DR. BRICE ADDISON
Exploring music that includes added sights and sounds, including a work by Jacob Druckman, whose music is known for dramatic sonic impact.
Alliance for Youth
3220 11th Avenue S
First Congregational Church
2900 9th Ave S
For wind and electroacoustic quintet
(flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon)
An intense nap can be a healing experience or it can wipe out the rest of our energies. The work tries to visit the sound experience of the dream. The instruments are trapped in a virtual and digital world without being able to rid themselves of the bursts of information that the brain processes while resting without reaching a deep sleep. Power Nap is like an aural summary of a day full of sound impulses that are organized in random ways but with different meanings. The work was commissioned by the Quintet of Mexico City in 2004 and will be available soon on compact disc. (rodrigosigal.com)
I consider it as a piece that belongs to a cycle of mixed chamber works in which I explored the way to integrate sound sources that contain a certain meaning or specific cultural "baggage" (read commercial rhythms, voices of the Dalai Lama, etc) and in this way represent in a short period what a collection of dreams would be. It's like recapping a bit of the experience of being awake in a short time. The quintet is treated as the central unifying element of everything that happens. Using timbral convergences and height above all, I tried to create a context in which the quintet can survive in a world like the present one.
Notes by Rodrigo Sigal
Naica for Bass Clarinet & Electronics
The crystal caves of Naica provided amazing visual inspiration for my first venture into composing music with live interactive electronics. A simple gate-in and gate-out object in Max MSP creates a delay that initiates an unchanging tempo for the duration of the piece. Therefore, harmonies must shift using common tones and are always built upon the notes preceding them.
Notes by Viet Cuong
Fantasie for Bassoon & Electronics
In music, a “Fantasie” indicates that a piece is free in form, impromptu-like, or exploratory. This piece embraces those characteristics and allows the performer quite a bit of liberty in expression. The electronic component mirrors and morphs that expression, adding layers of complexity until it is nearly impossible to differentiate the sound created in real time by the bassoon and the electronics that amplify captured sounds from earlier in the performance. In this way, the fantasy is deepened and intensified, and it becomes less clear what is “real” and what isn’t.
From the composer: “There are two components to these electronics: delays and pitch shifting. Throughout the piece, the performer will be playing in tandem with a delayed copy of their own performance. It begins the piece playing very closely behind the player, lags further and further behind the player over the course of three minutes, and then begins to get closer to the player’s sound from that point onward (though it never catches up again).”
Notes by Natalie Law and Stuart Breczinski
A and O?
It was at the audition for the top jazz band at Northern Michigan University that I had my first encounter with Ron Caviani, the director. He had a remarkable resemblance to Leonard Bernstein; silver hair, large nose. He gazed upon me, this short, bearded guy from Montana and said, “What do you have for us?" I proceeded to play a Charlie Parker head that I had memorized. He then went to the piano and started to play a comping line with five fingers; three on his left and two on his right. I made it through a chorus after which he asked “How’s your sight reading?" I replied, “Better than my improv.” He gave me the lead chart to a Count Basie tune, “Basie Straight Ahead” which, lucky for me, we had just performed in a kicks band that previous summer.
Not only was I in the band, but Caviani made me the lead trumpet, much to my chagrin. (I wanted the solo book). It was much later that I found out that his was the deciding vote cast to offer me the position as Graduate Assistant for Trumpet studies at the music school; mainly because I was the only player who sent an audition that included a solo I had played with the MSU jazz band.
Our last encounter was when I was trying to cobble together some taped “sounds” to improvise with, as a final project for a composition class I had been avoiding. He heard me making noise in the lab, asked me what I was up to, and said he had a similar composition he had written a few years back. He came back with the score and tape to “A and O?” He never said a word, I never got a chance to play it, and I have no idea what the significance of the title is. My last recollection of the man was that he made a killer marinara sauce. Enjoy!
Notes by John Gemberling
Cats in the Kitchen
Eggs and Toast
O Sole Meow
Where’s Your Mouse, McGee?
Cats in the Kitchen was originally scored for flute, oboe, meows, purrs, cracked eggs, sliced onions, buttered toast, sizzling skillets, spoons, knives, pepper grinder, toaster oven, pots, pans, draining dishwater, and pretty much everything else in the kitchen “sync.” The sound score also features feline duets and trios, cat food crunches, waterdrums, and my partner Charlotte Bell speaking to her beloved cat, Fiona McGee, who sadly passed on shortly after this piece was composed. The flute and oboe playfully dance and weave with the sounds and each other, sometimes in imitation or dialogue with the cats, and at other times cooking up their own fanciful filigree.
Notes by Philip Bimstein
Delizie Contente che l'Alme Beate for Wind Quintet and Electronic Tape
Delizie Contente che l’Alme Beate was commissioned by and written for the Dorian Woodwind Quintet and first performed by them in Alice Tully Hall, New York on December 13, 1973.
The title is from the first line of an aria from Francesco Cavalli’s opera, Il Giasone, (1649) “Delizie contente che l’alme beate, fermate (Delights and joys which bless the soul, do not leave me).”
The work is concerned with an insistent memory, that of the Cavalli aria which hovers just beyond the edge of conscious recognition throughout most of the piece. At six minutes into the 11- minute work the Cavalli aria is pulled into focus by the tape and is engaged with by the live players. The sounds on the tape are of instrumental and electronic origin. The primary source of the instrumental sounds was the Dorian Quintet playing a realization of the original Cavalli aria which I had written for them.
It was Bruno Maderna, great and inspiring musician and my dear friend, who first interested me in the music of Cavalli. Delizie Contente was written during Maderna’s last few months, he in Italy and Germany and I in France. His premature ending was constantly with me as I worked on the piece. Delizie Contente is dedicated to his memory.
Notes by Jacob Druckman