Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ramon Sender - Desert Ambulance (Locust, 2006)

A better-late-than-never missive from the early days of the San Francisco Tape Music Center, conjured from near nothing at the hands of co-founder Ramon Sender. Though set to tape in the early 60's, these recordings only emerged some four years past. In its infancy, the SFTMC was something of a hodgepodge affair, with much of its equipment arriving via generous nods of an interested representative from nearby Ampex. The opening piece, "Kore" (1962), embodies that kitchen sink approach; Sender crafted it in the attic studio manipulating tape speed by hand, with scraped piano strings and the improvised sounds of several Conservatory chorus members. The spacey, jump-start squeak and squiggle leave little remnant of the source intact. On the flip side is one of Sender's most recognized works, "Desert Ambulance" (1964), an audio-visual collaboration with projections by Tony Martin (a still from which serves as the album's cover). The work was written for Pauline Oliveros on accordion, its score a tape piece broadcast over headphones that propels Oliveros' imaginative playing. The playful tape work that the audience hears is built from plundered music snippets and a variety of other sounds, all triggered by a Chamberlain Music Master.

Desert Ambulance
& in .flac


  1. These are really amazing works, and the vinyl sounds amazing.

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoyed this one. I just wish there were more of Sender's recordings out there.