Ives Harrison Coates Cage Beardsley Partch Carrillo Varese Rimsky-Korsakov | IDEAS

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IDEAS

by Ives Harrison Coates Cage Beardsley Partch Carrillo Varese Rimsky-Korsakov

Five first performances by the greatest 20th Century composers along with rare treats of microtonal performances produced and directed by Johnny Reinhard (American Festival of Microtonal Music).
Genre: Avant Garde: Microtonal
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1. The Unanswered Question Paolo Bellomia, cond (AFMM Orchestra)
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4:49 album only
2. Prelude For Strings Dan Auerbach, Ana Milosljavelic, Anastasia Solberg, and Daniel Barrett
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1:49 album only
3. I Think Of You Johnny Reinhard, cond (AFMM Ensemble), Meredith Borden, soprano
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7:36 album only
4. Ulysses Departs From The Edge of the World Johnny Reinhard, cond (AFMM Ensemble)
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9:09 album only
5. Simfony In Free Style Nathan Fuhr, cond (AFMM Ensemble)
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4:31 album only
6. Sonic Bloom David Beardsley, guitar activations
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10:35 album only
7. Graphs And Time Johnny Reinhard, cond (AFMM Ensemble)
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8:35 album only
8. In The Name Of The Holocaust Joshua Pierce, prepared piano
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7:11 album only
9. Lunar Loops Ives Harrison Coates Cage Beardsley Partch Carrillo Varese Rimsky-Korsakov Reinhard
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11:57 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
IDEAS (P-200212)

* = PREMIERE RECORDINGS

1. Charles Ives THE UNANSWERED QUESTION
Derek Floyd, English horn soloist
Julieanne Klopotic, Maxim Moston, Tom Chiu, Alisa Regeln,
Amy Kimball, and Conrad Harris, violins
Anastasia Solberg, viola
Sean Katsuyama, cello
Mathew Fieldes, double bass
Jennifer Grim, Susan Friedlander and Ron Kozak, flutes
Michiyo Suzuki, clarinet
Paolo Bellomia, conductor

2 Georgy Rimsky-Korsakov PRELUDE FOR STRINGS *
Dan Auerbach and Ana Milosljavelic, violins
Anastasia Solberg, viola
Dan Barrett, cello

3. Julián Carrillo I THINK OF YOU *
Meredith Borden, soprano
Jennifer Grim, flute
Tom Chiu, violin
Anastasia Solberg, viola
Skip La Plante, 96-tone harp
Oren Fader, quartertone guitar
Dan Barrett, cello
Johnny Reinhard, conductor

4. Harry Partch ULYSSES DEPARTS FROM THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (Version 1)*
Louis Babin, trumpet
Jay Elfenbein, double bass
Michael Pugliese, Don Yallech and Skip La Plante, boobams
Johnny Reinhard, conductor

5. Lou Harrison SIMFONY IN FREE STYLE *
Conrad Harris, violin
Anastasia Solberg and Siobhan Solberg, violas
Susan Friedlander and Ron Kozak, flutes
Johnny Reinhard, bassoon
Mat Fieldes, double bass
Patrick Grant, electronic harp
Skip La Plante and David Simons, percussion
Greg Evans, horn
Nathan Fuhr, conductor

6. David Beardsley SONIC BLOOM
David Beardsley, guitar activated synthesizer and digital delays

7. Edgard Varèse GRAPHS AND TIME *
Andrew Bolotowsky, flute
Jay Tandlich, clarinet
Louis Babin, trumpet
Tom Varner, horn
Chris Washburne, trombone
David Grego, tuba
Jay Elfenbein, string bass
Bob Muller, percussion
Johnny Reinhard, conductor

