Roland Kayn

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a serious call for help:

'Tektra', the 4 CD Kayn set on Barooni, pretty much establishes this guy's reputation single handedly. He's a major figure in my book. I've had it for a few years, when I saw it reissued earlier this year I started listening to it again... a lot.

So his RRR label has just reissued the other discs. They aren't cheap. I just dropped $70 on 'Electronic Symphony I-III' and 'Electronic Symphony VIII / X'.

They're interesting; a lot less alien than 'Tektra', you can still make out the sources being processed on several of these pieces. Orchestral and instrumental textures still audible, unlike the completely abstracted landscapes on 'Tektra'. Not sure if he's composing the source materials himself, and then subjecting them to his cybernetic processes, but it seems much less like the pure, alien process music than a simple, well aimed drone collage. Still extremely accomplished and I'll be listening to them a lot, but as these are painfully expensive purchases, I'd love to hear some recommendations from anyone...

(Jon L), Sunday, 5 October 2003 00:24 (sixteen years ago) link

i got infra earlier in the year. its lovely vapour trails type stuff.

gaz (gaz), Sunday, 5 October 2003 06:56 (sixteen years ago) link

The only Kayn I have is "Simultan," but a friend is promising to burn "Tektra" for me. (He fucking better; I sent him a burn of Cecil Taylor's 2 Ts For A Lovely T box, which is 10 CDs.) Should I ask him for the "Electronic Symphony" stuff, too?

"Simultan" is great. Very crunchy, ultra-abstract. Hard to really describe since I haven't listened to it for a couple of years, but I remember lots of sounds like ships being torn open by giant robot hands, plus distorted voices. Very cool stuff. Don't know if it's available on CD, though.

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Sunday, 5 October 2003 12:01 (sixteen years ago) link

hey Milton I'll check this out. thanks :-)

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Sunday, 5 October 2003 12:14 (sixteen years ago) link

I recommend 'Tektra' before the Symphonies. More immediately distinctive. The sound's been refined to the point where it's more about the process than the source material, there's less in the sound to connect it to this planet. Very immersive stuff (and also at $30 for 4 CDs, 'Tektra' is the easiest place to start).

But until I listen a few more times, I'll refrain from attempts to describe the differences here, it's like trying to describe the differences in late period AMM albums: very different, but be careful saying just why...

Can't say this thread has done anything but remind me about the out of print, impossible to find, even more expensive 3 LP vinyl sets from the late 70's, 'Simultan' and 'Infra'. Great. If anyone wants to trade tapes/cdrs, preferably for the out of print vinyl, drop me a line.

(Jon L), Monday, 6 October 2003 16:48 (sixteen years ago) link

also, RRR stands for 'Reiger Reeks Records', no affiliation with Ron Lessard's RRR label.

(Jon L), Monday, 6 October 2003 16:49 (sixteen years ago) link

two months pass...
You can order all CD's on
Even the rare LP's are available.
Roland Kayn makes his own sounds and says himself that he graspes his sounds out off the air.

leon rima, Thursday, 25 December 2003 10:31 (fifteen years ago) link

thanks leon.

wow, I'd forgotten he was in Gruppo Nuova Consonanza. He's not on either of the recordings of theirs I own though...

I picked up the 2 disc set of his early orchestral / ensemble works, which made it clear that the later electro-acoustic works are using self-composed recordings rather than samples. 'Sequenzen' from 1957 is distinguished, floating mid-air flames, also love the recording of 1966's 'Signals' (conducted by Boulez). Amazing to hear his pieces for live performance, they really hold up. Wish I could discuss technical basics but words fail me.

The website makes a helpful division between his electro-acoustic pieces and his cybernetic pieces. I find myself preferring the cybernetic pieces, offhand. Out of the other discs I bought I'm spending the most time with 'Assemblage' and 'Ready-Made I'. Nothing I've bought disappoints though, although they're painfully expensive. 'Tektra' remains the best entry point.

