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340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Jerry Bowles
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Managing Editor:
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Contributing Editors:

Galen H. Brown
Evan Johnson
Ian Moss
Lanier Sammons
Deborah Kravetz
Eric C. Reda
Christian Hertzog
(San Diego)
Jerry Zinser
(Los Angeles)

Web & Wiki Master:
Jeff Harrington

Latest Posts

Love and Cow Bells
Sorceress of the New Piano
Well, That Was Fun
Naxos Dreaming
Reich@70: Let the Celebrations Begin
The Bi-Coastal Jefferson Friedman
Violins Invade Indianapolis
John Cage (born Los Angeles, 5 September 1912; died New York, 12 August 1992).
The People United Will Never Be Divided
Attention Sequenza21 Shoppers


Record companies, artists and publicists are invited to submit CDs to be considered for review. Send to: Jerry Bowles, Editor, Sequenza 21, 340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Friday, June 16, 2006
Morty Talks. And Talks. And Talks.

As a follow up to his brilliant article on Morton Feldman in this week's New Yorker, Alex Ross has a post this morning called More Sayings of Feldman in which the loquacious one holds forth a variety of topics.

Here's a topic, hosers. Feldman and Spectralism. Contrast and compare.

Now Playing:

Piano Concertos
Nos. 1, 2; "A Jazz Symphony," "Jazz Sonata," "Can-Can," Sonatina, "Death of Machines," "Little Shimmy"

George Antheil
Markus Becker, piano; NDR Radiophilharmonie; Eije Oue, conductor

George Antheil was the Leonard Zelig of 20th Century music. Here he is in 1920s Paris, the son of a Trenton shoe-store owner living above Sylvia Beach’s bookstore, and consorting with Joyce and Hemingway and that lot. He meets Stravinsky and basically rewrites large sections of Petruska for his own 1922 single movement Piano Concerto No. 1--and does it better than Stravinsky could have done it himself. Now, he’s in New York introducing the locals to his scandalous “mechanical ballet” which triggered riots in Paris, and out-gershing Gershwin (and channeling a future Leonard Bernstein) with A Jazz Symphony for Paul Whiteman. Then it’s off to Berlin for the Brecht of it, enter Hitler, and then cut to Hollywood where Antheil forges a modestly successful career as a film composer and invents a “secret communication systems” with Hedy Lemarr. Wait, is this the same guy who also writes a syndicated advice-to-the-lovelorn column and articles about romance and endocrinology? In his later years we find Antheil writing chamber music that Dvorak would have been pleased to claim as his own. Antheil’s colorful life and the difficulty of pigeonholing his music have often obscured the fact that he was one of the most naturally gifted composers of the 20th century, a kind of walking time machine whose mind moved easily across centuries of musical ideas and styles—sometimes going forward to places that nobody else had yet been. With this extraordinary new release, and the symphonies that preceded it, cpo has provided us with the performances we need to assess Antheil, the composer, rather than Antheil, the entertaining bad boy. The bottom line is that he’s a genuine American maverick and almost as good as he thought he was himself.
Was Ligeti an American?

Had to take my cat, Howard, to the vet for a checkup this morning so I'm running a little late. I did want to flag a little dustup that's going on over at the NewMusicBox's Chatter blog initiated by a reader who was offended that the NMB had not run an obituary of Ligeti. Since NewMusicBox's mandate is American Music, this presumed "oversight" strikes me as reasonable. No doubt, in time, someone will write a piece about Ligeti's influence on American composers that will be published there. But, there were plenty of comments and tributes floating around the free internet (a lot of them here)so there were plenty of sources. And, don't forget, it was Frank J. Oteri, the editor of NewMusicBox, who posted the news first here.

