Other Minds Festival:
OM 8: Panel Discussion & Concert 1 (video)

Item Type: Video Duration: 175 min
Event Type: Lecture / Panel Discussion Program Origin: Other Minds

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The 8th Other Minds Festival of New Music, held at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on March 7, 2002, got off with Executive and Artistic Director Charles Amirkhanian moderating a panel discussion with some of the Festival’s featured composers. First, Japanese composer and Ondes Martenot virtuoso, Takashi Harada, gives the history and demonstrates the various functions of this pioneering electronic keyboard instrument. Continuing the theme of early electronic instruments, Pauline Oliveros relates how her first experiences with the sounds of static emitted by her father’s radio sparked an interest in electronic sounds and music that only accelerated with the commercial availability of tape recorders. Ellen Fullman then demonstrates her long string instrument, which is essentially a set of about 36 wires that when rubbed produce a longitudinal waves the pitch of which is determined by clamps that limits the length of the wave on each string. Brazilian composer, Ricardo Tacuchian then talks about his predilection for composing for the guitar despite not being a guitarist himself. He attributes this to the fact that the guitar is perhaps the most emblematic instrument in Brazilian culture. Cuban composer Tania León then discusses her song cycle “Canto,” which was to be performed on the last night of the Festival. The panel discussion concludes with African-American jazz composer Randy Weston recalling his association with Langston Hughes, and how he was called upon to perform at the poet’s funeral. This concert portion of this program then begins with:

Suite for Ondes Martenot & Piano

“Darius Milhaud followed the development of the Ondes Martenot with great interest since the instrument made its first public appearance in 1928. In 1932, Milhaud was asked by playwright Charles Dullin to compose the incidental music to Dullin's play, ‘Château des Papes.’ The limited size of the stage available for the performance and the varied sounds of the new instrument led Milhaud to write for Ondes Martenot and small orchestra. The composer himself arranged the work for Ondes and piano. In 1933, this work was given its first performance at the école Normale de Musique in Paris.”

-Adapted from Georges Hacquard.

In part two of this program the first concert of the OM 8 Festival continues with:

Poison d'or

“Premiered at Noh Theatre in Nagoya, Japan, in 2001. The work is based on emotionless piano patterns derived from the sounds of continuous snowing in the dead of night. These patterns are juxtaposed with the Ondes' expressive, human song, which paints my mind's inner landscape.” "Takashi Harada

Untitled 1

“Started as an improvisation made after visiting an art exhibition. The abstract titles of the visual artworks impressed me, and struck me as similar to the titles ‘Composition,’ or ‘In A-Minor,’ one would apply to musical works. I did some recording sessions at my studio based on the paintings' titles, and this composition is the result. I perform the work solo with tape accompaniment.” "Takashi Harada

Feuillets Inéditsm

The great French composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) wrote many scores that included the Ondes Martenot. His sister-in-law, Jeanne Loriod, was one of the great teachers and performers on the instrument. She had studied with the inventor Maurice Martenot and subsequently was the teacher of tonight's soloist Takashi Harada. Messiaen often included parts for Jeanne Loriod to perform in his major orchestral works such as the “Turangalîla-Symphonie” and his opera “St. François d'Assise”. At the time of his death, several pages of works for ondes and piano were left undated. They were only recently edited for publication by the pianist Yvonne Loriod, the widow of the composer, and include some of his early romantic writing with some of his later melodies inspired by his notation of bird songs. A recording of the music, performed by Jeanne and Yvonne Loriod, was released in 1999. "Charles Amirkhanian

Trois Poèmes: Ondes ; Serimpie ; Chant d'oppression

“Jolivet had been impressed by a demonstration of the Ondes Martenot, and composed ‘Ondes’ for the instrument's inventor, Maurice Martenot. Martenot gave the work its first performance at the Société Nationale (Paris) in 1939, with composer Arthur Honegger in attendance. The title ‘Serimpie’ is Jolivet's own invented word derived from ‘estampie.’ The ‘estampie,’is one of the oldest known dances from the Middle Ages. It sometimes was performed on the portable organ. The Ondes Martenot takes the place of the organ here. Modal and later tonal compositional techniques in the original version of the "estampie" have been replaced by serialism in Jolivet's "Serimpie," hence the first syllable of the unusual title. Jolivet described the concluding movement in 1930s annotational fashion thusly: ‘After an introduction establishing the dominant mood of controlled suffering in ‘Chant d'oppression,’ the piano plays muffled percussive sounds over which the Ondes emits a plaintive recitative that rises and transforms itself into a true melody. After several attempts to take flight, one of which is particularly violent and distressed, this melody falls back once more and ends in an aggrieved phrase, leaving us with a feeling of resigned contemplation. If this piece deserved interpretation, it would be the following: revolt has but little chance of bringing freedom; and ordeal is only salvation if it is accepted. From a stylistic perspective, this work falls outside any customary formal and compositional conventions."

