Music from the New Wilderness

This festival, conceived and organised by Martin Bartlett with help from Donna Zapf, Hank Bull and David Kelln, was inspired by the similarities between the rituals, games and songs of tribal or ancient peoples and 20th century art, music and poetry. This notion was first proposed by American poet Jerome Rothenberg and developed by Charles Morrow and Richard Hayman’s New Wilderness Foundation. The festival brought together electronic music and pre-Columbian folk music, performance art and Kwakiutl song-makers. It was a resounding success and marked the first of many similar interactions to follow.

Jerome Rothenberg (USA) 03/15/80
Keynote introductory reading and performance by the poet, ethnopoeticist, editor of Shaking the Pumpkin and Technicians of the Sacred and founder of the New Wilderness Foundation.

Electro Acoustic Music 03/14/80
Tape compositions from Japan, France, New Zeland and USA

Hildegard Westerkamp, Norbert Ruebsaat (Canada), Cordillera 03/16/80 to 03/23/80
In the gallery, an acoustic environment by Hildegard Westerkamp based on the poems of Norbert Ruebsaat.

Don Buchla (USA) 03/17/80
One of the foremeost innovators in the realm of electro-acoustic music, and a pioneer in the development of the synthesizer. An evening of live electronics assisted by Ami Radunskaya on cello and electric cello.

Antonio Zepeda (Mexico), workshop 03/18/80
Internationally known for his exploration of music using instruments from the ancient civilizations of North, South and Central America. Ritual music for Toltec flutes, Aztec whistles and ocarinas, Mayan drums. Demonstration and discussion of instruments of pre-Hispanic civilizations of North, South and Central America
Audio Recording duration: 2: 18: 16

Digitized audio of this concert is available through the Western Front Archive upon research request.

Ned Sublette, David Mahler (USA), Simulated Catholic Music 03/20/80
Original works for voice, piano, electronics and film performed by the composers (double bill)

Al Neil, Martin Bartlett, Al Mattes (Canada), Sound and Shadows 03/21/80
Piano solo by Al Neil. Shadow play with Kate Craig and Hank Bull.

Digitized audio of this concert is available through the Western Front Archive upon research request.

Songs and dances by Kwakiutl artists. (Canada) 03/22/80
Organized by Chief James Sewid of Alert Bay.

Digitized audio of this concert is available through the Western Front Archive upon research request.

Pauline Oliverossonic meditations workshop 03/30/80

Digitized audio of this workshop is available through the Western Front Archives upon research request.

In 2014, in search of new meaning within a changing cultural landscape, the Western Front programmed another Music from the New Wildernessinviting six artists to examine culture, remoteness, and the vanishing wilderness experience through the magic of live music and immersive audio narratives.