The Vinny Golia Orchestra Live at REDCAT Los Angeles (PFMDVD123)

Jeff Kaiser

[This product is a DVD]

The
Vinny Golia
Orchestra
Live at
REDCAT
Los Angeles

Set One
1. Set One Introduction 2:31
Primary soloists:
Jonathan Stehney, bassoon
Andrew Rowan, trumpet

2. Show of Force 3:44
Primary soloists:
Carmina Escobar and
Andrea Young, voices

3. 5 (Large Ensemble Version) 11:22
Primary soloists:
Gavin Templeton, alto saxophone
Vinny Golia, baritone saxophone
Stefan Kac, tuba

4. Up In The Sky, Like The Sun At High Noon
(The Eiga Clan Frames The Roscoe Trip) 11:27
Primary soloists:
Erik KM Clark, violin
Dan Clucas and Daniel Rosenboom, trumpets
Jon Armstrong, tenor saxophone

5. Lost & Found (For Henry) 10:49
Primary soloists:
Aniela Perry, cello
Joseph Thel, english horn
Alex Noice, electric guitar
Ingrid Lee, piano

6. Carbine One, Change A Letter 6:13
Primary soloists:
Ben McIntosh, trombone
Michael Mull, alto saxophone
7. Carbine Two 6:09
Primary soloists:
Drew Jordan, trumpet
Vinny Golia and Christine Tavolacci, piccolos

Set Two
1. Set Two Introduction 3:50
Jon Armstrong, tenor saxophone

2. Would You Like Help
On Your Journey To Mottsfield? 6:57
Primary soloists:
Kathy Pisaro, oboe
Vinny Golia, tubax (contrabass saxophone)

3. Soccer Gear Dropped On Religious Leaders 6:57
Primary Soloist:
Alex Noice, guitar
Brian Walsh, bass clarinet
Daniel Rosenboom, piccolo trumpet

4. Barnum Brown Finds Something 4:10
Primary Soloists:
Ingrid Lee, piano
Vinny Golia, sopranino saxophone

5. Just Another Morning 1:57

6. Encore 8:36
Vinny Golia directed improvisation:
Brian Walsh, bass clarinet
Lauren Baba and Andrew Tholl, violin
Christine Tavolacci, bass flute
Jonathan Stehney, bassoon
Alex Noice, guitar
Gavin Templeton, alto saxophone

Special thanks:
Kathy Carbone, Lauren Pratt, Wayne Peet, Allen Kaufman,
David Rosenboom, Marc Lowenstein, California Institute
of the Arts, and all the members of the Vinny Golia New
Music Orchestra

A joint release of
pfMENTUM
and Ninewinds
PFMDVD123/NWDVD400
www.pfmentum.com

Graphic Design: Ted Killian

All compositions and arrangements by Vinny Golia
℗ and © 2018 Ninewinds, BMI

Recorded live at REDCAT in Los Angeles, April 9, 2014
All works Vinny Golia

Conductors Mark Lowenstein and Vinny Golia

Strings
Violins: Andrew Tholl, Henry Webster, Melinda Rice, Stephanie Moorehouse, Lauren Baba, Eric KM Clark, Madeline Falcone
Violas: Cassia Streb, Natalie Brejcha, Morgan Lee Gerstmar
Cellos: Aniela Perry, Derek Stein, April Guthrie, Thea Mesirow
Bass: David Tranchina, Ivan Johnson

Woodwinds
Oboe: Kathy Pisaro
Oboe/English Horn: Joseph Thel
Bassoons: Jonathan Stehney, Archie Carey
C, Alto and Bass Flutes, Piccolo: Christine Tavolacci, Sammi Lee
Saxophones, Flutes, Clarinets: Vinny Golia, Gavin Templeton, Jon Armstrong
Clarinet and Alto Sax: Michael Mull
Bass Clarinet: Brian Walsh

