History of CBS Records 30th Street Studio NYC (many pictures)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DMortensen, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. crispi

    crispi Vinyl Archaeologist

    Location:
    Berlin
    Not the same man.
     
  2. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    BINGO!!!!

    You are absolutely right! Thank you!!!!

    Any idea who that is with him? Google images isn't finding anyone that's a match. It's not a very young Merce Cunningham is it? The hair seems very different at least.
     
  3. mdr30

    mdr30 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Sorry, don't know, and it doesn't look like Cunningham.

    You don't know what year it is? In 1953 Columbia Masterworks recorded Cage's string quartet with the New Music String Quartet. Maybe the producer or a member of the quartet?
     
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  4. Walter H

    Walter H Santa's Helper

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    From the Tully Potter collection, the New Music Quartet, with Peter Bartók at far left:

    [​IMG]

    Is that our man at far right?
     
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  5. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Not yet.

    The process that I've figured out for solving these is going to be somewhat lengthy.

    First step is to correlate the photo indexes with each folder with the pictures so I can first see everyone who someone else has already identified and thus know who is unknown to them and to me, since I'm looking at the pictures while doing this and I have known some people that the indexer hasn't.

    Next I'll correlate the AFM recording session reports with the pictures. Since that is a huge project with lots of information on each session (mostly the songs recorded, their matrix numbers, and the musicians present), I think that occurs once we get the database front end and back end figured out. We're not quite ready to present that to the group for comments, but I hope that day is approaching soon. Then volunteer programmers need to figure out a front end that will work in terms of ease of entry and covering all the needs.

    The goal at this point is to wind up with every photograph and session having all the information attached to it that we can find, including comments here, excerpted comments by interviewed subjects who were there or knew about the event, and whatever else makes sense to include.

    Since I now have something like 9000 Plaut pictures, it's going to take a while.

    And to reiterate, the Plaut collection is very sketchy about dates. Probably something like 1% of the pictures have been dated in the index, if that many. Almost all the dating has been done by me or us here, and your 1953 comment is helpful. There are thousands of those AFM sheets, and it takes me about an hour to do 10 or so, so that will be a very large project, too, one that I think I'm going to have to rely on volunteers or low-paid people locally to accomplish in any reasonable time. And because of the volume of information I think that part really needs to wait until the database is ready to use. So it's a lot of interlocking pieces to this puzzle.

    Which takes me back to your ID of John Cage. More in a minute after I find some pictures.
     
  6. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Looks like him to me.

    Well done!

    Do you have that at higher resolution? What's that tag on the tape recorder?
     
  7. Walter H

    Walter H Santa's Helper

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
  8. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    To mdr 30: Thanks to your ID of John Cage, I was able to solve a mystery that has mystified me and the other people I've shown this part of the collection to (Battery Studios guys, Friends of 30th St gathering in November, etc.). Here are five pictures from a slightly longer series that I got in October at Yale:

    [​IMG]

    OK, here's a guy playing an accordion in 30th St. What are all those wires hanging off of it?

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm, those wires are connected to a bunch of electronic crap on that table. The long skinny thing on the near left corner of the table is a spring reverb like in a guitar amp, but what's all that other stuff that's held together with masking tape and bare wires on screw terminals?

    If you'd seen the whole sequence (which is not precisely in order but spread across some folders) you'd have seen the guy on the right with a soldering gun building or repairing his stuff right in the studio.

    [​IMG]

    There's a lot of RCA connectors there, so it's an unbalanced system with lots of connections, so the noise floor could be horrendous in some circumstances. In fairness, though, in that era they'd have to use transformers to balance the signals, so there'd be 50 pounds of transformers taking up a lot more space that this, and he's probably an experimental hobbyist anyway, so it's excusable but still.

    [​IMG]

    When we were having our meeting at Battery Studios, Vic Anesini saw these pictures and yelled "Hey, I have one of those stools" and ran into his room and brought it out and we got to sit on it. He got it from 30th St and uses it all the time.

    [​IMG]

    Cool, huh?

    It turns out that this is not an accordion it's a bandoneon, which is the accordion-like instrument used in tango music and which Astor Piazzola played in his enchanting music. This is not Astor, I'm not sure who it is, but this is part of a David Tudor project. David was a collaborator with John Cage and Merce Cunningham, and was in the Google Images with John Cage.

    This page https://www.iim.cz/wiki/index.php/David_Tudor which seems to be from an Institute that I can't quite figure out, even has another picture from the same session quoted above and seems to identify the electronics guy as David rather than the bandoneon player like I thought.

