Henk Badings - Evolutions
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Review Text 2014 release. Pioneering electroacoustic and tape music by Henk Badings assisted by Dick Raaijmakers (Kid Baltan) from the Hanover Opera Ballet production of Evolutions, choreographed by Yvonne Georgi. Premiering in Hannover in 1958, then in Rome and Vienna in the following year, the ballet Evolutions (Evolutionen) by Yvonne Georgi was the second of three groundbreaking collaborations with Henk Badings (bookended by Cain and Abel aka Elektronisches Ballet in 1957 and Die Frau Von Andros in 1960) in which electronic tape music combined with avant-garde choreography. This pairing contributed to a vibrant global movement connecting experimental dance artists with electroacoustic and musique concrète musicians, manifested in the partnerships of choreographer Maurice Béjart with musician Pierre Henry and choreographer George Balanchine with musician Remi Gassmann, as well as Alwin Nikolais' groundbreaking work in choreography and sound. Assisted by Raaijmakers, a fellow Dutch electronic music pioneer and a Philips sound laboratory technician, Badings, an Indonesian-born musician of Dutch parents, would by the late '50s begin to expand his successful career as a composer of "romantic modernism" and develop electronic, polytonal, and microtonal music that instantly attracted Georgi to his unique brand of musique concrète. As a key exponent of forward-thinking and conceptual dance, Georgi devised a narrative based on the evolution of technology and it's agonizing effects on mankind. Garnering mixed opinions amongst the classical ballet cognoscenti in 1959, the projects of Georgi and Badings were viewed as part concert, part installation due to the radical sonic shifts and the physical deployment of large electronic speakers to replace the otherwise acoustic orchestral accompaniment. Prepared with the entire apparatus of the studio at Philips physics laboratory in Eindhoven before being committed to master tapes, Evolutions not only stretched the perceptions of modern ballet aficionados but also stretched the technical boundaries of electronic music at one of it's most exciting and vibrant junctures in musical history.