Other Minds Festivals ➔ Other Minds Festival: OM 1: Composer’s Forum, Nov. 5, 1993

Digital Audio

Event Type
Lectures and Panel Discussions
Other Minds
Program Series
Other Minds Festival
Program Length
109 min
1993-11-05 | broadcast
| 1993-11-05 | created
The first Other Minds Festival of New Music, held in 1993 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, included this Composer’s Forum, in which almost all the composers featured in the Festival participated. Moderated by Charles Amirkhanian, the director of Other Minds, this panel discussion included Robert Ashley, Trimpin, Meredith Monk, Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe, Tom Buckner, Jon Jang, Jai Uttal, Barbara Monk Feldman, and Foday Musa Suso. Conlon Nancarrow was ill and could not attend.
Robert Ashley introduces an as of then unreleased recording of the prologue of his opera eL/Aficionado, which takes as its text a personal ad, giving it perhaps greater distribution than originally imagined by the anonymous seeker of romance. Tom Buckner then talks about the reasons behind his recent move to New York City after a productive career as both vocalist, record producer, and concert producer in the Bay Area, before introducing an excerpt from a free improvisation he created with Tom Hamilton, Ratzo Harris, and Bruce Arnold. Barbara Monk Feldman discusses her fascination with instrumental color and time and how the visual arts influences her compositions, before playing an excerpt from her “Variations” for string quartet and chorus. Philip Glass then talks about his recent collaboration with Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, “ Hydrogen Jukebox,“ as well as his decision to be the publisher of all his own music, which he states is currently the only way a composer can make a good living. Jon Jang then plays an excerpt from “The Color of Reality” a work in five movements each commemorating an Asian immigrant story in America and which blend the sounds of traditional Chinese melodies and American jazz. Also heard is one of Conlon Nancarrow’s early boogie-woogie works for player piano the “Study No. 3a.”
The panel continues with Meredith Monk discussing her experience at the pre-concert gathering of all the featured composers at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, CA., before introducing an excerpt from her opera “Atlas” that highlights some of the hocketing techniques of her vocal ensemble. Foday Musa Suso talks about his Gambian heritage and how his direct relative invented the kora the 21 string instrument on which he displays his proficiency with recording of a recent composition. Trimpin then demonstrates Ringo a percussion sound sculpture which incorporates marimba and vibraphone bars, furniture legs and other objects that are struck by a computer controlled mallet. Julia Wolfe then presents an excerpt of her work for 16 instruments, “The Vermeer Room,’ recorded live by the the Nouvel Ensemble moderne at one of Wolfe’s famous Bang On A Can concerts. The event ends with multi-instrumentalist and composer Jai Uttal talking about his study with the the Bauls, the wandering street musicians of Bengal.
New music
Musical Selections
eL/Aficionado, an opera [excerpt from the prologue] (1987) (4:01) / Robert Ashley -- [free improvisation, excerpt] (ca. 1993) (2:36) -- Variations, for string quartet and chorus [excerpt, text by Ludwig Wittgenstein] (1987) (3:06) / Barbara Monk Feldman -- Father Death Blues [excerpt from the musical theater work “Hydrogen Jukebox,” text by Allen Ginsberg] (1990) (4:43) / Philip Glass -- The Color of Reality, for suona, tenor saxophone, flute, double bass, percussion, guzheng, and piano [excerpt from “Lily and Vincent Chin” movement] (1993) (1:35) / Jon Jang -- Study No. 3a, for player piano (3:17) / Conlon Nancarrow -- Atlas: Explorers Junctures, an opera [excerpt] (1991) (2:41) / Meredith Monk -- Rock-O-Rama, for solo kora (ca. 1993) (6:16) / Foday Musa Suso -- [demonstration of the Ringo, a percussion ensemble sound sculpture] (2:41) / Trimpin -- The Vermeer Room, for instrumental ensemble [excerpt] (1989) (2:12) / Julia Wolfe -- Monkey [excerpt] (ca. 1992) (1:53) / Jai Uttal
Tom Buckner, voice (eL ; free)
Thomas Hamilton, synthesizer (free)
Ratzo B. Harris, bass (free)
Bruce Arnold, electric guitar (free)
Koor Nieuwe Muziek (Variations)
The Philip Glass Ensemble: (Father)
Elizabeth Futral, soprano (Father)
Michèle Eaton, soprano (Father)
Mary Ann Hart, mezzo-soprano (Father)
Richard Fracker, tenor (Father)
Gregory Purnhagen, baritone (Father)
Nathaniel Watson, baritone (Father)
Martin Goldray, conductor (Father)
Liu Qichao, suona (Color)
David Murray, tenor saxophone (Color)
James Newton, flute (Color)
Jeff Chambers, double bass (Color)
Anthony Brown, percussion (Color)
Zhang Yan, guzheng (Color)
Jon Jang, piano (Color)
Dana Hanchard, voice (Atlas)
Allison Easter, voice (Atlas)
Thomas Bogdan, voice (Atlas)
Shi-Zheng Chen, voice (Atlas)
Stephen Kalm, voice (Atlas)
Ching Gonzalez, voice (Atlas)
Meredith Monk, voice (Atlas)
Foday Musa Suso, kora (Rock)
Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Vermeer)
Lorraine Vaillancourt, conductor (Vermeer)
Pagan Love Orchestra: (Monkey)
New music
Operas -- Excerpts
Improvisation (Music)
Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices) with string quartet
Player piano music
Kora music
Sound sculpture
Percussion ensembles
Instrumental ensembles
World beat (Music)
Music -- India
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.