CHARLES AMIRKHANIAN

OHV 128 a-e

Major Figures in American Music

Interviewed by Vincent Plush

El Cerrito, California

May 26, 1983

 

 

Cassette Side a:                                                                                                                             

Transcript pp. 1-22

 

Armenian background--Armenian massacres--Armenian Congregational Church--mother’s musical background--piano lessons at age six and attending concerts--Cage and Hovhaness recording--early tendency toward modern music--mother’s repertoire--music sung as youngster in church--school musical experiences--percussion--first piece composed in high school--accounting major-university library record collection--hearing Concord Sonata--change to English major--state of avant-garde music at Fresno State in ‘60s-organizing concerts of modern music at Fresno State--Larry Austin, Lou Harrison, John Cage--attending Stockhausen concerts--study for Master’s Degree at San Francisco State--interest in twentieth century literature.

 

Cassette Side b:                                                                                                                            

Transcript pp. 22-41

 

Interest in poetry of Gertrude Stein and Clark Coolidge--Genesis 28: Four Speakers--Micah, the Prophet--Symphony no. 1--parents’ reaction to his avant garde pieces--conservative appearance--Composition No. 1 for ratchet--use of tape recorder--dubbing American Music Center tapes for Fresno State Library--poetry of Clark Coolidge--John Cage’s Silence--Ted Greer--influence of Reynolds’ Emperor of Ice Cream--visual scores--Mooga Pook and bake and eeet--constructing things for use in performance-move to San Francisco--Tony Gnazzo--knee disease.

 

Cassette Side c:                                                                                                                                           

Transcript pp. 41-61

 

Switch to major in interdisciplinary creative arts--composer in residence at Ann Halprin’s Dancers Workshop--meeting future wife, Carol Law--interest in visual scores--working in record store--KPFA job suggested by John Rockwell and others--recommendation of Reich recordings to Rockwell--history of KPFA--relationship of KPFA to KPFK--KPFA archive--Happenings at KPFA--sound text pieces influenced by Reich’s minimalism--interest in reviving works of George Antheil--Leo Ornstein meeting Antheil--Antheil/Copland relationship.

 

Cassette Side d:                                                                                                                            

Transcriptpp. 61-83

 

Executor of Antheil’s music--Antheil book project--Conlon Nancarrow and recording project--Eva Soltes--Dennis Russell Davies, Cabrillo--Ivan Wyschnegradsky--interviewing sound poets in Europe-pieces composed in Stockholm--If In Is--Just--Heavy Aspirations--The Dog of Stravinsky--Andas--Maroa--association with 1750 Arch Records--Seatbelt Seatbelt--chamber orchestra piece.

 

 

 

Cassette Side e:                                                                                                                             

Transcriptpp. 83-92

 

Lexical Music--She she and She--many changes in short period of time--review of Lexical Music in New York Times--future plans to use lindrum-visual pieces--plans to combine speech and percussion.

Additional material about this interviewee may be available. For more information on the contents of the collection, email oham@yale.edu.