American Festival of Microtonal Music, May 21, 1997.

American Festival of Microtonal Music 
Day #2: “Jewel”
Columbia University’s St. Paul’s Chapel
New York, N.Y. May 21, 1997

Day 2 of AFMM’s MicroMay began with a transcription of Andrea Gabrieli’s Vezzosa Filli, a piece for double quartet of singers. The resonant St. Paul’s Chapel (at least a couple of seconds of reverb) was an additional instrument, reinforcing the music with a glow. Vezzosa Filli was perfect for this space.

sopranos – Meredith Borden,Piera F. Paine
altos – Adria Quinones, Elizabeth Lee
tenors – Brendan Glynn, Orlando Colon,
basses – Gabriel Mendlow, Andrew Clateman

Three pieces by John Dowland: Lachrimae, The Frog Galliard, and Forlorn Hope Fancy were performed by Wim Hoogewerf. Dowland’s “personal tuning” uses perfect ji thirds and fifths yet still contains some intervals that enrich and color (IMHO) the tuning. Like the Gabrieli, the ambient St. Paul’s contributed to the performance.

just intonation guitar – Wim Hoogewerf

Johnny Reinhard’s Eye of Newt is another of his works in polymicrotonality – where more then one tuning is used. His technique of using more then one tuning creates frequent unexpected changes in mood. Multiphonics and singing through his alto recorder adds harmony to this potion.

alto recorder – Johnny Reinhard

Ei, Wie der Kaffee ist Suisse by J. S. Bach for soprano, flute and harpsichord in Werkmeister III. A wonderful piece that gives the soprano a chance to sing about how wonderful coffee is. Unfortunately the chapel drank this one up, obscuring the details.

soprano – Meredith Borden
baroque flute – Andrew Bolotowsky
harpsichord – Rebecca Pechefsky

One of the most anticipated events of the festival was the NY premiere of the solo version of Harry Partch’s Barstow by John Schneider. The result of historical research, Schneider had a custom guitar built based on Partch’s notes. Schneider released a version of Barstow on Just West Coast – microtonal music for guitar and harp (Bridge) a few years ago and he’s refined his approach since then. Now his Partchian sprechgesang is a bit more approprate to the piece.

After the concert I asked Schneider about his future plans for microtonal guitar recordings and was told that he’s planning to record or has unreleased recordings of works by Partch (US Highball for guitar and voice), La Monte Young (a newer composer supervised slower version of Sarabande), more works by Lou Harrison and others inluding his own compositions.

Partch monophonic-model guitar – John Schneider

Shruti is the 22 interval scale of India and also the title of Ganesh Anandan’s contribution to the festival. He played his homemade percussion, metal bars resting on foam and resonators and then sang in a gruff overtone style. NY premiere.

extended voice, original instruments – Ganesh Anandan

Andrew Culver’s Architectonic Space placed the musicians spatially around the chapel. The trumpet in the balcony, the violin in the pulpit, the viola to the side near the pews and so on. Culver’s purely minimalistic held tones disregard the obsessive rhythmic cells favored by most minimalists, the primary influences seem to be John Cage and La Monte Young.

A Tuning Digest buddy said that listening to Architectonic Space was like watching paint dry. I happen to like this kind of zen minimalism, but think that the composer missed a great opportunity to explore the rich resources of higher limit just intonation systems. NY premiere.

alto flute – Andrew Bolotowsky
bass clarinet – Ron Kozak
bassoon – Johnny Reinhard
violin – Dan Auerbach
viola – Anastasia Solberg
cello – Jodi Beder
trumpet – John Charles Thomas

The Quarter tone Preludio a Colon by Julian Carrillo also used occasional eighth tones. It’s pieces like this that spark up a festival like this, the tuning is so far out that there’s no doubt that it’s not in the much too common 12 tone equal temperament. Icing on the cake!

soprano – Meredith Borden
flute – Andrew Bolotowsky
violins – Dan Auerbach, Tina Cho
viola – Anastasia Solberg
cello – Jodi Beder
24 tone equal temperament guitar – Wim Hoogewerf
96 tone equal temperament harp – Skip LaPlante
conductor – Johnny Reinhard

My picks: Barstow, Preludio A Colon and Eye of Newt. Not that there was anything wrong with the other works. Just my personal highlights.

Stay tuned for more…

db
5/26/97

Originally published on line at Juxtaposion Ezine.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Microtonal Projects' BLOG

we promote, research, perform and educate

Musica Kaleidoskopea

a kaleidoscopic view of music

The Canterbury scene(zine) continued....

Random ramblings nearly 30 years further on from a Canterbury scene veteran

David Beardsley

microtonal guitarist and composer

The Hum Blog

a blog for the-hum.com

Luminiferous Aether Drift

This massless business

J.C. Combs

acoustic and electronic arts

Ted Greene Archive

Immortalizing Beauty Through Music

Atonality.net

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

New Music Buff

Random perspectives from an informed new music fan.

…after…

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

The Watchful Ear

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Field Stations and Outposts of Anaphoria Island

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Make Your Own Taste

Eclectic reviews of ambient, psychedelic, post-rock, folk and progressive rock ... etc.!

Articulate Silences

Tacet / Tacet / Tacet

David Rothenberg

musician, composer, author and philosopher-naturalist

Professorscosco

Scott Healy's Jazz Composition Blog: Writing, Arranging and Listening

Avant Music News

A source for news on music that is challenging, interesting, different, progressive, introspective, or just plain weird

Do The Math

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

grexsounds

Just another WordPress.com site

Music : NPR

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

destination: OUT

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Sequenza21/

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Renewable Music

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Miniatures Blog

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Mixed Meters

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

PostClassic

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Bob Gluck's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Today Is The Question: Ted Panken on Music, Politics and the Arts

My thoughts and writings on jazz and the world around it.

davidtoop

a sinister resonance

PostClassic

Kyle Gann on music after the fact

%d bloggers like this: