Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004
30 August 2004, Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf, Monday, Noon to 2:00PM, streaming online at www.wjffradio.org
1. Four Impersonations, Evan Ziporyn, clarinet (on This Is Not a Clarinet, Cantaloupe Music CA21002. www.cantaloupemusic.com):
Times: 2. Honshirabe 04'03
3. Pengrangrang Gede 05'26
4. Thum Nyatiti 02'23
5. Bindu Semara 05'22
Total time: 17'14
2. Melody Competition (1999; revised 2000): So Percussion: Robert Esler and David Schotzko (on So Percussion, Cantaloupe Music, CA21022. firstname.lastname@example.org
Time: 1. Melody Competition 21'23
Running time of music: 38'37
3. Be-In (1991): Ethel: Todd Reynolds, Mary Rowell, violins; Ralph Ferris, viola; Dorothy Lawson, 'cello. Cantaloupe Music CA21017
Time: 9. Be-In 08'51
Running time of music: 47'28
4. Tire Fire (?): Gamelan Galak Tika: I Nyoman Catra, kedang (drum); Jean Moncrieff and Desak Made Suarti Laksmi, gender rambat and ugal (lead metallophones); Eric Byers, lead electric guitar; Mark Stewart, electric guitar; Yukiko Ueno, keyboard; Blake Newman, electric bass; Erin McCoy, Alex Rigopulos, Sarah Wheeler, Aaron Woolsley, reong (tuned rack gongs); Scott Davis, Eran Egozy, Miranda Fan, John Keith, Arley Kim, Mark Messier, Andy Rasmussen, Ben Steinberg, gangsa (interlocking metallophones); Juliana Atmadja, Sharon Schoffmann, jublag (tenor metallophones); Eric Boehlke, Amy Ly, jegogan (bass metallophones); Kalafya Brown, ceng-ceng (turtle cymbals); Jane Hammer, gongs; Evan Ziporyn, kempli (time-keeper). (Evan Ziporyn Gamelan Galak Tika. New World Records 80565-2 (www.newworldrecords.org email@example.com
Time: 7. 04'16
Total time: 20'16
Total running time for music: 67'44
We will discuss Evan Ziporyn's music, his teqaching, the humanities curriculum, at MIT, and any other issues that arise.
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Posted on Sunday, August 22, 2004
23 August 2004, Monday Aternoon Classics with Gandalf, Monday, Noon to 2:00PM, Streaming online at www.wjffradio.org
Monday, 23 August 04
Good Afternoon, Lovers of Fine Music, and welcome to Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf, where we will hear the best of 20th and 21st century music as well as interviews with occasional guests. Before we begin our program, let’s hear what Liberty Green has to tell us on her weekly Arts and Culture Calendar.
As always, Liberty, we all thank you for the time and effort you have put into producing the WJFF Arts and Culture calendar.
Several months ago, I featured an album called ShadowBand, by today’s guest, Evan
Ziporyn, who was kind enough to agree to visit with us today. And so, we are able to welcome as our guest composer and performer Evan Ziporyn http://www.ziporyn.com/bio.shtml, who holds the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music chair and is the head of the Music and Theatre Arts Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Evan Ziporyn, welcome to WJFF’s Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf. Thank you for taking the time to visit with us today.
Let’s begin with a short biographical sketch. Where did you grow up and when did
you become interested in music?
Where did you attend school?
Your experiences include a long romance with the Balinese instrument known as the
gamelan. I gather that you have traveled widely during your career to date and that you have developed an abiding interest in non-western as well as western "classical" music. When and how did you discover Balinese music, what is the gamelan, and what drew you to both the music and to the instrument?
Let’s talk about a piece you call Amok! which appears on a CD called Gamelan Galak
Tika, spelled G-a-l-a-k T-i-k-a, New World Records 80565-2 http://www.newworldrecords.org/ When did you composer this piece, which consists of five sections?
Many western ears will not be thoroughly familiar with the kind of music that you’ve
composed here. First, what does the title of the group Gamelan Galak Tika mean? And what does the title of the piece we are going to hear, Amok! refer to?
Aside from just listening to Amok! what should listeners who do not have much
experience with Balinese music be listening for?
Let’s listen to our guest, Evan Ziporyn’s, Amok! performed by Robert black on the
double bass, and the group Gamelan Galak Tika
CD 1 Bands 1-6:
Total time: 31’44
We’ve just heard our guest, Evan Ziporyn’s composition Amok! Which appears on his
Gamelan Galak Tika New World Records CD. Robert Black played the double bass; the group Gamelan Galak Tika played the gamelan instruments.
Before we listen to some more of your music, Evan, would you talk for awhile about
your career as a Professor of Music and Theatre Arts at MIT? Are these two separate departments? How long have you been running that (those?) department(s), and what are your duties?
Do you do any classroom teaching?
What are your primary focuses in your teaching and in your departmental
You wrote the piece we broadcast a bit earlier, Amok! For both gamelan instruments
and the double bass, suggesting that although you have an abiding interest in Balinese and other non-Western musics, you also operate within a context of Western music. Marc Perlman, in his liner notes to the CD that contains the piece calls it your "dual musical allegiances." I’m sure that this is a subject of many layers, one that cannot be glossed over quickly or simply; nevertheless, I wonder if you’d talk about this duality for a bit.
I thought it might be interesting to follow your comments on your so-called "dual
musical allegiances" with your piece from Cantaloupe Music’s CD this is not a clarinet called Partial Truths. http://www.cantaloupemusic.com/CA21002.html First, although the notes on the Cantaloupe Music website indicate that this was "a record of some recent thoughts about the clarinet, as an instrument, as a cultural object, as an extension of [yourself] physically and metaphysically, I am unable to fine a date for the piece.
Furthermore, your notes reveal that, "[a]s the title ‘Partial Truths’ implies, its only
claims to objectivity are incomplete and full of overtones." As I thought about this, I could not keep my mind from wandering back to Marc Perlman’s discussion of the search a composer goes on in order to discover his "musical identity." You may remember that Perlman writes, "Worries about musical identity were nothing new to Ziporyn; as a performer he had agonized over his involvement with jazz, a music he had long cultivated." And he quotes you as remarking that one reason you had "stopped playing jazz clarinet [was because you" realized it would never be [your] music." Now I find this concern a very interesting one, and I wonder if you would mind discussing it in the context, perhaps, of Partial Truths.
Let’s listen to Evan Ziporyn’s Partial Truths, performed by the composer, who is our
guest today, on the bass clarinet.
Time: 1. Partial Truths 16’17
Running time of music: 48’01
We’ve just heard our guest, Evan Ziporan, perform his piece Parital Truths on the
bass clarinet on this is not a clarinet, Cantaloupe CA 21002.
Evan, are there special techniques you use in performing this piece? For example, at
the beginning of the composition, you appear to be using the clarinet as a percussion instrument. How do you achieve this effect?
A reminder that our guest today on Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf is
Professor Evan Ziporyn, who holds the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music chair and is the head of the Music and Theatre Arts Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Evan, let’s move on to another, shorter composition, which you have entitled
Tsmindao Ghmerto (pronunciation?) and which appears on Cantaloupe Music’s CD CA21010. The most I have been able to find out about the title is that it is "a Georgian liturgical song . . . [that] literally says, ‘This is sung by bold mountain people of the Svaneti region of Georgia.’" http://www.seattlepress.com/print-9679.html Now, your composition contains not choral part, but it apparently provides us with another indication of your interest in international music. Would you tell us something about the provenance of this piece and what we should be listening for when we hear it?
Let’s listen to Tsmindao Ghmerto, composed by Evan Ziporyn, who is our guest
today. Evan, before we begin, please tell us who is performing this piece. The liner notes do not make this clear to me.
4. Tsmindao Ghmerto 04’08
Running time of music: 52’09
Evan Ziporyn’s Tsmindao Ghmerto, performed by (Evan Ziporyn and?????) on Bang
on a Can Classics Cantaloupe Music CD CA 21010.
STATION BREAK No telephone break here.
Evan, I thought we might end our visit by broadcasting your piece Four
Impersonations, which appears on this is not a clarinet. Once again, with the clarinet as your instrument, you "mediate between western and non-western music, between classical and non-classical idioms," as you put it on the Cantaloupe Music website. Please tell us about this piece.
Let’s listen to our guest, Evan Ziporyn’s, Four Impersonations, performed by the
composer on this is not a clarinet.
Time: 2. Honshirabe 04’03
3. Pengrangrang Gede 05’26
4. Thum Nyatiti 02’23
5. Bindu Semara 05’22
Total time: 17’17
Running time of music: 69’26
We’ve just listened to Evan Ziporyn’s Four Impersonations performed on this is not
a clarinet, a Cantaloupe Records CD CA21002.
Evan, before we end our visit, would you tell us what you are involved in right now? Any new compositions? Any performances in the near future? If so, where?
