Dave Ritter and Kathleen Ritter, Reprise, 2017
sound installation, turntalbe, vinyl record, wall mural, cushions
view of the exhibition In search of Expo 67 presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2017
Photo: Guy L’Heureux
Reprise is a sound installation by siblings Dave Ritter (academic and musician) and Kathleen Ritter (artist and writer) based on the origins of electronic music. A year-long collaborative research process resulted in the creation of a full-length album, printed on vinyl, that samples heavily from music, texts, speeches, instruments and techniques of the era, and housed in a brightly coloured, interactive listening lounge, to create a reprise of electronic music circa 1967.
By the late 1960s, the massive upheavals in social and political relations were mirrored in the divergent forms of music that emerged. In the realm of electronic music in particular, new approaches to composition, both structured and conceptual, as well as aleatoric and drug-inspired, were fuelled by a growing fascination with the use of technology to produce sound. Some notable examples include Delia Derbyshire’s conceptual approaches to electronic sound, Steve Reich’s use of recorded speech, phasing patterns, and repetition, Daphne Oram’s instrumentalization of film and tape loops, and Glenn Gould’s use of overlapping voices. By 1967 there are numerous instances where new techniques like sampling and new instruments like the synthesizer were introduced to popular audiences, innovations that presaged the rise of the remix, techno, hip hop, and DJ culture.