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Main » 2007 » February » 8 » A Cid Symphony - 1967 - A Cid Symphony
A Cid Symphony - 1967 - A Cid Symphony
A Cid Symphony -  1967 - A Cid Symphony
[bonus tracks] @256

1. Loudusphone Number  1 - 1:17
2. Loudusphone Number 2 - :35
3. Loudusphone Number 3 -  14:01
4. Pierced Hand Number 1 - 6:30
5. Pierced Hand Number 2 -  4:11
6. Pierced Hand Number 3 - 8:50
7. Golden Gate Number 1 - 7:34
8.  Golden Gate Number 2 - 3:21
9. Golden Gate Number 3 - 1:33
10. Golden Gate  Number 4 - 3:57
11. Burning Bush Number 1 - 3:02
12. Burning Bush Number 2  - 2:56
13. Burning Bush Number 3 - 8:45
14. Noismakers, No. 1 - :35
15.  Noismakers, No. 2 - 4:37
16. Noismakers, No. 3 - 5:46
17. Noismakers, No.  4 - :56
18. Scrambled Psychadelic BS Number 1 - 8:31
19. Scrambled  Psychadelic BS Number 2 - :26
20. Scrambled Psychadelic BS Number 3 -  6:43
21. Scrambled Psychadelic BS Number 4 - 3:21
22. BT 1 [*] -  2:53
23. BT 2 [*] - 4:15
24. BT 3 [*] - 2:37

The artists' name are  actually Fischbach & Ewing while the LP is often listed as "Acid Symphony",  a reading that one of the band members has approved. The music is stoned  acoustic counterculture brainstorms with an Eastern vibe. More bluesy/folky  beatnik angle than psychedelia, so beware of the usual dealer hyperbole.  Interesting period piece in any event. Engineered/produced by Denise Kaufman of  the Ace Of Cups, who handled the publishing via her Thermal Flash Music company  (this is NOT the label).---Homemade low-key mostly acoustic acid folk  with eastern sounds and anti-war spoken word dialogues. Records are on green,  orange, and purple vinyl respectively with matching inner sleeves and square  labels. [RM]Any CD that opens with over a minute of country  harmonica-backed yodeling followed by an entire 35-second track of silence is  bound to be peculiar, even if it was created in a time that hosted more than its  fair share of bizarre music. A Cid Symphony certainly wasn't the pop group next  door. In fact, there is nothing remotely pop about the group, from their  psychedelically derived moniker to the nameless "songs" and original 3-LP,  colored-vinyl packaging, and the completely counter-pop, noodling droning of  their music — droning sometimes indescribably beautifully, but occasionally in  the pejorative sense of that word. The band is unquestionably of their time, yet  their music is unique from any other during the '60s. The most obvious way in  which their sound is grounded in the heady, spiritually yearning malaise of the  '60s is its complete immersion in Hindustani and Middle Eastern music, with  modal, raga-esque scale progressions and a discernibly mystical bent filling the  entire first CD and a portion of the second. A Cid Symphony easily conjures an  image of college-aged kids who are caught up in the kaleidoscope of social and  cultural energy of the period, sitting in a public park completely engrossed in  the strangely expressive, foreign music coming out of the instruments they're  playing, oblivious to any passers-by. This is actually very close to how the  music was actually conceived. Ernest Fuschbach's fluttering dulcimer is the  basis of these songs, interspersed with Charles Ewing's flamenco-picked guitars.  At times, alongside the Eastern underpinnings, the music is wholly evocative of  front-porch Appalachian folk and blues, and the mixture of the two genres mostly  works brilliantly, and at least much more successfully than it would seem  possible. There are also elements of Native American ceremonial music, Spanish  music, and a smattering of 12-bar acoustic blues, especially on the second CD,  where A Cid Symphony performs several actual folk-blues songs with vocals,  although even these are rarely straightforward. At times the music can touch on  a palpable dissonance, while at others it can be so lyrical and innocent that  the only way to describe it is heart-wrenchingly romantic or entirely sensual.  There is no doubt that this is indulgent music, hopped up with not a little bit  of naivete and the sort of self-righteous austerity that is only the province of  the young, compounded by the righteousness of the era. It can seem underdone or  convoluted in small patches, and after long stretches of undisturbed listening,  it can also blend together a bit. By and large, though, a profound and  transforming sort of innocence shines through these songs, and A Cid Symphony  frequently hit on a groove so beautiful that it is mandala-like in its  transcendence. — Stanton Swihart

Formed 1966 in Berkeley, CA
Unquestionably a harbinger of  the times, A Cid Symphony — a folk-and-ethnic music collective that incorporated  instruments as wide-ranging as dulcimer, hand-held brass, and Hindustani ankle  bells into their extended Middle Eastern-cum-country & folk music drones —  was instigated and helmed by Dustin Mark Miller. Miller, was a part of the  mid-'60s Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley, spending his time selling protest  records to raise money for the movement. The musical passion stuck, so in 1966  he enlisted old pal and neighbor Charles Ewing, whom he had known since  kindergarten, and Ernest Fischbach to start a folk/ethnic flower-child band  aligned with the San Francisco Diggers. Ewing was an avid flamenco guitar  aficianado, and he had met Fischbach while the two were in graduate school  together at Cal State Long Beach. The two shared a passion for music, and Ewing  soon discovered Fischbach could play any instrument with strings, as well as  drums and harmonica. The trio converged in Los Angeles and A Cid (originally  Acid) Symphony was born.Early in the band's genesis, Fischbach married  teenage model Deborah Cleall, who promptly became a part of the group, which,  moreso than a band, soon grew into a loose band of nomadic friends, a family and  tribe. John Goeckermann and Tom Harris often added their percussive skills, and  David Goines contributed as well. A Cid Symphony began playing mostly at  colleges, often with like-minded peers the Firesign Theatre and sponsored by  friends, Students for a Democratic Society, or whomever would support the music.  They also crashed the Monterey Pop Festival, playing on the grounds of the  festival and meeting Ravi Shankar. According to Digger principles, the band  would hold free concerts at which they fed everyone that showed up.When  the band earned its first write-up in the Sunday Los Angeles Times, they all  quit their jobs on the spot and migrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where  Ewing and Fischbach studied Hindustani music at the Ali Akbar (Khan) College of  Music. San Francsco music columnist Ralph Gleason introduced Miller to Max Weiss  of Fantasy Records. Weiss allowed the band to use Fantasy's studios, and they  recorded and released their first and only record, a self-titled triple LP, in  1967, published by the Thermal Flash Music label of Denise Kaufman, an original  Merry Prankster. The Fischbachs went on to play with the Golden Toad, one of  California's premier folk/ethnic music bands led by Bob Thomas and a sister band  of sorts to the Grateful Dead. They would often join A Cid Symphony at functions  such as the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. By the late sixties, after three years  together, A Cid Symphony dissolved for the most part as a collective musical  entity. Miller and Ewing's families, however, went on to live communally for the  next two decades. — Stanton Swihart

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