« An innovative contribution to music history, cultural studies, and sound studies, Avant-garde on Record revisits post-war composers and their technologically oriented brand of musical modernism. It describes how a broad range of figures (including Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Henri Pousseur, Toshirō Mayuzumi, Claire Schapira, Anthony Braxton and Gunther Schuller) engaged with avant-garde aesthetics while responding to a rapidly changing, technologically fuelled, spatialized audio culture. Jonathan Goldman focuses on how contemporary listeners understood these composers’ works in the golden age of LPs and explores how this reception was mediated through consumer-oriented sound technology that formed a prism through which listeners processed the ‘music of their time’. His account reveals unexpected aspects of twentieth-century audio culture: from sonic ping-pong to son et lumière shows, from Venetian choral music by Stravinsky to the soundscape of Niagara Falls, from a Buddhist Cantata to an LP box set cast as a parlour game. »
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