Here's a way for classical musicians to ingratiate themselves with the local community. Grant Llewellyn, conductor of the NC Symphony, flies the colors of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team who are leading Edmonton 3-2 in the Stanley Cup finals. No pictures yet from William Eddins of the ESO.
Living under the shadow of the Eighth

San Diego is in the middle of the Mainly Mozart Festival, which has organized a year-long celebration of the 250th Mozart anniversary. Contrary to its name, Romantic, Baroque, and even contemporary works pop up during the festival, although Mozart compositions always anchor the programs. This Sunday, the Fine Arts String Quartet concert snuck Shostakovich onto their program of Mozart and Beethoven. The concert was held in the ballroom of a former hotel, El Cortez, now converted into pricy and trendy condos and/or apartments in the booming Downtown area of San Diego. While the media goes on and on about Mozart, I haven't seen anyone celebrating the Shostakovich centennial, so the Fine Arts Quartet performance of the 7th Quartet acted as a sort of under-the-radar tribute.

I'm not a big fan of the Shostakovich Quartet cycle. I've always admired the 8th and the 15th quartets, but the others never made much of an impression on me. But after hearing the 7th Quartet, I was impressed enough to check out the score, and this elicits even further admiration.

Here's an excerpt from my review at

The surprise on the concert took the form of Shostakovich's String Quartet no. 7, op. 108, written the same year as his most frequently performed quartet, the justly celebrated Eighth String Quartet, op. 110.

Perhaps living under the shadow of the Eighth is detrimental to the Seventh; I have to confess ignorance of the work. It revealed itself to be tightly written and engaging. None of the musical elephantiasis that some of Shostakovich's works are at times prone to (the most egregious example being the Seventh Symphony) are apparent in the Seventh Quartet; its 3 movements clocked in at around 13 minutes. Within this brief (for Shostakovich) span, the composer takes a three-note motive heard at the onset, and turns it upside, elongates it, truncates it, extends it, and in general permeates the outer movements with it. The first movement is a kind of quiet, unsettling gallop, and the last is a whirlwind demonic scherzo interrupted by an even quicker dysfunctional, broken-down waltz. In between these two brilliantly constructed movements (the finale magically takes the listener back to the closing measures of the first movement) lies a dolorous, spare Lento (over half of it consists of only two melodic lines).

The Fine Arts Quartet performed the Seventh Quartet with appropriate conviction, depicting its mystery, mourning, and fury.

For the complete review, go here.
Now for the disco version of Amazing Grace ...

The Hymnal Plus (right) is a karaoke-like machine with a repertoire of almost 3,000 hymns and psalms, and it is becoming the must-have item at churches in the UK. As well as traditional songs of praise, the hi-tech machine can play a disco version of Amazing Grace and a jazzy adaptation of The Lord's My Shepherd. Church-goers who struggle to remember the words can look up at a big screen for help, just like real karaoke. Traditional churches will, no doubt, favour the "pipe organ and piano" settings or perhaps even try the "big strings and harpsichord", but the more adventurous will be able to experiment with driving drum beats and horn sections. Built-in Midi and MP3 players mean that music directors can add their own songs - hymns or rock favourites - to the standard repertoire.

On An Overgrown Path brings you the glad tidings, or otherwise about Hymnal Plus over at No organist? No musicians? No problem! and asks some serious questions about the dying art of the organist.

Image credit Hymnal Plus. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
Hey, Kids. Let's Put on a Concert.

You may have missed the big announcement--coming as it did in the midst of our Ligiti-thon--so let me plug it again. There is going to be a Sequenza21 concert on November 22--yes, the night before Thanksgiving--at CUNY's Elebash Recital Hall right here in Nuevo York, the center of the universe. The program will selected by our crackerjack committee of regular contributors from scores submitted by you, gentle readers of this humble little web site. You can read the details and find out how to submit your work for consideration by clicking on the poor-quality jpg at the top of the left column. We are also looking for some volunteer, world-class musicians to play this stuff. We're trying to raise a little money so we may, or may not, be able to pay you something for playing. However, there will be free publicity galore in these pages and you will have our eternal gratitude, for whatever that is worth.

For the record, I am not planning to be involved in the selection or bookkeeping for this project. I plan to retain some authority while accepting none of the responsibility--a default position that has served me well over the years.

