"--the alert guitarist" The New York Times
"--The mirror-paneled recital room provided an apt visual metaphor for how such seemingly modest dimensions can trick the ear into an impression of vaster scale. Guitarist William Anderson brought both technical and expressive virtuosity to his accounts...a quasi-orchestral pallete of coloristic effects...deftly realized by Anderson as he shaped each entry with epigrammatic concentration." ----Thomas May, The Washington Post, reviewing Anderson performance with the Theater Chamber Players
"--Electrifying" New York Times
"--astonishing....astounding arrangements" The New York Times
"--virtuosos in their own right, and together produce chamber music proper...close observance of each other's actions...a very tight performance." Fanfare Magazine, referring to Wm. Anderson & pianist Joan Forsyth
Cygnus @ Morgan Library
Works by Laura Kaminsky, Errollyn Wallen, Damon Ferrante, Jessie Mongomery
Ezra Pound and George Antheil
solo guitar works by Damon Ferrante, Harold Meltzer, Alper Maral, John McLachlan, Tolga Tuzun, Sinan Ersahin, and others
June 13, 19:30 Chiesa della SS. Annunziata, Avolo (SR)
with Associazione A.L. Mus.
Artistic Director: Maestro Sebastiano Bell'Arte
Solo guitar music by Damon Ferrante and Andrea Schiavo
Nell'Europa del XVII secolo
Ensemble Harmoniosi Concenti
Paola Modicano, canto
Letizia Viniguerra, violino
Angelo Litrico flauto, dritto
Barbara Colombo, viola da gamba
William Anderson, guitar e tiorba
Andrea Schiavo, arciliuto & chitarra barocca
Luca Ambrosio, clavicembalo
Istanbul Guitar Festival
Solo guitar performance with
Mertz *Bardenklange* and *Mazurkas & Polonaises*, Op. 3
Damon Ferrante's *Following the River* (premiere)
Tolga Tuzun's *and they fell....one by one* (premiere)
Alper Maral *and then the waters ebbed and we were left standing, just like that* (premiere)
Harold Meltzer *Doria Pamphili*
Sinan Ersahin *Cancion y Danza*
William Anderson *Grüne Heinrich*
Charles Wuorinen *Hexadactyl*
Friday, March 14, 2014 - 9:00 PMPerformances with Ebb & Flow Arts in Maui on August 8, and Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, Mexico, the next 6 months are devoted to composing *Poe's Mother* --Settings of poems by Djuna Barnes for Vox n Plux--the celebrated soprano Elizabeth Farnum with her two plucked string players, Bill & Oren -- first performance will be October 30 at the Italian...
Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 10:14 AMRecently performed solo in Istanbul, Florence and NYC (Spectrum). New music and early music in Sicily--works by Harold Meltzer, Damon Ferrante, William Anderson, Tolga Tuzun, Sinan Ersahin, and Alper Maral. Upcoming: October, 2015 Wolpe Fund Concert Venue, TBA New works by Anderson, Dawe, Wyner, Biscardi December 2 Riverside Symphony @ Merkin Hall Anderson's Djuna Barnes Settings, for Vox n Plux...
Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 4:39 PMI do picaresque solo guitar programs all summer long, in the U.S. and Europe. Picaresque? The guitar is a picaresque instrument. Andres Segovia made a comment to Mexican composer Manuel Ponce in a well known letter, praising one of Ponce's works, calling it, "picaresque". Composers joust with musical norms in exactly the same way the picaro (rogue) pushes the limits...
Sunday, February 3, 2013 - 7:09 AMJ a p a n t o u r August, 2013 Rodrigo's Concierto Aramjuez at the Maebashi Concert Hall, Gunma, with Dina Koston's "Set of Three"; Wuorinen's Sonata for Guitar & Piano; Blasphemy (for guitar & piano) by Shoko Suzuki International F e s t i v a l C a m e r a t a 21 Veracruz, Mexico--September...
Friday, May 23, 2014 - 9:00 PMI think of the 3rd structural key, as the one the composer elects, while the 2nd structural key (dominant) is "natural", because it is obvious, built into every structural level. Examples: In Haydn Ab piano sonata, the 3rd structural key is f minor, and every detail from small to large points to f minor, just as, invevitably, the dominant is...
