Composer Carl Stone's Personal Record Collection For Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 3, 2014 01:01am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Hollywood has purchased one of the finest record collections that I have ever set eyes upon in my record store days (and that's about 13,870 days)!! Here we have obscure gems aplenty, many I've only seen perhaps once in my life, but here they are, side by side with records I've never ever seen before, and ones previously only legendary. In other words, a wonderful, rare collection!!!

Yes friends, I have negotiated a mutually satisfactory agreement that has allowed Amoeba to obtain the personal record collection of Mr. Carl Stone himself. Yes, THAT Carl Stone, composer and electronic sound artist extraordinaire, 21st-Century cultural icon, and truly a connoisseur of recorded sound in the left-of-center areas of many genres, and they are all here in the collection for sale in Amoeba's Hollywood store beginning the weekend of October 11 & 12: Avant Garde, Electronic, Musique Concrete, Experimental, Renaissance, Baroque, Medieval, Classical, New Music, World music, Jazz, No Wave, New Wave, Power Pop, Punk rock, Post-Punk, Industrial, and various "roots" musics.  All are original 1st pressings of mostly small, independent labels with loads of private pressings and imports.

Just, like, two words: mind blowing!!

This array of breathtaking LPs reflect Carl's usual pattern of being dead-center, ground zero, really at the apex of "what's happening" in music, never more true than in the pre-CD days of  this collection...a forward-thinking and quite wide-minded person' that doesn't come along very often. Don't think for a second that Professor Stone hasn't been feeding a constant, perhaps life-sustaining hunger to hear for himself the latest, most creatively interesting and challenging music (and in his case, even the sound of a big-piped sports car or machinery), from all over the world and across all genres. I presume he always has, and this collection of vinyl reveals that fact in every liner note and cover spine. Collectors like this are searchers, never quite satisfied with what is, what was, or even what "shall" be, barely trusting word of mouth and the writing on the walls. We collectors shake down anything that could offer that special chord combination, the emotional rush, the personal spirituality button pushed, or a memory bubbling over God-knows-how and why. Often these elusive platters make just a brief appearance in our airspace, only to become a faded memory, "Yeah, I saw that once at Amoeba…", or more likely, a 3 a.m.-tossing-and-turning-I'm-going-back-first-thing-in-the-morning-I-hope-it's-still-there angst-filled moment. Carl looked high, low, in, out and around for significant records. Carl got beaucoup promos sent to him. Carl had people hold things for him. Artists sent Carl their records out of the blue. Carl impulse-bought. Good record labels covered Carl. Carl special ordered records. Carl travelled the world and bought records as meals for his soul.

While discussing just who Carl Stone IS, one need only be reminded that Mr. S. worked the Cal-Arts music library beginning back in 1972, produced and hosted radio shows practically his whole life, and became the Music Director for KPFK-FM in Los Angeles from 1978-81.

To get a taste of what quality of promotional mailing lists Carl was tapping into, and folding the deserving into his (now Amoeba's) collection, see the below photo of the now-extinct New Music Distribution Service (NMDS), run by the Jazz Composers Orchestra Association, these being signifiers of the legendary, forward-thinking distributor of oddball and iconic record labels of massive integrity and lore. Joining the exotic sum of these pieces Carl surgically curated and solidifying the nucleus of this amazing group of LPs were many wide-ranging promo LPs sent to Mr. Stone, now many never opened or played once.

Carl studied with Morton Subotnick and James Tenney at California Institute of the Arts, and began to use his records as his sound sources in his compositions in the 1970s. He's been called the "King of Sampling," so obviously part of his compositional technique has been his destiny, the LP playing a major role not just in the playing/listening, but as an essential creative tool. In addition to Stone's career as a composer which happens to take him to record shops globally, he is a Professor in the Department of Media Engineering at Chukyo University in Japan. I wonder how many of his students own turntables?

On his radio shows, Carl would play a "difficult" piece of music right along side of another composition that fit together with the previous selection perfectly, sometimes to the point where it was indiscernible as to when one piece ended and the other began. No sounds were taboo. Eskimo love chants seamed effortlessly with Diamanda Galas. Morton Feldman played touch-and-go with Norweigan nyckelharpa music. Punks perked up art hippies in a droney-dub style, followed by Steve Reich to release the pressure. Check out this home-made 7" mailer from GG Allin. It was still glued shut when I opened it recently. I guess Carl felt that perhaps GG's latest pitch for some airplay wasn't what was needed at that moment. That means fresh, unplayed copies in this collection at Amoeba!