Here's some concerts that look good. New England Conservatory's Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice begins next Monday, June 19 and will run all week through June 24. Special guest artist and BnG Foundation composer-in-residence Michael Finnissy's music will be featured throughout the week; the composer himself will perform a solo recital of his own works on Tuesday June 20 in Jordan Hall.

Other special events include the first Boston appearance of Charlemagne Palestine who will play his new work for one pianist, two pianos (Monday), Finnissy's song cycle Unknown Ground (Wednesday), with texts "originally written to raise funding for the treatment of AIDS sufferers in the Soviet Union," Terry Riley's IN Bartok's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (Friday). There is a special Marathon concert on Saturday, June 24, which starts at 5:30pm and goes on for hours.
When Ligeti met Howard Stern

There's been a lot of discussion at this site and in obituaries about Ligeti's relationship to Stanley Kubrick. But why has the mainstream media overlooked the time when Ligeti's harpsichord masterpiece, Continuum, was performed on broadcast television back in 1992?

Long before his cable TV show, Howard Stern had a late-night television show in the early 1990s on broadcast TV. One evening, he introduced a woman who came out in a home-made Underdog costume and proceeded to do an "interpretive dance" which looked like something your 10-year-old niece who never took any dance lessons would perform to imitate ballet or modern dance. My roommate (also a composer) and I were floored at this, because this woman used Ligeti's Continuum as her dance music. The disconnect between hearing High Art on the most vulgar of TV shows while a woman ran around in an Underdog costume was indescribably wonderful.

It turns out that this woman, Suzanne Muldowney, has several fan web sites. Here's her own account of her TV appearances in 1992. And here's a detailed fan site. And here's a trailer to a recently made documentary about Ms. Muldowney.

Once again, the corporate interests ignore the independent artist and the bold media rebel in favor of stodgy mainstream entertainment like 2001 and Eyes Wide Shut.
On Ligeti: Stephen Ferguson Responds

Dear Jerry, dear Galen,

I would like to thank you for your letter and your concern that justice is done to one of the great composers of the twentieth century, György Ligeti, as well as his compositional forebears.

Ligeti's music was the subject of both my masters (on Atmosphères) and doctoral thesis. Ligeti said in writing that my PhD, which was published in Germany by Schneider in Tützing, was the best analysis of his music he had ever read. That was the starting point of our official collaboration, when I edited his works for Schott between 92 and 96 and assisted in many productions, for example the Violin Concerto recording with Boulez.

Ligeti was unhappy with the way his music was used in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. In fact, as I am sure you are aware, the film company had stated in its registration to the performing rights society that only 3'30 of the music had been used, when in fact the real figure would have been nearer 33'. This caused Ligeti great upset. Nevertheless, Ligeti admitted that most people had got to know his music through Kubrick's film, and that was a mitigating circumstance. Had you seen the obituary broadcast last night on German TV news you would have been doubly dismayed. German television said virtually nothing about his art, but simply again trotted out the link to Kubrick. To explain to the world, though, the true circumstances of the 2001 soundtrack goes far beyond what press and TV wish to achieve in an obit.

The association of Kubrick with Ligeti was of course emphasised through Kubrick's use of musica ricercata (in an edition I also edited) in Eyes Wide Shut. The Ligeti-Kubrick connection serves as an unfortunate example of what happens when art music and popular art interact, and how one is seen as a servant of the other. The fact that Ligeti masterpieces such as the Requiem are known as "film music" is abhorent. It shows what can happen to music of greatest integrity and substance when it achieves that most evasive of accolades, fame, but fame of the wrong kind.

I did not say that Ligeti had invented clusters, but rather that he invented a new form of cluster sound, which is a different matter. The AP did not state that I said “Ligeti invented clusters”. I think that we can all agree that clusters are a natural technique of pianism. What Ligeti did in his use of sustained cluster sound in Atmospheres was to go beyond the coloristic device and to make clusters the result of true polyphonic Satzkunst (e.g. in the 48 voice canon). To associate his international breakthrough with his cluster music is not misleading, when one considers that Ligeti's international prizes and renown, as well as Kubrick’s interest in his compositions, were based on works from his cluster period, much more than on later works such as the Drei Stücke für zwei Klaviere, the Horn Trio or the Piano Concerto.

