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Carl Stone
Electronic Music from 1972–2022

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Electronic Music from 1972-2022 seeks to frame fifty years of Carl Stone's compositional activity, starting with Stone's earliest professionally presented compositions from 1972 ("Three Confusongs" and "Ryound Thygizunz", featuring the voice and poetry of Stefan Weiser – later known as Z'EV) up to the present. This collection is not meant as a definitive history but rather as a supplement to be used alongside the previous two archival releases. It is simultaneously an archival release marking Carl Stone’s evergreen 70th birthday and a document of archival art. In the spirit of disorienting repetition and layering, call it an archive of archiving.

Stone’s practice emerged from the repetitive archival process of his graduate job at CalArts preserving vinyl recordings by dubbing them to tape. With perhaps 10,000 albums ranging from Renaissance and electronic works to music from across the globe, he had to re-record multiple discs concurrently, creating chance collisions and coincidences.

In the decades since, he’s explored various ways to compose this process, creating temporal envelopes in which found sounds – existing tracks or field recordings – can take form. Whilst the technologies he’s used have changed and samples have varied beyond categorization, what’s remained consistent is his concern for organizing temporal experience using fragments of pre-existing sounding events.

Stone's impish collage-like constructions of times cut from time suggest that archival records are neither wholly in documents preserved from change nor in living memories and use, but in their interaction.


"Back in time to the dawn of a fifty-year career. Unseen Worlds releases yet another tribute to the American musician, Electronic Music from 1972-2022, packaged in a nice 3-LP box full of surprises. Starting from the first works of the American composer (Three Confusongs, Ryound Thygizunz, the latter with the presence of his college friend Stefan Weiser, alias ZEV), quickly passing through a couple of outtakes recovered from the celebrated works of the 80s, up to the surprising rebirth in the new millennium, to which two entire LPs of the collection are dedicated. A universe to discover and rediscover.”
- Roberto Mandolini, Rockerilla (IT)

"You’re sitting in an inner city park. A flock of pigeons swoop in to pick at trash on the floor, cooing serenely as they amble about. A cyclist passes, the squeak of their bike chain fluctuating as it moves across the uneven path. Trees gently rustle in the breeze, pace changing with the wind’s intensity. A person on the bench opposite is occupied with their phone. You remember to check yours. A notification leads to an app leads to scrolling. A tapestry is replaced by a deluge, the park’s ebb and flow with a conveyor belt of information. The music of Carl Stone combines these two modes of processing stimulation and sensation.”
- Daryl Worthington, WeJazz

"He’s built one of the most dynamic bodies of work in modern music, first with synthesizers and tape manipulation, then with the compositional and live performance possibilities of computer programming… Throughout his career, Stone has been committed to collapsing barriers between the avant-garde, folk, and pop to a remarkable degree.”
- Ruairi McCann, Bandcamp Daily

"Entire books could easily be written about Carl Stone; a small column entry hardly does justice to the impact of the computer music pioneer... From the beginnings in classic electro-acoustics to today's collage-ambient aesthetic, which has more to do with current hyperpop and club deconstructions than you might think, it has been a long journey that is a joy to follow."
- Frank P. Eckert, Groove (DE)

"The set [of songs] jumps forward 15 years for his piece “Vim,” which sounds like a tense headline news jingle implanted with a single chopped-up phrase from the Beach Boys hit “Fun, Fun, Fun,” which he smears and stretches into a fantasia of the group’s iconic harmonies. The 2005 piece “Morangak” is derived from songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and over its length the listener slowly becomes aware of the contours of the Queen tune “Bicycle Race,” reinforcing Stone’s gift for letting us experience time and pop detritus in new ways."
- Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily

"In closing, a triptych of very recent creations recorded last summer at Studio 401 Los Angeles plunders the repertoire of afro-rock and ethnic music, for a new sense of polyrhythm applied by cut 'n' paste.”
- Massimiliano Busti, Blow Up (IT)

"The springy Beach Boys transmogrification Vim (1987), the Europop-turned-IDM Flint's (1999), the Romanticism-infected garage psychedelia L'Os A Moelle (2007) and the bumping fitness dance of Walt's (2022) are particularly delicious, each of them latching on to repeating sequences before finding captivating, idiosyncratic ways to morph them.”
- Antonio Poscic, WIRE