"Adapted from Georges Hacquard

Although for many years the full suite was performed with the first & second movements reversed, Mr. Harada will present the work in its original state.

Thermal Conductivity

“Is a masterpiece of writing for the Ondes Martenot. Shin-ichro Ikebe (b. 1943) is a distinguished Japanese composer who studied with Akira Miyoshi and has written a large body of music in all media. He wanted to explore the Ondes as an expressive vehicle for contrasting musical lines: hard and soft; short and long; organic and inorganic, as opposed to the Ondes' more conventional use as an analogue to the human voice. I gave the premiere of this solo work at the concert hall of Mito Art Tower in Japan, an hour-long train ride from Tokyo.” "Takashi Harada

Part three of this program includes:

Serenade for Frank Wigglesworth

“Is dated 12 February 1952 and was originally entitled in Esperanto ‘Serenado por Guitaro.’ It was written as part of a letter to a composer friend who was studying guitar at the time. Lou Harrison says, ‘This Serenade for guitar was written for Frank Wigglesworth as part of a private letter to him. I hope, then, that he will not mind my making public a portion of our correspondence!’” "David Tanenbaum

Music for Bill and Me

“Bears the mark ‘Oaxaca-Aptos, 66, 67.’ The work is for William Colvig, the composer's late partner and fellow instrument-builder. Colvig built many of the percussion instruments that have been used in Lou Harrison's music over the years.” "David Tanenbaum

Sonata in Inhartum

“Is transcribed for a work for single harp and is dedicated to Randall Wong. This transcription lowers the pitch by a fifth. The Ishartum mode is the ‘white key’ mode on E, and is the essential flamenco mode. It was first found on a Babylonian cuneiform inscription tuning tablet from the eighteenth century BC.” "David Tanenbaum

A Waltz for Evelyn Hinrichsen

“Was written in 1977 for a publishing project of C.F. Peters entitled ‘The Waltz Project.’ This piece takes the form of an homage to a remarkable woman and friend who used to help me as music librarian when we were both young at Mills College, and who later became the thoughtful, generous, and endearing matriarch of the publishing house of C.F. Peters Edition. "Lou Harrison

Scenes from Nek Chand

“The wonderful sculpture and architecture of Nek Chand, near Chandigarh set me to composing three small pieces in admiration. My friend Dave Scully very kindly lent his richly-toned steel guitar for me to explore for composing...Unlike the classical guitar, the National steel has a cone resonator inside the body that acts as a kind of amplifier. Invented in the late 1920s, the instrument has been revived by National Reso-Phonic which now produces an exotic array of these wonderful instruments." "Lou Harrison


“Is dedicated to Bartholomeu Weise and premiered in the Municipal Theater of Niteroi in 1999. It is part of the ‘Spice Series,’ a group of works named for spices, for different solo instruments, all constructed on the T-System. The external sections are in Tempo Rubato, contrasting with the central section in Tempo Giusto.” "Ricardo Tacuchian

Impulsos No. 2

“Was composed in honor of José Siqueira, my first composition teacher. The premiere occurred in 1997 by Arthur Gouveia and Celso Garcia. In the work I used material from my song “Berimbau”, based on myths from the Amazon.” "Ricardo Tacuchian

Imagem Carioca

“In 1987 I transcribed the piece ‘Imagem Carioca’ (Rio de Janeiro's Images), originally for orchestra, for four guitars. The work has been played on numerous occasions by guitar ensembles in Brazil and Spain, and was premiered in 1987 in Rio at the Villa-Lobos Museum in a special concert commemorating my twenty-fifth anniversary as a composer. The composition suggests the accompanying percussion group at a samba school, with a lyrical middle section. "Ricardo Tacuchian

This part of the tape also includes a couple of performances from the second concert of the Festival held on March 8, 2002. This includes the concluding few minutes of Lou Harrison’s “Trio” for violin, cello, and piano performed by The Harmida Piano Trio, and baritone Tom Buckner performing the first 16 minutes of his and Annea Lockwood’s joint composition “Duende” for baritone and tape.

