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Jonas Westover

[Bridges, Claude Russell]

(b Lawton, OK, April 2, 1942; d Nashville, Nov 10, 2016). American singer, songwriter, keyboard player, and producer. He is well respected for his solo work—a mix of rock, folk, and country music—but his work as a session musician also brought significant recognition. He began playing piano at the age of four and was playing in clubs in Tulsa as a high school student. His band, the Starlighters, managed to score a spot as the opening act for Jerry Lee Lewis in 1959. Russell moved to Los Angeles the same year and quickly established himself as a session musician, notably with the Wrecking Crew the group of musicians Phil Spector used to accompany his artists. With the Wrecking Crew, the accompanied artists such as the Byrds, Herb Alpert, and Gary Lewis and the Playboys. The keyboard player on hundreds of recordings, he opened his own recording studio in ...

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SAMRO  

Article

Music studio and composer’s collective. It was established in San Francisco in 1961 by Ramon Sender and Pauline Oliveros, and was soon joined by Morton Subotnick. Its first location was on Jones Street, but after the building accidentally burned down, the center relocated to a large building on Divisadero Street. It was not only the first electronic music studio on the West Coast but also became a hub of artistic activities and technological research. In addition to offering light shows designed by Anthony Martin, it hosted many composers, poets and artists, and programmed various concerts: the Sonics series, regular programming featuring avant-garde music from the Americas, Asia, and Europe, the three Tudorfest festivals, and other events. This is where in 1964 Terry Riley’s In C was first performed and in 1965 Steve Reich first played his It’s gonna rain. The center was the site of a number of technological developments with Bill Maginnis, also a composer, and, in ...

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Karen Ahlquist

A male chorus festival (“singers’ festival”) in the German tradition. German Sängerfeste originated in the 1820s and by the 1840s featured choruses of 2000 or more, allowing Germans to cross boundaries of region, social class, and religion, develop a standardized male chorus repertory, communicate politically, and foster hopes for a unified state.

The Sängerfest in North America took off in the wake of increased immigration following the failed 1848–9 Revolutions. As in Europe, a Sängerfest was organized by a Sängerbund (federation of male choruses), the first of which, the Nord-amerikanische, was founded in Cincinnati in 1849. Others included the Northeastern (1850), German-Texan (1855), and Northwestern (1856).

A Sängerfest brought male choruses from a multi-state region to a host city for three to five days in the spring. It offered concerts, choral competitions, parties (including Kommers, or drinking parties), balls, picnics, tourist excursions, parades, and time for socializing by chorus members, host city residents, and festival attendees. Dozens of committees organized the event, sometimes even building a Sängerhalle to accommodate an audience of thousands. In some cities, public buildings were decorated and businesses and schools shut down for the opening parade, allowing an entire population to participate. Unlike pre-Revolutionary Sängerfeste in Germany, however, an American Sängerfest lacked covert political activity because of German immigrants’ loyalty to the US system of government....

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Lorena Guillén

(b El Palomar, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug 19, 1951). Argentine musician, recording producer, and film music composer. With his bands Arco Iris and Soluna, Santaolalla was one of the pioneers of Argentine “rock nacional” in the 1960s. In 1978 he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he formed the punk-influenced band Wet Picnic. In the early 1980s his interest in folk-rock fusion helped develop a unique Latin American rock and pop sound. He has produced albums for Argentine, Mexican, Colombian, and Chilean artists such as León Gieco, Divididos, Bersuit Vergarabat, Café Tacuba, Maldita Vecindad, Molotov, Julieta Venegas, Caifanes, Juanes, and Los Prisioneros. In the last decade Santaolalla has also produced classical-crossover recordings such as Kronos Quartet’s Nuevo and participated as a composer and performer for some tracks of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre. Santaolalla has also recorded his own solo albums: Santaolalla (1981), Gas (1995), and ...

Article

Charles K. Wolfe

revised by Patrick Huber

(b Bristol, England, Oct 19, 1889; d Fountain Valley, CA, Feb 10, 1986). record producer and executive of British birth. He immigrated to the United States in 1913 and worked in a variety of positions for the Wisconsin Chair Company of Port Washington, Wisconsin, including at the firm’s subsidiary plant in New London, Wisconsin, which manufactured cabinets for Edison phonographs. Around 1915, after Edison purchased the plant, Satherley worked briefly as an assistant secretary to Thomas A. Edison himself. Two years later Satherley assisted in setting up the Wisconsin Chair Company’s phonograph record manufacturing division, the New York Recording Laboratories. He spent the next decade or so working for the firm’s Paramount label, first as the manager of the pressing plant in Grafton, Wisconsin, developing the formula for shellac discs, and then as sales manager for Paramount’s East Coast operation, promoting its line of Race record s. In ...