    He/they/John Cage/etc. did a performance in the 69th St Armory in NYC in 1966 which is on a series of videos available on Amazon. They are $25US each ( search "David Tudor DVD") and his is only 38 minutes although a John Cage one is longer for the same price. These guys's clothes look like they could be 1966, so maybe they are getting ready for the concert in 30th St? Or maybe they've given this ground-breaking event and are going to record it? I don't know, but it was fun to find answers and more questions thanks to you.

    So thanks!
     
  9. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I have to run now, but quickly, I'm unfortunately not seeing a ton in the last set of photos to date them. The only thing *might* be the multicolored curtains. Don't hold me to it, but I think those may have been introduced in the mid-'60s.

    I think the photos are looking north. But I'll have to look through other photos to compare.
     
  10. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    The remarkable Mike Gray, who still hasn't figured out how to post here but who I have faith will do so some day, sent a note identifying this man as Adjutor Hormidas ("Ad" / "Pappy") THEROUX (Joseph).

    I'm not sure what the "Joseph" part is, unless that was his given name or a nickname, although I would think "Ad" and "Pappy" were the nicknames. The link is http://www.recordingpioneers.com/RP_THEROUX1.html and seems to be a compendium of information about early recording engineers and related people. I can't find any pictures on the site although it seems to say it has some.

    Searching for Adjutor Theroux results in http://www.discogs.com/artist/1631447-Adjutor-Theroux

    So, finally, there are a few recordings with his name on them visible to us but there had to be a LOT more.

    In case you are wondering about the name Adjutor, as I was, apparently there is a St. Adjutor who is the patron saint of swimmers, boaters, and drowning victims. So how about that?

    Thanks, Mike!
     
  11. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    That was my guess, but after looking at some photos of Cage I wasn't sure. Also he seemed an unlikely person to encounter in a Columbia studio. Now I wish I said something.
     
  12. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    I wish you'd said it, too. Then you'd be the recipient of the fabulous wealth of prizes awarded to all the identifiers of mystery pictures and therefore set for life.

    You can redeem yourself by finding out who other mystery people are. Who's the bandoneonist if David Tudor is the electronics guy? Who are the three other guys in the New Music Quartet? That's probably an easy one.

    Who's the guy who isn't Joe Glaser? One eliminated, only a couple billion other possibilities.

    Inquiring minds want to know!
     
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  13. mdr30

    mdr30 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Glad to be of help.

    The guy with the bandoneon is likely David Waldhauer, inventive engineer. He prepared the electronics for "9 evenings: theatre and engineering", a 1966 festival in New York where Tudor's work "Bandoneon!" and Cages "Variations VII" were performed. Strange that Waldhauer, employed by Bell Labs, didn't use balanced connections...

    He was proud of his electronic pen - google proportional control system.
     
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  14. mdr30

    mdr30 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
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  15. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Or maybe the bandoneon player is Tudor. He did play the bandoneon as well as the piano & in some of the pictures I've found he looks like the player in these photos. If we had a date it would help. The man at the table with the devices might be Gordon Mumma.
     
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  16. mdr30

    mdr30 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Sorry, Tudor had been identified earlier so your identification seems correct. A photo of Tudor and Mumma together that seems to be from the same session identifies it as from the 30th Street Studio, recording Mumma's Mesa in 1967, so then DMortensen's photos has nothing to to with the 9 Evenings festival I suggested above.
     
  17. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Date: I think 1966 is a good approximation. This thing was a Happening which was popular in those days as peoples' minds were expanding and in need of stimulus and lots of hip happening things were going on. The crowds in that video mdr30 posted were a good indication of how open people were to these new experiences.

    The 9 evenings performances were October 13-23, 1966.

    That Daniel Langlois site is pretty cool. Isn't it him who was in charge of the Cinemateque Francaise in Paris? Looking it up, no, it was Henri Langlois. Wonder if they're related? The latter was in one of my favorite films, or involved in the events that it was based on, "The Dreamers" by Bernardo Bertolucci. That would have been a funny coincidence if he had been tied into this.
     
  18. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Identified where? Please repeat for those of us having a problem following along.

    It seems like "my" photos with the two players must have been around the same time as the 9 Evenings festival, and if they were taken in 1967 that is within a year of the festival. I didn't get that anyone was saying "my" photos were exactly from that festival. They are for sure at 30th St. but showing the some of the same people and same gear as at the festival. The festival was much larger.

    Or am I misunderstanding what you are saying?
     
