Various ‎– OHM: The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music (1948-1980)

Ellipsis Arts ‎– CD3670
3 × CD, Compilation

Tracklist Hide Credits

1-1 Clara Rockmore Tchaikovsky: Valse Sentimentale 2:08
1-2 Olivier Messiaen Oraison
Performer – Ensemble D'Ondes De Montreal*
1-3 Pierre Schaeffer Etude Aux Chemins De Fer 2:50
1-4 John Cage Williams Mix 5:42
1-5 Herbert Eimert & Robert Beyer Klangstudie II 4:27
1-6 Otto Luening Low Speed 3:40
1-7 Hugh Le Caine Dripsody 1:26
1-8 Louis And Bebe Barron Main Title From Forbidden Planet 2:19
1-9 Oskar Sala Concertando Rubato From Electronische Tanzsuite 3:07
1-10 Edgard Varèse Poeme Electronique 8:00
1-11 Richard Maxfield Sine Music (A Swarm Of Butterflies Encountered Over The Ocean) 6:00
1-12 Tod Dockstader Apocalypse – Part 2 2:01
1-13 Karlheinz Stockhausen Kontakte (Edit)
Performer – James Tenney, William Winant
1-14 Vladimir Ussachevsky Wireless Fantasy 4:35
1-15 Milton Babbitt Phonemena For Soprano And Piano (Edit)
Performer – Bethany Beardslee
1-16 MEV* Spacecraft (Edit)
Performer – Allan Bryant, Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, Jon Phetteplace, Richard Teitelbaum
2-1 Raymond Scott Cindy Electronium 1:55
2-2 Steve Reich Pendulum Music
Performer – Sonic YouthRecorded By – Wharton Tiers
2-3 Pauline Oliveros Bye Bye Butterfly 8:02
2-4 Joji Yuasa Projection Esemplastic For White Noise 7:36
2-5 Morton Subotnick Silver Apples Of The Moon, Part 1 (Edit) 4:20
2-6 David Tudor Rainforest Version 1 (Edit) 5:09
2-7 Terry Riley Poppy Nogood (Edit) 7:55
2-8 Holger Czukay Boat-Woman-Song (Edit)
Composed By – Holger Czukay, Rolf Dammers
2-9 Luc Ferrari Music Promenade (Edit) 7:00
2-10 François Bayle Rosace 3 From Vibrations Composées 3:19
2-11 Jean-Claude Risset Mutations (Edit) 4:55
2-12 Iannis Xenakis Hibiki-Hana-Ma (Edit) 4:39
2-13 La Monte Young Excerpt "31|69 C. 12:17:22-12:25:33 PM NYC" From: Drift Study "31|69 C. 12:17:33-12:24:33 PM NYC" From: Map Of 49's Dream The Two Systems Of Eleven Sets Of Galactic Intervals (Edit) 7:00
3-1 Charles Dodge He Destroyed Her Image 1:59
3-2 Paul Lansky Six Fantasies On A Poem By Thomas Campion: Her Song 3:04
3-3 Laurie Spiegel Appalachian Grove I 5:20
3-4 Bernard Parmegiani En Phase/Hors Phase 2:29
3-5 David Behrman On The Other Ocean (Edit) 6:48
3-6 John Chowning Stria (Edit) 5:11
3-7 Maryanne Amacher Living Sound, Patent Pending Music For Sound-Joined Rooms Series (Edit) 7:02
3-8 Robert Ashley Automatic Writing (Edit) 7:07
3-9 Alvin Curran Canti Illuminati (Edit) 7:25
3-10 Alvin Lucier Music On A Long Thin Wire (Edit) 6:43
3-11 Klaus Schulze Melange 6:52
3-12 Jon Hassell Before And After Charm (La Notte) 7:59
3-13 Brian Eno Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills) 5:21

Companies, etc.



