Varese always had an overflow state, he had more conceptual frames,more ideas on timbre, sound, its form and structure,projection, tension in linear arrays/lines than he knew what to do with, he fairly much pioneered, ushered in the utilization of electronic sound in music,he had the courage to introduce all this at times when pratically no one was really interested in musical academia, it was more corporate science entities who supported his ideas as the Phillips Pavilion in Brussles World's Fair circa 1958, for his "Poeme Electronique", the first musique concrete piece that had any influence and later Bell Labs and electronic music producers gave bucks in support; Varese's life implied one of questions, although he was a really down-to-earth guy, early acting as Rodin's assistant, meeting Debussy and Stravinsky,much of the music from the earliest of times is now lost.He also crossed paths with Duchamp,Breton,Rivera,and Trotsky I believe,also begging nagging questions on what is music?,(there was a time when this was a hot topic) what is noise?, what is form? what is aesthetics?, how does the industrialized city impact on how one writes music, Varese also had incredible influence on many composers,Cage,Harrison,Zappa, Boulez, Stockhausen Shapey, Xenakis, not to mention the hundreds of electronic and percussion composers,also rockers; you never hear about and never will within the neo-liberal order.
We are indeed fortunate that The Sacher Foundation provided the funds to produce this glossy, tomb of a book,discounting the price, to make it within reach of poor stuggling composers and musicians;all with wonderful essay contributions(some quite glib) from hard-core academia,Schreffler,Wen Chung; Schiff, Bernard,to maverick journalists,Gann, to unmentionable writers to tried, true and tested ones as well. There is also wonderful graphic,pieces never completed, sketches, work drafts, tables, combines,shibboleths,notes,scribblings,restaurant writings;all items from the Archive reproduced herein,((although the paper is turning(has already) turned brown on some)) you will never see anywheres else, and you learn of his interesting commonplace way of working, editing by simply taping things together with black encumbered electrical tape, or utilizing lumbered eroding pieces of corroding cardboard, and cabbage-condition accounting paper, whatever was at hand. Who knows how Varese supported himself, he was able to hear all his works during his lifetime thanks to conductors as Ralph Shapey when they both lived in New York City, later Boulez educated the great unwashed on the mysteries in his music, music like the imploding tension of a suspension bridge. Great Read. . .