  19. mdr30

    mdr30 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    The photo I refer to can be found here:

    http://www.brainwashed.com/mumma/

    Mumma's piece Mesa was released on David Tudor's LP A Second Wind for Organ, by CBS Odyssey.

    Sorry for mixing Tudor and Waldhauer up, they sure look alike.

    The Langlois site is a treasure, and the "9 Evenings" festival was quite something. I wonder who financed it...
     
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  20. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    OK, got it. Good, thank you!

    So just to be clear the guy on the LEFT playing the bandoneon

    [​IMG]

    is David Tudor, who was a virtuoso pianist and was the pianist for the experimental compositions of John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, and Christian Wolff. His biography is at http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/guides_bibliographies/david_tudor/biography.html

    The fellow on the RIGHT is Gordon Mumma, whose bio link is in your post.

    Thank you for clearing that up.

    The picture above and the others I've posted today are from MSS 52, The Frederick and Rose Plaut Papers in the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University, gathered with the help of Richard Boursey and Emily Ferrigno, wonderful librarians.

    Oh, and here is a generalized schematic of the electronics for the bandoneon piece as found on the Getty Research Institute's website:

    [​IMG]

    That is from 1966 and has audio, video, and lighting paths but does not get too deep into any, so no specifics about what each of those boxes with knobs are.
     
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  21. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Hi Everyone,

    Before I get into today's subject, I wanted to mention some further details about the diagram above which probably was from the Gordon Mumma/David Tudor/ other artists' event in 1966 at the 69th Regiment Armory in NYC, which is pretty close to where the 30th St Studio was: Armory- Lexington between 25th and 26th, Studio- 30th St. near 3rd Ave. So one block over and four blocks down. Easy to walk if you were so inclined.

    A notable thing about that event is that not only were there the 9 artists or groups of artists listed, but they were helped out in the presentation by a bunch of engineers from Bell Labs, which was just across the Hudson River.

    Here is a paragraph from the Langlois website:

    "In 1965, with the help of Robert Rauschenberg, Billy Klüver sought the expertise of some 30 engineers at Bell Laboratories (Murray Hills, N.J., U.S.), requesting that they participate in an interdisciplinary project blending avant-garde theatre, dance and new technologies. For the project, artists John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Öyvind Fahlström, Alex Hay, Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, David Tudor and Robert Whitman each created an original performance. The artists were paired with the engineers, and together they produced the technical components used on stage by the participants (dancers, actors, musicians). The event was originally intended to be presented as part of the Stockholm Festival of Art and Technology in 1966. But when the festival's American program was cancelled, Billy Klüver moved the event to the 69th Regiment Armory (New York, N.Y., U.S.), where it ran as 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering from October 13 to 23, 1966."

    Since we know David Tudor and John Cage were at 30th St more than once each, it's not hard to imagine that at least some of the other artists were there on occasion, too. I hope to use this list to find out what they look like and keep my eyes open.

    I think those connections are pretty fun.
     
  22. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    So I've mentioned the idea of doing a database for this information that we've been gathering, where everything we can find is in one place and comparatively easy to search. I also said how my neighbors are retired database experts and willing to talk to me about it.

    We have met several times and talked about it and they have really taken the ball and run with it, particularly Bob. I'm going to share the document that he has evolved to define our terms and individual items and categories that we will want to have in the database, so that you can look them over and offer suggestions and or comments for improvement.

    I have to confess that my eyes kind of glaze over when I try to read this, but that I have a much easier time talking and interacting with people about it. We'll see what happens in this format of discussion, but you should be prepared for catatonia from me.

    There are 7 pages, and I've made jpg's of them so we can post here. There will be three posts and then I'll shut up more or less.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see we are trying to put in every bit of information that we have that someone might find useful. My guess is that we will ramp up to the complete thing and probably just start with the pictures and captions that I have, followed by the AFM sheets, followed by other collected data.

    On to the next post.
     
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  23. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
  24. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There you go.

    Thanks for reading all that,
    Dan
     
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  25. bmoregnr

    bmoregnr Forum Rezident

    Location:
    1060 W. Addison
    Wow that is some heavy-hitter stuff. You are not doing that in an Excel spreadsheet. It seems you will be able to have it so that multiple Persons are associated with a Recording Session, or multiple Recording Sessions tied to an Album for example. If so you would be pretty well setup to run any report you need. I can't help with what items one would track but that seems pretty exhaustive. I don't know databases very well either but would hope it is using software, or the data is in a format, that can hang for the long-term.
     

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