NEW LANGTON ARTS 1986. (CATALOG) [audio arts excerpts]
JAY CLOIDT, MARINA LAPALMA. Concert: Feb 22
Composers Jay Cloidt and Marina LaPalma each presented solo work and performed together with IXNA.
IXNA included Cloidt, keyboard and tape; LaPalma, vocals, Paul Flowerman, guitars; Gene Reffkin, Simmons drums; Mark Trayle, guitar and electronics; Sarah Willner, viola and bass; William Winant, percussion; and Harry Gilbert, cello. Other contributors were Laura Turner, Laetitia DeCompiegne, K. Atchley, Roxanne Merryfield, Bob Lyons, and Jan Hawley.
Marina LaPalma's animated performance style incorporated movement and interesting gestures with her quirky lyricism (often utilizing cliches from commonplace conversation set to synthesizer music). Jay Cloidt remained seated playing keyboards, or holding a tapeplayer to a microphone; occasionally gave musical direction, introduced a piece, or mugged drolly to the audience. The music ranged from intense to bouncy to haunting, with a full sound that spanned a breadth of styles and characteristics.
HOW THEY MAKE HAWAIIAN MUSIC. Improvisational Music Series. March 22.
The ensemble of How They Make Hawaiian Music consists of J.A. Deane, trombonelectronics and percussion, Neil Kaku, electric bass, acoustic bass, tenor & baritone violin; Terry Rolleri, electric & acoustic guitar; and Colleen Mulvihill, dance and movement.
HTMHM performed in different configurations (solos, duets, trios, or group improvisations) investigating relationships of movement and sound in space.
"One could call this music an urban dream theory. Yet it draws on innumerable sources to create a new acoustic music which is a summation and bridge between electronic and more traditional musics. Sculptural sound or sonic architectural concepts are the building blocks by which an industrial strength sonority is hammered, chiseled, blasted and constructed. The tonal texture of the group evokes a surprisingly large orchestral sound." HTMHM
Most of the performance space was commanded by Mulvihill and used for her movement and props. She entered wearing a box head and improvised movement that incorporated a folding chair and architectural aspects of the room. In a later piece she performed on a structure of parallel bars with small platforms, a series of movements that were counterpointed not only by the music, but by the mirroring and shadowing of a film of this same piece being projected on the wall behind her. Deane's versatility on trombone was notable as he played in the traditional sense, played trombone as a percussive instrument, and played like a dancer himself, incorporating his own fresh movement style.
ELMA MAYER, BRIAN WOODBURY, ERLING WOLD. Concert/Performance. June 28.
This evening of three composers' work was presented in separate segments for each. These former collaborators, whose work varied widely, shared an interest in the use of absurd text, lyrics and props.
Elma Mayer performed "Bends", a song cycle consisting of 9 parts, for voice, keyboard, and digital-concrete sources. Her quirky and engaging lyrics gave her work a satisfying adroitness, though she frequently dealt with light-minded and giddy subjects.
Erling Wold (along with Tom Deering, Lynn Murdock, Everett Shock, and Gay White) presented a group of musical pieces from two large-scale theatrical works, "Baron Ochs' and "The Islamic Republic of Las Vegas". Both of these were mixtures of religious nonsense, historical figures, overheard conversations and "near automatic" writing by Wold and Shock. Wold has described his music as being his reaction to many of the trends in the 20th century music.
"I worry constantly about something Gerard Grisey said to me: 'Our ancestors confused the map for the territory.' Although he was speaking of the way Classical and Romantic composers confused notes for sound, this complaint could just as easily be leveled at composers who are more interested in concept or structure than sound. In fact, I would say that even the sound is less important than the effect, the representation of the work which exists in the listener's mind and body. To gain control over this, one must use the entire language of music available, be very aware of the feelings which develop in one's own body, use systems which give you complete control over all aspects of the sound, and, maybe most importantly, play at high enough volume to shut out all other effects." E.W.
Brian Woodbury premiered "Harangue", an "extended song form" for solo performer and tape. Woodbury used popular music styles to comment upon the genre. He incorporated unusual propels and a distinctive movement style that belied his "regular guy" manner. The results were often absurd and hilarious.
RENE FABRE, JEFF MORRIS. Concert, September 27.
Rene Fabre and Jeff Morris performed an evolving and ongoing collaboration entitled "Southern Exposure". The piece featured sound programs written for two Commodore 64 SID chips which allow for varying degrees of computer/performer interaction. Also presented this evening was "Archipelago", which explored a chain of timbral islands using digital and analog devices.
JOHN MELCHER. Concert. November 8.
John Melcher presented two works for computer-controlled synthesizer system, in combination with live musicians. Joining Melcher were Philip Aaberg (keyboard synthesizers) and vocalist Pamela Z. "Drastic Measures" was developed for an earlier microcomputer music system, "it was rewritten when the adoption of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) by synthesizer manufacturers made computer control of synthesizers financially feasible."
Melcher's second composition, "Irreconcilable Differences", written for Aaberg and Z, was structured as a series of songs separated by primarily solo computer music.
JOHN MELCHER was born in Indianapolis in 1951. He studied at the Julliard School. Melcher has been writing his own sophisticated music software programs, many of which have been published by Passport Designs. he is also the author of "The Complete MIDI Manual", a comprehensive guide to the Musical Instrument Digital Interface. He currently lives in San Francisco.
K. ATCHLEY. Concert, November 15.
Composer K. Atchley presented "Listen Close", four pieces concerned with communication. Musically this concern is expressed in his involvement with ensemble and thematically by "communication with Angles, the dead, those in other realms including the future, and with those of us in the present."
Performing with Atchley on "Light of Hand (Lumiere de Main)" were vocalists Barbara Golden, Jean Moncrieff, Maggi Payne, and Melody Sumner with computer work by Brian Reinbolt. From his opera "Edison's Last Project(ion)" Atchley presented "dialogue and interpretation in an experimental laboratory setting" in which questioner Phil Harmonic probed for insight from Atchley as answerer. Mary Oliver (on computer) joined Atchley in "Marconi--The Last Seven Words." This work concerns attempts made by Gugliemo Marconi to receive (retrieve) the last words of Christ on the cross via technological means. Also collaborating with Atchley this evening were Jay Cloidt and Mark Trayle.