Charles Amirkhanian Collection ➔ Composer-to-Composer Festival: Day 4 Discussions, John Lifton and Pamela Z (July 11, 1991)

Digital Audio

Event Type
Lectures and Panel Discussions
C Amirkhanian
Program Series
Composer-to-Composer Festival
Program Length
99 min
| broadcast
| 1991-07-11 | created
The first composers’ session on July 11, 1991 during the Composer to Composer Festival in Telluride Colorado. John Lifton (also co-founder of the festival) and Pamela Z present some of their latest works..

John Lifton begins by playing “Packet Song” from his one act opera “Harry Houdini and the False and True Occult”, followed by an excerpt from his work “Neptune Comes to Hopi”, followed by a live rendition of “Love Song for Unaccompanied Parrot”, and “The Seance of Harry Houdini”, also from Harry Houdini and the False and True Occult.

He then answers questions from the composers about his influences and current projects.

After the presentation Lifton passes out information for safe viewing of the solar eclipse that was happening later that morning.

Charles Amirkhanian introduces Pamela Z for her presentation.

Pamela begins by explaining that a major aspect of her music is performance based and best consumed live.

She does a live performance of “Badagada” for voice and electronics, followed by a recording of “Heh Zahna” for voice and image writer (the title of the piece being based on the sounds of the image writer). Next is “Trying to Reach You”, a work commissioned by New American Radio in 1990, and we hear a short excerpt of the thirty minute work. Next is “SaMaNaNo” a work for voice and electronics in collaboration with Donald Swearingen, and lastly she performs a Christmas work composed for the Out of Hiding recital series in San Francisco.

She then answers questions from the composers and shows off some extended percussion techniques. She also talks about her use of form, typical live performance venue, how her equipment affects her pitch material and rhythm, and her background in music.

(During Pamela Z’s presentation there is a solar eclipse taking place)

The last eight minutes of the recording has Charles Amirkhanian and the composers discussing the plan for the concert that will take place later that evening.

Note: Audio levels are high and sometimes overblown during playback of recorded music or live performances.
Art songs
Electro-Acoustic / Electronic
Musical Selections
Packet Song [excerpt, from Harry Houdini and the False and True Occult] (3:19) -- [excerpt from Neptune Comes to Hopi] (1987) (7:10) -- Love Song for Unaccompanied Parrot [from Harry Houdini and the False and True Occult] (2:13) -- The Séance of Harry Houdini [from Harry Houdini and the False and True Occult] (5:42) / John Lifton -- Badagada (1988) (3:18) -- Heh Zahna (1991) (7:20) -- Trying to Reach You [excerpt] (1989) (5:44) -- SaMaNaNo (2:56) -- [a Christmas Song] (6:00) / Pamela Z
Rosalind Horsington, soprano (Packet Song)
John Lifton, baritone and counter-tenor (Neptune Comes...) ; voice (Love Song...)
Unidentified performers (The Séance of Harry Houdini)
Pamela Z, voice and electronics (Badagada, Heh Zana, Christmas song)
Vocalises with electronics
Sampling (Sound)
Mixed media (Music)
Digitized with support from the National Recording Preservation Foundation, The Copland Fund, and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections.