Gould, Glenn. (1932–1982)
"I have also chosen to exclude... a 21-week glorified discography entitled 'The Art of Glenn Gould' - Typed Letter Signed
Rare TLS from the celebrated and reclusive Canadian pianist to Patricia Wardrop of the Ontario Arts Council regarding Gould's experience as a radio producer, stapled together with a typed partial list of production credits. 20th July 1976; 2 pp. on A4 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation letterhead. In part, ''...you would like some details on my activities as a radio producer and I enclose herewith a list of major productions beginning with the several versions of 'The Idea of North'. Needless to say, this list does not include programs for which I have served in other capacities...and I have also chosen to exclude such relatively informal 'conversational-series' as the 10-week 'Music of Arnold Schoenberg' (1974) or a 21-week glorified discography entitled 'The Art of Glenn Gould' (1969). It seemed to me that only programs which, in some way, attempted an assault on conventional radiophonic barriers deserved to be represented and I hope you will agree with the relative exclusivity of this approach." Folds and light creasing, else fine. Together with photocopy of Gould's handwritten draft.
Few artists have ventured as far as Glenn Gould in the search for an increasingly close-knit relation between sound reproduction technologies and the control of aesthetic production. For Gould, as is widely known, the concert hall soon ceased being an adequate venue for such an undertaking. But the pianist's legendary decision to renounce public concerts, as of 1964, exclusively in favor of the recording studio, was part of a wider experimental reorientation toward electronic broadcasting media. From the 1960s onward, and parallel to his studio work in pianistic recording, Gould began to produce a series of radio and television programs for the CBC which are still relatively unknown outside of Canada. It is primarily through these media and their technical evolution that Gould was able to strengthen his position as a producer, leading him to develop a new form of composition in the process. The studio production of his multivocal interviews also might have led Gould, who remained obsessed with the extension of our listening abilities, to conceive of the series of radio documentaries on the Canadian North that eventually composed his Solitude Trilogy. The first of these experimentations, The Idea of North, was produced in monophony in 1967; the second, The Latecomers, inaugurated the new stereophonic program of Ottawa’s CBO-FM in 1969; finally, Quiet in the Land, the most complex of the three, was completed and broadcast in 1977. All three pieces exemplify what Gould called the “contrapuntal documentary,” in which recorded voices, sounds and music are combined into a new genre that blends the pre-existing categories of documentary, composition and polyphony.