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Group Photograph, 1954
Commentary by Robin Rausch
Music Specialist at The Library of Congress
There’s a very interesting group photograph of colonists from 1954 that is on display in this exhibit that includes James Baldwin, you can see him in the back row, and it also has some other notables, such as the painter Milton Avery, the poet Peter Viereck, the composers Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening.
Ussachevsky and Luening were at the MacDowell Colony in 1953, and they were working on their experiments with tape recorder and writing a piece for orchestra and tape recorder. And they had all of their big, clunky recording equipment in Watson’s studio that summer. And they said that the first piece ever written for tape recorder and orchestra was written in Watson’s studio at the MacDowell Colony in 1953.