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PROGRAM (KNOBS) FOR THE LISTENER. 1969.

£145.00

Two conjoined 28 x 38cm, unique computer printout perforated sheets.

This was the numbered printout published as instructions for controlling the volume, high and low of the left and right chains of a preamp for listening to John’s “HPSCHD” recording (with Lefuaren Hiller).

HPSCHD (pronounced “harpsichord”) premiered at the Assembly Hall of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on May 16, 1969 as the culmination of a Cage artistic residency.

One of the earliest musical works for computer, and ultimately a five-hour multimedia extravaganza, HPSCHD remains a landmark happening of the 1960s. The original recording, “HPSCHD For Harpsichords and Computer Generated Sound Tapes” by Cage and LeJaren Hiller was made available on vinyl by Nonesuch Records in 1970.

Each copy of the LP included an individually generated computer printout called “Program (Knobs) for the Listener” and consisted of series of I-Ching randomly generated numbers representing knob positions at 5 second intervals for Left Volume, Right Volume, Left Treble, Right Treble, Left Bass and Right Bass. The purpose of these numbers was to allow the listener to create their own individual performance of HPSCHD by manipulating the controls of their hi-fi pre-amplifier. Given that the numbers were in five second intervals this was, needless to say, next to impossible to perform for the average listener.

This is one such print out. Folded as issued and some light effects of sunning along the fold else VG. Each unique in the series.

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