Bob Gluck

Electroacoustic Music

on the EMF Media Label

These three CDs, preceding Bob's jazz recordings on FMR, were crafted with an array of electronically-expanded and processed instruments and voices, using compositional techniques from key historical traditions of electronic music. The works often treat Jewish musical themes in creative ways, and aspects of 'Electric Brew' represents a bridge to Bob's jazz recordings, finding inspiration in Miles Davis's late 1960s work.

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Stories Heard and Retold (1998)

Stories Heard and Retold

Listening examples: Yiddish Songs--Scene/Seen in Shul 1--
Jonah Under the Sea

Electric Songs (2003)

Electric Songs

Listening examples: Zamir--Yiddish Songs 1--
Yiddish Songs 2--Yiddish Songs 3--Shofaralong

Electric Brew (2006)

Electric Brew

Listening examples

About the recordings

From the liner notes: "I picture a meeting place between the great cantorial traditions, candid camera-like snapshots of subtle moments of daily, including ritual, life and what I have learned from the evolving new musical traditions ... I aim to bring together what I love about Jewish culture with the aesthetics of contemporary music." Critic Seth Rogovoy (Berkshire Eagle), describes 'Stories Heard and Retold' as "A thought-provoking combination of musique concrète techniques, found-sounds, ambient recordings and Gluck's own compositions and electronic manipulations, the album functions as a kind of soundscape of Jewish life..." In Gluck's words: "Music has a magical quality. It can communicate ideas, feelings and impulses beyond words. Music can help us remember moments in our lives for which there are no words. It can help us structure and express ideas that words can only begin to touch."

This recording opens with "Scene/Seen in Shul" (1997), described by reviewer Berta Frank as "a masterful collection of (aural) memorabilia. Gluck captures the interesting combination of individual voices in group prayer and gatherings through a sound collage based upon ambient recordings (processed and edited) from a variety of synagogue and prayer settings. One section is entitled "Pages Turning/Torah Aliyot", which uses the sound of a page turning to take you on a dreamy sensory ride."

The second work, 'Yiddish Songs' (1996) is a mix of voices, melodic fragments, words, and electronic sounds, offering a memorial to the Yiddish culture that was destroyed during World War II. The CD concludes with 'Jonah Under The Sea' (1997), a collage of sounds from various sources suggesting the disorientation of the biblical prophet, in Gluck's words, "the rushing tides, confusion, sounds of ram horns and passing whale..."

Joel Chadabe writes: "On his second CD, Bob Gluck brings together the complex overlaying of his previous work with his passion for live electronic performance. Gluck performs on traditional instruments from the Mideast, a Turkish lute, the saz and the Jewish shofar (ram's horn), which have been expanded with sensors and custom designed software interfaces. The sounds are lush and evocative and the musical forms draw from traditional Jewish sources. Gluck is joined on one extended composition by singer, Zoe Zak. The CD closes with a surprising early work of musique concrète, anticipating by two decades Gluck's interest in soundscape composition."

Joel Chadabe writes: "In his premiere recording as a pianist, Bob Gluck creates a rich musical feast of works that integrate pianism and electronics in new and innovative ways. Inspired by the late 1960s work of jazz pioneer Miles Davis, Gluck's improvisations are imaginative and original. This CD also includes recent compositions by two notable Israeli composers, an emotionally engaging work for solo piano by Ofer Ben-Amots and a dramatic composition for piano and electronics by Shlomo Dubnov."

The compositions are: Bob Gluck's 'Electric Brew Prelude' (2005), 'Electric Brew' (2005), 'Pharoah's Interlude' (2006), 'Pharoah's Spring' (2005), 'In the Bushes' (2003), 'Questions, questions' (2005), and 'Is There Time?'.