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Other Minds Festival:
OM 13: Panel Discussion & Concert 3

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 161 min
Event Type: Lecture / Panel Discussion Program Origin: Other Minds

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Charles Amirkhanian moderates a panel discussion with the composers featured in the third concert of OM 13. Keeril Makan talks about the strategies he has employed to obtain a variety of timbres from a particular percussion instrument, such as placing cymbals upside down. He also discusses his noise piece “Static Rising”, and his affinity for the Finnish music scene. Dan Becker describes his work with the Disklavier and his composition “Revolution” which is scored for prepared Disklavier and a live pianist playing simultaneously on a single keyboard, accompanied by additional snippets from a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. Elena Kats-Chernin then talks about how she changes many of her pieces to create different versions that have slightly different tempos, instrumentation, key, etc... She also relates a story of how her composition, “Eliza Aria” was used in an advertisement by a U.K. bank, and has since become a big hit, as common people have tried to sing it with varying degrees of success. Morton Subotnick describes the sort of electronic manipulations he utilizes in his composition “The Other Piano”, which unlike most of his pieces, has a melody.

About his piece “Resonance Alloy”, composer Keeril Makan comments: “The piece is scored for three cymbals and a gong. By using closely related instruments, the sonic landscape of these vibrating metals is carefully expanded. Two of the cymbals are placed on top of drums; the drums act as resonators, enhancing details of the cymbals’ timbre. The instruments are arranged so that they can come in contact with each other in different combinations to create new clangorous hybrids. Although the score controls the ordering of events and playing techniques, the performer controls the speed at which the piece progresses.” As for his work “Static Rising” Makan adds: “My main source of inspiration in this piece is the raw physicality of the instruments themselves. In intimate detail, I am seeking to reveal the richness of the sonic combination of percussion and stringed instruments. There is an ongoing play in the piece on ventures into and out of the nebulous and fertile territory that exists between pitch and noise. Some of the areas explored in this piece include unexpected temporal mutations and rhythmic intricacies. There are sustained sections punctuated by violent attacks and noisy outbursts, as well as sparse but carefully structured timbral explorations. “

According to Elena Kats-Chernin Russian music and ragtimes can share a slow pace and melancholy that makes them ideally suited for combination. Her “Russian Rag” proves the facility of the partnership being, in her words, “a very melancholic rag. It is from a wholly different world than Stravinsky's capricious and energetic rags, as the music is dreamlike and nostalgic. It finally concludes optimistically on a major chord.” Further evidence of Kats-Chernin’s versatility as a composer is her “Fast Blue Village”, which is a variation of an earlier fifteen minute long work for instrumental ensemble, here re-scored for string quartet and piano. A third work by Kats-Chernin, “Eliza Aria” is also a revised composition. It was originally for soprano and orchestra but is here heard transcribed for piano.

Dan Becker describes his work “Revolution” as “an energetic and motoric work that is part interpretation, part meditation, on excerpts from a Martin Luther King Jr. speech. The piece, written in close collaboration with the New York City-based virtuoso pianist and fearless musical explorer Kathy Supové, was commissioned with funds from Meet the Composers' Commissioning USA program.”

The Festival concluded with “The Other Piano” by Morton Subotnick. According to the composer the work, “is for solo piano with real-tine sound processing. The processing is an improvised space ‘painting’ of the piano sound as it is being performed. The piano music is precisely notated while the improvised processing is guided by a set of instructions and a DSP patch for each of the 4 sections of the work....Throughout the work there is an emphasis on small changes of pitch, time and loudness while the processing creates a fluid environment for these changes to unfold.”

Part 1 of 8:  
Musical Selections:  [Panel discussion with Charles Amirkhanian, Keeril Makan, Dan Becker, Elena Kats-Chernin, & Morton Subotnick]
Genres:  20th Century Classical; New Music
Subject:  20th century classical; New music
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Makan, Keeril; Becker, Dan, 1960-; Kats-Chernin, Elena ; Subotnick, Morton
Recording Date:  3/8/2008
 
Part 2 of 8:  
Musical Selections:  Resonance Alloy (2007) (28:40) / Keeril Makan
Performers:  David Shively, percussion
Genres:  20th Century Classical; New Music
Subject:  New music; Percussion music
People:  Makan, Keeril; Shively, David
Recording Date:  3/8/2008
 
Part 3 of 8:  
Musical Selections:  Static Rising (2004) (17:30) / Keeril Makan
Performers:  David Shively, percussion
Del Sol String Quartet:
Kate Stenberg, violin
Rick Shinozaki, violin
Charlton Lee, viola
Hannah Addario-Berry, cello
Genres:  New Music; Chamber Music
Subject:  New music; Chamber music; Quintets (Percussion, violins (2), viola, cello)
People:  Makan, Keeril; Shively, David; Stenberg, Kate (Violinist); Shinozaki, Rick ; Lee, Charlton; Addario-Berry, Hannah
Recording Date:  3/8/2008
 
Part 4 of 8:  
Musical Selections:  Russian Rag (1996, rev. 2007) (2:20) / Elena Kats-Chernin
Performers:  Elena Kats-Chernin, piano
Del Sol String Quartet:
Kate Stenberg, violin
Rick Shinozaki, violin
Charlton Lee, viola
Hannah Addario-Berry, cello
Genres:  New Music; Chamber Music
Subject:  New music; Piano quintets; Ragtime music
People:  Kats-Chernin, Elena; Stenberg, Kate (Violinist); Shinozaki, Rick ; Lee, Charlton; Addario-Berry, Hannah
Recording Date:  3/8/2008
 
Part 5 of 8:  
Musical Selections:  Fast Blue Village (2007) (5:06) / Elena Kats-Chernin
Performers:  Elena Kats-Chernin, piano
Del Sol String Quartet:
Kate Stenberg, violin
Rick Shinozaki, violin
Charlton Lee, viola
Hannah Addario-Berry, cello
Genres:  New Music; Chamber Music
Subject:  New music; Piano quintets
People:  Kats-Chernin, Elena; Stenberg, Kate (Violinist); Shinozaki, Rick ; Lee, Charlton; Addario-Berry, Hannah
Recording Date:  3/8/2008
 
Part 6 of 8:  
Musical Selections:  Eliza Aria (2002) (2:40) / Elena Kats-Chernin
Performers:  Elena Kats-Chernin, piano
Genres:  New Music; Chamber Music
Subject:  New music; Piano music
People:  Kats-Chernin, Elena
Recording Date:  3/8/2008
 
Part 7 of 8:  
Musical Selections:  Revolution [text by Martin Luther King Jr.] (2004) (17:25) / Dan Becker
Performers:  Kathleen Supové, prepared Disklavier
Genres:  New Music; Mechanical Music
Subject:  New music; Prepared piano music; Player piano music; Piano music (4 hands)
People:  Becker, Dan, 1960-; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Supové, Kathleen
Recording Date:  3/8/2008
 
Part 8 of 8:  
Musical Selections:  The Other Piano (2007) (36:30) / Morton Subotnick
Performers:  Kathleen Supové, piano
Morton Subotnick, live electronics
Genres:  New Music; Electro-Acoustic / Electronic
Subject:  New music; Electro-acoustic; Electronic music; Piano and electronic music
People:  Subotnick, Morton; Supové, Kathleen
Recording Date:  3/8/2008
 
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