The problem with saying anything short and significant to a general audience about Ligeti's art is that his techniques were so complex and individualistic, his music so rich in content and innovation, that it would require detailed and highly technical explanation. Add to this the general speed and confusion that surrounds a telephone interview, the fact that journalists are overstretched when writing about new music, the fact that the person who wrote the obituary was not the interviewer, and the way that misconceptions arose when the writer connected the various parts of the puzzle as best he could, and you have a less than perfect piece. But as you correctly point out, the recognition was there for a leading representative of "elite art", as Ligeti once wryly called his own music on Austrian radio. That is recognition that comes all too seldom to our branch of music.

The problem surrounding any eulogy for Ligeti is a problem which applies generally to New Music. When the New Music community unites in calling a composer one of the great composers of our age, the general public is often entirely unaware of what his or her music sounds like, and beyond that, why the music is deserving of such praise. One of the prices we pay for the resplendent freedoms of abstraction is that audiences do not have a well-known work to hang a name on. That is unfortunately why obits all over the globe have stressed the link to Kubrick, and why Ligeti will never entirely be free of the label of a film composer. That label, of course, is quite absurd when one thinks of his approach to art, his personality and his music – and the fact that he never wrote music for films.

To be fair to the AP, I think they did a good job of succinctly outlining Ligeti's life in such a way as to make it comprehensible to an American audience, stressing the persecution and tragedy that Ligeti's family was subjected to. The ability of the news wires to go into the details of artistic technique is limited. They are only putting out a short notice. Speed is of the essence. Had I had an opportunity to back-read the AP obit, I – or you – could have sorted out the bits that upset you, but that is not an opportunity afforded to an interviewee by a news service. The news service and its editors have to decide what the piece is going to be. To accuse the AP of misinformation in this case would be grossly exaggerated. The main misconception is that when music appears in a film, people think the composer and the director are working in tandem. The fact that the opposite was the case is highly unusual, a fact masked by Kubrick’s use of Ligeti’s music in his last movie.

Thank-you for your obvious passion, respect and love for Ligeti's music, which I share with you, and for your desire to see accuracy and justice done to his name. I share that desire, too, with you entirely, as I do a respect for Cowell, Ives and the other great innovators of American music.

Yours Stephen Ferguson

The Ligeti-Kubrick connection serves as an unfortunate example of what happens when art music and popular art interact, and how one is seen as a servant of the other. The fact that Ligeti masterpieces such as the Requiem are known as "film music" is abhorent.

Abhorrent? Really? The indelible moon sequence in 2001 is one of the paramount examples of cinema as a realization of Wagner's gesamtkunstwerk. That Ligeti didn't score the film intentionally shouldn't besmirch the singular achievement of that sequence.

Moreover, Eyes Wide Shut & 2001 are two of the last films anyone would classify as popular art. Whether you call it a 'mindfuck' or think it should be shown in a temple 24/7 (as John Lennon did), 2001 stands as one of the greatest films of all time.

Eyes Wide Shut took two of the world's most bankable movie stars and put them in a film where they smoked pot and confronted their id to the general disinterest of moviegoers everywhere. The film was a masterpiece of a different sort, and the inclusion of Ligeti's minimalist piano piece was as much a stroke of genius as the inclusion of Atmospheres some 30 years earlier.

That's a fine legacy to reference in any obituary.
An Open Letter to the Associated Press

Re: 'Space Odyssey' composer Ligeti dies

An Open Letter To the Editors of the Associated Press:

While your decision to devote a fairly lengthy article to memorializing composer Gyorgi Ligeti (June 12, 2006) is admirable, especially in the current media climate where coverage of contemporary composers is so rare, the article itself had a number of disappointing and serious problems.

The most important failing of your article was its repeated implications of the nature of Ligeti’s connection to Stanley Kubrik’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” To begin with, your title “’Space Odyssey’ composer Ligeti dies” suggests that Ligeti wrote music specifically for Kubrik’s film, and that the use of his music in the film was the highlight of his career. Given the need for concise titles which catch the interest of your readership, and the fact that 2001 is the most salient connection to Ligeti among most of the public, your decision would be understandable if the subject were addressed clearly and accurately in the article itself – unfortunately, the errors only continue from there.

You say that Ligeti “gained fame for his opera ‘Le Grand Macabre’ and his work on the soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick's ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’” -- your characterization “his work on the soundtrack” is once again misleading, implying that Kubrik asked Ligeti to write for the film. In fact, Kubrik did not even ask Ligeti’s permission to use his music, and Ligeti didn’t find out about the use until he was informed by a friend who had seen the film. Ligeti threatened legal action and reportedly settled rather than taking the case to court. One of his main objections was the Kubrik’s unauthorized modifications to “Aventures.” ("Aventures" is not mentioned in your article.)

Also strange is that the version of your article posted at (10:58 a.m. EDT) asserts “He took Austrian citizenship after fleeing his ex-communist homeland and became known for ‘Macabre,’ which he wrote in 1978.” Ligeti left Hungary in 1956, and 2001 was released in 1968, so saying that he “became known” for a piece from 1978 is absurd. The version currently linked from the AP website (11:51 AM EDT) fixes the problem, but CNN retains the old version. Your latest version also changes Stephen Ferguson’s statement “He was fascinated by patters, but at the same time created wonderful atmospheres, such as in '2001: A Space Odyssey,' or in 'Clocks and Clouds.'” to “He was fascinated by patterns, but at the same time created wonderful atmospheres, such as in the music used in '2001: A Space Odyssey,' or in 'Clocks and Clouds.'”, fixing the typo in “patterns” and clarifying that the his music was “used in” 2001 rather than written for it – This is a marked improvement, but CNN still has the old version, and one wonders whether you misquoted Ferguson the first time and fixed it, or intentionally misquoted him the second time. Obviously you can’t be held responsible for CNN’s failure to acquire the latest versions (I will copying CNN on this message), but these should have been obvious problems and it would have been nice to get it right the first time around.

The last problem with your article comes not from an error on your part but from your source Stephen Ferguson, who says: “He developed a new sound - cluster sound - which fascinated director Stanley Kubrick and propelled Ligeti to the top of the great composers of the second half of the 20th century.” Certainly Ligeti was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, but Ferguson’s analysis is incorrect. Tone Clusters have been in common use since Charles Ives’s “Concord Sonata” (composed from 1911-1915 and published in 1920) and since Henry Cowell’s hugely influential book “New Musical Resources” was published in 1930. Sound Mass techniques can be traced at least as far back as Ruth Crawford Seeger’s “String Quartet 1931”; Iannis Xenakis used them in Metastasis, which premiered in 1955; and the most famous instance is probably Krzysztof Penderecki's 1959 “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima.” Ligeti’s breakthrough Tone Cluster / Sound Mass piece “Atmosphères” dates to 1961. Ligeti made brilliant use of those techniques, but to say he “developed a new sound” is incorrect and robs earlier innovators of their due. Furthermore, he moved on to other techniques by the 1970s, so arguing that his Tone Cluster and Sound Mass work is what “propelled [him] to the top of the great composers” sells Ligeti himself short. Ferguson was a reasonable source to use, so it’s difficult to blame the AP for his mistakes, but at the same time if the AP had writers on staff with more familiarity with modern classical music these errors might have been averted.

In conclusion, let me re-emphasize that your decision to cover the death of one of the great composers was both commendable and correct. These criticisms are meant not to discourage you from covering such events in the future, but rather to help you identify your weaknesses so that you can do a better job. Thank you.

