A State of Flux
The Archives of An Independent Label

Actions and Audio Releases 1983-1993
ASOF10: US Steel Cello Ensemble - In A State of Flux

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Originally released Autumn 1988.
Repackaged for the Reflux reissue series, 1993.
Remastered for CDR April 2006.
Remastered for download April 2007.


1. Interview
2. Performance

This cassette release documented the in-studio visit of the legendary Robert Rutman, aka US Steel Cello Ensemble, during my program at WCUW-FM. We were joined by David Prescott, an esteemed electronic musician in his own right, for his production assistance. Robert Rutman talks about the evolution of his music and the invention of his instruments and gives a glimpse into the history of this music in the context of the 1960s avant garde. His warm personality and off-kilt sense of humor dominate the discussion, and his booming baritone voice commands your attention.

Later, in the studio, the ceiling had to be dismantled to accommodate his enormaous single stringed steel cello, which comprised a single heavy gauge steel wire, a large piece of sheet metal, several turnbuckles and a large iron frame. Once it was assembled, Mister Rutman was able to insert his body between the string and the resonating sheet to play the instrument. The string was so long and the range of register so large that it required him to climb up and down steps to reach all of the notes. The performance is punctuated with his voice harmonizing with the sounds of the Steel Cello.

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