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 9:41 AMMilton Babbitt, a card carrying positivist whose Cold War music was funded by the CIA, wrote somewhere, "if music is to continue to evolve".... A preemptive strike: eugenics was very much in the positivist spirit. The remark doesn't have to be so insidious. You can decide. Babbitt's music evolved, and flowered in the truly transcendental late works. Babbitt furthered Schoenberg's...
Friday, May 15, 2015 - 3:12 PMNon-diatonic Symmetries are a Sometime Thing This is from Damon Ferrante's solo guitar piece, *Following the River*. (work in progress) I am preparing this work for a performance in Istanbul on May 22 of this year (2015). I became familiar with Ferrante's music through his *Footbridge*, for two guitars--a symphony for two guitars, about 30 minutes long. Here's a bit...
Sunday, September 18, 2011 - 9:39 AM----Sibelius!---- Alex Ross and Leon Botstein have found an interesting and useful vantagepoint. It enfolds Bang on a Can, and enlists that effort on its behalf. It is a vantagepoint that works very well with the 50 and over demographic--patrons of the not-youth-music scene. They are up for serious stuff--one doesn't have to be banging on cans to appeal to...
Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 3:57 PMRiverside Symphony December 2 @ Merkin Hall Eight Rhythms/Six Songs Djuna Barnes Settings world premiere for Vox n Plux and String Orchestra featuring soprano Elizabeth Farnum commissioned by the Riverside Symphony celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Barnes first volume of poetry These settings of poems by Djuna Barnes begin with a key sample from her first published...
Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 9:00 PMJohn Cage @ 100! John Cage was the Pre-Raphaelite to end all Pre-Raphaelites. There are remnants of the Pre-Rahapelite movement in New York State, like Narnia, where there are memories of a some past reality, a crazy pre-reality TV world. ---In Manhattan, notably, among much more, there is the Woolworth building and Tudor City. ---In Westchester look at Scarsdale--the little...
Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 12:17 AMI must offer my experience to correct for some omissions and inaccuracies in Taruskin's discussion of Babbitt. --I am grateful for his making the distinction with regard to Boulez. Boulez used his techniques to be a rebel. I would add that, particularly with Le Marteau sans Maitre, he used fancy techniques to sound exotic. (Elsewhere I will discuss some aspects...
Monday, July 27, 2015 - 4:39 AMI've mentioned that Taruskin is guilty of creating a grand narrative that is just as high flyin' Hegelian as that which Schoenberg perpetrated. Taruskin's grand narrative is that Western Music evaporated into hyper literality (at the expense of orality) in a reductio ad absurdam. Reactions to my first statements about Taruskin suggested that I was being too apologetic. True in...
Monday, July 27, 2015 - 7:09 PMI have been offering some recent mini-narratives--> 1--Babbitt's late blooming diatonicism 2--21st C. composers de-coupling techniques from the sounds associated with them. I wish to compare these with other mini-narratives. The last movement of Brahms’s op. 114 was a mind-blowing surprise to me. I was taught that Schoenberg’s 12-tone thing was a Hegelian ego trip. After hearing and noting what...
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 12:16 PMJOTTINGS Blair McMillen is on the left; then Jed Distler; in front of Jed is the back of Lisa Moore's head?; then Joan Forsyth; in front of Joan to the right is Sandra Sprecher. July 28, 7PM @ Spectrum I am delighted to report of a lovely evening at Spectrum last night. 24 pianists were asked to perform a prelude...
Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 7:01 PMDecember 2 @ Merkin Hall Eight Rhytms/6 Songs Djuna Barnes Settings George Rothman, conductor featuring vocalist Elizabeth Farnum and Oren Fader, guitar & Dan Lippel, mandolin, guitar, theorbo Tickets---> Riverside Symphony Webite These songs define my 21 C. I sometimes call it, "post-maximalist" other times, "hyper-minimalist". Most important is that Djuana Barnes & I are perfect for each other. Setting...
Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 2:28 PMWolpe Fund Concert The Wolpe Fund was created last year by Zaidee Parkinson & Alanna Stone. For that first round, I composed a set of poems by the great unsung American hero, Djuna Barnes. That cycle is now expanded and tranformed into an orchestral work that will be performed by the Riverside Symphony on December 8. This year, the Wolpe...
Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 9:11 AMThe poetics of inversion plays into Babbitt problems. The big Babbitt problem is the misconception that it should be heard like free improv. The big problem here is that when you really are hearing, there's no doubt that it's anything but free improv. Nevertheless, even a battle hardened Babbitt veteran can come to an unfamilar Babbitt work and not only...