(Jon L), Thursday, 25 December 2003 23:48 (fifteen years ago) link

three years pass...

tektra is astonishing

these four discs have been my sleep records for the last two months straight (with occasional detours to the new stars of the lid)

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 22 May 2007 22:36 (twelve years ago) link

i highly recommend his keyboard works cd, too. the recording quality makes it sound like it was recorded in an underwater vault - very affecting, and of course the music is boggling.

oo, Tuesday, 22 May 2007 23:58 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 03:14 (eleven years ago) link

from this PDF file of the liner notes found via this discussion

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 03:24 (eleven years ago) link

four months pass...

thank you, blog of no longer forgotten music

peaks are Side Three of Makro, Monades & Eon from Elektroakustische Projekte 1966-1975, and pretty much all of Infra & Simultan

Milton Parker, Monday, 1 December 2008 21:09 (ten years ago) link

recent unreleased compositions from his PDF of complete works:

176.00 THE ORTHO-PROJECT (2007) R: Reiger recording Studio
Elektronisch -842'09- U: - Stereo

176.01 -Atharyt 48'12
176.02 -Itirsis 27'45
176.03 -Dat SR z 47'00
176.04 -Tirals 47'28
176.05 -Skips 47'50
176.06 -Synergy 47'00
176.07 -Les Rantoles 43'46
176.08 -Perikarya 35'49
176.09 -Kthoor 44'04
176.10 -Ataraly 40'31
176.11 -Conversions 32'00
176.12 -Anisotropy EE 61'25
176.13 -Antarary 53'17
176.14 -Rantho 45'04
176.15 -Sonoritys 41'23
176.16 -Antegry 20'04
176.17 -Ecardy 57'08
176.18 -La Grada 29'35
176.19 -Zazorith 29'58
176.20 -Arttiraes 45'08

182.00 THE ASSURGENTY PROGRESSIONS (2007) -17.45'12- Elektronisch Stereo

182.01 -LA TARAN 42'27
182.02 -SATHAR 42'24
182.03 -SIYTARY 55'12
182.04 -YTHO 48'22
182.05 -LUERY 39'02
182.06 -DECORA 26'13
182.07 -SRATO 28'48
182.08 -MICTOSYS 88'26
182.09 -part 1: 55'02
182.10 -part 2: 35'24
182.11 -LUNN 44'00
182.12 -PER MATOS 44'50
182.13 -LES TARALS 45'39
182.14 -BILORY 44'12
182.15 -DALAAR 35'51
182.16 -RATARI 27'31
182.17 -OKTARAL 26'18
182.18 -RHYSAL 44'37
182.19 -ECCATO 76'07
182.20 - part 1: 44'37
182.21 - part 2: 31'55
182.22 -LES GARALES 63'10
182.23 -LLATERO 35'39
182.24 -R.461DA 45'24
182.25 -AUDIOBRIDGE 33'43
182.26 -ACCATA 59'17
182.27 -TRACKS 28'48
182.28 -RHADAL 65'40
182.29 -OOTIS 23'25

Milton Parker, Monday, 1 December 2008 21:11 (ten years ago) link

about the climactic movement of Infra

In Apeiron, various energy states of a basic structure which is inaudible itself, form a continuum extending to the very limits of the functioning of the regulating and controlling mechanisms. Due to the complexity, the previous sections seem to be crowded out of the auditive memory.

The music can be termed 'abstract'.

Milton Parker, Monday, 1 December 2008 21:23 (ten years ago) link

Milton Parker, Monday, 1 December 2008 21:47 (ten years ago) link

this is incredible

sleep, Saturday, 6 December 2008 02:41 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

Milton Parker, Friday, 9 January 2009 21:30 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

We regret to inform you that Roland passed away on Januari 5th 2011.

Milton Parker, Sunday, 9 January 2011 21:23 (eight years ago) link

aw no way!!!! RIP

Kevin John Bozelka, Sunday, 9 January 2011 21:25 (eight years ago) link

non stop Infra & Tektra all this week

He adapted marvelously to the digital age, increasing his output dramatically, with 220 of his 287 works composed in his last decade, all of them electronic. In 2009 alone, he composed 30 electronic works for a total of over 36 hours of music.

bring it on!

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 12 January 2011 19:06 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

Roland Kayn.
A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound (2009).
opus 256, ~14 hours

1. Czerial.
2. Xattax.
3. Somitoh.
4. Ykties.
5. Naaps.
6. Rosonic.
7. Ilay.
8. Aseral.
9. Ractil.
10. Zearid.
11. Radox.
12a. Qyrials I.
12b. Qyrials II.
13. Tachys.
14. Prahoxx.
15. Hatho.
16a. Ecerit I.
16b. Ecerit II.
16c. Ecerit III.
17. Ritaces.
18. Icursim.
19. Arasa.

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 00:00 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Tektra might be the best non-Radigue drone album I've come across. The soundscapes on that album are out-of-this-world.

kyema, Monday, 11 February 2013 06:34 (six years ago) link

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 01:40 (six years ago) link

one year passes...
one year passes...

collection complete!