© ℗ 2000 Ellipsis Arts.
Design: The A.V. Dept. at Stoltze Design, Boston

Cover is a schematic of the RCA Theremin, 1929, courtesy of Robert Moog.
Other photos courtesy of Raymond Scott Archive, Robert Moog, INA-GRM, Dr. Dorothea Eimert, Gayle Young, Meyers Rosenblum and Herman Shulman, La Monte Young, CRI, Intl Mgmt Group, Yoji Yuasa, Morton Subotnick, Mode Records, The Cortical Foundation, G. Schirmer, Inc., Kate Dodge.
On page 25 ©James Klosty, page 28: ©1972 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, page 75 (left): ©Jack Mitchell, 1989, page 75 (right): ©Jack Mitchell 1986

Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky)

Issued as 8-panel Digipak with transparent trays inside a matte/clear with white/silver printing plastic slipcase, including a 100-page booklet featuring quotes from the artists, photos, and extensive notes. The tracks are presented here chronologically, and if you've read Joel Chadabe's book "Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music," then this makes an excellent accompaniment.

Track 1-15 is mistakenly the totally non-electronic 'Phonemena For Soprano And Piano' from Philomel and not the listed 'Philomel'. Also many of the tracks have inevitably been severely edited.

Tracks 1-11, 1-16, 2-1, 3-7 and 3-12 are previously unreleased. All other tracks taken from previously released CDs.

Track 1-1 from The Art Of The Theremin (Delos)
Track 1-2 from "Toussaint, Murial, Provost, Messiaen, Vivier" (SNE)
Track 1-3 from L'Œuvre Musicale (EMF)
Track 1-4 from The 25-Year Retrospective Concert Of The Music Of John Cage (Wergo)
Track 1-5 from Cologne - WDR: Early Electronic Music (BV Haast)
Track 1-6 from Pioneers Of Electronic Music (CRI)
Track 1-7 from Pioneer In Electronic Music Instrument Design: Compositions And Demonstrations 1948-1972 (Hugh Le Caine Project)
Track 1-8 from Forbidden Planet (Small Planet Records)
Track 1-9 from My Fascinating Instrument (Fax)
Track 1-10 from Instituut voor Soonologie
Track 1-11 from MELA Foundation Archives (previously unreleased)
Track 1-12 from Apocalypse (Starkland)
Track 1-13 from Kontakte (Ecstatic Peace)
Track 1-14 from Electronic And Acoustic Works 1957-1972 (CRI)
Track 1-15 from Philomel (New World)
Track 1-16 from Richard Teitelbaum Archives (previously unreleased)
Track 2-1 from Basta Archives (previously unreleased)
Track 2-2 from Goodbye 20th Century (SYR)
Track 2-3 from New Music For Electronic & Recorded Media (Women In Electronic Music - 1977) (CRI)
Track 2-4 from Electro Acoustic Music V (Neuma)
Track 2-5 from Silver Apples Of The Moon (Wergo)
Track 2-6 from Rainforest (Mode)
Track 2-7 from Poppy Nogood And The Phantom Band "All Night Flight" Vol.1 (Organ of Corti)
Track 2-8 from Canaxis (Spoon)
Track 2-9 from Presque Rien (INA)
Track 2-10 from Grande Polyphonie (INA GRM)
Track 2-11 from Sud / Dialogues / Inharmonique / Mutations (INA GRM)
Track 2-12 from Electronic Music (EMF)
Track 2-13 from MELA Foundation Archives
Track 3-1 from Any Resemblance Is Purely Coincidental (New Albion)
Track 3-2 from Fantasies And Tableaux (CRI)
Track 3-3 from New Music For Electronic & Recorded Media (Women In Electronic Music - 1977) (CRI)
Track 3-4 from Violostries / Pour En Finir Avec Le Pouvoir D'Orphée / Dedans-Dehors / Rouge-Mort / Exercisme 3 / Le Présent Composé (INA-GRM)
Track 3-5 from On The Other Ocean (Lovely)
Track 3-6 from Turenas · Stria · Phoné · Sabelithe (Wergo)
Track 3-7 previously unreleased
Track 3-8 from Automatic Writing (Lovely)
Track 3-9 from Canti Illuminati (Fore)
Track 3-10 from Music On A Long Thin Wire (Lovely)
Track 3-11 from Historic Edition (Manikin)
Track 3-12 previously unreleased
Track 3-13 from Ambient 4 (On Land) (Editions EG)