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 9:00 PMOr.... Love and Death, American Style Someone has to point out the parallels between Brokeback Mountain and Tennesee William's Suddenly Last Summer. Plug: Speaking of Wuorinen's upcoming opera, *Brokeback Mountain*-- The Anderson/Fader Guitar Duo, aka, the Cygnus Guitarists -- will soon release Wuorinen's sterling little guitar duo, *Dodecadactyl* on Furious Artisans Records. It would make us very happy to see...
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 9:08 AMHilton Kramer Many of us happen to share his predudices. I don't pay attention to installations, performance art, Judy Chicago, Whitney Museum, etc. It's all just so much noise to me. Where I differ-- I concede that there is overwhealmingly powerful psychology behind the art I don't like. Yet that doesn't make me care about it any more. Another point--...
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 11:27 AMWhat Beckett Taught Me About Dina Koston's Music The recent Koston celebrations at the Library of Congress provoked some very positive and warm responses to Koston's muisc. I was delighted to find that. I was sad, but not so surprised to find that the praise was not unanimous. Koston's *Distant Intervals* was presented as a musical reflection of Beckett's Ohio...
Sunday, October 26, 2014 - 10:33 AMISCM World Music Days Wrocław, Poland October 2014 At the ISCM General Assembly, a slide show was presented by Max Yin, Executive Director of the Beijing Modern Music Festival (BMMF). There in that slide show, I was amazed to see a remarkable representation of a broad range of American composers—clear evidence of interest in the US scene. Thank you, BMMF!...
Monday, May 25, 2015 - 9:04 AMLecture at Vildiz Technical University Alper Maral, composer and musicologist, collaborator, and friend, asked me to give a talk at his University. We agreed that I would talk about 21st C. Music and the Guitar. We also agreed that I am a Babbitt guy, and that I might explain what he was all about. I am quickly trying to record...
Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 1:59 PMtext here
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 10:23 AM--Musical resonances with Noether's Theorem-- Emmy Noether's theorem was summaraized nicely by Natalie Angier in today's Science Times-- "What the revolutionary theorem says, in cartoon essence, is the following: Wherever you find some sort of symmetry in nature, some predictability or homogeneity of parts, you’ll find lurking in the background a corresponding conservation — of momentum, electric charge, energy or...
Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 9:03 PMAb nou cor Music of Frank Brickle is the title of my most recent CD with Cygnus. Released by Furious Artisans --> http://furiousartisans.com/catalog/ab-nou-cor-music-of-frank-brickle On Facebook Brickle & I go back over 20 years, and I've been a great fan throughout. I started out admiring the way he would have lovely, prolonged moments of diatonic (good old-fashioned tonal) harmony in his...
Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 4:50 PM*Our Bad Habits* Modernism was motivated to a great degree by a disgust with inauthenticity-- ideals, images, values that survived longer than they should have survived, becoming bad habits. The cases of England and Austria have certain affinities, despite the fact that England went the other way, while Austria clung to the old order. This is seen in the affinity...
Saturday, September 22, 2012 - 7:16 AMSounding Beckett www.soundingbeckett.com Sounding Beckett Press & Reviews “Sounding Beckett” is directed by Joy Zinoman, the founding artistic director of the Studio Theater in Washington (she stepped down in 2010), who chose the plays and has staged them with a glamorous starkness and a clear respect for the works’ purity. They alternate with original musical compositions that they inspired, performed...
Monday, March 26, 2012 - 6:46 AMSuperarrays This is a report of my latest discussions and thoughts about superarrays, following a meeting with theorists and composers at the CUNY Graduate Center, which is now a great hotbed of Babbitt study, with Joe Straus, Jeff Nichols, Zach Bernstein and Daniel Colson all there at the same time. Joe presides there as the seasoned Babbitt scholar, Zach and...
Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 3:31 AMCygnus and friends gave a Kreisler celebration at the Library of Congress on February 3 of this year. The Library cleverly paired a living American composer--Haorld Meltzer--with Kreisler. The Library had Meltzer write a new work for violin and piano, Kreisleriana, a McKim Fund commission. Charles T. Downey describes the event here--> http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/02/cygnus-ensemble-at-loc.html I appreciate the good fight that Mr....