8. John Cage IN THE NAME OF THE HOLOCAUST
Joshua Pierce, prepared piano

9. Gloria Coates LUNAR LOOPS
Ruth Fischer and Stephan Stiens, guitars


Charles Ives’s THE UNANSWERED QUESTION (1908) is heard here in an alternate form as provided by the composer. The concert took place on October 11, 1999 at The New York Society For Ethical Culture. An English horn solo, played by Derek Floyd, replaces the practically iconic trumpet, nourished in this perspective by extending Pythagorean tuning through two octaves (with all the fifths pure). This tuning distinguishes a notated C# from a notated Db. Ives had always insisted that a C# was higher in pitch than its chromatic counterpart Db, and a B# an eighthtone higher than a neighboring C, easily produced by spiraling perfect fifths through two octaves. (See “The Ives Universe” by Johnny Reinhard, AFMM.) The composer wrote that the strings should sound “off stage” or away from the winds, and remain pianissimo in their representation of the “The Silences of the Druids – Who Know, See and Hear Nothing.” The English horn intones “the Perennial Question of Existence,” according to Ives, in the same tone of voice each time. “But the hunt for ‘The Invisible Answer’ undertaken by the flutes” represents other human beings, and “becomes gradually more active, faster and louder through an ‘animando’ to a ‘con fuoco.’”

Charles Ives (1885-1954) remains America’s preeminent composer at the turn of the 21st Century. Paolo Bellomia (Ottawa, Ontario) conducted this AFMM performance. Maestro Bellomia, originally from Rome, Italy, is a champion of contemporary music, and currently conducts in Montreal, Canada where he directs the Montreal Conservatory Orchestra.


Georgy Rimsky-Korsakov (1901-1965), grandson of Nicolai, originally wrote the PRELUDE FOR STRINGS for a string orchestra. This performance at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in New York City’s Greenwich Village on May 2, 2009 constitutes a world premiere in lieu of the fact that there are no other known performances. Rather, it had been thought, other than some sketches for other pieces, that all of G. Rimsky-Korsakov’s compositions were destroyed in World War II. Providentially, the piece was discovered recently among the papers belonging to Ivan Wyschnegradsky now in Switzerland. Musicologist Lydia Ader communicated the finding to the American Festival of Microtonal Music through composer Anton Rovner in Moscow, who had been working diligently to uncover whatever might still remain of the iconoclastic St. Petersburg-based microtonal pioneer.


Julián Carrillo’s I THINK OF YOU (1928) is a romanza for voice and mixed instruments. It is an unpublished work that Julián Carrillo (1875-1965) composed in New York City at the beginning of the first American tour of the ensemble Grupo 13. A concert with this piece on March 15, 2003 at Washington Square United Methodist Church is presented on the IDEAS CD, with the substitution of the Carrillo original “octavina” with a cello. Contemporary guitarist Wim Hoogewerf had reconstructed the score from its manuscript, where the Mexican composer simply gave numbers for the notes, for each octave. For Carrillo, the 16th tone was the smallest usable melodic step, and with which he built the Sonido Trece, the “Thirteenth Sound.” The performance here utilizes a 96-tone harp built and played by Skip La Plante especially for presenting Carrillo’s music.

I THINK OF YOU
To sit beside a crystal spring,
Cool’d by the passing Zephyr’s wing,
And bend my very thought to thee, is life is bliss is ecstasy,
Is ecstasy and as within that spring,
I trace each line, each feature of my face,
The faithful mirror tells me true.
It tells me that I think of you. (above repeated)
Cool’d by the passing Zephyr’s wing.
The faithful mirror tells me true.
It tells me that I think of you.
It tells me that I think of you.

Meredith Borden, soprano, has appeared frequently with the AFMM over the past 16 years, interpreting works by composers as diverse as Partch, Carrillo, Carlos, and Bach. With partner Jon Catler, Borden has collaborated in his compositions, most recently in recordings of Willie McBlind. Borden has sung premieres by Meredith Monk (American Archeology), Elodie Lauten (Waking in New York), and Philip Glass (The Juniper Tree).


Harry Partch’s ULYSSES DEPARTS FROM THE EDGE OF THE WORLD First Version for trumpet, string bass, and three Boobams never received a concert premiere, until the encore heard on this CD. The Boobams, built by John Loughborough of Wisconsin, are available for rental through Carroll Studios and Rentals. Partch wrote on the title page of the score that the work is essentially a rhythmic study, in order to de-emphasize its intonations aspects. Still, Partch included all the Just Intonation ratios that he desired. A curious theatrical element at the end of the piece has one player ask aloud what the conductor thinks of things. The answer returned is “Don’t ask me. Ask my sister. She’s intuitive.”

