FROM HOPEFULNESS TO WHAT?
"From Hopefulness to What? - American 1960s through the eyes of the 80s", is a five-part radio series by Folke Rabe. Channel 2 of the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation initially broadcast the series in 1988. Since then it has been re-run several times; most recently in 2003. The manuscripts for the series are presented here, by courtesy of the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation.
By the middle of the 1960s Folke Rabe visited the United States for the first time, getting into contact with a number of young composer colleagues, many of which have become internationally renowned, like Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley and Morton Subotnick. In the middle of the 80s he met most of his old friends and talked with them about what had happened during the past twenty years. The radio series is based on these taped conversations and a lot of music, of course. The series partly consists of portraits of the artists, and partly of attempts to deduce the common tendencies. In this way the programs give insights into a generation, but also take a bearing of characteristic attitudes and ambitions through the latter half of last century.
Unfortunately we cannot listen to the interviews and the sounding examples in this manuscript form, but the texts nonetheless convey the mode of thought of the radio series.
The first program gives a general introduction to the 1960s, where after the stage belongs to Pauline Oliveros; composer, accordionist and feminist with a black karate belt. She applies herself to ceremonial music, contemplation and "deep listening". In program 2 we meet the emerging minimalism through composers like LaMonte Young, Terry Riley and to some extent Steve Reich. The third broadcast deals with San Francisco Tape Music Center, legendary junction of the new music on the American West Coast during the 1960s. Its founders went separate ways: Morton Subotnick became one of the more successful in his composer generation, and is counted among the leading personalities in American electronic music. Ramon Sender washed into the countryside in the psychedelic wave, formed a religious collective, appeared as a street clown and later became a novelist, but he hasn't deserted music completely. At the end of the program, Ramon Sender's 1960s classic Desert Ambulance is presented.
In the fourth program we meet Robert Erickson (1917 - 1997), Swedish-American composer, one of the most original of his generation but still a very little known outsider. This easily becomes the case if you try to work as a composer in California, not striving for success in the big cities but just trying to make it sound as good as possible at home in the garage in Encinitas... In this program the trombonist Stuart Dempster is also presented. He was one of the virtuosos whom Erickson collaborated with.
Meditation, rites and mythology. Were they typical ingredients in the music of the 1980s? Yes, at least if you add up the tendencies of Folke Rabe's American composer portraits, from the hopefulness of the 1960s to the what? of the 1980s. The series concludes with portraits of Malcolm Goldstein and Charlie Morrow. In the summary of tendencies John Cage, Anna Halprin, Terry Riley and LaMonte Young also occur.
1. Introduction - The 1960s and a portrait of Pauline Oliveros.
2. Terry Riley, LaMonte Young and a little bit about Steve Reich.
3. San Francisco Tape Music Center: Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender.
4. Robert Erickson and a little bit about Stuart Dempster.
5. Malcolm Goldstein, Charlie Morrow and a little about John Cage. Summation of tendencies.
English translation: Ingvar Loco Nordin