Galen H. Brown

Contributing Editor,


The Weekend in Ojai: Dawn Ascendent

Saturday and Sunday concerts at Ojai gave us one of the most memorable experiences of a great artist making great music that I have experienced. The Sunday morning concert had Dawn Upshaw performing the program of her concert at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall: Berio’s Folk Songs (1964) followed by the work written for her, Golijov’s Ayre (2004). I have the recording, but I was swept up and swept away by Dawn Upshaw in this live performance. This was a performance of such a high level of artistry and emotional as well as artistic commitment that you believed there was nothing left for the performers to give us. The pull from the stage was so strong that it drained us in the audience. I envied the people in New York who had the opportunity of hearing this work for the first time.

During the Berio work before intermission, it was fascinating to see Upshaw prepare herself for each song, establishing the emotional attitude and level for that particular song, changing not only her facial expression but her posture and the way she held her hands. With the much stronger emotional forces being expressed in Ayre, you could see the great actress placing herself in each role; you also appreciated the instrumental interludes and transitions between songs to adjust and prepare for the next.

Eighth Blackbird (minus keyboard, plus harp) provided the accompaniment in Folk Songs and the core of the ensemble for Ayre. With one exception, the added instrumentalists also participated in the recording. They all seemed caught up in making this performance a special one. Driving back to Los Angeles Sunday night we were still talking about the performance we had seen and heard.

The evening’s concert gave us the third major Golijov work of this year’s Ojai, Oceana (1996). This was written in a commission for the Oregon Bach Festival and Helmut Rilling. Ojai brought out the singer around whom the solo part was created, Luciana Souza. The Atlanta Chamber Chorus provided the vocalists, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra the instrumentalists, and Robert Spano conducted. Spano and the Atlanta forces performed this work during their “festival” of Golijov’s works. This cantata-like setting of the “Oceana” poem of Pablo Neruda, from his “Cantos Ceremoniales”, uses the soloist as an acolyte of the goddess, calling out to Her in songs without words, leaving the text for the chorus; much as I enjoyed Souza in the Saturday evening concert which I’ll mention, I felt that the mixture of a jazz voice with the orchestra and chorus to be one of the less successful elements in this work. The chorus was strong, and the orchestra did well in their role. There were elements of real interest in the work, but Golijov would soon do much, much better.

Spano and Thomas Morris, Artistic Director of the Festival, decided to have the rest of the program deal with farewells. The first half of the concert was one of two opportunities in the Festival to hear the Atlanta Symphony in a significant orchestral work. They gave us the John Adams Chamber Symphony (1992), followed by Berio’s Requies (1984) and by the Busoni/Adams Berceuse Elegaic (1909/1989). The Chamber Symphony is not my favorite Adams work, but the Atlantans seemed to miss all fun in the piece, diligently counting beats to keep the cross-rhythms straight. The orchestra did well in the two somber works before intermission. Oceana was followed by Berio’s orchestration of Bach’s unfinished Contrapunctus XIX (2001) which dissolved into the Dona nobis pacem from Bach’s Mass in B Minor. The Orchestra didn’t have much of an opportunity to really shine in all of this, but the chorus was great.

The chorus gave the concert Saturday morning. This was the least interesting program I’ve heard in my visits to Ojai. I’m sure this would have been an exciting program if done by a cathedral choir on a Sunday afternoon in a church. The program contained some rarely heard twentieth-century works, all a capella: four motets by Copland (1924), four motets on Gregorian themes by Duruflé (1960), a lamentation by Tavener (1944), a Mass by Vaughn Williams (1921), and an absolutely gorgeous motet by Messiaen (1937) followed by a Thomas Tallis motet to the same text. The chorus was quite good. Is there so little secular music for chorus by contemporary composers?

