuchiya – Bit Music (excerpt)
T.H. O’Beirne – Enneadic Selections
Peter Zinovieff – January Tensions
Herbert Brün – Infraudibles