Harry Partch (1901-1974) is the pioneer of American Just Intonation instrument building and multi-media “corporealism.” A true American vagabond, Partch often spent time on the road with not much more than his viola and a satchel.


Lou Harrison’s SIMFONY IN FREE STYLE (1955) was performed and recorded for the first time on this CD. It required a rewrite of Harrison’s descriptive score to create a set of practical prescriptive parts. The ”free” intent is to liberate notes from being tied to a fundamental tone. Just Intonation musical intervals are added and subtracted from existing pitches. The composer, who passed away in 2004, hadn’t imagined that flutes and violins could play microtones with accuracy. He thought that it would be necessary for the required flutes to be “correctly drilled” out of plastic, and that the strings be of the viol family with their requisite frets. The composer did not think the actual instrument timbres were critical if musical instruments could capture the accurate pitch. He wrote, “violin family may be used if these be adequately prepared for the use of frets.”

Nathan Fuhr, now a resident of The Netherlands, conducted the premiere as part of Microthon 2000 at the Quaker Meeting House in New York City.


David Beardsley’s SONIC BLOOM (1998) was performed at the second MicroFest held on May 23, 1999 at New York University, from which it has been excerpted. It was premiered in its entirety at the Trenton Avant-Garde Festival on September 12, 1998. The style of the piece was heavily influenced by the composer’s interest in La Monte Young’s music. The live performance was recorded at the AFMM’s first day-long Microthon, the composer using a guitar activated Korg 05R/W synthesizer tuned to a 13-limit harmonic series produced Just Intonation scale. Especially important to the composer is the inclusion of the 9/7 ratio from the overtone series.

David Beardsley (b.1960) can be heard performing microtonal music in the New York City area and across the nation.


Edgard Varèse’s GRAPHS AND TIME was drawn from a sketch curiously envisioned for a jazz ensemble. Evidently frustrated by the technical difficulties of classical instrumentalists in his day to effect glissandi similar to a siren, Varèse sketched out a piece that Teo Macero titled, based on the graphic nature of the manuscript. There are eight distinct instrumental parts, one of which must be a percussionist. The graphically notated score is comprised of linear graph melodies drawn within the parameters of compound 4/4 measures, each with a quarter note beat of about a second each. There are in total only 16 measures in the single page score. The choices of instrumentation, in combinations, and in specific repetitions were conceived by Johnny Reinhard, who presents each performance of the work with a different instrumentation. Varèse wrote on one version of the sketch: “Dear Mr. Macero, here is the first sketch of an experiment” and left it undated. Although Varèse did conduct an ensemble in preparation for the work, that reportedly included percussionist Paul Motion, it was never again performed until 1987 by the AFMM in New York City. It has been performed since then in Paris at the Centre Pompidou, in Moscow at the Alternativa Festival, and by performances in NYC by the AFMM.

Edgard Varèse (1885-1965) was an influential early 20th century composer who theorized of a future of microtonal music in his personal Manifesto.


John Cage’s IN THE NAME OF THE HOLOCAUST was written for prepared piano. The holocaust connotation intended by Cage was actually a double entendre with the proverbial “Holy Ghost,” with no special historical reference evoked. However, the work has an ominous sound, easily connected to the profound gravity that the title usually represents. Preparing the piano gets past the conventional equal temperament of the instrument, providing what the composer called “aggregates” of sound, as opposed to traditional chords. John Cage went from detuning his music to inventing actual microtonal systems near the end of his life.

John Cage (1912-1992) began a Californian son of an inventor. But along the way he introduced percussion music, new ways of constituting music, and all manner of piano preparations. He especially loved be called a “microtonalist” and devoted his last compositions, the so-called “number pieces,” to differently tuned works.