Saturday night’s concert gave us Luciana Souza with Romero Lubambo on guitar in duets of Brazilian songs, notably those of Jobim. I wish Oceana had allowed her as much leeway to improvise on the notes and to play games with the rhythms; these were delightful duets. The second half of the concert was given to De Falla: his chamber-sized Concerto in D Major for harpsichord, flue, oboe, clarinet, violin, and cello; and a suite from his El amor brujo (1925). How many decades has it been since I last heard “Ritual Fire Dance”? The suite enabled us to hear Souza in two more songs.

My own favorite events of Saturday were two related to the Festival. We saw demonstration by Trimpin of his “Conloninpurple” instrument/installation. The instrument itself is something like a disassembled xylophone: 60 wooden blocks, sounded by a computer-activated striking mechanism, organized into ten groups of six vertical keys, surrounding the space in a room. To accentuate the sound, each block is beneath a resonator of an aluminum tube. Half of the resonators have extensions of trumpet-like bells and back-end closed resonating spaces to add overtones. The resonators are all in a magenta purple. The idea came to Trimpin from his visits with Nancarrow and the work Nancarrow was doing trying to construct a percussion instrument controllable through piano rolls. The most fun of the demonstration was that three young musicians composed works for Trimpin’s instrument. The most accomplished work was by the young Luke Thomas Taylor who has recently received his Master’s from CalArts; commemorating Nancarrow and one of his instructors, James Tenney, he wrote a canon in equal temperaments which he had the computer play for us. The most mind-boggling, however, was from a freshman who had been serving as Trimpin’s assistant in the installation. Albert Sackner Behar is a freshman in high school. All of 14, his first composition was performed when he was 9. You can listen to some of his music here.

Saturday afternoon Ojai showed a DVD of the film Betty Freeman: A Life for the Unknown, produced in Salzburg. Frank Oteri had the best interview with Betty, published here. She is, of course, the country’s outstanding philanthropist for new music, even though most of her recent interests have been European; just read the list of her commissions in the Oteri series. Betty told me that she expected about four people to come, but there were about 200, with very little publicity; her musical appreciations are much higher than her self-appreciation.
In praise of Morty

The always eloquent Alex Ross has penned a wonderful piece about Morton Feldman in The New Yorker.

In his story, Ross mentions the Rauschenberg painting that Feldman sold for $600K. The spring before he passed away, Feldman taught at the University of California, San Diego. (I say taught, but what he really did was play music and tell parables and anecdotes, much more memborable to me now almost 20 years later than plenty of other doctoral seminars I had to endure. At the time, none of his long, late works were recorded, so hearing them in that seminar room was an ear-opening revelation to most of us.) He laughed about that Rauschenberg work, one of his "all-black" paintings, saying that it had originally had strips of newspaper coming out on the sides of the canvas that had been torn off by too many movers who apparently thought the newspaper had somehow gotten stuck on the frame.

My one and only private composition lesson with Feldman was interrupted by a phone call. It went on for a few minutes. Feldman hung up and turned to me with a look of both childish glee and astonishment. "That was an art dealer. He just offered me half a million dollars for my Rauschenberg!" At the time, Feldman was being considered for faculty positions at both UCSD and CalArts. He had his eye on an ocean-view home in Del Mar, with the hope of teaching at both places, and he saw the sale of the Rauschenberg as a means to purchase the home. Sadly, he passed away that summer.

Now go read Alex's article.
Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006)

Gyorgy Ligeti died today, June 12, 2006. Here is an obituary from CNN.

Update: Marvin Rosen is doing a special memorial tribute to Ligeti on his radio show "Classical Discoveries" this Thursday morning, June 15 from 8:30 until 11:00. The entire program will be devoted to his music. The show airs on WPRB and can be listened online at JB
A drum roll please...

Sequenza 21. It’s more than a Web site; it’s a community. And now it’s a concert coming to NYC on Nov. 22, 2006. If you are a frequent contributor to the Sequenza 21 community, we would love to consider your score for inclusion in the concert on November 22nd at 7:30 PM at Elebash Recital Hall, located at the CUNY Graduate Center at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

We’re interested in hearing from composers AND performers who want to participate.

Performers: Tell us about yourself and tell us how much you’d be willing to play.

