Other Minds Festivals ➔ Other Minds Festival: OM 4: Concert 3, 4 of 5

Digital Audio

Event Type
Other Minds
Program Series
Other Minds Festival
Program Length
67 min
4 of 5
| broadcast
| 1997-11-12 | created
Other Minds, Inc., in association with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and with the In Performance Series at the Cowell Theater in Fort Mason Center, presented Other Minds Festival IV at the Cowell Theater, at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, November 10-12, 1997.
The third concert of the 4th Other Minds was held on November 12, 1997, and was preceded by a panel discussion, “Where Is Our Voice Now?”. The participating composers in the discussion included Carl Stone, Mamoru Fujieda, Paul Dresher, Donald Swearingen, Pamela Z, and video artists Visual Brains.
The evening’s concert featured works by Stone, Dresher and Fujieda.


Paul Dresher: RetroDisrespective (1997 - work-in-progress) (United States Premiere)
As is typical of all my solo works where I perform in interaction with live electronics, “RetroDisrespective”
has a structure in which I determine a sequence of sections each defined by the guitar techniques and/or sounds in combination with how the technology is used. Each section is improvised within defined limits and through multiple performances, and the work gradually evolves into a more defined and fixed form - a process that may take 2-3 years. In this case, I began by exploring material from previous works that was then developed or transformed through the resources of the new technology, hence the title. “RetroDisrespective” was premiered in Toronto in late September 1997, and is thus in its initial stages of evolution.

Mamoru Fujieda: Patterns of Plants - The Seventh Collection (1997) (United States Premiere)

Mamoru Fujieda: Patterns of Plants - The Fifth Collection (1996) (San Francisco Premiere)
In the composition of the series “Patterns of Plants”, a system called “PLANTRON” is used for deriving data from plants. A “PLANTRON”, consisting of an electrode attached to the leaf of a plant, an electric potential analyzer, a computer, and a tone generator, was developed by botanist Yuji Dogane to understand relationship between plants and the environment by observing changes in faint electric currents. By converting those electric currents to MIDI data, various melodic patterns are generated. The process of composition of the series involves listening to these patterns very carefully, then laying out interesting ones in a piece.


Paul Dresher: Chorale Times Two (1996-97) from the Concerto for Violin & Electro-Accoustic Band
I have always been rather ambivalent about the concerto form, at least as it has come down to us through the heritage of the late 18th and 19th centuries. The form largely seemed to be expressed in terms of conflict and resolution between the soloist and ensemble and it was often a vehicle for technical display at the expense of other musical values. This was inherently against my basic interest in an equal-voiced or layered contrapuntal approach in forming the relationships between the musicians playing together. In approaching this form I explored different possible relationships, ones tha more honestly reflected both my musical and social perspectives. Thus, in each of the movements, which may be performed as separate works, I have used contrasting models for the instrumental ensemble. In the first movement, “Cage Machine”, it is a rock and roll band; in this second movement, the model is an orchestra; in the third, it is a chamber ensemble.

“Chorale Times Two” incorporates two exceptions in relation to my prior work. These exceptions are the use of chords and of synthesizers, both of which I generally dislike, preferring to create harmony through counterpoint, and electronic sounds with digital sampling and signal processing. However, in the summer of 1994, while composing “Din of Iniquity”, I was experimenting with a Yamaha SY-99 synthesizer and created a synthesizer timbre that intrigued m e sonically and from which kept emerging a simple expanding chord progression. This suggested the kind of core harmonic progressions embodied in Bach chorales, which are often used as models in beginning studies of harmony and voice leading. While the idea had no place in “Din of Iniquity”, it kept hanging around and nagging for attention, which it finally receives in the Concerto. This movement contains two big arcs of harmonic progression, the second one a permutation of the first, hence its title of “Chorale Times Two”.

