Other Minds Presents a New Music

Summoning the specters of musical forbears, channeling the spirits of their successors

Ruth Crawford, 1924

Saturday, the sixth of December T wo thousand and eight at one o’clock, four o’clock, and eight o’clock Swedenborgian Church of San Fr ancisco

A Message from the

Artistic Director

Welcome to our third New Music Séance. We’ve created this unusual day-long event in the historic Swedenborgian Church to resurrect the sources of new music and place them side by side with recent compositions. A particular focus is the American maverick tradition of Charles Ives, Charles Seeger, Henry Cowell, John Cage, Lou Harrison, and other pathbreakers courageous enough to withstand a barrage of skepticism early in their careers but who lived to find wider acceptance late in life. In contrast to our annual Other Minds Festival featuring music of living composers who are in attendance, the Séance affords us the opportunity to delve into the past century for composer predecessors and for selections of music that are rarely played. Researching with our dedicated performers, Sarah Cahill, Kate Stenberg, and Eva-Maria Zimmermann, we have gathered an array of music we hope you find revelationary, and in this spiritual setting we have tried to include some works that are contemplative, meditative and unjustly neglected. We trust that the roaring fireplace and candlelit interior of this magnificent 1895 church will provide a conducive environment as we channel these innovative composers for you. We’re pleased to have the world premieres of works by Steed Cowart, Ingram Marshall and Mamoru Fujieda, the latter two commissioned and presented by Sarah Cahill. Eva-Maria Zimmermann will introduce obscure works for piano solo by Per Nørgård and Tan Dun. And Kate Stenberg will essay music by violinist-composer Grazyna Bacewicz, along with hauntingly beautiful works by Somei Satoh and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Ruth Crawford’s powerful Violin Sonata.
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Executive & Artistic Director

Charles Amirkhanian

This year we will touch on the work of seven women composers and arrangers, including a full concert devoted to the Carol Law an impressive American music icon, Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901–1953). Crawford was a composer whose work was both prophetic and brilliant. She met the love of her life in musicologist Charles Seeger, who had taught Henry Cowell in Berkeley, from 1914–16. (The bronze bust of Cowell by Gertrude Boyle Kanno, on view tonight, was made in 1917 when Cowell was 20.) It’s our pleasure to have with us from Boston Crawford’s biographer Judith Tick, who will speak about Crawford’s life preceding our third and final concert. Thank you for attending this event and we hope to see you again at our 14th Other Minds Festival (March 5–7, 2009) in San Francisco. Composers this year include Ben Johnston (Wisconsin), Pawel Szymanski and Pawel Mykietyn (both from Poland), Chico Mello (b. Brazil, living in Berlin), Linda Catlin Smith (b. USA, living in Toronto), Catherine Lamb (Los Angeles), John Schneider (Los Angeles), Michael Harrison (New York), and Bent Sørensen (Denmark). Our performers include Trio con Brio (Denmark), Del Sol String Quartet (San Francisco), and just-intonation guitarist John Schneider. And we’ll also have the American premiere of a new work by Arvo Pärt and a tribute to the late Mauricio Kagel, played by the Amsterdam Cello Octet. The candles are lit, and now it’s time for our Séance. Happy holidays to one and all.

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Birds in Warped Time
Percy Gr ainger

Concert One, 1:00 PM

Shepherd’s Hey (1908) Irish Tune from County Derry (1902)

Sarah Cahill, piano

Gr azyna Bacewicz

Stained Glass Window (1932) Melodia (1946)

Kate Stenberg, violin; Eva-Maria Zimmermann, piano

Meredith Monk Somei Satoh

St. Petersburg Waltz (1993)

Sarah Cahill, piano

Birds in Warped Time II (1980)
§§§

Kate Stenberg, violin; Sarah Cahill, piano

Tan Dun

Eight Memories in Watercolor, Op. 1 (1978-9)
I. Missing Moon, II. Staccato Beans, III. Herdboy’s Song, VII. Floating Clouds, VIII. Sunrain

Per Nørgård

Animals in Concert (1988)
I. Esperanza, A Hermit Crab Tango II. Tortoise Tango: Without Jealousy
Eva-Maria Zimmerman, piano

Dylan Mattingly
Night #3 (2008)

Luciano Berio Lois V Vierk

Wasserklavier (1964) To Stare Astonished at the Sea (1994) Blackberry Winter (2007)
+world premiere

Steed Cowart

Sarah Cahill, piano

Olivier Messiaen

Fantaisie for Violin & Piano (1933)

Kate Stenberg, violin; Eva-Maria Zimmermann, piano

Deep River Dreams
Samuel Barber
Excursions, Op. 20

Concert Two, 4:00 PM

(1944)

I. Un poco allegro II. In slow blues tempo III. Allegretto VII. Allegro molto

Olivier Messiaen

Eight Préludes (1929)
V. Les sons impalpables du rêve VI. Cloches d’angoisse et larmes d’adieu
Eva-Maria Zimmermann, piano

MORTON FELDMAN

Piano Piece 1955 Piano Piece 1956, A & B

Sarah Cahill, piano

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Deep River, Op. 59, No. 10 (arr. ca. 1904)
Kate Stenberg, violin; Eva-Maria Zimmermann, piano

Ingr am Marshall
+world premiere

Movement (Deep in My Heart) (2008)

Sarah Cahill, piano

Gabriela Lena Fr ank

Sueños de Chambi: Snapshots for an Andean Album (2002)
V. Adoración para Angelitos VI. Harawi de Chambi VII. Marinera: “Folkloric Musicians, Cuzco, Peru 1934
Kate Stenberg, violin; Eva-Maria Zimmermann, piano

Mamoru Fujieda

The Olive Branch Speaks (2008)
+world premiere

Sarah Cahill, piano

Ruth Crawford and Her Milieu
Lecture
(Prof. Judith Tick),

7:00 PM Concert Three, 8:00 PM

This project has been made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius.

Alexander Scriabin

Five Preludes, Op. 74 (1914)
I. Douloreaux, déchirant, II. Très lent, contemplatif, III. Allegro drammatico, IV. Lent, vague, indécis, V. Fier, belliqueux

Dane Rudhyar

Pentagram No. 4 (The Human Way)
I. Pomp, II. Yearning

(1926)

Ruth Cr awford Henry Cowell
Tiger (1927)

Nine Preludes (1924–8)
No. 4: Grave, No. 5: Lento

Lou Harrison

Largo Ostinato to John Dobson (1937)

Sarah Cahill, piano

Johanna Beyer
I., II., III.

Suite for Violin and Piano (1937)

Henry Cowell

Sonata for Violin and Piano (1945)
III. Ballade, IV. Jig
Kate Stenberg, violin; Eva-Maria Zimmermann, piano

§§§

Johanna Beyer

Bees (date unknown) Dissonant Counterpoint II (ca. 1934) Gebrauchs-Musik III (1936) Nine Preludes (1924–8) Piano Study in Mixed Accents (1930) Sonata for Violin & Piano (1926)
I. Vibrante, agitato, II. Buoyant, III. Mistico, intenso, IV. Allegro (attacca)
Kate Stenberg, violin; Eva-Maria Zimmermann, piano

