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Baker's Dozen

Absorbing The Light Of The African American Avant-Garde: Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe's Baker’s Dozen
Stewart Smith , February 2nd, 2022 09:48

In an epic Baker’s Dozen, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe lets Stewart Smith into the secrets of his Candyman soundtrack, and celebrates Black excellence from Don Cherry to Moor Mother, Olly W. Wilson to Pamela Z


Olly W. Wilson - ‘Piano Piece For Piano And Electronic Sound’, from CDCDM Computer Music Series Vol. 37

I don't understand why his name isn't shouted from mountaintops over and over again. Incredible composer. Beautiful work. He was responsible for the first electronic music programme inside of the conservatory which he founded at Oberlin in 1968. There were electronic music programmes in schools, but this was the first time that it had been integrated into the conservatory programme. His work is utterly stunning. ‘Piano Piece’ is really great.

This stuff is not easy to find. There are a few you can find here and there online but it's not it's not readily available. A lot of his work is not as readily available as it should be. There's another piece he did called ‘Echoes’ that was a piece for clarinet, electronics and tape that was originally issued on CRI, the American Contemporary Series, and it’s just phenomenal. I’m not sure what the [modular synthesiser] was, it seems like it's either a Buchla or a Serge system, but the sound is flittering around in a stereo field, panned very widely with this clarinet on the inside of it. Yeah, ‘Echoes’ is bananas good. And then his acoustic work for larger ensembles, or orchestras, is also incredibly stunning. He had gone to Africa and was studying traditional African music. He came back and was integrating that into this orchestral work. A mammoth, a total giant and someone that is not talked about enough.