Gloria Coates's LUNAR LOOPS is for two traditionally tuned guitars which during the piece are retuned while playing to include 12 differently tuned open strings which turn out to be the 12 tone row. The row is eventually used to form microtones that cascade in clusters before being again retuned while playing back to the original 6-note scale. The work, which takes the listener through worlds of new harmonic meaning, was based on the structures she developed in her "Music on Open Strings" (Symphony No. 1) written in 1972 and premiered at the Warsaw Autumn Festival. She retuned the strings to a pentatonic scale while the guitarists were playing and discovered new forms and colors as well as structures. The Fischer/Stiens Duo had commissioned the work for the opening of a new guitar festival in Munich in 1978. They received a grant from Munich ’s Ministry of Culture to participate in the AFMM concert in New York on April 30, 1993 at the St. Paul’s Chapel of Columbia University. Gloria Coates’s music is GEMA.

Gloria Coates's music has been performed by leading ensembles and orchestras, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony orchestra, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Polish Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Research performed by Kyle Gann indicates she has written more symphonies than any other woman in history. Her performance of “Music on Open Strings” at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1978 was proclaimed throughout the press as the most discussed work on the festival, and was called her "breakthrough" piece.

Ruth Fischer and Stephen Stiens, along with Paco Pena, are founders of the Munich Guitar Festival . They had previously performed “Lunar Loops” at Hans Werner Henzes' Cantiere Internazionale Festival in Montepulciano, Italy, and the Dresden Festival. They feature both old and new music, having made the first complete recording of the “Sonatas and Partitas” of Johann Sebastian Bach.