Ruth Cr awford

No. 7: Intensivo, No. 9: Tranquillo

Sarah Cahill, piano

Ruth Crawford and Her Milieu
by Judith Tick

Ruth Crawford (1901–1953) came of age as a composer in the 1920s. It was a surprise to her, as well as to anyone who knew her before she arrived in Chicago in 1921 to attend the American Conservatory of Music. She intended to stay one year and then go back home to her mother in Jacksonville, Florida, and establish a piano studio forthwith. A career as a “lady pianist,” to use her mother’s language, awaited her. Eight years later she had composed about half of her surviving works and had established a career as an “ultra modern” composer. How this happened had many familiar components: self discovery through musical training with outstanding professionals; a new group of competitive peers; a great orchestra to hear one season after another led by a conductor (Frederick Stock) who played lots of modern music. But it also involved a particular milieu that Crawford stumbled upon and particular ideas that once exposed to she adopted and developed as her own artistic core. At the center of Crawford’s transformation was a new piano teacher she engaged in 1924—a French Canadian woman named Djane (pronounced Diane) Lavoie Herz. Herz counted among her other pupils a young teenager Vivian Fine, who would later study composition with Crawford as well. At a time when little American avant-garde music was performed in Chicago, the Herz home served as an informal salon, and as Fine later recalled, it was a haven of avant-garde music for “the six and a half people interested in it. [It was] a kind of Mecca for visiting contemporary musicians, of which there weren’t many in those days.” In 1925 Crawford met one of Herz’s close friends, the “ethereal” Dane Rudhyar. Not much older than Ruth, Rudhyar (1895–1985) already had twice her experience. A French émigré, intellectually reborn through his discovery of Hindu philosophy, the composer came to the United States in 1914. By 1921 Rudhyar claimed support from such composers as Carl Ruggles, Henry Cowell, and even Charles Ives. Both Herz and Rudhyar exposed Crawford to the music of the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin and to his mystical aesthetics. Like Herz, Rudhyar hailed Scriabin’s music as a “magical force used by the spiritual Will to produce ecstasy, that is, communion with the Soul!” Crawford fell under Scriabin’s spell; Rudhyar’s music seemed revelatory as well. In 1925 she heard some of his piano preludes (Moments later revised as Tetragrams). According to Rudhyar, these preludes helped Crawford compose “the first interesting music she wrote.” In fact two of her preludes had been written before they met. To Crawford, Rudhyar was a messianic figure, whose passionate espousal of utopian modernism affected her deeply. She installed Rudhyar as a second “idol” in her private temple of art; she was “immersed” in him. Listening to him espouse Theosophy, she was “dazzled by his erudition.” As the kind of person who pushed herself to epiphanies, Crawford was frequently “beginning to see” this or that idea or concept, or “preparing for a discovery.” In 1927 she “suddenly realized” what in fact she had been writing poems about for two years: “the close relation of the artistic and the religious emotion,” and like Rudhyar and Djane Herz, she embraced
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the prototype of the artist/priest/mystic. Along with this came their version of emancipated dissonance. In Rudhyar’s creationist myth of the origins of harmonic practice, consonance was “tribal”—and therefore inferior—because it represented the primitive expression of provincial habits. Dissonance, on the other hand, was “universal” because it symbolized the inclusiveness of the theosophical “Universal Brotherhood.” In effect, he equated social emancipation with the emancipation of the total chromatic. Crawford found that “contact with Rudhyar has given me quite a bit of freedom.” She exercised that freedom by embracing harmonic dissonance, passionate lyricism, and dark low-register chords that evoke Scriabin’s prototypical famous “mystic chord” based on fourths. In November 1928 she praised Rudhyar’s vision of the brotherhood of man, which “blends all as human beings, despite slight exteriors which are discordant. To bring together in harmony far-related objects is a glorious achievement.” By that time she had embraced spirituality as a crucial component of her own aesthetic. The following year she wrote of herself: I like to wonder about things rather than know about them. Do I really want peace? My tendency is toward spiritual concept. I ‘feel’ it, my thought bends that way, yet I see great beauty in other concepts.” (Diary, July 26, 1929) The “wonder” and the “spiritual concept” found fuller expression in sources beyond Theosophy. In her diaries from the late 1920s Crawford quoted passages from Lao Tse’s Tao, sections of writings by the transcendentalists Emerson and Thoreau and poetry by Walt Whitman. (This eclectic combination of ideas may seem odd, but they had in fact been linked in American intellectual life since the turn of the century.) Henry Cowell was another composer who proved crucial to Crawford’s development in more important ways. He too visited Djane Herz as he criscrossed the country looking for audiences for his piano recitals and fellow travelers in the avant garde. Crawford met Cowell in 1925. He was twenty-eight years old, just at the threshold of a career as composer, pianist, and leader of the ultra-modern wing of American composition. One year earlier Cowell had founded his New Music Society, intended to support concert series at which recent works would be played exclusively. At his debut recital in Chicago on February 28, 1924, one critic described him as a “pale young man, languid and blasé, quite at ease but indifferent to surroundings,” who had come to Chicago to show its pianists “how to crush all the keys at once.” Cowell was so impressed by Crawford’s music that soon he invited her to join the non-resident Board of Outside Advisors for the New Music Society. In 1926 he included her in his lecture series on modern music in San Francisco and Carmel, California, surveying music by “Goossens, Honegger, Malipiero, Béla Bartók, Leo Ornstein, Ruth Crawford, Edgard Varèse and other important modem composers, showing the trend which is indicated by their music.” Henry Cowell considered Ruth Crawford to be an amazing discovery for two reasons. Not only was she a “completely natural dissonant composer,” but she was also that minor miracle: a woman who could actually write his kind of new music. He praised her Sonata for Violin and Piano as “vital... with none of the undesirable sentimentality
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which often destroys the creative efforts of women composers.” For the magazine Musicalia, he wrote, “Her work of deep beauty is at the level of high accomplishment that men realize. She is the only female composer that I know of, of which I can say this.” Cowell published Crawford’s four piano preludes in the fifth issue of the New Music Quarterly in October 1928. This turned out to be the only music from her Chicago period that was published in her lifetime. More than any other musician, not only in the 1920s but throughout their enduring friendship, Henry Cowell supported Ruth Crawford, the composer. All subsequent publications of her music and the one recording of her work in her lifetime came under his sponsorship or through the organizations which he had founded. In 1929 Cowell changed Crawford’s musical and personal destiny even more profoundly. He encouraged her to move to New York to study with his former teacher, Charles Seeger. He arranged for lodgings at the home of a patron-friend and Crawford risked everything to go. Soon Charles Seeger’s discipline of “dissonant counterpoint” dislodged Crawford’s harmony-based style. A new phase of her career began and such famous works as Piano Study in Mixed Accents and String Quartet 1931 (both finished in Berlin on a Guggenheim Fellowship) soon followed. She and Charles married and had four children between 1932 and 1941. Their participation in modernist music waned; their priorities shifted dramatically to American folk music (Pete Seeger, Charles’s son from a previous marriage and Mike and Peggy Seeger formed the next generation of this famous family of the American folk revival.) Although Crawford’s own career as a composer got derailed by the priorities of family, income-producing piano teaching, and perhaps most of all by folk revival activities, she took on occasional composition pupils. Among them was Johanna Beyer, who studied dissonant counterpoint with both Cowell and then Crawford in the late 1930s. Thus the cycle of avant-garde apprenticeships continued. Techniques change to be sure, but the essence of “personality” (to borrow a favorite term from Aaron Copland, who knew Crawford and later regretted underrating her work) remains. No matter what the language and techniques of Crawford’s compositions, we honor the spiritual resonance of her music as one of the qualities which make it so compelling today. Even the String Quartet 1931, praised as proto-serial now was more appreciated in its own time for its expressive qualities. “Spiritual in spite of method,” her friend Wallingford Riegger wrote of its slow movement in a private note to her. Rudhyar, who believed Ruth Crawford had lost her way by following Charles Seeger, just might have smiled.

Judith Tick, Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Music at Northeastern University in Boston, specializes in American 20th-Century music and Women’s Studies in music. As the author of articles and books about Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and Ruth Crawford Seeger, she has won two ASCAP Deems Taylor awards and two awards for outstanding scholarship from the Society for American Music. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and serves on the editorial board of Musical Quarterly. Her most recent book, Music in the USA: A Documentary Companion, with Paul Beaudoin as Assistant Editor, was published by Oxford University Press in 2008. She was recently appointed to the Board of Advisors for the revision of The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. She served as Consulting Scholar and Guest Speaker for the 2007 Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music.

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Birds in Warped Time
Percy Gr ainger

Program Notes, Concert One

Shepherd’s Hey (1908) Irish Tune from County Derry (1902) Grainger set numerous folk tunes from the British Isles and various Scandinavian countries for classical ensembles, often publishing multiple versions in different scorings for each song. Shepherd’s Hey was collected by musicologist Cecil Sharp when he heard the violinist of the Bidford Morris Dancers play this tune in 1906 and it was there that Grainger encountered the music. It became one of his most-played compositions. Irish Tune from County Derry was collected in the early 1850s by Miss Jane Ross of New Town, Limavady, County Derry, but she neglected to ask the name of the piece. Today it’s widely known as “A Londonderry Air” or “Danny Boy.”

–Charles Amirkhanian

Gr azyna Bacewicz
Stained Glass Window (1932) Melodia (1946) Although Bacewicz’s later music turned more dramatic and chromatic, the haunting strains of Stained Glass Window hails from her earlier connection to French Impressionism through the colored musical glass of her elder compatriot Karol Szymanowski. Melodia (Song) employs modal harmonies in a compressed three-movement setting, complete with mini-cadenza at the end of the development.

–Charles Amirkhanian

Meredith Monk
St. Petersburg Waltz (1993) St Petersburg Waltz is a piece for solo piano performed by Nurit Tilles, a Monk associate since Do You Be (and also featured on all of Steve Reich’s New Series albums). The Waltz was written after Monk returned from a long journey through Asia. “Oddly enough, being in Asia made me think more than ever about my blood roots—my parents’
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Russian/Polish Jewish background. This Eastern lineage is something I share with Nurit Tilles, whose parents were Polish Jews. I wrote this piece especially for Nurit. As I worked on it, I sensed my Russian grandfather in a very strong way. St. Petersburg Waltz was inspired by the idea of a place rather than the place itself.”

–Meredith Monk

Somei Satoh

Birds in Warped Time II (1980) Birds in Warped Time II is Somei Satoh’s only work for violin and piano to date. Here the violin is not overtly imitating the kokyu (a bowed snake-skin fiddle used in traditional Japanese music) but the wide vibratos spanning a quarter-tone, the expressive, speech-like quality of the embellishments along with the modal and pentatonic melodic patterns all contribute to the unmistakably Japanese atmosphere. The iridescent shimmering of the piano provides an impressionistic backdrop through subtly shifting tremolo figurations repeated in a minimalist fashion.

–Margaret Leng Tan

Tan Dun
Eight Memories in Watercolor, Op. 1 (1978-9)
I. Missing Moon, II. Staccato Beans, III. Herdboy’s Song, VII. Floating Clouds, VIII. Sunrain

Eight Memories in Watercolor was written when I left Hunan to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. It was my opus one. The Cultural Revolution had just ended, China just opened its doors, I was immersed in studying Western classical and modern music, but I was also homesick. I longed for the folksongs and savored the memories of my childhood. Therefore, I wrote my first piano work as a diary of longing. Many of the melodies are based on my favorite folksongs from my childhood in Hunan.

–Tan Dun

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Per Nørgård

Animals in Concert (1988)
I. Esperanza, A Hermit Crab Tango II. Tortoise Tango: Without Jealousy

“Tortoise Tango” and “Hermit Crab Tango” are movements of the suite Animals in Concert, originally composed for piano. The tortoise as tango dancer must presumably possess certain rhythmic peculiarities, which I have chosen to express by letting the tune of the tortoise shuffle broadly, tripartite through the strict four-partite time of tango. The situation is quite different as far as the Hermit Crab Tango is concerned. It is a well-known fact that the hermit crab— this soft animal—must run the gauntlet among the many perils at the bottom of the sea when it must move house. I have chosen to express the angers by a tango pattern— sharp as a cactus—through which the tune, optimistic, slips to its new shelter. I have borrowed the tune from Hanne Methling’s Introduction. “I want to get through this time,” she sings in the ecstatically ascending melody line— and I believe that these words must correspond very well to the mood of the hermit crab.

–Per Nørgård

Dylan Mattingly

Night #3 (2008) Night #3 (“don’t the moon look good, mama”) is an eight minute lullaby for solo piano, a lullaby for those nights when old guitar strings or a slow fan blows in a fog-wind down the bay, down through that moon somewhere up above where your eyes can get, somewhere up above those sweet gushing airplanes who look down on all us little lights the same, who keep going going like that ocean (O dreamwater in the dark!), like the freeway, like Shenendoah being picked real slow, out past railroads and mountains and gas stations that peek out of the dark like a reflection of some long lost memory of Mediterranean stillness, like the first notes of this piece (deep low black on the left of the piano), when your bright light stays up staining the dark outside by that tarped pool, until someone’s rainbow laugh plugs in this lonesome night like the whole great amplifier
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of the world finally got switched on, and suddenly this driving flying American black is playing an electric blues!

–Dylan Mattingly

Luciano Berio

Wasserklavier (1964) Wasserklavier, water-piano in German, composed for the Italian pianist Antonio Ballista, has an interesting history. It was initially written for two pianos, and was soon after reworked for one piano. Berio, dissatisfied after hearing recordings of a famous European pianist’s recording of short pieces by Brahms and Schubert, determined to set things right, pianistically. This short, tonal, piece incorporates motives from Brahms’s Op. 117 no. 2 together with Schubert’s Op. 142 no. 1, with a prominent bass line featuring repeated F’s. The ironic ending, however, could only be written by the composer of Sinfonia.

–John Thow

Lois V Vierk

To Stare Astonished at the Sea (1994) When it is calm the ocean is gentle and inviting. It can be mysteriously majestic or humblingly powerful. Sometimes it thrashes about frighteningly. The title of my piece was inspired by the W. B. Yeats poem “Her Triumph.” Yeats’s words say to me that the energy of life itself is untamed and often wilder and more beautiful than what shows on the surface. The piece is played entirely inside the piano on the strings. It is composed in three sections, beginning percussively in the lowest register, adding “tremolos” and “trills” (no pitches here are notated exactly). The music moves to higher strings and develops tonally with plucked string phrases and dynamic glissandos. It ends with a flurry on the highest strings.

–Lois V Vierk

Steed Cowart

Blackberry Winter (2007) In December 2007 an old friend, Daniel Wolf, an American composer who lives in Germany, invited me to contribute a composition to a collection of piano pieces he was hosting
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on his blogsite. The works were to have a winter theme in a set called “A Winter Album.” I don’t know how music might convey winter-ness without extra-musical references. I used a title, Blackberry Winter, to make my piece seem wintery. The expression “blackberry winter” is used in the South to refer to a brief period of cold weather after spring has already started to warm.

–Steed Cowart

Olivier Messiaen

In honor of the centenary of his birth on December 10, 1908

Fantaisie for Violin & Piano (1933) Olivier Messiaen’s Fantaisie for Violin and Piano, though written in 1933, was only published by Durand in January of 2007. The one-movement work is dedicated to Messiaen’s first wife, the violinist Claire Delbos. The Fantaisie is a rarity in Messiaen’s output, being one of only three chamber works with a solo violin, though it bears some of Messiaen’s familiar compositional hallmarks despite lacking an explicit theological program. The Fantaisie appears to be modeled as a first-movement sonata form. An opening declamatory theme in the piano, which Messiaen reused later that year in the second movement of the orchestral work L’Ascension (1932–33), leads into the firstsubject area. The descending triplet figure in the violin recurs throughout the work. The second-subject area is a passage of long, lyrical melodies, similar to those in Le Verbe from the organ cycle La Nativité du Seigneur (1935). Messiaen introduces brass-like writing in the piano during the development; the two instruments gradually moving towards a passionate climax before the recapitulation begins. The work concludes with a virtuosic coda. The sonata-movement pattern might leave one wondering if Messiaen had further movements planned; however, even if this were the case, the Fantaisie is more than strong enough to stand as a work its own right.

–Luke Berryman

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Deep River Dreams
Samuel Barber
Excursions, Op. 20 (1944)
I. Un poco allegro II. In slow blues tempo III. Allegretto VII. Allegro molto

Program Notes, Concert Two

Barber’s first piano composition amply demonstrates his mastery of style and idiom. The composer has provided a brief explanation for the title of the work: “these are ‘Excursions’ in small classical forms into regional American idioms. Their rhythmic characteristics, as well as their source in folk material and their scoring, reminiscent of local instruments, are easily recognized.” As Barber implies, these pieces are evocative, not imitative. The first movement suggests jazz elements, the second is a convincing blues piece. The beautiful third movement is a seamlessly flowing arrangement of folksong material brilliantly scored for the piano. The final movement brings to mind folk instruments handled with virtuosity.

–Jeffrey Jacob

Olivier Messiaen
Eight Préludes

In honor of the centenary of his birth on December 10, 1908 (1929)

V. Les sons impalpables du rêve VI. Cloches d’angoisse et larmes d’adieu

A year after Le banquet céleste [his first published work], while still a composition student of Paul Dukas at the Conservatoire, Messiaen produced his Eight Préludes for piano. Dukas brought them to the attention of his own publisher, Durand, who suggested bringing out a small selection; however, to his credit, Dukas insisted that they should all be published as a set, which was done in 1930. While these pieces show the influence of Debussy’s Impressionism, their harmonic richness emphasizes the personal commitment of a composer whose religious convictions provided the mainspring of his creative inspiration. This found expression in a profound love for
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nature, which was already leading the young composer towards birdsong and rhythm. As a student, he had already worked on what he called “modes of limited transposition” which he employed regularly in improvisations on the organ. ... The sixth Prélude, Cloches d’angoisse et larmes d’adieu (Bells of anguish and tears of farewell), is the most extended of the set and a gripping piece of musical intensity and serenity. The power of the bells rises dramatically to a climax which is wonderfully replaced by a pure melody which, in turn, seems to unwind at each repetition until a mere three notes provide a final “adieu.”

–Denby Richards

Morton Feldman

Piano Piece 1955 Piano Piece 1956, A & B These three brief pieces explore the entire range of the keyboard with a variety of articulations and attacks and a continuous juxtaposition of sound and silence. Piano Piece 1955 is marked “Slowly and quietly.” Piano Piece 1956A, with a dedication “To Cynthia,” is marked “Slowly and softly.” Feldman asks the pianist to depress certain keys silently, creating subtle sympathetic resonances (in some cases too subtle to be heard). Piano Piece 1956B also uses sympathetic resonances, and while it is marked “Slow—soft as possible,” Feldman has noted three pitches in the piece which should be played “as loud as possible.”

–Sarah Cahill

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Deep River, Op. 59, No. 10 (arr. ca. 1904) Although Coleridge-Taylor composed prolifically for violin, the present work is derived from one of his piano solos from the collection 24 Negro Melodies. The arrangement is by the unjustly forgotten American violinist Maud Powell (1867–1920), a brilliant performer who studied in 1884 with Joseph Joachim, and who concertized in nearly every major American city and many smaller ones between 1885 and 1920 when she died. Like Coleridge-Taylor, she refused to curtail her work and touring. After suffering a heart attack brought on by exhaustion, she tried to honor further
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concert commitments and the music world was shocked to learn of her death at 52. While touring England in 1902 she met Edward Elgar and young Samuel Coleridge-Taylor who later dedicated his Violin Concerto to Powell. As there was little modern repertory for the violin at a time when Powell was the first American-born violinist to record 78rpms, she often would arrange music for the combination of violin and piano, as she did with Coleridge-Taylor’s Deep River. Many of Powell’s recordings are being re-released on Naxos compact discs, including her version of Deep River. Her biography, Maud Powell—Pioneer American Violinist by Karen A. Shaffer and Neva Garner Greenwood, with a forward by Yehudi Menuhin, was released in 1988 by Iowa State University Press. Of this arrangement she later confessed in contemplating the use of octaves, “Though they are supposed to add volume of tone they sound hideous to me. I have used them in certain passages of my arrangement of Deep River but when I heard them played, promised myself I would never repeat the experiment.” The words of the spiritual derive from Zachariah, Book 10: “And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart away.” Deep river, My home is over Jordan. Deep river, Lord, I want to cross over into campground. O don’t you want to go To that gospel feast, That promised land Where all is peace? O don’t you want to go To that promised land, That land where all is peace?
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Deep river, My home is over Jordan. Deep river, Lord, I want to cross over into campground.
–Charles Amirkhanian

Ingr am Marshall
Movement (Deep in My Heart) (2008) The famous civil rights “anthem” “We Shall Overcome” is the basis for this music. The title Movement refers to that struggle and to a piece of piano music by Debussy simply called Mouvement. It too has its say in this music. The music alternates between two textures: a continuous moto perpetuo mostly written in an “inbal” or dove-tail style, and a slow descending figure which stops the forward motion, or, it could be argued, constitutes the real movement in the piece.

–Ingram Marshall

Gabriela Lena Fr ank

Sueños de Chambi: Snapshots for an Andean Album (2002)
V. Adoración para Angelitos VI. Harawi de Chambi VII. Marinera: “Folkloric Musicians, Cuzco, Peru 1934

Sueños de Chambi: Snapshots for an Andean Album is inspired by the work of Martín Chambi (1891–1973), the first Amerindian photographer to achieve international acclaim, albeit posthumously. In a career spanning half a century, he recorded as much of Peruvian life, architecture, and landscape as possible. In his documentation of both the Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas and the mestizo (mixed-race) elite, Chambi produced more than 18,000 glass negatives depicting the customs and festivals, the working lives and public celebrations of 20th-Century Peruvians. Sueños de Chambi (“Dreams of Chambi”) is my musical interpretation of seven photos from Chambi’s vast collection of pictures. The fifth movement, “Adoración para Angelitos,” sets a Peruvian nursery rhyme as a piano solo to reflect “Dead Child Displayed for the Mourners,
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Cuzco, Peru, 1920s,” a photograph of a deceased child laid out among flowers and candles on a bed, ready for burial. There is a self-portait of Chambi which caught my eye for its similarity to a portrait of Miguel Quispe. Consequently, in the sixth movement, “Harawi de Chambi,” the same harawi melody from the introduction is set in the finale. I also pay tribute to the folk-influenced music of Béla Bartók by alluding to his Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano (1922). “Folkloric Musicians, Cuzco, Peru, 1934” is the inspiration for the final movement, “Marinera.” It is in an enlivened marinera style, a coastal dance popular among folk musicians throughout Peru.

–Gabriela Lena Frank

Mamoru Fujieda

The Olive Branch Speaks (2008) The Olive Branch Speaks is included in a series of Patterns of Plants. The series is based on the melodic patterns that are extracted from the data of slight changes of electric potential found in living plants. The changes of electric potential not only present the condition of the living organism but also show the transformation of the ecosystem surrounding the plants. In The Olive Branch Speaks, written for Sarah Cahill, the data of olive plants, which I take care of in my apartment, is used for the composition. There are two small movements, which have unique melodic patterns.

–Mamoru Fujieda

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Ruth Crawford and Her Milieu
Alexander Scriabin
Five Preludes, Op. 74 (1914)

Program Notes, Concert Three

I. Douloreaux, déchirant, II. Très lent, contemplatif, III. Allegro drammatico, IV. Lent, vague, indécis, V. Fier, belliqueux

The Five Preludes, Op. 74, among Scriabin’s last compositions, distill his mature style into compressed forms: the longest of these preludes is only 26 bars. The writer/pianist Donald Garvelmann wrote: “Opus 74 is psychologically jarring, shattering. All the sadness and troubles of the world are encapsulated in these few pages.”

–Sarah Cahill

Dane Rudhyar

Pentagram No. 4 (The Human Way)
I. Pomp, II. Yearning

(1926)

Originally entitled “The Human Way,” the five-movement Pentagram No. 4 was written between 1924 and 1926, and began as a work for two pianos. It remained in manuscript until it was published in a version for solo piano in the 1970s. The first three Pentagrams, also published in the 1970s, are revised versions of earlier pieces by Rudhyar as well. As a cycle, the four Pentagrams present a gradually increasing subtlety and complexity in the use of harmony. The fourth Pentagram in particular is unified structurally, with motivic connections linking its various movements. In the second movement, “Yearning,” the listener might notice references to the famous yearning letimotif from the Prelude to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.

