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VariousOHM: The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music (1948-1980)

Label:Ellipsis Arts – CD3670
3 x CD, Compilation
Style:Musique Concrète, Experimental


1-1Clara RockmoreTchaikovsky: Valse Sentimentale2:08
1-2Olivier MessiaenOraison7:42
1-3Pierre SchaefferEtude Aux Chemins De Fer2:50
1-4John CageWilliams Mix5:42
1-5Herbert Eimert & Robert BeyerKlangstudie II4:27
1-6Otto LueningLow Speed3:40
1-7Hugh Le CaineDripsody1:26
1-8Louis And Bebe BarronMain Title From Forbidden Planet2:19
1-9Oskar SalaConcertando Rubato From Electronische Tanzsuite3:07
1-10Edgard VarèsePoeme Electronique8:00
1-11Richard MaxfieldSine Music (A Swarm Of Butterflies Encountered Over The Ocean)6:00
1-12Tod DockstaderApocalypse – Part 22:01
1-13Karlheinz StockhausenKontakte (Edit)6:20
1-14Vladimir UssachevskyWireless Fantasy4:35
1-15Milton BabbittPhonemena For Soprano And Piano (Edit)
PerformerBethany Beardslee
1-16MEV*Spacecraft (Edit)6:06
2-1Raymond ScottCindy Electronium1:55
2-2Steve ReichPendulum Music
PerformerSonic Youth
Recorded ByWharton Tiers
2-3Pauline OliverosBye Bye Butterfly8:02
2-4Joji YuasaProjection Esemplastic For White Noise7:36
2-5Morton SubotnickSilver Apples Of The Moon, Part 1 (Edit)4:20
2-6David TudorRainforest Version 1 (Edit)5:09
2-7Terry RileyPoppy Nogood (Edit)7:55
2-8Holger CzukayBoat-Woman-Song (Edit)
Composed ByHolger Czukay, Rolf Dammers
2-9Luc FerrariMusic Promenade (Edit)7:00
2-10François BayleRosace 3 From Vibrations Composées3:19
2-11Jean-Claude RissetMutations (Edit)4:55
2-12Iannis XenakisHibiki-Hana-Ma (Edit)4:39
2-13La Monte YoungExcerpt "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
3-1Charles DodgeHe Destroyed Her Image1:59
3-2Paul LanskySix Fantasies On A Poem By Thomas Campion: Her Song3:04
3-3Laurie SpiegelAppalachian Grove I5:20
3-4Bernard ParmegianiEn Phase/Hors Phase2:29
3-5David BehrmanOn The Other Ocean (Edit)6:48
3-6John ChowningStria (Edit)5:11
3-7Maryanne AmacherLiving Sound, Patent Pending Music For Sound-Joined Rooms Series (Edit)7:02
3-8Robert AshleyAutomatic Writing (Edit)7:07
3-9Alvin CurranCanti Illuminati (Edit)7:25
3-10Alvin LucierMusic On A Long Thin Wire (Edit)6:43
3-11Klaus SchulzeMelange6:52
3-12Jon HassellBefore And After Charm (La Notte)7:59
3-13Brian EnoUnfamiliar 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

Other Versions (2)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Excerpts From OHM: The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music (CD, Promo, Compilation)Ellipsis ArtsCD3670US2000
Recently Edited
OHM+ : The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music : 1948 - 1980 (3×CD, Compilation, Reissue, DVD, , Box Set, Special Edition)Ellipsis ArtsCD3690US2005


  • rlauriston's avatar
    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.
    • IoaPetraka's avatar
      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.