We take electronic music for granted now, but back in 1968 it was a pretty rare and novel thing. There were bands like Lothar and the Hand People, 50 Foot Hose and Silver Apples, but the group who took electronics the furthest was The United States of America. That was an audacious name, even in 1968. The group was headed up by Joseph Byrd a somewhat obscure avant-renaissance man who hung out with composers like John Cage and LaMonte Young in the early sixties while arranging Christmas carols and Patriotic songs for Time-Life records. He’d go on to produce records by roots music icon Ry Cooder, create the theme for CBS Nightly News and the voices of Sci-fi robots for the film Silent Running. And let’s not forget Joe Byrd & the Field Hippies. A new album of his earliest compositions has just been released called NYC 1960-1963, performed by the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. It puts another piece into the fractured mosaic of Joseph Byrd.
Hear Joseph Byrd, USA singer Dorothy Moskowitz and Clarice Jensen, artistic Director for the American Contemporary Music Ensemble talk about music from Fluxus to psychedelia. It’s on the Echoes Podcast.
~John Diliberto ((( echoes )))
Sign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like A Long Way to Fall. Club members will get this album 10 days before release. Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.
Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.
Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.