Oakland Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra playing around the Bay Area

Jewel Encrusted Butterfly Wing Explosions by Robert Moran

Digital Moving Image

Event Type
Interview and Music
Bob Hughes
Program Length
33 min
| broadcast
| 402 | created
This is a rare video recording of Robert Moran’s groundbreaking “Jewel Encrusted Butterfly Wing Explosions” which was commissioned and performed by the Youth Chamber Orchestra of the Oakland Symphony in 1968, and aired on KQED -TV of San Francisco. During the preparation of the performance, we hear Charles Shere interview composer Robert Moran, in which he discusses the partially aleatoric score which calls on the performers to musically interpret an experimental film by Rick Paup and Jack Agins. The performance was conducted by Robert Hughes, who recollects: "...We took the work on tour, including at the National Music Educators' Convention in Seattle and, following the performance, the work was loudly booed while the ‘educators’ swooped to the stage to gobble up as many programs as they could to take home with them. I even received a letter c.10 years later from a Midwest educator saying he had to 'get it off his chest' and tell me how awful the experience was for him and how detrimental it would have been for his students if he had exposed them to it!" Robert Moran also adds: “There was one letter from somewhere, a mother who wrote Hughes: "My child plays viola in a youth orchestra and if I had known that such a work like this would be performed, I would refuse to let my child participate and would stop her work with the viola". The work, however has withstood the critical depredations of its times and now stands as a testament to the adventurousness and vitality of avant-garde music in the late 20th century, with its collected cacophony appearing almost quaint to more modern ears.
New music
Electro-Acoustic / Electronic
Musical Selections
Jewel Encrusted Butterfly Wing Explosions, for string quartet with variable tuners, horn quartet, string orchestra, soloists, tempo regulator, environmental light projector, pre-recorded tape, and film (22:53) (1968) / Robert Moran
Youth Chamber Orchestra of the Oakland Symphony:
Robert Hughes, conductor
First Violin:
William Bouton - Concertmaster, Pleasant Hill High School (HS)
Ron Relic - Alhambra HS
David Cann - Skyline HS
Karin Deming - Athenian School
Erica Radner - Berkeley HS
Barbara Bissell - Mt. Diablo HS
Loris Davanzo - Oakland Technical HS
Gelon Lau - Oakland HS
Second Violin:
Rae Anne Goldberg - Piedmont HS
Michael Harrison - Pacific HS
Renata Olshausen - Claremont HS
Kathleen Glazier - Pleasant HS
Brenda Campbell - Pleasant HS
Philip Ballou - Garfield Junior HS
Janet Anderson - Foothill Intermediate School
Rodney Gehrke - St. Peters Lutheran School
Gerald Chappell - Oakland Technical HS
Paul Siegel - Skyline HS
Pamela Susskind - Anna Head School
Robin Lyness - Berkeley HS
Fannie Burleigh - Castlemont HS
Eleanor Nishi - Berkeley HS
Margaret Rosegay - Lowell HS
Peter Barshay - Berkeley HS
Lawrence Granger - Arroyo HS
Stephen Peirson - Hayward HS
Garfield Moore - Berkeley HS
Michele Miland - Alameda HS
Tm Imley - Athenian School
Robert Lumb - Campolindo HS
Anna Maria Scott - San Ramon HS
Stephanie Lenway - El Cerrito HS
Flute and Piccolo:
Diva Goodfriend-Koven - Berkeley HS
Elisa London, San Leandro HS
Oboe and English Horn:
Dorothy Isaacson - Oakland Technical HS
Bruce Gordon - El Cerrito HS
Paul Baren - Las Lomas HS
Barclay Anderson - Skyline HS
William Tull - Lowell HS
Harold Holt - Castro Valley HS
Maryll Redlingschafer - Clayton Valley HS
French Horn:
Robert Munk - El Cerrito HS
Grant Jeffers - Skyline HS
Lea Merrick - Berkeley HS
Ann Castle - Canyon HS
Jack Sadey - Castlemont HS
Jerry Schlegel - Richmond HS
Robert Shelby - Del Valle HS
Peter Tomita - Oakland Technical HS
Helen Rifas
Peter Logan - Berkeley HS
Kathy Perkins
New music
Electronic music
Aleatory music
Mixed media (Music)
Orchestral music