“Electronic Music from 1972-2022” also gives an overview of the development in electronic music technology which, as much as any conceptual preoccupations, often seems to have provided the impetus for much of the development in Stone’s compositions. From working with Buchla synthesizers at CalArts to early samplers and Apple computers, each advancement in all this musical hard- and software has enabled Stone to dig deeper into his proclivity for iteration and sonic disorientation…For long-standing fans or listeners just discovering Stone’s work, “Electronic Music from 1972-2022” will provide a fascinating look back over this composer’s output from the last 50 years, straddling that fine line between rigorous experimentation and hilarious irreverence.”
- Jason Kahn, dusted magazine

"`Vim' isn’t necessarily indicative of what the rest of the release sounds like—the man has covered a lot of stylistic ground over the past five decades—but the song, which dates back to 1987, showcases him at his most mischievous. More specifically, it finds him making prodigious use of a Beach Boys classic, which has been chopped up, rearranged and refashioned into a sort of playfully avant-garde, long-form collage.”
- First Floor

"Of course, demanding, large, perhaps too much, but if in two hours no track sounds like a filler and the instinct is to start over, it must mean something. Don't worry, throw yourself into these fifty years, you will come out clear-headed and dancers."
- The New Noise

"We never tire of re/discovering the work of Carl Stone, a fascinating artist in the field of sound experimentation of all kinds, a laboratory technician passionate about the search for invisible worlds with unreal borders...A colossus for ears eager for traveling sensations. Vital."
- Silence And Sound

"Three Confusongs (1972) feels like the day Stone finally switched the power on this fledgling set up and started pushing sounds through it…It swells into a jazz band jamming with a car alarm and whilst nothing makes any sense at all, this is music that knocks you sideways from the pure dazzling creativity.”

"In the spirit of disorienting repetition and layering, call it an archive of archiving."
MD Eksperiment

"At the heart of his still collage-oriented music is his use of loops from numerous vinyl records of all kinds, which he had to archive on tape in a previous academic job - making a collection like this, in a sense, an archive of archives.”
African Paper (DE)

"He’s astute enough to be aware that evolving technologies are in themselves the soundtrack of the times, and it’s clear listening to this in sequence that experimental music invites chicken-and-egg discussion as to whether the music evolves because of the way technology facilitates it, or of the technology encourages those who are so inclined to push it to its furthest ends."
Aural Aggravation

Track List


1. Three Confusongs (1972)
2. Ryouund Thygizunz (1972)

3. Vim (1987)
4. Noor Mahal (1987)

5. Flint's (1999)
6. Morangak (2005)

7. Ngoc Suong (2003)

8. L'Os à Moelle (2007)

9. Walt's (2022)
10. Kustaa (2022)
11. Merkato (2022)


Liner notes by Ed McKeon, Jace Clayton and Carl Stone
Mastered by Stephan Mathieu

“Al-Noor and “L'os a la Moelle” originally issued on the Intone label. Special thanks to Rick Frystak
“Morangak" originally issued on Sonore and Nu NuLAX NuLAN label. Special thanks to Franck Stofer and Ugh.

Thank You: Dinah Bird, Rick Frystak, Jonathan Gold, Hae Kyung Lee, Jean-Philippe Renoult, Joy SIlverman / LACE, Franck Stofer, Morton Subotnick, Barry Schrader, John Payne @ Cal Arts, Ugh, Christian Zanési, Z'EV, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival

All Music © Carl Stone / Electro-Acoustic Music (ASCAP)

About Carl Stone

  • Carl Stone
  • Carl Stone is one of the pioneers of live computer music.  He studied composition at CalArts with Morton Subotnick and James Tenney and has composed electro-acoustic music almost exclusively since 1972. When New Music was exiting the loft scene of the 1970s and entering the more commercial realm of the 1980s, Stone guided his art through that transition period by fusing his compositional ambitions with systems of live performance that were simultaneously pop savvy, commercially suicidal, and technologically forward-thinking.  He moved away from pure electronic sound and was among the vanguard of artists incorporating turntables, early digital samplers, and personal computers into live electronic music composition.  An adopter of the Max programming language while it was still in its earliest development at the IRCAM research center, Stone continues to use it as his primary instrument, both solo and in collaboration with other improvisers.  In addition to his work as a composer, Stone served as Music Director of KPFK-FM in Los Angeles from 1978-1981, director of Meet the Composer California from 1981-1997, and President of the American Music Center from 1992-1995.  He currently divides his time between Los Angeles and Japan, where he retired as a faculty member of the Department of Media Engineering at Chukyo University.