Milton Parker, Sunday, 21 February 2016 23:52 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

out of the countless number of 5-20 hour long compositions they could have chosen for physical release, I wish they'd gone for one that wasn't already in the wild (though I see they've killed the streaming links that went up when the piece was broadcast intact in 2009, I already know this piece fairly well).

I will still pre-order.

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 23:28 (two years ago) link

this is the one I'm most curious about, the followup to Tektra:

Elektroakustisches Projekt
617 minutes

-Cycloids I
-Cycloids II
-Anisotropic modulations I
-Anisotropic modulations II
-Anisotropic modulations III
-Anisotropic modulations IV
-Anisotropic modulations V
-Anisotropic modulations VI
-Anisotropic modulations VI
-Networks I
-Networks II
-Networks III
-Networks IV
-Networks V
-Allotropic Radi
-Inverted spaces
-Counter Radi
-Scanned modulation

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 00:04 (two years ago) link

dropping the word 'Anisotropic' decades before Animoog existed (makes you wonder)

& in related news, I did buy that Jaap Vink album -- the technician / composer who aided Kayn in the early 70's as he was trying to apply his concepts about cybernetics to modular synths & generative 'semi-autonomous systems'. have only gone the album once, but yes these are similar structures / landscapes. need to listen again.

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 01:54 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

Cybernetics didn’t have much to do with music until the mid-1950s, when a German philosopher named Max Bense figured out how to apply the writings of Wiener to aesthetics.

Louis & Bebe Barron were regular participants at the Macy Conferences, 1946-1953, and most of their writings including the back cover of the Forbidden Planet soundtrack regularly namecheck their friend Norbert Wiener & Cybernetics as the primary influence on their instrument design and composition. Cybernetics was already a key factor in the aesthetics behind the earliest electronic music studio & compositions in the United States, before the Germans & WDR. The Barrons were doing feedback music first, and showed it to Cage & Tudor in 1952. It's an American thing. Glad Frere-Jones is diving into writing about this!

Milton Parker, Monday, 2 October 2017 21:20 (two years ago) link

O’Rourke still felt a sense of wonder in the presence of these compositions. “I know how almost everyone does what they do,” he said. “I can figure it out. But Kayn is still the master. I really don’t know how he did this.”


Milton Parker, Monday, 2 October 2017 21:25 (two years ago) link

should clarify I meant to say 'attendees' not 'participants', and I'm having trouble finding that reference, so I should temper the Macy connection. Early quotes of their response to Wiener are in nearly every interview with them. Good ones in Dunbar-Hester's "Listening to Cybernetics Music Machines and Nervous Systems 1950-1980" and I just discovered Wierzbicki's "Forbidden Planet: A Film Score Guide", the online samples of which have a lot on Wiener's influence on "Heavenly Menagerie" 1950/51 & "For An Electronic Nervous System" 1953.

Milton Parker, Monday, 2 October 2017 22:08 (two years ago) link

Hello Jon! Hey, I was listening to Tektra last week, had to give up halfway through, even though the person I was with actually really digging it. Are you familiar with this (great) Italian eurodisco album:

Tom's Tits Experiment (Tom D.), Monday, 2 October 2017 23:34 (two years ago) link

hi dadaismus thread needed more disco so good call

listening to half of tektra is still listening for two hours! it's not like you missed 'the ending'

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 16:25 (two years ago) link

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 16:28 (two years ago) link

Cybernetics was already a key factor in the aesthetics behind the earliest electronic music studio & compositions in the United States, before the Germans & WDR.

schaeffer also dabbled in cybernetics in the early grmc days, mentioning it in passing in the late '40s then having a seemingly brief period going in deep in collaboration with abraham moles. tho he'd later criticise moles for being scientistic. with aesthetic writings like these, i can't imagine why...

two weeks pass...

Merdeyeux you have a good point about how a lot of Norbert's early writings would throw people; 'Cybernetics' is not a layman's book. And I know Frere-Jones' clearly knows about the Barrons and his article was strictly crediting the engineers doing that math. It's still an oversight not to mention the influence that the later books 'Human Use of Human Beings' and 'God and Golem Inc.' had on artists, including the earliest electronic music made in the US.