Carl Stone: Ruen Pair (1993)
The work was written using computer techniques to generate a score, wherein a short piece of 18th-Century music served as the starting point for a variety of operations. I took the original score and subjected it to a variety of transformations, mostly in the domain of pitch and rhythm, which were used to create both the “human” and the computer parts.

About the Composers

Mamoru Fujieda

Mamoru Fujieda, is internationally recognized as one of the outstanding younger composers of modern music. Winner of the 1984 IRINO Prize and a leading figure of Japan's post-minimalism movement Fujieda was born in 1955 and first studied composition at the Tokyo College of Music, then received his Ph.D. in music from University of California, San Diego in 1988. Working with artists such as John Zorn, Yuji Takahashi, and Malcolm Goldstein among others, he composes music that emerges from his fascination with the essentially collaborative formation of music. 

Fujieda has developed methods of composition that depart from the minimalist tradition, charting a new terrain that liberates music from subjectivity by immersing it in a network of relationships. Among his numerous methods, he has pioneered a new structure of composition that he calls "parasitic," since it consists of grafting new material onto a "rhizome" of original melody borrowed from sources such as Bach, Gregorian chant, or medieval secular music. Whether working with the Butoh dancer Setsuko Yamada to produce sound sculptures that emerge from a mutual reaction between the dancer and objects that she touches, or reading the minute electrical currents flowing through an orchid to express nature's undulations, Fujieda's work represents an innovative approach that fuses technology to biology, composer to performer, music to audience.

Paul Dresher

Paul Dresher is an internationally active composer noted for his ability to integrate diverse musical influences into his own coherent and unique personal style. He is pursuing many forms of musical expression, including experimental opera and music theater, chamber and orchestral composition, live instrumental electro-acoustic chamber music performances and scores for theater, dance, and film.

He has received commissions from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, Kronos Quartet, San Francisco Symphony, Walker Arts Center, and American Music Theater Festival. He has performed or had his works performed throughout North America, Asia and Europe. Venues have included the Munich State Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Festival d’Automne in Paris, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, the Minnesota Opera, Arts Summit Indonesia ‘95, Festival Interlink in Japan, and five New Music America Festivals. His evening-length collaboration with choreographer Margaret Jenkins, The Gates, premiered at Jacob’s Pillow and opened the 1994 Serious Fun Festival at Lincoln Center. He recently premiered OutaWak, a dance theater collaboration with ODC/San Francisco for young audiences.

As Artistic Director of the Paul Dresher Ensemble, he has guided the creation of the “American Trilogy”, a set of music theater works that address different facets of American culture, in collaboration with writer/performer Rinde Eckert. The trilogy began with Slow Fire (1985-88), developed with Power Failure (1988-89) and was completed in 1990 with Pioneer, a collaboration that includes visual artist Terry Allen, actress Jo Harvey Allen, tenor John Duykers and director Robert Woodruff.

Dresher is a fellow in the Asia Pacific Performance Exchange at UCLA where he is collaborating with Chinese director and singer Chen Shi Zheng in the creation of an experimental opera/dance theater work The Myth of The Hero. This work, performed by virtuoso artists from Indonesia, India, China, Korea and America, explores the power of traditional mythologies in shaping our present world views and questions how contemporary mythologies interact with these ancient cultural foundations.

Recordings of his works are available on the Lovely Music, New World, Music and Arts, O.O. Discs, BMG/Catalyst, Starkland and New Albion labels. Dresher received his BA in Music from UC Berkeley and his MA in Composition from UC San Diego where he studied with Robert Erickson, Roger Reynolds, Pauline Oliveros and Bernard Rands. He has had a long time interest in the music of Asia and Africa studying Ghanian drumming with C.K. and Kobla Ladzekpo, Hindustani classical music with Nikhil Banerjee as well as Balinese and Javanese music.

Carl Stone 

Carl Stone, born in Los Angeles and now living in San Francisco, was a former student of Morton Subotnick and James Tenney at the California Institute of the Arts and has composed electro-acoustic music exclusively since 1972. Hailed by the Village Voice as “one of the best composers working in the country today,” his works have been performed across the country and throughout the world. His most recent tour in Japan included concert, radio and television appearances. 

