Other Minds Festival:
OM 8: Concert 3 (video)

Item Type: Video Duration: 182 min
Event Type: Lecture / Panel Discussion Program Origin: Other Minds

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The first part of this program begins with the concluding performance from the second concert of the OM 8 Festival held on March 8, 2002. The composition is “Quintuplets Play Pen: Homage to Ruth Crawford,” a piano piece by Pauline Oliveros, performed by Sarah Cahill. The piece was conceived mathematically using a 10 X 10 matrix of choices and is described by Cahill as “a playful polyrhythmic dance.” Then as a tribute to the late Leo Ornstein, Cahill performs his “Morning in the Woods” as a special encore. The third concert of OM 8 Festival, held on March 9, 2002, then begins with:

Stratified Bands: Last Kind Words

Changing perspective

Drifting Areas

The Mississippi River

Never gets out of me

If I get killed #1

When you see me coming

And, if I don't bring you flowers

If I get killed #2

Looked up at the stars


When I first met David Harrington in 1996, he asked me to listen to Last Kind Words, a delta blues song recorded by Geeshie Wiley in 1930. This song has haunted me ever since. David told me my instrument sounded like the blues to him. I work in just intonation, a natural tuning system using small number proportionate relationships. The naturally occurring seventh partial in the harmonic series is flatter than

the seven in equal temperament. This interval is known to musicians as the "blues seven"... The middle section, Drifting Areas, is a series of seven "songs", each built around the mood of the chord and based on one of the vocal phrases from Last Kind Words. One chord melts into the next, some pitches remaining the same. The middle five sections use a tuning system that composer Harry Partch would call seven limit Otonality. The pitches are generated from multiplication, the overtone series is included in this pitch set. The first two and last two sections use pitches that are generated by division, Partch's Utonality; you can think of it as a mirror image mathematically from the overtone series, or the "undertone" series. In the overtone series, you can hear the "upness" of tones stacking on top of themselves; utonality seems to be oozing downward."Ellen Fullman

The composition and world premiere presentation of this work made possible by a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. Construction of the Long String Instrument was accomplished with the assistance of the staff of The Exploratorium.

The second part of this program continues with:


Is a quiet and dramatic work is based on a continuous four-mallet, then eight-mallet roll on the marimba, colored by sound from a quartz bowl gong tuned in F. The bowl gong sits on the keys of the marimba, setting up beat frequencies which are gently amplified and provide a haunting atmospheric effect. The second player employs two tam-tams, one of which is "prepared" with hanging ping pong balls and other objects, which vibrate gently when excited. Both the tam-tams are bowed as well. “Immersion” was composed for keyboard percussionist Dominic Donato. "Annea Lockwood

Estruturas Gêmeas

Is one in a series of eight "Structures" pieces, unified by the sounds of modern music of this period, such as cluster tones, atonality, indeterminacy, experimentation with new ways of writing, as well as new sounds on conventional instruments. This work, translated as Twin Structures, was premiered in Brazil by Paoulo Affonso de Moura Ferreira and Maria Angelica Ketterer. This work has already been performed in Argentina, Paraguay, the United States, and Spain, and is often performed by Brazilian piano duos. I composed it in memory of Esther Scliar, soon after her death. I decided to place two pianists side by side, as if they were twins, feeling at that moment a spiritual twin of Esther's, myself.

"Ricardo Tacuchian

The third part of the program continues with:

Arenas d'un Tiempo (”Sands of Time”)

Was inspired by the beaches that I could see from my hotel room during a stay in Río de Janeiro. The motions and gestures of the piece were suggested by the striking change in the appearance of a beach's sand when the wind disturbs its tranquility and re-forms the sand into a pattern of ripples. "Tania León


Exists on many levels-along the lines of a multi-dimensional checkerboard. The simplicity of a song is mirrored by a solo instrument as the center of a musical universe, along with a multiplicity of harmonic and rhythmic cells orbiting around its core. The texts all are by Cuban writers, and the music was premiered by baritone Thomas Buckner, who commissioned it. "Tania León

The fourth part of the program continues with:

African Cookbook

African Sunrise

The Shrine

African Rhythms quintet performs new and classic works by Randy Weston, music which, according to Robin D.G. Kelley, New York Times jazz critic and NYU African Studies professor, "…pushes the African rhythms to the foreground and always tries to work within a framework true to the source, whether it's the West African dance music called highlife or sacred songs from Morocco. These forms fit seamlessly in a jazz context precisely because, in Mr. Weston's words, ‘the music that is called jazz ... for me is really an extension of African culture.'" Hearing African Rhythms is like, "witnessing a joyous, sacred ceremony." "Amanda Piasecki

“Their set began with the very powerful and evocative "African Cookbook", from the band's 1991 album The Spirit of Our Ancestors, which gets its juice and its resplendence from Weston's completely thought-out yet deeply felt, and thrillingly voiced chords. These are frequently parallel, and Weston makes them sound either monumental or lyrically delicate, without the slightest show of strain. There was a world of nuance here, and the band contributed beautifully gauged sonorities to the total affect. Other numbers in the set were just as impressive, especially "The Shrine", from African Rhythms' CD Khephera, which is based on a mysterious blues-redolent figure from Weston's piano; and T.K. Blue's solo flute added to the primeval effect of this great tune. The set also included deeply poetic versions of "African Sunrise " (c. 1989, but probably composed much earlier ), which Weston wrote for Dizzy Gillespie and Machito, and Bobby Benson's seductively rhythmic "Niger Mambo." He also played his festival-commissioned piece, "Blues For Langston Hughes", which he wrote to observe the centenary of the poet's death, and to honor his personal friendship with him. Weston also dedicated it to his actor friend Mel Stewart (1929-2002), who has impersonated the role of the writer, and died this February. The composer performed this short, delicate, and deeply moving piece as a duet with bassist Alex Blake. And the audience, realizing, that the whole set was, to put it mildly, one from the heart, went crazy. This, obviously, was music for a reason, and a fitting end to an evening of blues of all kinds.” "Michael McDonagh (from