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 052296367022
  • Other (ISBN): 1-55961-574-5
  • Other (Catalog number CD1): 3671
  • Other (Catalog number CD2): 3672
  • Other (Catalog number CD3): 3673
  • Matrix / Runout (CD1: Variant 1): DADR 1NHJ1<1313>CD3671
  • Mastering SID Code (CD1: Variant 1): IFPI L481
  • Mould SID Code (CD1: Variant 1): IFPI8101
  • Matrix / Runout (CD2: Variant 1): DADR 1UQS3<1313>CD3672
  • Mastering SID Code (CD2: Variant 1): IFPI L483
  • Mould SID Code (CD2: Variant 1): IFPI81C5
  • Matrix / Runout (CD3: Variant 1): DADR 1NH71<1313>CD3673
  • Mastering SID Code (CD3: Variant 1): IFPI L481
  • Mould SID Code (CD3: Variant 1): IFPI81C0
  • Matrix / Runout (CD1: Variant 2): DADR 25AE3<1313>CD3671
  • Mastering SID Code (CD1: Variant 2): IFPI L483
  • Mould SID Code (CD1: Variant 2): IFPI8127
  • Matrix / Runout (CD2: Variant 2): DADR 24M01<1313>CD3672
  • Mastering SID Code (CD2: Variant 2): IFPI L481
  • Mould SID Code (CD2: Variant 2): IFPI8127
  • Matrix / Runout (CD3: Variant 2): DADR 25VA1<1313>CD3673
  • Mastering SID Code (CD3: Variant 2): IFPI L481
  • Mould SID Code (CD3: Variant 2): IFPI8119
  • Matrix / Runout (CD1: Variant 3): DADR 24303<1313>CD3671
  • Mastering SID Code (CD1: Variant 3): IFPI L483
  • Mould SID Code (CD1: Variant 3): IFPI8113
  • Matrix / Runout (CD2: Variant 3): DADR 24M01<1313>CD3672
  • Mastering SID Code (CD2: Variant 3): IFPI L481
  • Mould SID Code (CD2: Variant 3): IFPI8127
  • Matrix / Runout (CD3: Variant 3): DADR 25VA1<1313>CD3673
  • Mastering SID Code (CD3: Variant 3): IFPI L481
  • Mould SID Code (CD3: Variant 3): IFPI8119
  • Rights Society: BMI
  • Rights Society: ASCAP


Reviews Show All 2 Reviews

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January 13, 2019
Track 1-15 is an acoustic piece. Clearly what they meant to use was the electronic version of Philomel, which you can find on YouTube.


October 5, 2002

Highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in how all of this got started, and has a taste for experimental electronic. You won't find much in the way of beats and structure often, because in many cases what you are hearing on the track is the first time such methods were even used. These are the pioneers. The ones who invented the synths and the algorithms in them, with names like Chowning, Theramin, and Moog in the credits; the ones who strung thousands of feet of wire around a studio to see how it would distort a sound wave; built elaborate "sonic rooms" where the audience would walk around triggering effects, creating their own personal roar.

The book that accompanies the 3 disc set is gorgeous. Full color, glossy, and around 100 pages long. It includes not only detailed information on each song and artist on the three discs, but a wealth of tangental information as well, such as history, engineering, artist's thoughts, and so on. It is by no means a substitute for a thorough essay on the history of electronic music, but far, far more than you usually get in even a box set.

As for the music itself, it is great stuff, though a bit "out there" in some cases, and not really something you would just put on as background music. For instance, track eight on disc three features nothing but the murmering of Robert Ashley's personal thoughts surrounding his work. Other songs are practically sonic blasts that are almost akin to the Noise genre. Alas, a lot of the music has been edited and shortened, as noted above. It is understandable though, especially considering the fact that some of the tracks are excerpts from hours long shows. The good news is that you would have a hell of time procuring all of this music on your own, especially since some of these tracks have never been released before.

Some highlights: John Cage's Williams Mix, here is a song with a score that is over five-hundred pages long! From a technical standpoint, very interesting. No doubt it could be accomplished in no time with today's technology, for 1952 it was a huge achievement. Terry Riley's long, completely improv organ sets with an eastern influence. Amacher's petri dish approach to dynamic, three dimensional sound sculptures (woefully handicapped in their stereo form.) It's all good though.