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Sound CommitmentsAvant-Garde Music and the Sixties$
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Robert Adlington

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336641.001.0001

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Once and the Sixties

Once and the Sixties

(p.169) 8 ONCE and the Sixties
Sound Commitments

Ralf Dietrich

Oxford University Press

ONCE had two lives, each of which can be associated with one half of the 1960s. Chronologically, the ONCE Festival of musical premieres in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the nationwide performing ONCE Group overlapped, but they differed in terms of funding, repertory and audiences. Aesthetic and political frames of reference, changing over the course of the decade from post‐war conservatism to baby boomer defiance, informed ONCE's use of electronics and theatricality and widened the scope of ONCE performances. Focusing on pieces by Robert Ashley (Public Opinion Descends Upon the Demonstrators; The Wolfman Motor‐City Revue) and Gordon Mumma (Megaton for William Burroughs), this chapter outlines correlations between the societal changes of the time and ONCE's status as an avant‐garde music venture.

Keywords:   Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma, electronics, theatricality, 1960s, avant‐garde, audiences, ONCE

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