Journey Into Space

PD 018CD PD 018CD

2002 release. York University's music department houses one of the UK's first-ever electronic music studios, and during the early '70s, it was a hotbed of creative activity. Much of the released output from the studio at this time revolved around the work of the dynamic composer Trevor Wishart. Journey Into Space was his first release, composed between 1970 and 1972, and was privately-pressed (shortly before the formation of YES records), as two separate LPs in 1973. (The CD cover amalgamates the two original designs). Along with other early private releases of experimental music in the UK (i.e. the LP of sound poems by Cobbing/Jandl, or the LP of musique concrète by Desmond Leslie), this record is also a total anomaly in the canon of British experimental music and has little to do with the current, or even subsequent work by Wishart. The vast length of this piece has many different styles. There are acoustic sections, mostly of junk and toys (bike bells, squeeze horns, bottles, metal tubes, combs, etc.) as well as flute and brass sections that are used as raw material. There are also sections of everyday field recordings, scraps of NASA Apollo transmissions, as well as plenty of multitracking, editing, vocal acrobatics and musique concrète. Among the 48 participants credited on the original sleeve are a whole roster of York University alumni including nearly all the artists who were showcased on the soon-to-be released 3LP box set Electronic Music from York, along with other noteworthy students as diverse as Steve Beresford, Jonty Harrison, Roger Marsh, Dominic Muldowney, Bernard Rands and Jan Steele. The co-operative spirit of York's music and drama departments, plus the raw enthusiasm and open attitude of the participants involved in the project gave this music an immediacy, similar to the later LAFMS scene.