The fifth and last part of the program continues with two more performances by Randy Weston African Rhythms Quintet:

Blues for Langston Hughes

Niger Mambo

[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 5:  
Musical Selections:  Quintuplets Play Pen: Homage to Ruth Crawford, for piano (2001) (3:42) / Pauline Oliveros -- Morning in the Woods, for piano (1971) (6:11) / Leo Ornstein -- Stratified Bands: Last Kind Words (2001-02) (28:20) / Ellen Fullman [world premiere]
Performers:  Sarah Cahill, piano (Quintuplets ; Morning)
Ellen Fullman, long string instrument (Stratified)
Kronos Quartet: (Stratified)
David Harrington, violin (Stratified)
John Sherba, violin (Stratified)
Hank Dutt, viola (Stratified)
Jennifer Culp, cello (Stratified)
Genre:  New Music
Subject:  New music; Music theory -- Mathematics; Piano music; String quartet with long string instrument; Just intonation; Microtonal music; Stringed instrument music
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles ; Oliveros, Pauline, 1932-2016; Ornstein, Leo, 1892 or 3-2002; Fullman, Ellen, 1957-; Cahill, Sarah; Harrington, David (Violinist); Sherba, John ; Dutt, Hank ; Culp, Jennifer
Recording Date:  3/9/2002
Part 2 of 5:  
Musical Selections:  Immersion, for quartz bowl gong, tam-tam, and prepared tam-tam (1998) (11:11) / Annea Lockwood -- Estruturas Gêmeas (”Twin Structures”), for piano four hands (1978) (10:31) / Ricardo Tacuchian [U. S. premiere] --
Performers:  Other Minds Ensemble: (Immersion)
William Winant, percussion (Immersion)
Ches Smith, percussion (Immersion)
Continuum: (Estruturas)
Joel Sachs, piano (Estruturas)
Cheryl Seltzer, piano (Estruturas)
Genre:  New Music
Subject:  New music; Percussion ensembles; Tam-tam music; Piano music (4 hands)
People:  Lockwood, Annea, 1939-; Tacuchian, Ricardo; Winant, William; Smith, Ches; Sachs, Joel; Seltzer, Cheryl
Recording Date:  3/9/2002
Part 3 of 5:  
Musical Selections:  Arenas d'un tiempo (”Sands of Time”), for clarinet, cello, and piano (1992) (12:04) / Tania León -- Canto: Cinco [text by Maya Islas] ; Atadercer en el Trópico [text by José Triana] ; Canción de Cuna [text by Iraida Iturralde] ; Epitalamio [text by José Kozer] ; XXIV [text by Alina Galiano], for baritone, clarinet, cello, marimba, and piano (2000) (14:59) / Tania León
Performers:  Continuum: (Sands ; Canto)
David Gresham, clarinet (Sands ; Canto)
Kristina Reiko Cooper, cello (Sands ; Canto)
Cheryl Seltzer, piano (Sands ; Canto)
Tom Kolor, marimba (Canto)
Joel Sachs, conductor (Canto)
Thomas Buckner, baritone (Canto)
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Chamber music; Trios (Piano, clarinet, cello); Art songs; Song cycles; Songs (Medium voice) with instrumental ensemble
People:  León, Tania; Islas, Maya; Triana, José, 1931-; Iturralde, Iraida; Kozer, José; Galiano, Alina ; Gresham, David; Cooper, Kristina Reiko; Seltzer, Cheryl; Kolor, Thomas; Sachs, Joel ; Buckner, Tom
Recording Date:  3/9/2002
Part 4 of 5:  
Musical Selections:  African Cookbook, for jazz ensemble (ca. 1991) (24:09) / Randy Weston -- African Sunrise, for jazz ensemble (c. 1989) (14:53) / Randy Weston -- The Shrine, for jazz ensemble (1998) (12:54) / Randy Weston
Performers:  African Rhythms:
Randy Weston, piano
T.K. Blue, saxophone & flute
Benny Powell, trombone
Alex Blake, bass
Neil Clark, African percussion
Genre:  Jazz
Subject:  Jazz
People:  Weston, Randy; Benson, Bobby, 1922-1983 ; Kibwe, Talib; Blue, T.K. (pseudonym); Powell, Benny; Blake, Alex; Clark, Neil
Recording Date:  3/9/2002
Part 5 of 5:  
Musical Selections:  Blues for Langston Hughes, for piano and bass (2002) (7:10) / Randy Weston -- Niger Mambo, for jazz ensemble (ca. 1950s) (6:02) / Bobby Benson
Performers:  African Rhythms:
Randy Weston, piano
T.K. Blue, saxophone & flute
Benny Powell, trombone
Alex Blake, bass
Neil Clark, African percussion
Genre:  Jazz
Subject:  Jazz
People:  Weston, Randy; Kibwe, Talib; Blue, T.K. (pseudonym); Powell, Benny; Blake, Alex; Clark, Neil
Recording Date:  3/9/2002


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