Winded: Works by, of, and for Kenneth Gaburo

Winded: Works by, of, and for Kenneth Gaburo

For organ and tape
Philip Blackburn
Kenneth Gaburo
Warren Burt
Gary Verkade
Catalog Number: 
spoken word
in memoriam

Wollongong, Australia

Release Date: 
Jan 1, 1999
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Three extraordinary organ works are recorded here for the first time, each connected to Gary Verkade, and one of the most important experimental composers and electronic pioneers, Kenneth Gaburo (1926-93).

Gaburo's Antiphony X (Winded) is a work in which the composer wanted to get out of the organ everything that was left after many centuries of organ composition and context-loading. Every last wheeze was to be coaxed, and if incapable of being coaxed, forced out of it. It was to be exploited of every conceivable possibility remaining. The organ as instrument and the organist as player were to be placed in a high-energy performance situation which would inevitably lead to utter exhaustion of both. Where was the organ and organ playing to go from here? 

After Gaburo's death, Verkade asked a number of former Gaburo students to write organ pieces in memory of their mutual teacher and friend. It is fitting that two of them responded with pieces which incorporate Gaburo's own voice, for he was very much concerned with the voice as expressive instrument: Warren Burt takes a spoken text of Gaburo's to generate both a tape and an organ score, both of which follow the spoken contours of Kenneth's voice. Philip Blackburn uses a letter recorded by Gaburo upon hearing of the illness of his own teacher, Goffredo Petrassi, and a recorded voice-lesson session between Philip and Kenneth shortly before Gaburo's own death to create a tape. On a par with this end-of-life drama, the organ-organist entity is disembodied: the organist plays from a writing desk, separated from the organ keyboards by a good distance, but connected to the keys and stops by strings which are alternately pulled to change what is sounding from the instrument. All three challenging works are closer to the quasi-electronic sound worlds of Cage, Ligeti, Nono and Feldman than to the conventional repertory of the instrument. Gary Verkade lives and teachess in Sweden 



Traditionalists will be pulling out their astonishment stops when they hear this album, which gives the instrument radical treatment. - Andrew Druckenbrod


This is provocative and meaningful music in which the organ plays a vital role. It is music of our time. Whatever your musical proclivities, I strongly commend this recording to you. - Mary Ann Dodd


[Antiphony X] one is the high points of experimental music composition in the 1990s - Warren Burt


...the extraordinary mental images the pieces here evoke. - Jim Gardner


Taken together, the three pieces form a coherent unit and a valuable example of the avant-garde in composition for the organ. - Paul Geffen