[Digitized by the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP) supported in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.]

Part 1 of 3:  
Musical Selections:  Suite for Ondes Martenot & Piano: Choral ; Sérénade ; Impromptu ; Etude ; Elégie (1932) (11:00) / Darius Milhaud
Performers:  Takashi Harada, ondes martenot
Hiroko Sakurazawa, piano
Genre:  New Music
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical ; Ondes Martenot and piano music; Electro-acoustic
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Harada, Takashi ; Oliveros, Pauline, 1932-2016; Fullman, Ellen, 1957- ; Tacuchian, Ricardo ; León, Tania; Weston, Randy; Sakurazawa, Hiroko
Recording Date:  3/7/2002
Part 2 of 3:  
Musical Selections:  Poison d'or, for Ondes Martenot & piano (2001) (8:23) / Takashi Harada -- Untitled 1 for Six Ondes, for Ondes Martenot and tape (1996) (2:16) / Takashi Harada -- Feuillets Inéditsm, four pieces for Ondes Martenot and piano (10:26) / Olivier Messiaen [edited by Yvonne Loriod, 1999] -- Trois Poèmes: Ondes ; Serimpie ; Chant d'oppression, for pour Ondes Martenot and piano (1935) (15:30) / André Jolivet -- Thermal Conductivity, for Ondes Martenot (1995) (9:15) / Shin-ichiro Ikebe
Performers:  Takashi Harada, ondes martenot
Hiroko Sakurazawa, piano
Genres:  20th Century Classical; Electro-Acoustic / Electronic
Subject:  20th century classical; Electro-acoustic ; Ondes Martenot and piano music; Sextets (Ondes Martenot (6)); Ondes Martenot music
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Harada, Takashi ; Messiaen, Olivier, 1908-1992; Loriod, Yvonne; Jolivet, André, 1905-1974; Ikebe, Shinʾichirō ; Sakurazawa, Hiroko
Recording Date:  3/7/2002
Part 3 of 3:  
Musical Selections:  Serenade for Frank Wigglesworth, for guitar (1952) (1:52) / Lou Harrison -- Music for Bill and Me, for guitar (1966-7, rev. 1978) (3:07) / Lou Harrison -- Sonata in Ishartum, for guitar (1974) (1:52) / Lou Harrison -- A Waltz for Evelyn Hinrichsen, for guitar (1978) (1:58) / Lou Harrison -- Scenes from Nek Chand: The Leaning Lady ; The Rock Garden ; The Sinuous Arcade With Swings in the Arches, for National steel guitar (2001-02) (10:57) / Lou Harrison [world premiere] -- Páprica, for guitar (1999) (5:46) / Ricardo Tacuchian -- Impulsos No. 2, for guitar duo (1980) (4:36) / Ricardo Tacuchian -- Imagem Carioca (”Rio de Janeiro's Images”), for guitar quartet (1987) (5:47) / Ricardo Tacuchian -- Trio, for violin, cello, and piano [excerpt] (1990) (1:47) / Lou Harrison -- Duende, for baritone and tape [excerpt](1997) (16:00) / Annea Lockwood & Thomas Buckner
Performers:  David Tanenbaum, guitars (all except where noted)
Michael Kudirka, guitar (Impulsos)
Eric Benzant-Feldra, guitar (Impulsos)
The Mexican Guitar Quartet: (Imagem)
Tomás Barreiro, guitar (Imagem)
Santiago Gutierrez Bolio, guitar (Imagem)
Santiago Lascurain, guitar (Imagem)
Rodrigo Placencia, guitar (Imagem)
The Harmida Piano Trio: (Trio)
Dawn Harms, violin (Trio)
Emil Miland, cello (Trio)
Laura Dahl, piano (Trio)
Thomas Buckner, baritone (Duende)
Genre:  20th Century Classical
Subject:  20th century classical; Guitar music; Guitar music (Guitars (2)); Plucked instrument quartets (Guitars (4)), Arranged; Chamber music; Piano trios; Vocalises with electronics
People:  Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003; Tacuchian, Ricardo; Tanenbaum, David; Lockwood, Annea, 1939-; Kudirka, Michael; Benzant-Feldra, Eric; Barreiro, Tomás; Bolio, Santiago Gutierrez; Lascurain, Santiago; Placencia, Rodrigo; Harms, Dawn; Miland, Emil; Dahl, Laura; Buckner, Tom
Recording Date:  3/7/2002


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