Evan, there is much more that I would like to discuss with you. I purposely did not
include ShadowBang in our discussion because I have broadcast it recently; however, I would very much like to broadcast it again this winter, and I’m hoping that we can convince you to grant us a return visit, perhaps in the early winter. Evan, thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us today. Our very best wishes to you for a pleasant academic year and a bright future!
37. We have come to the end of another Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf. Our guest today has been composer and performer Evan Ziporyn http://www.ziporyn.com/bio.shtml, who holds the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music chair and is the head of the Music and Theatre Arts Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We have also listened to several of his works, Amok!, Partial Truths, Tsmindao Ghmerto, and Four Impersonations. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed both the discussion and the music and that you will tune in next week for more great 20th and 21st century "classical"
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16 August 2004, Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf, Monday, Noon to 2:00PM, streaming online at www.wjffradio.org
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Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004
09 August 04, Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf, Mondays, Noon to 2:00PM, streaming online at www.wjffradio.org
Monday, 08 August 04
Good Afternoon, Lovers of Fine Music, and welcome to Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf, where we will hear the best of 20th and 21st century music as well as interviews with occasional guests. Before we begin our program, let’s hear what Liberty Green has to tell us on her weekly Arts and Culture Calendar, which always assumes a special significance during the summer, when there are so many important events occurring in our listening area.
As always, Liberty, we all thank you for the time and effort you have put into producing the WJFF Arts and Culture calendar.
CD 1: Bands 1-7: Olivier Messiaen (1908, Avignon – 1`992, Clichy) http://www.oliviermessiaen.co.uk/: Chronochromie for large orchestra (1959-60). Pierre Boulez, The Cleveland Orchestra. Deutsche Grammophon CD 445 827-2
Paul Griffiths writes in his liner notes, "In Messiaen’s view – or certainly in his mind’s eye – harmony was colour, and music was coloured time: hence the title of Chronochromie, which was his first work for large orchestra since the Turangalila symphony (1946-8), and which came as another joyous explosion of things gained, the things this time including ways of imitating birdsong and ways of measuring duration." (3)
Pierre Boulez http://www.andante.com/profiles/boulez/boulezintro.cfm, who conducts the Cleveland Orchestra in the recording we are about to hear, writes, in his book Orientations, "Apart from the piano and the organ, [Messiaen’s] important works are all orchestral. I emphasize this because even his works for smaller forces are orchestrally conceived. He [often makes] use of an extremely individual style of which Chronochromie is the most interesting example. By accumulating these multiple individualities and superimposing their different lines he achieves an overall impression in which all individuality is neutralized." (411)
Time: 1. Introduction 03’44
2. Strophe I 01’41
3. Antistrophe I 03’20
4. Strophe II 01’43
5. Antistrophe II 05’54
6. Epode 04’39
7. Coda 02’46
Total time: 23’47
CD 2: Bands 11 – 13: Roger Sessions (1896, Brooklyn – 1985, Princeton) http://www.usopera.com/composers/sessions.html: String Quartet in E Minor (1966). The Group for Contemporary Music: Benjamin Hudson and Carol Zeavin, violins; Lois Martin, viola; Joshua Gordon, ‘cello. KOCH International Classics 3-7616-2-111
Roger Sessions wrote his String Quartet No. 1 in E minor in fulfillment of a commission by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge in 1936. Andrea Olmstead tells us in her liner notes that "The young Elliott Carter wrote in Modern Music of ‘a new and important quartet by Roger Sessions. Though no single theme is outstanding (as is often the case with Beethoven), every detai8l, the cadences, the way the themes are brought in, the texture, the flexibility of the bass, were such as to give constant delight, and at times to be genuinely moving. His sense of a large line gave the music a certain roominess without ever being over expansive.’" (7)
In his The Musical Experience of Composer, Performer, Listener, Sessions writes: "The key to understanding contemporary music lies in repeated hearing; one must hear it till it sounds familiar, until one begins to notice false notes if they are played. One must make the effort to retain it in one’s ear, and one will always find that the accurate memory of sounds heard coincides with the understanding of them. In fact, the power to retain sounds by memory implies that they have been mastered. For the ear by its nature seeks out patterns and relationships, and it is only these patterns that we can remember and that make music significant for us." (Quoted in Composers on Music – Eight Centuries of Writings Ed. By Josiah Fisk. Northeastern University Press, Boston, 1997. (331)
Time: 11. Tempo moderato 09’09
12. Adagio molto 14’14
13. Vivace molto 07’01
Total time: 30’37
Running time: 54’24
CD 3: Band 12: Kenneth Laufer (*1943, NYC): Pete’s Passacaglia (1992) No website found. Peter Vinograde, piano. CATaline Recordings #049
Our next selection has a definite jazzy element to it, proof again, if we needed it, of the ability of New Music to break down boundaries and invade provinces that used to imagine themselves inviolately boundaried. (Is there such a word?) Kenneth Laufer, who was born in the city and who is a composer, pianist, lyricist, and humorist, writes, according to his liner note, "jazzical" music. His 1992 Pete’s Passacaglia is based on a repeated ten-note melody, heard alone at the beginning in the bass. Afterwards, in true passcaglia fashion, musical events occur in increasing complexity over this melody, which later appears in higher voices as well." The composer continues, "Pete’s Passacaglia is the first of Laufer’s many piano works which he finds too difficult to play in public himself. Fortunately, it is dedicated to and played by virtuoso pianist Peter Vinograde." (5) You’ll recognize some of the popular melodies the composer incorporates in this short piece.
Time: 12: Pete’s Passcaglia 07’30
Running time: 61’54
CD4: Bands 14-19: Alan Hovhaness (*1911, Somerville, MA) http://www.hovhaness.com/: Shepherd of Israel (1952). Sheldon Merel, tenor; Kenneth Smith, flute; The Philharmonia Orchestra, David Amos, conductor. KLEOS Classics KL 5119.
Alan Hovhaness, whose birth name, Alan Vaness Scott Chakmakjian, signals his Armenian-Scots descent, was born in Somerville, MA, in 1911, and wrote Shepherd of Israel, in 1952, dedicating it to the founding of the newly created State of Israel. Conductor David Amos continues in his liner notes: "Its sonorities alternate between the improvisatory sounds of a shepherd’s pipe, (performed, as indicated in the score, by either a flute or a soprano recorder) and the cantillation of a synagogue cantor. All these sounds are interlaced with lush string sonorities utilizing fugal subjects and contrapuntal technique."
Time: 14. Pastoral – Andante 04’16
15. Hymn – Andante 01’51
16. Hymn – Allegretto 02’44
17. Dance – Allegro 01’00
18. Hymn – Andante 02’43
19. Hymn – Allegretto Maestoso 03’12
Total time: 15’46
Running time: 77’40
CD 5: Band 4: Conrad de Jong (*1934, Hull, Iowa) http://www.folias.nl/html5j.html: Variations on the Spanish La Folia (?). Dorian Wind Quintet: Elizabeth Mann, flute; Gerard Reuter, oboe; Jerry Kirkbride, clarinet; Jane Taylor, bassoon; Stewart Rose, horn. Summitt Records DCD 117
According to Wallace Rave’s liner notes, our next selection, Conrad De Jong’s Variations on the Spanish La Folia, "rests within a tradition of extraordinary durability. The Portuguese-Spanish Renaissance dance music pattern, La Folia, was said to reflect madness of an empty head, doubtless a reflection of the dance style. . . . De Jong’s contribution to the form demands soloistic virtuosity from each instrument in variations three through seven."
Time: 4. Variations on the Spanish La Folia 12’06
Running time: 89’46
CD 6, Band 8: Laszlo Sary (*1940, Gyor, Hungary) No Website Found. Odd.: Ludus cromaticus (1987): Laszlo Sary, piano. Hungaron Classic HCD 31643
Let’s end today’s program with a whimsical piece by Hungarian composer Laszlo Sary entitled Ludus cromaticus which, according to Andras Wilheim’s liner notes, "consists of three kinds of scale: chromatic, diatonic, and whole-note. These scales enter into connections with each other in a number of ways, sometimes even within the same part; the sum of them brings about chromatic progressions [among] the three parts."
Time: 8. Ludus cromaticus 02’48
Total running time: 92’34
We have come to the end of another Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf. Today we have heard Olivier Messiaen’s Chronochromie; Roger Sessions’ Quartet in E minor; Kenneth Laufer’s Pete’s Passacaglia; Alan Hovhaness’s Shepherd of Israel; Conrad de Jong’s Variations on the Spanish La Folla; and Laszlo Sary’s Ludus cromaticus. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed these selections and that you will tune in next week when our guests, composers Stephen Mayer and Frank Retzel and I will engage in a round table discussion of contemporary music while listening to some excellent examples of it. Until then, this is Gandalf thanking you for listening and wishing you all the best of New Music!
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02 August 04, Monday Afternoon Classics with Gandalf, Mondays, Noon to 2:00PM, Streaming online at www.wjffradio.org
For further information about the Shandelee Music Festival, please go to www.shandelee.org