Johnny Reinhard, composer, conductor, bassoonist, director and founder of the American Festival of Microtonal Music (AFMM), is a native New Yorker specializing in all manner of microtonal performance. Additionally, Reinhard performs on the recorder, and is a vocalist specializing in the works of American microtonal pioneer Harry Partch. He has given numerous full recitals including in New York, Seattle, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Montreal, Amsterdam, Sapporo, Moscow, and Kazan. Of particular interest is his finishing important works of composers in exemplary performance. These include his realization and subsequent premiere performance of Charles Ives’s “Universe Symphony” in 1996 in New York’s Lincoln Center, and the premiere in of Edgard Varèse’s “Graphs and Time” in 1987 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Reinhard’s transcription of Ivan Wyschnegradsky’s “Meditation sur deux themes” (1917) for bassoon and piano was recorded on “Between the Keys” for Newport Classic (now Sony), and has been re-recorded for Solyd Records (Russia), and again for the AFMM’s PITCH label. Among the world premieres he produced are Lou Harrison’s “Simfony in Free Style,” Terry Riley’s “In C in Just Intonation,” Percy Grainger’s “Free Music” for 4 Theremin, the original version of Harry Partch’s “Ulysses Departs From the Edge of the World” for trumpet, double bass and boobams, and Mordecai Sandberg’s orchestral “Psalm 51.” Johnny Reinhard’s original compositions feature polymicrotonality – either the active mixing of microtonal tunings in a single composition, or the invention of brand new pitch relationships (e.g., harmonic 17 tuning, quadratic prime just intonation, collapsed just intonation). Among his works are a symphony (“Middle-earth”), cello concerto (“Odysseus”), string quartet (“Cosmic Rays”), a large number of virtuoso solo pieces for different instruments in distinctive tunings, and numerous chamber works featuring unusual timbres and requiring different degrees of improvisation. Johnny Reinhard’s compositions can be heard on the “Raven” album, available from www.stereosociety.com. He recently completed a triptych for bass trombonist Dave Taylor. Reinhard has performed as a soloist throughout Europe and the United States, Japan, Canada, and Russia. He has played with such international virtuosi as kavalist Theodossii Spassov (Bulgaria), oboist Bram Kreeftmeijer (The Netherlands), saxophonist John Butcher (London), percussionist Rashied Ali (NYC), and Thereminist Lydia Kavina (Russia). In 2002 he was featured on bassoon to critical acclaim by Ornette Coleman for the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival. Reinhard is professor of bassoon at New York University. Previously, he taught music composition and theory at C.W. Post, Long Island University, taught The Arithmetic of Listening at Bard College, and taught Western Art Music at Columbia University. He has guest lectured on tuning related subjects at Columbia University, New York University, Manhattan School of Music, Hunter College/CUNY, CalArts, San Jose State University, Indiana University, South Dakota State University, the Hamburg Hochschule in Germany, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, and York University in England. Reinhard introduced first performances of Harry Partch’s 43-tone just intonation works in Norway (International Bergen Festival), France (M.A.N.C.A.), Switzerland (RoteFabrik), Italy (Teatro la Fenice), Canada (Toronto, Winnipeg, and St. John’s), and England (London’s Barbican). In the early ‘90s he published PITCH for the International Microtonalist as a 4-issue set for musicians working independently. Since 2004, the AFMM launched 15 different PITCH CD titles, available at www.afmm.org. Johnny Reinhard hosts New York-based WKCR-FM radio’s popular four-hour Christmas Day “Microtonal Bach” segment in their annual 10-day Bach Festival. He is often a guest on John Schaefer’s New Sounds show on WNYC-FM, and has been featured in radio programs by radio interviewers Anatol Vieru (Bucharest), Laurie Schwartz (Berlin/RIAS & Sender Frei), PILOTA radio (Bergen), and John Schneider (KPFK Los Angeles).
Joshua Pierce grew up in New York City, studying at the Juilliard School of Music, where for seven years he was the recipient of the Heckscher Foundation Award, as well as awards from the Manhattan School of Music, Columbia University, and the Cleveland Institute where he received the Victor Babin Award. Many more awards would follow during his career. His principal teacher and mentor was Dorothy Taubman, with extensive chamber music work with Bernard Greenhouse, Joseph Seiger and Artur Balsam. Mr. Pierce has performed internationally as solo recitalist, in chamber music performances, with Russia's famed Leontovich String Quartet, as well as with many of the major orchestras of Western and Eastern Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. He reached much acclaim as part of the piano team, Pierce and Jonas, with Dorothy Jonas. He has given historic performances of works by Charles Ives and John Cage in Russia where he received outstanding reviews and audience acclaim. A highly prolific recording artist, Mr. Pierce has recorded over 200 works including numerous World Premieres as a soloist and with orchestra for MSR Classics, EMI Classics, Carlton Classics, Helicon, Koch International Classics, MMC, Pro Arte, Sony Classics, PITCH, Vox and other labels. He has recorded more than 40 solo concertos including works by Tchaikovsky, Khachaturian, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev as well as the complete piano concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt and Gershwin. Other recordings include works by Schubert, Hummel, Czerny, Reinecke, Weber, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Franck, Strauss, Casella, Respighi and Ellington. His 20-year association and work with the late innovator-composer John Cage, is legendary. Mr. Pierce's landmark series of recordings of Cage's keyboard music for the German label Wergo: John Cage, Works for Piano and Prepared Piano Volumes I, II, III, IV and Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano have received many prizes, much critical acclaim, and in 1991 won the Prieses Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In May 2000, Mr. Pierce made music history by becoming the first pianist ever to perform John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, Daughters of the Lonesome Isle and the Three Page Sonata by Charles Ives at the Alternitivo Festival of Contemporary Music 2000 in Moscow, Russia and at the 4th ISCM Festival Europe/Asia 2000 in Kazan, Russia to great critical acclaim. Mr. Pierce continues his association with the American Festival of Microtonal Music, Inc. (AFMM), as he is the organization's official pianist, and an active member of the AFMM Board. In 1996, Johnny Reinhard brought his realization of Charles Ives' Universe Symphony to Alice Tully Hall with Mr. Pierce as pianist. They have performed together throughout Russia, Europe and the United States since 1983, presenting a wide variety of composers including many important works by John Cage, Harry Partch, Charles Ives, and Ivan Wyschnegradsky. His website is at http://www.jamesarts.com/pierce/bio.html.



All recordings “live” from AFMM concerts
Recording Engineer: Norman Greenspan
Mastered by Paul Geluso
CD Cover Artist: Orlanda Brugnola
Produced by Johnny Reinhard

www.afmm.org ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
AMERICAN FESTIVAL OF MICROTONAL MUSIC © 2009

Support from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Maldeb Foundation




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