–Ronald Squibbs

Ruth Cr awford
Nine Preludes
(1924–8)

No. 4: Grave, No. 5: Lento

The Preludes were written while Crawford was studying with Djane Lavoie-Herz in Chicago. Judith Tick has noted that Crawford shared Herz’s interests in “theosophy, Eastern religious philosophy, 19th-Century American
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Transcendentalism, and the imaginative tradition of Walt Whitman.” It was to Herz that Crawford dedicated, “with deep love and gratitude to Djane,” her Nine Preludes. Herz was also a leading proponent and interpreter of Scriabin, whose harmonic and metric influence echo through the Preludes (when Ruth Crawford brought them to her teacher Charles Seeger, he called them “derivative” of Scriabin). In 1927, Crawford wrote in her diary that Bach “and Scriabin are to me by far the greatest spirits born to music.” Compound meters, chromatic clusters, lyrical dissonance, and unusual pedal effects are hallmarks of these miniatures. Preludes Nos. 1–5 remained unpublished until 1993.

–Sarah Cahill

Henry Cowell

Tiger (1927) In an atonal, dissonant style, this is a set of variations on two themes stated in the first few measures: one with small intervals, the other with widely separated intervals. There are many different kinds of clusters, some of which are used silently to bring out high overtones, as are also some small chords. The piece was originally inspired by William Blake’s “The Tiger.”

–Sidney Cowell et al.

Lou Harrison

Largo Ostinato to John Dobson (1937) Harrison often recycled material, and revisited compositions after several decades. This piece was originally written in 1937, and dedicated to his friend John Dobson, an astronomer he met while attending San Francisco State University in the mid-30s. Harrison revised it for piano in 1970, and orchestrated it to become the third movement of his Third Symphony in 1982.

–Sarah Cahill

Johanna Beyer
I., II., III.

Suite for Violin and Piano

(1937)

Described by the 1937 New York Herald-Tribune as “experimental in form and modernistic in harmony,”
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Beyer’s brooding three-movement composition (one of several solo or duo suites and sonatas she composed during the 1930s) works like a study in three-against-four. In the first movement the violin plays mostly in patterns of four, while the piano plays three repeated single notes or octaves in the left hand. In the second movement this relationship is reversed: the violin plays mostly in three throughout while the piano maintains the pulse in four. A solo violin cadenza featuring double- and triple-stops closes this brief middle movement. The third movement also begins with a violin cadenza before the piano enters with material from the opening of the piece. Here the low triplet octaves of the piano return like the memory of a dream, a relentlessly plodding motive reminiscent of increasingly insistent knocks on a closed door. Principles of dissonant counterpoint are evident throughout this short, tightly organized work, and it is similar in its dark, ominous tone to Beyer’s Movement for Two Pianos (1931).

–Amy C. Beal

Henry Cowell

Sonata for Violin and Piano (1945)
III. Ballade, IV. Jig

About 1942 I came across William Walker’s Southern Harmony, one of the handbooks of the singing schools that flourished in post-Revolutionary America, and that may still be found here and there in the South. This old book circulated great numbers of the fine old modal BritishAmerican ballad tunes, adapted to religious texts, and it contained some fuguing tunes from earlier New England “primitive” composers like Billings, Edson, Read and others. The music is plain but fervent. The fuguing tunes rarely use the modes, and they differ from Baroque in being extremely condensed in length yet freer, and for each voice may have a tune of its own although the voices (usually three) enter one after another. They tend to stay closer to the tonic than European music does, also. I found myself wondering what turn music in the United States might have taken if this widespread style had not disappeared from the knowledge of sophisticated musicians in this country who scorned anything that did
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not conform to the European standards for over a hundred years. It was not with the idea of imitation, but rather of carrying forward into a more extended and modern form some of the basic elements in this old religious music that I began to write a series of pieces in two parts, the first a hymn, the second a fuguing tune, often both modal; there were for various combinations of instruments and voices. Later on the idea grew in me to extend the fuguing tune into sonata form by developing two themes. Such a work would then logically find the basis for the other movements in other types of traditional American music. The present sonata is the result. The work was undertaken in 1944 at the suggestion of Joseph Szigeti who recorded it with pianist Carlo Bussotti for Columbia Records.

–Henry Cowell

Johanna Beyer
Bees (date unknown) Dissonant Counterpoint II (ca. 1934) Gebrauchs-Musik III (1936) Dissonant Counterpoint II and Gebrauchs-Musik III are two suites of short movements, similar in style and form. Both are highly dissonant, heterophonic, graceful, subtle, highly pianistic, and beautiful pieces. They are important early examples of the influential ideas of Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger, yet they also show Beyer’s unusual tendency towards minimalist, single-minded formal procedures, and reveal her intensely intimate style. Dissonant Counterpoint uses formal “phrase structure” techniques shared by Charles Seeger, while GebrauchsMusik tends to be slightly freer, more lyrical, sedate, and pensive. Bees is part of a large collection of pedagogical pieces of Beyer’s, and she has written above the one-page score: “The bees are so busy.”

–Sarah Cahill

Ruth Cr awford
Nine Preludes
(1924–8)

No. 7: Intensivo, No. 9: Tranquillo

Prelude No. 9, inspired by Lao Tse, is one of several
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Crawford works influenced by Taoist ideas. Henry Cowell published Preludes Nos. 6–9 in his New Music Edition.

–Sarah Cahill

Piano Study in Mixed Accents (1930) Just slightly more than a minute in length, the Piano Study in Mixed Accents is a single atonal melody, ascending from the lowest register to the highest and then returning downwards, in three- to seven-note gestures. It is a perfect palindrome. The Piano Study provides a very early example of choices for the performer. The player may start pianissimo, gradually crescendo to fortissimo at midpoint, and then decrescendo back to pianissimo; do the inverse (start fortissimo, with a decrescendo to pianissimo, etc.); or play fortissimo throughout. Sonata for Violin & Piano (1926)
I. Vibrante, agitato, II. Buoyant, III. Mistico, intenso, IV. Allegro (attacca)

–Sarah Cahill

One of the major works of Crawford’s early years in Chicago, this powerful sonata nearly perished in 1932 when the composer, in a fit of depression, burned her copy of the score along with some 200 of her early poems. Fortunately, composer colleague and confidant Vivian Fine saved her copy of the manuscript and revived it in 1982, later recording it with violinist Ida Kavafian. Allied in spirit and style with her taut and pungent piano preludes, the Violin Sonata achieves a “high drama of expressionist intensity,” in the words of Crawford’s biographer Judith Tick. “The violin sweeps through free-ranging lines in which leaps of sevenths, octaves, and ninths abound. In the other movements certain signature formal characteristics appear, among them the use of an ostinato containing some compelling syncopated or dotted rhythms and an exposed dissonant interval.” The indication “mystic” appears in the score more than once, likely inspired by Dane Rudhyar’s music. But Crawford’s chromatic language is spikier than the former’s, with his layers of perfect fourths and fifths.

–Charles Amirkhanian

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Performer Biographies
Sarah Cahill, piano
Sarah Cahill, recently called “as tenacious and committed an advocate as any composer could dream of” by Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle, has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated music to her include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Andrea Morricone, and Evan Ziporyn, and she has also premiered pieces by Lou Harrison, Julia Wolfe, Ingram Marshall, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Ursula Mamlok, George Lewis, Leo Ornstein, and many others. Cahill is particularly fascinated Ken Probst by how the early 20th-Century American modernists have influenced composers working today. She has explored these musical lineages in numerous concert programs, the most ambitious being a three-day festival celebrating the centennial of Henry Cowell in 1997. For the 2001 centennial of Ruth Crawford Seeger, she commissioned seven composers, all women, to write short homage pieces, which she has performed at Merkin Hall, Dartmouth College, the Cincinnati Conservatory, and at Hampshire College in Amherst. Her newest project, A Sweeter Music, features eighteen commissions on the theme of peace, and will premiere on January 25, 2009 at Hertz Hall in the Cal Performances series, with future performances at New Sounds Live at Merkin Hall and other venues across the country. She enjoys working closely with composers, musicologists, and scholars to prepare scores for performance. She has performed at the Miller Theatre and Cooper Union in New York, the Other Minds Festival, Pacific Crossings Festival in Tokyo, at the Spoleto Festival USA, and at the Nuovi Spazi Musicali festival in Rome. Cahill and pianist Joseph Kubera appear frequently as a duo; they premiered a set of four-hand pieces by Terry Riley at UCLA’s Royce Hall, and have performed them at the Triptych Festival in Scotland and at Roulette in New York. Cahill has recordings available from New Albion, Other Minds, Tzadik, CRI, New World, Albany, Cold Blue, and Artifact labels. Her radio show “Then & Now” can be heard every Sunday evening from 8 to 10 pm on KALW 91.7 FM.

