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İlhan Mimaroğlu. Agony. Turnabout Records. 1965.

Like the majority of Mimaroglu’s compositions in the tape music medium, Agony reflects an attitude toward the false issue of electronic music vs. music concrete. On the occasion of its first performance on November 10, 1965, in the course of a braodcast on Turkish contemporary music over WBAI in NYC, the composer made the following comment: “the sound sources here are purely electronic, although the piece might give the impression of my having used natural sounds as well, or that its imagery calls for associations with definite or indefinite concrete objects. The extent of the transformation the medium can bring into whatever one selects as sound source is sufficient to make fanatical adherence to one or the other sound source category esthetically futile.”

The above comment would also serve to establish one aspect of the correspondence between Mimaroglu’s composition and Arshile Gorky’s famous painting, particularly if one observes the “abstract naturalism” of the latter’s masterpiece. One might also refer to the emotional fierceness of Mimaroglu’s music in order to note other relations between the two works, although the need to rely on such aural-visual correspondences should depend solely on the listening habits of the individual hearer, the piece being, despite its source of of inspiration, totally autonomous in musical meaning, and objectively nothing is meant to be explicated but that it is a tribute paid by the Turkish composer to the Turkish-Armenian-American painter. Ilhan Mimaroglu composed Agony in May 1965 at Studio 106 of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. (from the vinyl cover)