Musica Elettronica Viva

Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV) is a live acoustic/electronic improvisational group formed in Rome, Italy, in 1966. Over the years, its members have included Alvin Curran, Richard Teitelbaum, Frederic Rzewski, Allan Bryant, Garrett List, Carol Plantamura, Ivan Vandor, Steve Lacy, and Jon Phetteplace.

They were early experimenters with the use of synthesizers to transform sounds: a 1967 concert in Berlin included a performance of John Cage's Solo for Voice 2 with Plantamura's voice transformed through a Moog synthesizer. At the end of the 1960s, they took part in the group Lo Zoo, founded by artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. They also used such "non-musical" objects as amplified panes of glass and olive oil cans, and their performances achieved notoriety in Italy for their ability to generate riots. They are active as a group to this day in addition to their individual work as composers—most recent MEV performance by Alvin Curran, Richard Teitelbaum, and Frederic Rzewski at Bard College in 2012.


  • Spacecraft, recorded in Cologne in 1967 by Bryant, Curran, Rzewski, Teitelbaum and Vandor
  • Unified Patchwork Theory, recorded in Zurich in 1990 by Curran, Rzewski, Teitelbaum, Steve Lacy, and Garrett List

Both of the above first issued in 2001 on the CD, "Spacecraft/Unified Patchwork Theory" (Alga Marghen, Plana-M 15NMN.038).

  • Friday, recorded in London in 1969 by Curran, Rzewski, Teitelbaum, Franco Cataldi and Gunther Carius, reissued 2008 (ALGA 073CD)
  • The Sound Pool, recorded 1969, reissued 1998 (Spalax CD14969)
  • MEV 40, recorded 1967-2007, a 4-CD set of previously unpublished performances issued by New World Records in 2008 (CD80675)
  • Apogee, a double CD (Matchless Recordings, MRCD61, 2005) shared with another of the electronic improvisational ensembles that emerged during the 1960s: AMM. The first CD is a studio recording in a joint session in England on April 30, 2004 featuring MEV's Curran, Teitelbaum and Rzewski with the three members of AMM. This is the first occasion that the two ensembles have performed together, but not the first time they have shared a split release - each outfit filled a side of the LP Live Electronic Music Improvised, released on a US label (Mainstream) in 1968. The second CD consists of the performances that each group gave at a festival held in London on May 1, 2004.


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