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Kate Stenberg, violin
Violinist Kate Stenberg’s career as a soloist and chamber musician has spanned a broad spectrum of styles with particular emphasis on contemporary music. New Music Box described one of her performances at a previous Séance as “highly virtuosic and deeply communicative... a startlingly powered interpretation, full of character and presence.” She has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe and currently is most active as first violinist of the Del Sol String Quartet, whose recent accomplishments have won them two ASCAP first prizes for Adventurous Programming for Contemporary Music. She also plays with the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and was a founding member of Left Coast, a San Francisco-based contemporary music ensemble. As soloist, she has given world Jim Block and U.S. premieres of works by Ronald Bruce Smith, Henning Christiansen, Josef Matthias Hauer, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, and Charles Amirkhanian. Stenberg is first violinist with Del Sol on the world premiere recording of the complete string quartets of George Antheil, a compilation Ring of Fire with composers from around the Pacific Rim, and on a forthcoming CD of the unpublished string quartets of Marc Blitzstein, all for Other Minds Records. She has also recorded with Ali Akbar Khan, Stratos and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Stenberg’s history with Other Minds dates to our first festival in 1993, where she performed music by Julia Wolfe. She has appeared subsequently at five other OM Festivals. Her other festival performances include Centre Acanthes, The Banff Centre, Sandpoint, the Music Academy of the West and Tanglewood. Stenberg trained with Gunther Schuller (Sandpoint Festival), Elliott Carter (Festival Acanthes, Avignon) and Leon Fleisher (Tanglewood). She has performed chamber music with Bonnie Hampton and Joan Jeanrenaud, and played under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, and Michael Tilson Thomas. A native of Northern California raised in a dynamic family of professional musicians, Stenberg is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received her Master’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music where she also served on the violin faculty. She also has taught at the University of San Francisco and continues to teach privately. In her spare time she enjoys Tai Chi Chuan and hiking.
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Eva-Maria Zimmermann, piano
Swiss Pianist Eva-Maria Zimmermann maintains a career on two continents through performances that are “breathtakingly intense” (Der Bund, Switzerland) and “brilliant and sensitive” (Berner Oberländer). Her solo appearances include recitals as well as concerto performances with major symphony orchestras such as the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Winner of the prestigious Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, Zimmermann has appeared at international festivals in Israel, the US and Europe including the Festival Piano Sven Wiederholt en Saintonge in France, the Sommerfestspiele Murten in Switzerland, the Yerba Buena International Music Festival and the Other Minds Festival. Zimmermann has studied with many distinguished musicians such as Leon Fleisher, György Sebök, Leonard Hokanson and Dominique Merlet. She graduated with highest honors from the Conservatory of Geneva. Zimmermann is a musician of broad interests and in addition to her solo appearances devotes herself to chamber music, lieder recitals, and teaching. Her partnership in ChamberBridge with soprano Lara Bruckmann includes both concertizing and the production of an annual one-day festival celebrating the work and compositional lineage of a selected 20th/21st-Century composer (2008 ChamberBridge: Messiaen Illuminated). Other collaborations include projects with the Del Sol String Quartet (Del Sol – Del Seoul: premieres of Korean women composers in Seoul) and bass-baritone René Perler (Festival du Lied, Fribourg, Switzerland). Zimmermann was a founding member of the award winning Charmillon Piano Quartet. Many of her chamber music and lieder recitals have been broadcasted in Swiss Radio DRS2 and Radio de la Suisse Romande. As an educator, Zimmermann has been a faculty member of the University of San Francisco and currently teaches in the music program at the Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA, which was founded by Sir Yehudi Menuhin. Zimmermann spent her early childhood in Indonesia, where her parents were Peace Corps workers. Being exposed to different cultures and languages from very early on has greatly enhanced her understanding of diverse styles of music and art. Zimmermann currently lives in San Francisco where she pursues her career while raising a family.