^^ this is great, and I had the same reaction to AE_LIVE, which is some of the first effective generative music that isn't drone-based or completely non-melodic. Autechre writes tunes you can recognize even when they never precisely repeat, which is really quite an impressive trick to pull off

Milton Parker, Monday, 23 October 2017 21:44 (one year ago) link

the mastering on these CDs is definitely a major improvement from the stream of the radio broadcast, which had a high noise floor of broadcast hiss. almost a totally new experience in some sections. also mastered so quiet it's a little terrifying, I had to turn it way up in order to fill the room with the sound during the long ambient washes, but of course Kayn is prone to putting in huge crashes & impacts & massive dynamic range so turning it up means really committing yourself. nothing quite as dramatic as the midpoint surprise on Hafler Trio's 'intoutof' yet but only three discs in.

Milton Parker, Thursday, 26 October 2017 22:08 (one year ago) link

forced exposure say they shipped mine, hoping for an intense weekend of roland kayn and new super mario game

adam, Friday, 27 October 2017 12:15 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

this took me a while to get through as a CD set; such a huge psychological difference of putting individual CDs in a player instead of just having two seven hour long mp3s (there is something incredibly appropriate about listening to Tektra as a single 4:46:25 youtube upload, fidelity regardless).

many of his pieces seem to be self-plundering, mixing in drastically altered stretches of previous works. it sounds like the main aesthetic on this piece is time compression & wide range varispeed. if he'd spent the previous ten years recording several 10-20 hour long pieces a year, this sounds as if it's a collage of all of them compressed, weaving in and out of each other on fast forward (sounds like he's either got a special wide-varispeed deck or a digital equivalent with a very liquid sound to it)

it's going to take me an hour just to rip this new box but I think that's going to be the next step before going through again, partially because files are easier for me to play back at quarterspeed. while I'm not sure this is the best entry point for Kayn it is very satisfying to see so many people getting excited about this box and they really did an amazing job on the packaging

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 19:21 (one year ago) link

seven months pass...

don't know why the score for Allotropie from the early 1960's is on the cover for Simultan other than for the way it looks. don't know why this is only coming out on vinyl again. I downloaded the flacs of Simultan on the AGP archive & imported / crossfaded the files as indicated by the liner notes before burning them to CDRs, and, well... if this ever comes out again on CD, and the label doesn't follow those recommendations, that'll be a shame

When completely reproducing SIMULTAN as for instance radio broadcastings, the following overlappings will have to be taken into consideration:

MONOSTABILE: 30 seconds before the end cross fade SOURCES ERQODIQUES - 10 seconds interruption -

LOGATOME: 60 seconds before the end cross fade MATRIX --

MATRIX: 30-60 seconds before the end end cross fade INVARIANTEN.

Milton Parker, Friday, 6 July 2018 18:45 (one year ago) link

don't know why link does not work, it's a beautiful looking box I will regret not buying even if just to look at it

Milton Parker, Friday, 6 July 2018 18:48 (one year ago) link

If they release it digitally I'll buy it for sure. I had Simultan on a set of CD-Rs about 15 years ago but they died.

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 6 July 2018 19:06 (one year ago) link

Irritating that a) it's vinyl-only and b) it's a recording that has been easily obtainable for ages... especially considering the amount of unreleased material that supposedly exists...

If someone is going to do reissues, we need Infra (IMO the RK work with the highest peaks) and Makro on CD first.

alb indys, Saturday, 7 July 2018 00:36 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Anyone know anything about the quality of the pressing of the Simultan reissue on Die Schnachtel? The words "white vinyl" frighten me a bit.

Really don't understand why there isn't CD reissue of this.

I hope I live long enough to buy Infra and Tektra reissues, in any format.

Paul Ponzi, Thursday, 20 September 2018 15:42 (one year ago) link

You and me both.

Zach Same (Tom D.), Thursday, 20 September 2018 15:44 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

says himself that he graspes his sounds out off the air

j., Wednesday, 20 February 2019 18:40 (seven months ago) link

five months pass...

the exact one I was hoping would come out next

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 18:45 (two months ago) link

i found a version of that last week on slsk that sez '2005' for the year (of release) but i'm having trouble figuring out its ultimate provenance

j., Wednesday, 7 August 2019 19:33 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

submitting CD information to gracenote, correcting typo for track three on disc five

only twenty minutes in, but as expected, picking up where Tektra left off. liner notes indicate that his pieces Ready Made I & II were the rough studies for 'proving and controlling of the system (largely auto-regulation)' for this, and part I of Ready Made in particular is top shelf. liner notes are utterly unspecific on all other technical aspects as is his norm, but certainly sounds anisotropic enough to me

Milton Parker, Thursday, 3 October 2019 07:10 (two weeks ago) link

xpost j, there was an FM broadcast in 2004, that's what that's from

Brakhage, Thursday, 3 October 2019 12:12 (two weeks ago) link

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