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Jonas Westover

Animated series of educational programs. It was the brainchild of advertiser David McCall, who initially intended to produce educational songs and was convinced by animator Tom Yohe to pitch the concept as an animated television series. Yohe remained with the project, ensuring the show’s hand-drawn look stayed consistent. The first animated short, part of a series devoted to “Multiplication Rock,” was sold to ABC, and it aired as part of the studio’s Saturday morning children’s television lineup. Eventually, Schoolhouse three-minute shorts would be shown multiple times each Saturday and Sunday morning. In addition to mathematics, grammar, and American history, other topics addressed the US legislative system (the frequently parodied “I’m just a bill”) and matters of science (“Electricity, Electricity”). The music for the series relied on popular music styles to aid with learning: “Conjunction Junction” incorporates blues, “Verb: that’s what’s happening” uses funk, and “Busy Prepositions” relies primarily on the jazz idiom. The series also incorporated clever musical references to well-known pieces. Much of the music and lyrics were written by Bob Dorough, the principal singer and narrator for the series. Frequent collaborators included Lynn Ahrens and George Newall. The show aired until ...

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Seises  

Robert Stevenson

(Sp. ‘sixes’)

From the 16th century to the 19th, the choirboys who sang polyphony in the cathedrals of Seville, Toledo, Avila, Segovia, Mexico City, Lima and elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world were called seises – six being their traditional number at Seville and Toledo cathedrals. The earliest papal bulls designating the income from a prebend for a master of the choirboys in Seville Cathedral were Eugene IV’s Ad exequendum (24 September 1439) and Nicolas V’s Votis illis (27 June 1454). Throughout the next three centuries Seville Cathedral (which set the pattern for the Spanish Indies) had both a master of the altar boys who sang only plainchant, and a master of the seises, generally the maestro de capilla or his deputy. The master of the seises boarded and taught them. When their voices changed, and upon receiving a certificate of good behaviour, they were entitled to a few years’ free tuition and other benefits in the Colegio de S Miguel or in the Colegio de S Isidoro maintained by the Sevillian Chapter. Similar ...

Article

Charles K. Wolfe

revised by Gregory N. Reish

American bluegrass group. Formed in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1971 by mandolinist John Duffey, bassist Tom Gray, Dobro player Mike Auldridge, banjoist Ben Eldridge, and singer and guitarist John Starling, the group has strongly influenced the development of progressive bluegrass and newgrass music. Duffey, Gray, and Auldridge had been members of the Country Gentlemen and were interested in expanding their repertory and stylistic palette even further. The son of an opera singer, Duffey was fascinated with tempo and tone color, including the use of amplification to emphasize unusual ways of striking the strings and different ensemble textures.

Active in the thriving Washington, DC bluegrass and folk scene, Seldom Scene began recording for the small Maryland bluegrass label Rebel in 1972. Within five years, they had made a series of recordings that became models for modern bluegrass: “Paradise” (1972), a John Prine composition that merged modern folksong style with bluegrass; “Rider” (...

Article

Cedric Dent

[Nightingales]

Gospel ensemble. It was formed by Barney Parks (formerly of the Dixie Hummingbirds) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1942 to sing black religious quartet music. It began as the Nightingales, with Parks as manager (he had retired from singing), guitarist Howard Carroll, and singers Paul Owens, Ben Joiner, and William Henry. It disbanded after a few years, and Parks reassembled the group in 1946, adding JoJo Wallace, Carl Coates, and the lead singer Julius “June” Cheeks. Cheeks sang with an intensity associated with the Sanctified Church, exemplifying the gospel style of quartet singing popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Audiences responded favorably to his impassioned solos leading to the group adding the word “sensational” to its name. They began recording in 1952 for Peacock Records. Cheeks temporarily left in 1954 to sing with the Soul Stirrers and again in the 1960s to sing with the Mighty Clouds of Joy. He retired in the early 1970s, after which the group continued, with Charles Johnson replacing Cheeks, and signed with Malaco Records in ...