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Composer Biographies
The late Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz (1909–1969) began her career as both a violinist and composer, studying music at the Warsaw Conservatory and philosophy at the University of Warsaw. With a scholarship from the great composer and pianist Paderewski, she moved to France to study with Nadia Boulanger and violinist André Touret. As a performer she won honorable mention in 1935 at the Wieniawski Competition and pursued a career as a virtuoso soloist until 1953. She was praised particularly for her exquisitely pure intonation, utmost rhythmic precision and a perfect sense of musical form. Bacewicz wrote prolifically for her instrument: six sonatas for violin and piano, four solo violin sonatas, and seven violin concerti, as well as many miscellaneous pieces such as Stained Glass Window and her serenely beautiful Melodia. She also composed six symphonies, incidental music for film and theatre, and a substantial body of miscellaneous orchestral and chamber music, including seven string quartets. Samuel Barber’s music, masterfully crafted and built on romantic structures and sensibilities, is at once lyrical, rhythmically complex, and harmonically rich. Barber (1910–1981) was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, writing his first piece at age 7 and attempting his first opera at age 10. At the age of 14 he entered the Curtis Institute, where he met lifelong partner and collaborator Gian Carlo Menotti. Menotti supplied libretti for Barber’s operas Vanessa (for which Barber won the Pulitzer) and A Hand of Bridge. Barber’s music was championed by a remarkable range of renowned artists and musicians, from Vladimir Horowitz to Martha Graham. His intensely lyrical Adagio for Strings has become one of the most recognizable and beloved compositions, both in concerts and films (Platoon, The Elephant Man, El Norte, Lorenzo’s Oil). Luciano Berio (1925–2003) was born into a musical family from the Ligurian coastal town of Oneglia. After studies at the Milan Conservatory, he began a long career of living alternately in Italy and the United States. In 1950 he married American singer Cathy Berberian, and his regular attendance at the Darmstadt summer school put him in dialogue with Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Ligeti, and Mauricio Kagel, among others. Berio’s love for music was exuberantly promiscuous, and it drew him close to Italian opera, 20thCentury modernism, popular music, the great Romantic symphonists, and folk songs from around the world. All gave him models for original compositions or arrangements, or for works that were neither entirely new nor entirely old, works in which threads of the old could be combined with new strands. This was perhaps most clearly expressed in his famed Sinfonia (1968) for voices and orchestra. One of the most curious figures in modern American music, Johanna Magdalena Beyer (1888–1944) was born in Leipzig and came to New York in 1924, leading a solitary life while producing over 50
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compositions, some of which anticipate techniques and sounds used decades later. She studied composition with Dane Rudhyar, Ruth Crawford, Charles Seeger, and Henry Cowell. She died of ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) and left her manuscripts to the American Music Center where they were preserved for future generations. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912) was the Barack Obama of his day in English classical music. He was known for his great nobility and patience and his efforts to establish the dignity of black people. The composer was born in London to a black Sierra Leone physician, who thereafter returned to Africa, leaving Samuel’s white English mother to raise him, which she did brilliantly. Coleridge-Taylor became a heralded concert violinist whose orchestral compositions, including The Bamboula and Ethiopia Saluting the Colours were widely performed. He also conducted the Handel Society from 1904 until the end of his life. His untimely death from pneumonia, in England at the age of 37, was attributed to overwork. Stylistically his music is related to that of Dvorák who, like Percy Grainger, Ruth Crawford, Henry Cowell, and Gabriela Lena Frank, cultivated the setting of folk music in classical forms. Steed Cowart (b. 1953) is a composer, conductor, and teacher living in Oakland, California. He has composed works for an array of instrumental and vocal combinations, electronics and inter-media. Since 1986, he has worked at Mills College where he directs the Contemporary Performance Ensemble and is the Concert Coordinator. He also teaches music theory at Diablo Valley College, and taught at UC Santa Cruz in the early 1980s. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied with Bernard Rands, Pauline Oliveros, Robert Erickson, Roger Reynolds, and Edwin Harkins. As a conductor, he led the San Francisco-based Club Foot Orchestra in touring performances accompanying silent films. He has appeared as guest conductor with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and has conducted many ad hoc ensembles in performances of new music. A tireless musical explorer and inventor, Henry Cowell (1897–1965) was born in Menlo Park, California. Already composing in his early teens, Cowell began formal training at age 16 with Charles Seeger at the University of California. His use of varied sound materials, experimental compositional procedures, and a rich palette colored by multiple non-European and folk influences revolutionized American music and popularized, most notably, the tone cluster as an element in compositional design. In addition to tone clusters evident in such works as Advertisement and Tiger, Cowell experimented with the “string piano” in works like The Aeolian Harp and The Banshee where strings are strummed or plucked inside the piano. Studies of the musical cultures of Africa, Java, and North and South India enabled Cowell to stretch and redefine Western notions of melody and rhythm. Cowell’s influence is legion, counting among his students John Cage, Lou Harrison, and George Gershwin.
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Ruth Crawford (1901–1953) was born in East Liverpool, Ohio. In 1921 she moved to Chicago where she studied piano and composition at the American Conservatory of Music. Crawford left Chicago in 1929 to continue composition studies with Charles Seeger in New York, whom she would later marry. In 1930 she traveled to Germany, supported by the first Guggenheim Fellowship in composition ever awarded to a woman. There she composed her well-known String Quartet which, along with her Preludes, established her as a brilliant and inventive composer. Returning to New York City, Crawford became a vital participant in the “ultra-modern” school of composition, a group of composers that included Henry Cowell, Dane Rudhyar, and Aaron Copland. Crawford would later move to Washington, DC, focusing on teaching music to children and publishing American folk songs, projects she would continue until her untimely death from cancer at the age of fifty-two. Born in New York City, Morton Feldman (1926–1987) is best known for his instrumental pieces, which often feature unusual ensembles and low dynamic levels. After studying with Wallingford Riegger and Stefan Wolpe, Feldman met John Cage in 1950. At that time he began experimenting with grid notation and other indeterminate techniques. He was deeply involved in the New York arts scene, and dedicated pieces to friends such as Samuel Beckett, Frank O’Hara, Mark Rothko, and Philip Guston. Feldman joined the faculty of the University of Buffalo in 1973, and in the ‘80s produced his very long works such as For Philip Guston (four hours) and String Quartet II (six hours). His numerous essays and lectures complement a body of work that has influenced an entire generation, and secured his position as a central figure in 20thCentury American Music. Born in Berkeley, California, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Bay Area based composer and pianist Gabriela Lena Frank (b. 1972) explores her multicultural heritage most ardently through her compositions. Frank holds a DMA in composition from the University of Michigan where she studied with William Bolcom and Michael Daugherty, among others. Inspired by the works of Béla Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Frank is something of a musical anthropologist. She has traveled extensively throughout South America and her pieces reflect and refract her studies of Latin American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own. Writing challenging idiomatic parts for solo instrumentalists, vocalists, chamber ensembles, and orchestras, Frank’s compositions seem to reflect her virtuosity as a pianist—when not composing, she is a sought-after performer, specializing in contemporary repertoire. Mamoru Fujieda (b. 1955) received his Ph.D. in music from the University of California, San Diego in 1988. His composition teachers have included Joji Yuasa and Morton Feldman, among others. Fujieda is internationally recognized as one of music’s outstanding younger
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composers. Working with artists such as John Zorn, Yuji Takahashi, and Malcolm Goldstein, he composes music that emerges from his fascination with the essentially collaborative formation of music. Influenced by Harry Partch and Lou Harrison, he has been working with alternative tuning systems based on just intonation, and in 1997 he founded Monophony Consort, an ensemble dedicated to music for alterative tuning systems. His work also includes sound installations that have incorporated living plants, diatomaceous earth, and aeolian harps into their construction. Recordings of his work have been released by Tzadik, ALM Records, Fontec, and the MAM label. He currently serves as a professor of design at Kyushu University. Although he was born in Australia and lived for a time in Europe, the eminent composer and concert pianist Percy Grainger (1882–1961) lived the majority of his years in the United States, from 1917 until his death. He was an inveterate experimenter attempting at one point to build keyboard instruments to play continuous glissandi and scoring works for percussion ensemble to imitate Indonesian gamelan music, not to mention a plan to create an analog synthesizer. His most courageous act of benevolence, hiring Henry Cowell as his music copyist and thereby obtaining his release from San Quentin Prison in 1941, came at a time when literally the entire music world, including those who had benefited from Cowell’s tireless publishing and promotion of new music, abandoned him for four years when he was incarcerated on allegations of homosexual conduct. Born in Portland, Oregon and raised in the Bay Area, Lou Harrison (1914–2003) established himself as one of the most original and important American composers of the 20th century. His studies were with Howard Cooper, Henry Cowell, Arnold Schoenberg, and Virgil Thomson, and he resided on both the east and west coasts of the United States during the course of his career. He helped introduce the Indonesian gamelan to the United States and, with William Colvig, constructed two large gamelans now in use at San Jose State University and Mills College. Ned Rorem has said, “Lou Harrison’s compositions demonstrate a variety of means and techniques. In general he is a melodist. Rhythm has a significant place in his work, too. Harmony is unimportant, although tonality is. He is one of the first American composers to successfully create a workable marriage between Eastern and Western forms.” Currently living in Connecticut, composer Ingram Marshall (b. 1942) has lived and worked extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area. After studies with Vladimir Ussachevsky at Columbia University and Morton Subotnick at the California Institute of the Arts, Marshall went on to study gamelan music in Bali and Java in 1971. Over the next several years, Marshall further cultivated his interest in Indonesian music while continuing experimental work in electronic music. Certain characteristics of Marshall’s music, such as the slowed-down sense of time and use of melodic repetition, can be traced to his study of
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Indonesian music. These characteristics pervade his music, but can be heard especially in his earlier works such as Fog Tropes (1981) and Gradual Requiem (1980). Dylan Mattingly (b. 1991) has been writing music for ten years, since the moment he realized that there was music he wanted to hear which just didn’t exist. Born in Oakland, California and influenced alike by Olivier Messiaen, John Adams, and the gritty blues and folk music of Alan Lomax’s recordings, Mattingly’s music has been performed around the world, in cities such as Berlin, Sydney, and New York. He is the codirector of Formerly Known as Classical, a local new music ensemble of young musicians who perform works written only in their lifetimes, and plays cello, bass, piano, guitar, and ukulele. Initially trained at the Paris Conservatoire, French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) later became an influential teacher at his alma mater while serving as organist of La Trinite in Paris for the rest of his life. His pupils included Boulez, Stockhausen, and Xenakis. On the fall of France in 1940, Messiaen was made a prisoner of war, and while incarcerated he composed his famed Quatuor pour la fin du temps for piano, violin, cello, and clarinet. The piece was first performed by Messiaen and fellow prisoners to an audience of inmates and prison guards. An ardent ornithologist, Messiaen incorporated birdsong transcriptions into his music, and developed many innovations in harmony (including the use of modes of limited transposition) and rhythm (utilizing rhythms with palindronmic properties). His Roman Catholic faith was deep and lasting, and much of his music has an explicitly religious program. Born and currently based in New York, Meredith Monk (b. 1942) is a composer, singer, director/choreographer, and creator of new opera, music theatre works, films and installations. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Monk has created more than 60 music/theater/ dance and film works since 1964 and has been a recipient of numerous awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships and the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Award. In 1968 Monk founded The House, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance, and then formed the Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble in 1978. A pioneer in extended vocal technique and interdisciplinary performance, Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound, in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument has expanded the boundaries of musical composition itself. In his youth a traditionalist from the mold of Carl Neilsen and Jean Sibelius, Per Nørgård (b. 1932) has explored many compositional techniques throughout his career. With an early interest in organic development and the concept of metamorphosis, the 1960s led Nørgård to experiment with collage, interference techniques and electronic
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music. At this time, Nørgård developed his own serial procedure, the infinity series, that generates melodies fractally and endlessly in multilayered polyphony reminiscent of the Renaissance prolation canon. Upon viewing works by schizophrenic Swiss artist Adolph Wölfli (1864– 1930) in the 1980s, Nørgård adopted a more dramatic, spontaneous style. This encounter prompted the composition of many of Nørgård’s most popular works, including Wie ein Kind, performed at OM12. Even in his Wölfli period, Nørgård did not completely abandon his earlier compositional techniques. In subsequent work and today, Nørgård melds his techniques into new forms. In addition to composing, Dane Rudhyar (1895–1985) was a pioneer of modern transpersonal astrology, about which he published more than forty books and hundreds of articles. He also penned two novels and many books on music, including Dissonant Harmony (1928), The New Sense of Sound (1930) and The Magic of Tone and the Art of Music (1982). His compositions often involve concepts from Henri Bergson and theosophy, as evidenced by titles like Tetragram, Pentagram and Syntony. Rudhyar influenced many early 20th-Century composers including Ruth Crawford and Carl Ruggles, as well as later composers such as James Tenney and Peter Garland, who helped rediscover and popularize his music in the 1970s and ‘80s. Somei Satoh (b. 1947) was born in Sendai, Japan, and began his career in 1969 with Tone Field, an experimental, mixed media group based in Tokyo. He has gone on to write more than thirty compositions, including works for piano, orchestra, chamber music, choral and electronic music, theater pieces and music for traditional Japanese instruments. In one of his most interesting projects held at a hot springs resort in Tochigi Prefecture in 1981, Satoh placed eight speakers approximately one kilometer apart on mountain tops overlooking a huge valley. As a manmade fog rose from below, the music from the speakers combined with laser beams and moved the clouds into various formations. A composer of the post-war generation, Satoh’s hauntingly evocative musical language is a curious fusion of Japanese timbral sensibilities with 19th-Century Romanticism and electronic technology. Satoh has truly created an inimitable approach to contemporary Japanese music. Mystic, visionary, virtuoso, and composer, Alexander Scriabin (1874– 1915) dedicated his life to creating musical works which would, as he believed, open the portals of the spiritual world. After initial studies at the Moscow Conservatory, Scriabin began a career as an international concert pianist, while slowly building his reputation as a composer. In true Romantic tradition, and influenced by theosophy and Nietzsche, he sought to situate his work as a composer in the wider spiritual and intellectual context of his age. Aiming towards mystical ecstasy, Scriabin’s music features many harmonic innovations such as chords based on fourths, unexpected chromatic effects, and his much utilized “mystic chord” (C-F sharp-B flat-E-A-D). After his untimely death at the age of 43, Scriabin would be proclaimed by Dane Rudhyar to have been
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“the one great pioneer of the new music of a reborn Western civilization, the father of the future musician.” The conceptual and multifaceted composer/conductor Tan Dun (b. 1957) has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical, multimedia, Eastern and Western musical systems. Tan has composed distinct series of works which reflect his individual compositional concepts and personal ideas, among them a series which brings his childhood memories of shamanistic ritual into symphonic performances; works which incorporate elements from the natural world; and multimedia concerti. Based in New York, Tan was born in Simao, China. Having served as a rice-planter and performer of Peking opera during the Cultural Revolution, he later studied at Beijing’s Central Conservatory. He holds a doctoral degree in musical arts from Columbia University of New York. Among the many international honors he has received, Tan was elected in 1996 by Toru Takemitsu for the Glenn Gould Prize in Music Communication. American composer Lois V Vierk (b. 1951) has spent most of her career in New York City. Born outside of Chicago, Vierk studied at the California Institute of the Arts with Morton Subotnick and Leonard Stein, among others. Her interest then turned to gagaku (Japanese court music), first in L.A. and then in Tokyo, where she studied with Sukeyasu Shiba, a lead flutist of the Imperial Court Orchestra. The gradual building of intensity in Vierk’s compositions are one manifestation of gagaku’s influence on her music. She also composed the gagaku work Silversword (1996), which was commissioned for performance by an ensemble led by Shiba, with the premiere occurring at Lincoln Center. Vierk has written many works for ensembles with multiples of the same instrument, and her work often uses glissando prominently and builds exponentially in level of activity. Special thanks to The Swedenborgian Church of San Francisco and ProPiano for their sponsorship of the New Music Séance.

