"(...) Åke Karlung (1930 – 1990) worked as a multimedia artist, mostly known for his short films that he kept revising through the years by cutting them to shreds. Karlung also arranged “violent happenings”, with electroacoustic music as an important ingredient. One of these happenings was mainly acoustic, which is why parts of that one have been reproduced here. Furthermore, the choice of the parts were chosen long ago, when ABF in Stockholm, where the recording was made, released an LP with examples of all their sounding activities. Therefore Karlung, who was quite non-commercial, got some exposure on a strictly commercially intended publicity phonogram – and therefore he became represented for posterity on this historical CD.
The examples thrown together in the Karlung track are rough, careless and wild, sometimes with feverish cascades of piercing sound, in which you can detect some repetition, while the cuts between various parts of the original tape (I suppose) are clumsy and awkward. A voice comes clear of all this commotion at times, talking about happening as such:
“Happening, happening, always happening, synthesis happening, Soviet citizens could say: You Americans have advertised your happenings, but you weren’t first with happenings, just as little as you were first to the Moon…”
(For younger readers, this statement might sound strange, since the first men on the Moon were Americans - later, in 1969 – but the Soviets were the first to send probes to the Moon. This happened already in the 1950s, when Luna 1 made a flyby on 4th January, 5995 kilometers above the lunar surface, before going into orbit around the Sun between Earth and Mars. Luna 2 impacted the Moon on 14th September 1959, and the first images of the dark side – or rather far side – of the Moon were shot by Luna 3 on 7th October 1959).
You can also hear a voice talking about an “instructive hara-kiri”… and a little girl demanding: “Mummy, I want to hear a fairytale, about paper finches”… while an adult states that “It’s so banal, it’s so banal!” A woman laughs, and the echo of her voice crashes into crackling pieces. This really exemplifies a certain aspect of the Sixties that I remember well; that brute, demonstrative dissociation that was necessary before refinement and disciplined method took care of the feverish force and used it for viable art. Antihappening shows a point of birth, a gathering of sources, which bloomed fully later in the 1960s."