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Robert Winter

revised by Bonnie E. Fleming

String quartet formed in 1972 and disbanded in 1985. Its members were Yoko Matsuda (b Tokyo, Japan, 25 May 1942), Miwako Watanabe (b Beijing, China, 15 July 1939), James Dunham (b Washington, DC, 27 Aug 1950), and Robert Martin (b Philadelphia, PA, 20 March 1940), who replaced Joel Krosnick in 1975. It was the quartet-in-residence at the California Institute of the Arts beginning in 1972. After winning the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1976, the quartet toured throughout the United States, Europe, and the Far East, giving performances that included premieres of William Thomas McKinley’s Fantasia concertante (New York, 1977), Gerhard Samuel’s String Quartet no.2, and Mel Powell’s Little Companion Pieces (New York, 1980, with Bethany Beardslee, soprano). It recorded for Nonesuch, Sheffield, and Delos as well as for Music & Arts. The quartet’s Sequoia Foundation contributed many commissions to the quartet literature, including works from Chihara (Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra) and, in ...

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Craig Jennex

(b Thunder Bay, ON, Nov 28, 1949). Canadian pianist, composer, musical director, actor, producer, and bandleader. He has been musical director for David Letterman’s late-night shows since 1982. Prior to working with Letterman, Shaffer was a featured performer on “Saturday Night Live.” He has served as musical director and producer for the Blues Brothers and cowrote the 1980s dance hit “It’s raining men.” He has served as musical director for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony since its inception in ...

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Jonas Westover

[Westover, Charles Weedon ]

(b Grand Rapids, MI, Dec 30, 1934; d Santa Clarita, CA, Feb 8, 1990). American singer, songwriter, and producer. Growing up, he learned to play ukulele and guitar while immersing himself in country-and-western music. Throughout the second half of the 1950s, he played in a variety of bands while in the military and also in Michigan. He used several different names during his time as a performer, but finally settled on “Del Shannon” in 1960. In the same year Shannon and his fellow musician, Max Crook, were signed to Bigtop Records in New York. The two wrote and recorded the rock and roll hit “Runaway” in 1961, with the single reaching number one on the Billboard chart. In the following two years Shannon wrote and performed several other successful singles, including “So long, baby,” “Hats off to Larry,” and “Little Town Flirt.” His 1963 cover of “From Me to You” was one of the first American covers of a Beatles song. After moving to Amy Records in ...

Article

Charles K. Wolfe

revised by John W. Rumble

[Stephen Henry ]

(b Washington, DC, Feb 12, 1911; d Nashville, TN April 22, 1968). American record company executive. After working part-time for RCA Victor while attending Rutgers University, Sholes joined the company full-time in 1935. He apprenticed under Frank Walker and other pioneering producers. In 1945, Sholes took control of artist-and-repertory functions for RCA Victor’s country and rhythm-and-blues departments, based in New York. During his career, he signed or developed country artists including Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, the Browns, Pee Wee King, Hank Snow, and Jim Reeves while also recording jazz greats such as Jelly Roll Morton, Earl Hines, and Dizzy Gillespie. Bringing the enormously successful Elvis Presley to the label helped Sholes convince his superiors to lease a Nashville studio on 17th Avenue South on a long-term basis, beginning in November 1957; in 1964 RCA Victor leased a larger studio next door, further enlarging the city’s Music Row district. In addition, Sholes made Chet Atkins, his production assistant since ...

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Stephanie Conn

[Issa ]

(b Toronto, ON, Oct 12, 1955). Canadian singer, songwriter, composer, and producer. Growing up in Toronto, Siberry took piano and French horn lessons, and taught herself guitar. While studying microbiology at the University of Guelph, Ontario (BSc 1980), she began to waitress and perform at local cafes. In 1981, Siberry released her self-titled debut album; this was followed by No Borders Here (1984), distributed in the United States by A&M. Siberry is respected as a gifted singer and songwriter. She has cited Van Morrison and Miles Davis as influences, but also draws on gospel, new-wave, and classical styles. Her third album, The Speckless Sky (1985) reached gold-record status in Canada and confirmed her reputation as a major recording artist. Warner records released her fourth album, The Walking (1987), which earned critical if not popular success with its longer, more complex compositions. Siberry launched her own record label, Sheeba, in ...

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Hugh Davies

Electronic composition machine (not a synthesizer in the current sense of the word), developed by Helmut Klein and W. Schaaf at Siemens & Halske in Munich between 1956 and 1959. It was designed for and was the chief component of the Studio für Elektronische Musik in Munich, which Siemens began planning in 1955, initially to produce the soundtrack for a one-hour publicity film; it was linked to all the other equipment in the studio. A second model was installed in 1964. The director of the studio and the composer most closely involved with the Siemens Synthesizer was Josef Anton Riedl; others who used the machine included the composers Mauricio Kagel, Bengt Hambraeus, Milko Kelemen, and Ernst Krenek, and the sound poet Ferdinand Kriwet. The studio was taken over by a foundation in 1963, and its equipment was moved to Ulm in 1967; it was later acquired by the Deutsches Museum in Munich....

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John W. Rumble

(b Waskom, TX, Dec 16, 1931; d Nashville, TN, Oct 7, 2009). American recording executive and record label owner. He worked as a sales and promotion representative for Mercury/Starday Records and, later, Mercury, then became head of that label’s Nashville office in 1961. There he recorded and promoted artists including George Jones, Roger Miller, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Faron Young. Before long, Singleton was running the label’s artist-and-repertory department, dividing his time between New York and Nashville; his work embraced country, pop, and R&B singers. To avoid Nashville’s then-segregated hotels, Singleton invited Quincy Jones and other African American producers, artists, and musicians to stay at his home. Soon after arriving in Nashville, Singleton brought in Shreveport, Louisiana, guitarist Jerry Kennedy as his principal assistant at Mercury and sister label Smash Records. With their combined commercial instincts and Kennedy’s musical skills, they gained hits with Leroy Van Dyke’s crossover smash “Just walk on by” (...

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Concert venue and gallery, focusing at first on visual art, but soon becoming one of the key locations in the Czech Republic for contemporary and improvised music, sound art, and intermedia work.

Housed in the courtyard of an 1888 neo-Renaissance building in the centre of Prague, the former galvanizing workshop was reconstructed in 1999 by the Linhart Foundation and opened to the public in 2000.

The gallery has offered a regular programme of two monthly concerts, always featuring a local act opening for a foreign guest. Performers have included Thomas Lehn, Franz Hautzinger, Dieb13, and Jim Denley, as well as most musicians on the Czech improvised music scene, and many composer-performers, including Peter Graham, Lucie Vítková, and Miro Tóth[1]. Artists working with sound at the gallery in an installation context have included Jacob Kirkegaard, Phill Niblock, Peter Cusack, and John Grzinich.

Apart from regular exhibitions and concerts, the gallery has also organized long-term residencies for artists, artistic workshops, and discussions. Since ...

Article

Marion Leonard

Punk rock band. It was formed in Olympia, Washington, in 1994 by vocalists and guitarists Carrie Brownstein (b Seattle, WA, 27 Sept 1974) and Corin Tucker (b Eugene, OR, 9 Nov 1972). Its name Sleater-Kinney was taken from a road in the nearby city of Lacey. The band later moved to Portland, Oregon. Both members and their earlier bands are strongly associated with Riot grrrl, a feminist initiative which developed within the local indie music community of Olympia. Tucker formerly performed within the two-piece band Heavens to Betsy while Brownstein was a member of the queercore group Excuse 17.

While Brownstein and Tucker remained core members, four different drummers played with the band before Janet Weiss (b Hollywood, CA, 24 Sept 1965) joined in 1996 resulting in the final and definitive lineup. The dynamic and energetic playing style of Weiss had been honed through her work with Motorgoat and the band Quasi in which she still performs. The urgent immediacy of Sleater-Kinney earned them an international following impressed by Weiss’s flair, Brownstein’s attacking riffs, Tucker’s distorted guitar, and their forceful back and forth vocal lines. The band released seven albums and received considerable critical acclaim, before announcing in ...

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Andrew C. McGraw

[selundeng, salunding, selonding]

Ancient Balinese gamelan ensemble associated with pre-Hindu villages. It comprises six metallophones with iron bars suspended over a shallow wooden trough, played with unpadded wooden mallets. Each instrument begins on a different tone of the seven-tone pelog system. The lowest instrument, referred to as the gong, has eight bars. The higher inting gede and inting cenik have four bars each and are played together by a single performer. The mid-range penem and petuduh have four bars each and are connected to form a single instrument but are played, like the Balinese reyong gong chime, by two musicians performing complex interlocking patterns. The higher nyonyong gede and nyonyong cenik have eight bars each and may each be played by one or two musicians. The nyonyong performers typically carry the principal melody in their right-hand patterns, doubled two octaves below on the inting. Ceng-ceng cymbals may be added when accompanying dance works. The ...