A winner of numerous awards for his compositions, including the Freeman Award for the work Hop Ken, Stone was also the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant for his radiophonic composition Se Jong. Stone’s music has been used by numerous choreographers including Bill T. Jones, Ping Chong, June Watanabe, Katsuko Orita & Blondell Cummings. Collaborations include those with Yuji Takahashi, Setsuko Yamada, Kazue Sawai, Aki Takahashi, Kuniko Kisanuki, Michiko Akao, Rudy Perez, Stelarc, Z’ev, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, Tosha Meisho, Yoshihide Otomo, Hae Kyung Lee, Min Xiao-Fen and Mineko Grimmer.

Stone is Director of Meet the Composer/California, and a former Music Director of KPFK-fm in Los Angeles. He currently hosts a weekly program on KPFA, as well as makes regular appearances on radio in Japan. Recordings of Stone’s music can be found on New Albion, CBS Sony, Toshiba-EMI, EAM Discs, Wizard Records, Trigram, T:ME/EM:T and New Tone labels.

About the Performers

Rae Imamura is a graduate of UC Berkeley and received and M.F.A. in piano performance from Mills College, Oakland, as a student of Bernhardt Abramowitsch. While at Mills she performed works of the many innovative composers at the Center for Contemporary Music. In 1975 she co-founded a new music ensemble whose repertoire included such composers as John Cage, Robert Ashley, Lou Harrison, Terry Riley, John Adams, and Paul Dresher. She later joined the Arch Ensemble for Experimental Music. She has concertized, solo and ensemble, in Europe, Japan, and the United States. In 1994 she completed a three-year project for the Buddhist Churches of America, producing a new edition of Shin Buddhist gathas (vocal and instrumental music) in both printed and recorded formats.

In addition to guitarist/keyboardist/Artistic Director Paul Dresher, The Paul Dresher Ensemble consists of some of California’s finest musicians of contemporary music. Keyboardist Phil Aaberg has been a part of the San Francisco Bay Area new music scene since 1974, where he began working working with Paul Dresher in 1976. He tours extensively as a solo pianist and has recorded on well over a hundred albums including seven of his own. Violinist Craig Fry, a member of the Paul Dresher ensemble since 1990, also performs regularly with several Bay Area world and jazz groups, specializing in Klezmer music and performing vintage jazz of the 20’s and 30’s with the Speakeasy String Quartet. Bassoonist Paul Hanson’s repertoire includes jazz, rhythm and blues, Eastern European folk music, contemporary classical, and electronic music. Hanson has two solo CDs and has appeared on recordings with Paul McCandless, Billy Childs, Phil Aaberg, Peter Apfelbaum, and Billy Higgins. One of the foremost percussionists of the new music world, Amy Knoles tours globally, performing solo interactive computer music with a program of computer assisted electronic drums. She has commissioned a repertoire of pieces that explore the diversity of today’s new music. Percussionist Gene Reffkin has performed with contemporary an classical music ensembles in New England, New York and California, and since moving to the San Francisco area, he has played with new music groups as well as many country & western, blues and rock bands.

[Notes from the original printed program.]
Electro-Acoustic / Electronic
Chamber music
Musical Selections
Chorale Times Two [2nd movement of “Concerto for Violin & Electro-Acoustic Band”] (1996-97) (10:24) / Paul Dresher
The Paul Dresher Ensemble:
Phil Aaberg, electronic keyboard
Paul Dresher, electric guitar and keyboard
Craig Fry, violin
Paul Hanson, bassoon
Amy Knoles, electronic percussion
Gene Reffkin, electronic percussion
Concertos (Violin with instrumental ensemble)
Sextets (Electronic keyboard, bassoon, electric guitar, mallet controller, electronics, violin)