"Hagalaz" and "Crash" were both written in 1986 as the musical accompaniment for two dances of the same names choreographed by Gay White. Both were done on an NED Synclavier II and made heavy use of the sampling capabilities of the instrument.
The gross structure of "Hagalaz" is loosely based on the possibly overused fire/ice dichotomy. The first half is derived from "hot" Norse runes: fire, fertility, light, sun and day, and the second half from cold: secret, unknown, hail, water, pain and ice. Each section makes use of an extraneous or extra-musical element which is intended to represent the rune somewhat.
The tuning here is fairly simple, as the Synclavier is difficult to use with more than 12 notes/octave. The tonality is G, and the 11 other notes are represented by the following intervals from G: 4/3, 15/8, 16/15, 9/8, 6/5, 7/5, 3/2, 5/3, and 16/9.
"Crash" is made of three broad sections, following the three major acts of the dance. The first is a garden scene, bare and damp, where a young woman sleeps. She has a dream of surrender with a lack of perspective, of a woman in mourning, of a funeral. The second action accelerates onto a freeway onramp, where the woman is awakened, seduced by the speed and exposed to encounters and, eventually, impact. From this, a future is revealed where beauty is redefined, anatomy is altered, and unnatural joinings are made. From the J.G. Ballard book of the same name, we recall the quote: "I searched for my scars, those tender lesions that now gave off an exquisite and warming pain."
Besides those which are obviously synthetic, most of the sounds are modifications of auto sounds, toys, kitchenware, speech and singing.
Again, since the Synclavier is not primarily set up for more than 12 notes per octave, the tuning is simple, basically formed from two scales, one centered around E flat and the other around a G which is a 10/9 below an A which is a 5/3 x 5/3 above the E flat. Having some pitches from each of these two fairly distinct scales allows for a fair number of interesting changes. One thing that is a little different here is that modulations are made outside of these tonalities, incurring some harmonies which are significantly out-of-tune in a traditional sense but which are more effective in their abrasiveness than their in-tune cousins. In fact, they have (for me) a dominant effect, pushing the harmonic progressions back toward the tonal centers.
Both "Anus Dentata" and "Marriage" are simple melodic works which utilize simple just tunings, the second one similar to the tuning of the pelog scale from my first Javanese gamelan experience. "Anus Dentata" is, of course, a fear of teeth in an unexpected place and "Marriage" is an anthem of my happiness with my entire family.
Erling Wold, Berkeley, 1988.
The first three works recorded here are excerpted from the incidental music for the play "The Islamic Republic of Las Vega$" by Everett Shock and myself. In this play, some distant descendants of Omar Khayyam are converted to Mormonism and have all their dead ancestors baptized into the church. When this occurs, Omar's soul is yanked into Mormon heaven, which is surprisingly like Las Vegas. The play goes on to chronicle his adventures there in the company of Alma Mahler.
The "Dance of the Testifiers" occurs after the baptismal ceremony and involves all of the twelve original witnesses of the golden plates on which the Book of Mormon is based. The tune is in the style of the music of the Arabs who settled in Andalusia, although nothing else in the piece is, especially the rhythms, which are much more irregular. The arrangement here is for vibraphone, flute and drums, where the vibraphone has been retuned to a scale based on a series of simple just ratios.
One reason the above mentioned play will probably never be performed is that Omar and Alma are involved at one point in some fairly explicit sex acts, a few of which might be considered by some perverse in nature. However, at the time this play was written, the AIDS epidemic was just beginning, and we wanted to make known our recommendation for abnormal and safe sex acts. It is in this scene that the second piece, "Ten Tan Girls for Every Boy", is heard. The tuning here is one of the Kirnberger well temperaments and the piece is arranged for strings, organ, clarinet, harp, electric bass and saxophone.
The "Dance of the Polygamists" is a Vegas-style extravaganza which is led by Gustav Mahler. He has just finished a long monologue over the love scene above and has come to be very upset by the fact of his impotence. This tune is for piano and wine glasses.
"Canned Demon", "The Story of Play-Do", "Ara Hemat and Heaven for Girls" are recordings for a group of music boxes which I constructed (or deconstructed) over a period of a few months in 1986. All of the boxes were based on popular tunes (which will not be revealed here, as I do not know whether they are still under copyright.) Pictures of some of the boxes are included on the back of this booklet. The tunings for these boxes were done by ear rather than being based on any theoretical considerations.
"#1" from "For Lynn Murdock" (my wife) is based on a 1978 piece of mine for solo piano. The piano was dropped to allow for more freedom in tuning. There is no fixed scale, and pitches are chosen primarily to form just intervals with other pitches temporally close by (except for a few places where there are multiple threads of tuning). The arrangement for a set of 11 solo strings allowed such things as slow glissandi between slightly different versions of functionally similar intervals and microtonal shifts of tuning center.
"#2" is also a drastically rearranged version of an early work, this time a tune written for the rock band NAME. This piece is polytonal, using two fixed minor scales, one based on d: 1/1, 9/5x6/5, 7/6, 4/3, 3/2, 8/5, and 9/5, and one on the b a 6/5 below the d: 1/1, 8/7, 6/5, 11/8, 3/2, 8/5, 16/9, notated in terms of the intervals from the tonic.
ERLING WOLD: Music of Love.
The Islamic Republic of Las Vega$  Dance of the Testifiers (3:35)  Ten Tan Girls for Every Boy (6:04)  Dance of the Polygamists (3:20)
 Canned Demon (0:36)
For Lynn Murdock:  #1 for 11 strings and percussion (5:28)  #2 for harp, organ, stick and drums (1:47)
 The Story of Play-Do (0:47)
 Hagalaz (12:48)
 Ara Hemat (0:40)
 Anus Dentata (2:25)
 Marriage (1:56)
 Heaven for Girls (0:40)
 Crash (18:15)
Compositions by Erling Wold
Performances by Ludwig Cantor: reeds [2,10] Mark Crawford: drums  Alonzo Cresta: percussion [3,6,11] Sam DeCavalcante: strings [2,10] Tom Deering: vibraphone  Henry Kaiser: vocals [ ] Ernst Leneman: bass, stick [2,6,11] Lynn Murdock: flute, organ, harp [1,2] Allison Shock: vocals Erling Wold: the rest
Production by Kaiser-Wold International 1630 transfer by Phil Brown Art by Maggi Hoppe, Lynn Murdock, Erling Wold CD manufacturing by Nimbus Records Executive Production by Unit Productions for Spooky Pooch Records
Thanks to Duncan Renaldo Wold, Mark Dippe, Pork Egg, Ev Shock, Rick Crawford, Bob Adams, Gerard Grisey, Aurora Systems, Gay White, Leigh Evans, Kathy Kaufman, Andrew Clibanoff, Jim Horton, Dave Anderson.
Please address all correspondence to Spooky Pooch Records, 1812 Sacramento St. Berkeley CA 94702. Scores are available to those who are sincerely interested.
Typed by Barb. Golden Dec 31, 1995.