Alphabet for Adults

Beverly Hills, CA: Copley Galleries, 1948. First Edition. One of 500 copies issued. Inscribed by the author and artist to early electronic music pioneers Bebe and Louis Barron on the front endpaper: “For Charlotte [Bebe] and Louis Barron / Cordially / Man Ray / Hollywood 1949.” An exceptional avant-garde association, and in one of the strangest alphabet books ever published.

At the time of this inscription the Barrons were just beginning to experiment with committing electronic sounds to magnetic tape. They would compose their first piece, “Heavenly Menagerie,” in 1950, going on to produce the first entirely electronic film score for the seminal 1956 science fiction film (credited as “tonalities” rather than “music” at the time, due to union rules). The Barrons’ initial compositions were slow and laborious, as much of their work preceded the digital age, and involved building circuits and tape splicing to create even the smallest sequences of sound. Their early work paved the way for the later cross-genre success of electronic music, and the couple is now considered to have had an indelible influence on avant-garde music and electronic composition. A tremendous association between pioneers in two major fields of twentieth century artistic endeavor.

Near Fine in illustrated cloth covered boards with no dust jacket as issued.


[Book #119735]

Price: $6,500.00