Composers: Send us scores. Works should be for no more than six performers and preferably be no more than 10 minutes in length (i.e. more like early Feldman than late Feldman). Also, tell us if you have any performers you know or have in mind.

Submit scores and parts (PDFs preferred) and queries to David at Put “S21 Concert” in the subject heading.

Deadline for submission: 8/15/06.

Concert Committee:

Jerry Bowles
Galen Brown
Jeff Harrington
Ian Moss
David Salvage
David Toub
It's a Miracle!


12/19/2004 - 12/25/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/02/2005 - 01/08/2005 01/09/2005 - 01/15/2005 01/16/2005 - 01/22/2005 01/23/2005 - 01/29/2005 01/30/2005 - 02/05/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/12/2005 02/13/2005 - 02/19/2005 02/20/2005 - 02/26/2005 02/27/2005 - 03/05/2005 03/06/2005 - 03/12/2005 03/13/2005 - 03/19/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/26/2005 03/27/2005 - 04/02/2005 04/03/2005 - 04/09/2005 04/10/2005 - 04/16/2005 04/17/2005 - 04/23/2005 04/24/2005 - 04/30/2005 05/01/2005 - 05/07/2005 05/08/2005 - 05/14/2005 05/15/2005 - 05/21/2005 05/22/2005 - 05/28/2005 05/29/2005 - 06/04/2005 06/05/2005 - 06/11/2005 06/12/2005 - 06/18/2005 06/19/2005 - 06/25/2005 06/26/2005 - 07/02/2005 07/03/2005 - 07/09/2005 07/10/2005 - 07/16/2005 07/17/2005 - 07/23/2005 07/24/2005 - 07/30/2005 07/31/2005 - 08/06/2005 08/07/2005 - 08/13/2005 08/14/2005 - 08/20/2005 08/21/2005 - 08/27/2005 08/28/2005 - 09/03/2005 09/04/2005 - 09/10/2005 09/11/2005 - 09/17/2005 09/18/2005 - 09/24/2005 09/25/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/02/2005 - 10/08/2005 10/09/2005 - 10/15/2005 10/16/2005 - 10/22/2005 10/23/2005 - 10/29/2005 10/30/2005 - 11/05/2005 11/06/2005 - 11/12/2005 11/13/2005 - 11/19/2005 11/20/2005 - 11/26/2005 11/27/2005 - 12/03/2005 12/04/2005 - 12/10/2005 12/11/2005 - 12/17/2005 12/18/2005 - 12/24/2005 12/25/2005 - 12/31/2005 01/01/2006 - 01/07/2006 01/08/2006 - 01/14/2006 01/15/2006 - 01/21/2006 01/22/2006 - 01/28/2006 01/29/2006 - 02/04/2006 02/05/2006 - 02/11/2006 02/12/2006 - 02/18/2006 02/19/2006 - 02/25/2006 02/26/2006 - 03/04/2006 03/05/2006 - 03/11/2006 03/12/2006 - 03/18/2006 03/19/2006 - 03/25/2006 03/26/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/02/2006 - 04/08/2006 04/09/2006 - 04/15/2006 04/16/2006 - 04/22/2006 04/23/2006 - 04/29/2006 04/30/2006 - 05/06/2006 05/07/2006 - 05/13/2006 05/14/2006 - 05/20/2006 05/21/2006 - 05/27/2006 05/28/2006 - 06/03/2006 06/04/2006 - 06/10/2006 06/11/2006 - 06/17/2006 06/18/2006 - 06/24/2006 06/25/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/02/2006 - 07/08/2006 07/09/2006 - 07/15/2006 07/16/2006 - 07/22/2006 07/23/2006 - 07/29/2006 07/30/2006 - 08/05/2006 08/06/2006 - 08/12/2006 08/13/2006 - 08/19/2006 08/20/2006 - 08/26/2006 08/27/2006 - 09/02/2006 09/03/2006 - 09/09/2006 09/10/2006 - 09/16/2006

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