As I process these records, I am coming across some of my own personal favorites from within this collection that are for sale on Click the cover to go to that section and to the item.

Alvin Lucier - Bird and Person Dyning (Cramps)

Carl collected a ton of original Cramps label LPs, and we've got 'em. Here is Alvin's immortal piece about spatial relationships and man's resonant responses to a bird call hidden in a Christmas tree ornament.  A process piece, the collection contains many LPs of this nature by many different artists.


Gottfried Michael Koenig / Zoltan Pongracz / Rainer RiehnElectronic Music/Terminus II (Deutche Grammophon)

Almost the entire Avant Garde series on DGG is here in the collection. This is one of my favorites, with the classic '60s and '70s electronic studio sound, here from Utrecht. This is the iconic sound and album cover art that fascinates to this day, with the inimitable "Avant Garde" logo. I'm surprised I've never seen a T-shirt with that design!

Frank Perry - Deep Peace [Signed] (Quartz) 

SIGNED BY FRANK PERRY!! Many LPs in the collection are signed, some with notes to the composer. This LP by master percussionist Perry is the Quartz original, later to be reissued on a Celestial Harmonies division. Frank played with Ovary Lodge, David Toop, Keith Tippett, Paul Horn and has many solo LPs of varied styles. Frank is now a serious player of the Tibetan singing bowls.


Arthur Russell - Tower of Meaning (Chatham Square)

Impossibly rare original issue of this theatrical score for Robert Wilson by Arthur Russell on Philip Glass's label that was rejected by Mr. Wilson after confrontations about the direction of the music. This copy is as new, still in shrink wrap, only 500 made, I believe. Arthur Russell is a legend of outsider moderne, and this is a rare chance to get an original issue of this gorgeous package, and a glimpse of Mr. Russell's orchestral music sound.


Hans Reichel - Bonobo Beach (Free Music Production)

The great Hans Reichel, instrument builder and possessor of his own very unique playing style, at once free and then very composed sounding. What technique this man posesses! This is the German label (FMP) of fame far beyond its sales figures, and check this LP out if you're into modern guitar playing. Reichel has no equal in this style. Just one of many LPs of this ilk of craftsmen/improvisers in the Carl Stone collection.


Various Composers - Horizons: New Zealand Electronic Music (Kiwi)

A great example of the many classical-style electronic music compilations in the collection. Here, a very rare set of 4 pieces with computer, concrete and oscillator tonalites throughout. I love to discover the many timbres and direction of these creative artists, many never known outside of their home countries. This one a winner, indeed.


Christian Marclay - Record Without a Cover (Recycled/Neutral)

Very limited edition from 1985, a true artist's record/artwork here in the collection! The disc has lettering on one side, and a sound collage on the playable groove side. Marclay intended the discs to be spread out on a gallery floor with no cover, so that the patrons' walking on the discs would create new wear patterns and therefore a new,unique sound to each of the 500 discs. Here's a chance to pick up an original Marclay piece!


Various Artists - Musique Mnong Gar du Vietnam (Ocora)

The collection is filled with Ocora original issues, many palyed just once. This is one of my favorites. I love Vietnamese music and this gorgeous recording delivers the sound of metal and wood only this region can do. If you love world music, check out the amazing Ocora collection of LPs, many online-only, and the many bins of other wonderful world musics on UNESCO, Tangent, Nonesuch and other great labels within the collection.


Just holding these LPs once again gives me an immense wave of nostalgia and what I can only describe as "audio lust." So don't forget...we lay out this awe-inspiring collection starting October 11 and 12 inside Amoeba Music in Hollywood!!

Relevant Tags

Carl Stone Collection (1), Weirdoavant Garde (1), Electronic (20), Musique Concrete (6), Experimental (11), Renaissance (4), Baroque (5), Medieval (1), Classical (24), New Music (5), World Music (146), Jazz (150), No Wave (5), New Wave (19), Power Pop (8), Punk Rock (16), Post-punk (11), Industrial (27), Rick Frystak (11), Electronic Music (62), Electronic (20), Avant Garde (24)