Scope and Content of Collection
Title: KPFA-FM Music Dept. audio collection
Collection number: Consult organization's archives department.
KPFA (Radio Station: Berkeley, Calif.)
Other Minds (organization)
Approximately 4,700 items
Other Minds Archives
Abstract: Compiled from 1949 to 1995, this collection of primarily analog reel-to-reel audiotapes embodies decades of innovative new
music radio programming, specialized in 20th Century new music, but whose content also reflects a variety of musical forms
rarely represented by commercial media. The collection features live concert recordings, other musical recordings, interviews,
performance art and symposia, covering artists whose backgrounds range from the classical conservatories to the counter-cultural
underground movement of the 1960s.
Languages represented in the collection:
A digital portion of the collection is publicly accessible. Access restricted to physical collection maintained at a remote
Physical property rights reside with Other Minds (OM). Copyright over the materials are retained by their creators and/or
estates and affiliates. For permission inquiries please contact OM Archives.
KPFA-FM Music Dept. audio collection. Other Minds Archives, San Francisco, CA 94103.
Transfer from Pacifica Station KPFA-FM, in 2000.
KPFA-FM in Berkeley was an influential participant in the development of the Bay Area as a national center for new music.
It gained an international reputation for its music programming early on, after being founded in 1949. Up until 1992, its
Music Directors were always composers or critics in the classical music field. From 1969-1992, composer Charles Amirkhanian
(Executive & Artistic Director of Other Minds) served as Music Director for KPFA. During his tenure the station initiated
a number of unusual series, one of which was then the longest-running continuous program on avant-garde music in American
radio history (Ode to Gravity, 1970-1995). Aside from the contemporary music programming the station was known for, it also
broadcast a variety of programs focusing on bluegrass, opera, world music, jazz, folk, pop, and gospel; many recordings of
which are also contained within the collection.
Other Minds (OM) is a non-profit organization in San Francisco dedicated to the encouragement and propagation of contemporary
music in all its forms through multiple outlets including a yearly festival, an artist residency program, a record label,
preservation project, and a radio program on KALW, San Francisco.
Scope and Content of Collection
Compiled from 1949 to 1995, this collection of primarily analog reel-to-reel audiotapes embodies decades of innovative musical
radio programming, whose content reflects a variety of musical forms rarely represented by commercial media. The collection
features live concert recordings, other musical recordings, interviews, performance art, and symposia, covering artists whose
backgrounds range from the classical conservatories to the counter-cultural underground movement of the 1960s.
An example of some of the artists represented in the collection include John Cage, Lou Harrison, George Antheil, Laurie Anderson,
Frank Zappa, Henry Cowell, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Virgil Thomson, Brian Eno, Pierre Boulez, Conlon Nancarrow, Dane
Rudhyar, Nicolas Slonimsky, Anthony Braxton, Harry Partch, Ernst Krenek, Roger Sessions.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
20th Century Classical
21st Century Classical
Motion Picture Music
Electro-Acoustic / Electronic