14th Other Minds Festival of New Music
March 5, 6, 7, 2009 Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
Michael Harrison (USA) Ben Johnston (USA) Catherine Lamb (USA) Chico Mello (Brazil/Germany) Pawel Mykietyn (Poland) John Schneider (USA) Linda Catlin Smith (USA/Canada) Bent Sørensen (Denmark) Pawel Szymanski (Poland)

Purchase tickets at www.jccsf.org/arts or call (415) 292-1233 34

Other Minds, Inc., is dedicated to the encouragement and propagation of contemporary music in all its forms through concerts, workshops and conferences that bring together artists and audiences of diverse traditions, generations and cultural backgrounds. By fostering cross-cultural exchange and creative dialogue, and by encouraging exploration of areas in new music seldom touched upon by mainstream music institutions, Other Minds is committed to expanding and reshaping the definition of what constitutes “serious music.”
Staff Charles Amirkhanian
Executive & Artistic Director

Board of Directors Curtis Smith
President

Adam Fong
Associate Director

Jim Newman
President Emeritus, Treasurer

Emma Moon
Development Director

Andrew Gold
Vice President

Adrienne Cardwell
Executive Assistant & Preservation Project Director

Mitchell Yawitz
Secretary

Betsy Teeter
Business Manager

Charles Amirkhanian
Executive Director

Stephen Upjohn
Librarian

Clyde Sheets
Production Manager

Robert Shumaker
Recording

Mark Palmer
Videographer

Anthony Brown Richard Friedman Jessica Gabel John Goodman Celeste Hutchins Eric Kuehnl Steve Wolfe

Michael Strickland
Titles

Wayne Smith
Design

Board of Advisors Muhal Richard Abrams Laurie Anderson Gavin Bryars Brian Eno Fred Frith Philip Glass David Harrington Joëlle Léandre George Lewis Meredith Monk Kent Nagano Yoko S. Nancarrow Michael Nyman Terry Riley Ned Rorem Frederic Rzewski Peter Sculthorpe Morton Subotnick Tan Dun Trimpin Julia Wolfe

David Martinson
Program Editor

Other Minds would like to thank the following individuals and institutions whose generous support between July 1, 2008 and November 20, 2008 has helped make our programs possible.
Alvin H. Baum, Jr., in honor of Jim Newman Vic Bedoian Levon Der Bedrossian Charles Boone & Josefa Vaughan Agnes Bourne & James Luebbers Kenneth Bruckmeier Gavin Bryars Thomas & Kamala Buckner Anthony B. Creamer III Tom Dambly & Debra Blondheim John Duffy J.B. Floyd & Pin-I Wu John Goodman & Kerry King Stephen B. Hahn & Mary Jane Beddow Mel Henderson Jeffrey Hollingsworth Randy Hostetler Living Room Music Fund Alden Jenks & Mikako Endo Dan Joseph Elizabeth Lauer Anne Le Baron Liz & Greg Lutz Jeffry Mitchell Dan Murphy, in honor of Mike Bloomfield Jim Newman & Jane Ivory Vivian Perlis Robert Potter, in honor of Henry Brant Jon Raskin The Stone Family Marcia Tanner & Winsor Soule Bronwyn Warren & James Petrillo Anonymous Grants for the Arts William and Flora Hewlett Foundation National Endowment for the Arts Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation WHH Foundation Calistoga Water DayDarmet Catering Diptyque Candles Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Honest Tea Noah’s Bagels, Fillmore Noah’s Bagels, California Pauline’s Pizza Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Laurel Heights Rainbow Grocery Semifreddi’s Bakery

© 2008 Other Minds 333 Valenci a Street, suite 303, sa n fr a ncisco, c a 94103 (415) 934-8134 / other minds@other minds.org w w w.other minds.org / w w w.r adiom.org

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