36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 281: Documenting the Fantasy


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 281 — Documenting the Fantasy
09-May-1972 (Dienstag–Tue.)


Handwritten Fantasy score and timings

Some preparation work for report—mischung.

Beginning “writing up” of the project [
Fantasy on Broken Glass]. Will be a lot of work.

Saw the movie,
Medea. Interesting idea but I don’t know if I like the movie. Scary, anyway.


Not much for the journal today. I have no idea what this scary movie was about.

Revising Fantasy. Mischung means “mixture.” I am obviously making revised mixes of the composition. I know that the first version of Fantasy on Broken Glass was 22 minutes long (wow), and that I later revised it to half its length (in 1973). My current work is on the original version, as the student concert has not yet taken place.

Documentation on Fantasy. Today, I say that I am beginning the writing up of the documentation. I did find this material in a bound student book. I have over 80 typed pages documenting how the composition was created (for educational purposes), including many of the techniques of musique concrète. There are also pages of handwritten notes and sketched scores. It’s very interesting to read back and see how serious I was on this project. I’ll post a few scans, though you might not be able to read them well.

Here is a transcription of the opening page:

Thesis—Using one normal everyday sound as a base, show in a logical and educated manner, the many possible manipulations and treatments of this base sound. [This] can thus serve as an educational guide for students or teachers as an insight into the many possibilities, uses, techniques, materials, equipment, problems, methods of working, and logical progression of composing “CONCRETE MUSIC.”

The end result will be a short composition consisting of only the sounds derived from our one “home” sound. Thus, the reader will also be able to see how the composition was actually “realized” from beginning to end.

SOUND – “A glass breaking on the floor.”

Techniques I cover are:

• tape speed manipulation (slower, faster)
• reverse direction
• filters (low-pass, high-pass, band-pass)
• ring modulation
• tape splicing (creating new sound elements)
• creating tape loops (yes, actually physically splicing the beginning and end of the tape together)
• stereo, mono recording
• creating all the sound elements and programmatic sound elements
• combining and layering sound elements through tape tracks
• organizing elements into tracks (bands)
• mixing
• creating the composition

Here are some scans from the documentation.

Fantasy tape techniques
Fantasy tape techniques

Fantasy tape splicing techniques
Fantasy tape splicing techniques

Handwritten Fantasy score and timings
Handwritten Fantasy score and timings

Fantasy score draft
Fantasy score draft


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