Other Minds Festivals ➔ Other Minds Festival: OM 16: Panel Discussion & Concert 3, 3 of 7

Digital Audio

Event Type
Other Minds
Program Series
Other Minds Festival
Program Length
125 min
3 of 7
| broadcast
| 2011-03-05 | created
As always, the third concert of the 16th Other Minds Festival of New Music (OM 16), held on March 5, 2011, commenced with an engaging panel discussion moderated by Charles Amirkhanian. Joining Charles on stage are the concert’s featured composers, Jason Moran, Louis Andriessen, and Kyle Gann. Moran begins the discussion with a description of how his latest work was inspired by an old LP about African American slang and his own interest in contemporary jazz slang. Andriessen then introduces his works with the admission that he had always had problems writing for classically trained singers and string players, feeling that they were too romantic for his type of music. A difficulty that was only solved when he met the two Italian musicians featured in this concert. Finally, Kyle Gann talks about his collection of musical scores as well as touching upon how the subject of psychotherapy and the illusory nature of time provided the inspiration for his featured work.


Louis Andriessen’s “Xenia” consists of three contrasting parts. Part I, Sarabande, is a slow movement, one of serene composure. Caccia is the second part, quick in tempo: a chase. The poet Rimbaud’s words are central to the last part, Song.

Passeggiata in Tram in America e Ritorno

“Passeggiata in Tram in America e Ritorno” (”A Trolley Ride to America and Back”) was written in 1999. The score consists of a short "ouverture" for keyboard and a song for jazz singer, violin and ensemble. The text originates from the poem in prose by Dino Campana bearing the same name. It was the Italian singer Cristina Zavalloni who first introduced Louis Andriessen to the impressive “Canti Orfici” (”Orphic Songs”) by the poet Dino Campana (1885–1932). He composed” Passeggiata in Tram in America e Ritorno” for her. The singer is accompanied by a concertante violin part of "trembling violin with electric strings" and a brass ensemble or piano reduction. - Monica Germino

Letter from Cathy

When I studied composition with Luciano Berio in the early sixties in Milan, I also rehearsed and performed concerts and radio recordings with Cathy Berberian, who was at that time married to Berio. Then, one year ago, Cristina Zavalloni asked me to compose a song for her for the Berberian project of I Teatri. Cristina, for whom I had already written several other pieces, is the first singer I've met since Cathy Berberian who has the same musicality and flexibility, and who is able to cross over the borders of different singing styles. Therefore I decided to read through my ca. 30 letters and postcards I kept from Cathy Berberian, to find a good text for the piece. I chose the letter in which Cathy tells about her meeting with Stravinsky (who speaks French in this letter) where he decided to make a version for her of Elegy for J. F. Kennedy. Although some parts of the letter are somewhat personal and, you might say, touching, I decided to use the letter in its unabridged form. - Louis Andriessen, May 2003

Time Does Not Exist

Rhythmically, a lot of my music involves a paradigm in which repeating melodies of different lengths run out of phase with each other, creating textures that are static, meditative, yet never literally repetitive. “Time Does Not Exist” is a tour de force of the technique. The piece is about therapy, conceived as the spiraling inward path described by James Hillman, in which one keeps traversing the same territory, only a little different each time. The opening linear monologue gets broken into fragments which swirl against each other in various types of nonsynchronously repetitive texture. A rather neurotic attempt toward the end to reassert a directional continuity fails, and that failure leads to acceptance. "In the unconscious," Freud said, "time does not exist." The pieces is gratefully dedicated to Joseph Bakst Zahm (1944-99) in memoriam. – Kyle Gann, from liner notes to Private Dances


Pianist and composer Jason Moran wrote this piece specifically for this concert. Joined by his vocalist wife and members of his jazz ensemble, Moran explores the world of African American and Jazz slang, often incorporating samples from LPs and old recordings into an energetic and engaging performance.

Notes: “Xenia” was commissioned by the Manchester International Violin Competition; "Slang" was commissioned by Other Minds with support from The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and from Chamber Music America: Presenting Jazz.

Louis Andriessen is presented with the support of the Consulate General of the Netherlands; Cristina Zavalloni is presented with the support of l'Istituto Italiano di Cultura.
20th century classical
Musical Selections
Passeggiata in Tram in America e Ritorno (”A Trolley Ride to America and Back”), for voice, piano, and violin [text by Dino Campana] (1999) (7:32) / Louis Andriessen
Cristina Zavalloni, voice
Eric Zivian, piano
Monica Germino, violin
21st century classical
Avant-garde (Music)
New music
Songs (Medium voice) with instrumental ensemble