Brass
Trumpets: Dan Clucas, Daniel Rosenboom, Drew Jordan, Andrew Rowan
French Horn: Erin Poulin, Adam Wolf
Trombones: Evan Sprecht, Ben McIntosh, Matt Barbier
Bass Trombone: John Tyler Jordan
Tuba: Stefan Kac

Piano Ingrid Lee

Guitar Alex Noice

Percussion
Mallets: Jodie Landau
Auxiliary Percussion: Tony Gennaro, Vinny Golia
Drum Kit: Andrew Lessman

Voice Andrea Young, Carmina Escobar

Recording Concert recording by Wayne Peet

Mixed and mastered at Newzone Studio, Los Angeles by Wayne Peet with Aaron Druckman (assistant engineer)
Video by Sunlight Digital
Video recording by Allen Kaufman and Jimmy Alioto
Edited and authored by Allen Kaufman

About The Work
When first notified of this REDCAT concert, I planned to meld my electric sextet with my large ensemble; two groups I hold very dear to my heart. Along the way many things happened. I added vocalists, I wanted to have an extended string section and I thought about how I would incorporate the long standing members of the large ensemble and the many new bright faces creating such vibrant music here in Los Angeles. Also along the way tragic events past through the lives of loved ones, the music community suffered the loss of many great musicians and lastly, just a few days ago, Pierre Fauteux passed onto another phase of his continuum. Pierre’s love of music as well as his love of life is embedded in my mind. This concert is a dedication to and a celebration of his time spent on this planet with his lovely wife, Helen, and their two outstanding children, Monique and Jacqueline. It is also dedicated to all those who have lost loved ones.

Pondering on these events happening in my life, the question is (and always has been) how to make music that is meaningful and communicative amidst sorrow and chaos. I still do not know the answer, and my journey takes me deeper into the sounds we create. These compositions were written and re-orchestrated between 2004 and 2014 and are an overview of areas I have been exploring, namely, rhythm, shape, form, and color, with my large and medium ensembles over this time period.

Carbine One, Change A Letter and Carbine Two are portraits of one of my closest friends. Up In The Sky Like The Sun At High Noon is another entry into a series based on driving times in Los Angeles, which as every Los Angeles dweller knows, can be fast and brutal or just plain brutal. This composition also comments on the Eiga clan in feudal Japan, which is a source of inspiration for many other compositions I have written for other various sized ensembles. Show of Force is a commentary on the posturing of nations and how political leaders choose to respond. Lost and Found is for the enigmatic Henry Grimes, whom many thought dead, but who reappeared after many years living in Los Angeles. I have had the great pleasure to perform with Henry numerous times since his reemergence. 5 is the oldest of the compositions, and was originally written for a quartet, then expanded for a quintet, condensed for a saxophone quartet, arranged for a sextet, and finally, orchestrated for this new orchestra. Would you like help in your journey to Motts field? should conjure up images if you enjoy a certain type of film genre.

Lastly, we come to three pieces for Pierre. These compositions, started as a trilogy for percussion and orchestra in 2004, are now just completed. The titles are humorous in honor of Pierre’s love of life, fun, wine, and music. Hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I did while writing them and we have performing them.

In my work there is a balance between the worlds of composition and improvisation. It takes extremely talented musicians to straddle these worlds which includes following a conductor, watching for hand signs and signals, reading complex music, improvising within specific guidelines and interpreting a composer’s ideas into concrete form. I come into contact everyday at CalArts with musicians comfortable working in this way, so after much thought instead of melding my electric sextet with my large ensemble, I decided to take a more orchestral approach and created a new incarnation of my large ensemble for this concert: The Vinny Golia New Music Orchestra. This orchestra comprises many alumni and students who have passed through my various classes and musical groups through the years, as well as CalArts faculty members. The musicians in this orchestra all share a love of exploration and the highest regard for music. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be performing and sharing the stage with them. Tonight we share with you our love of sound in memory of all who have passed through our lives.

—Vinny Golia, Valencia, California, 5 April 2014

Disk Label Text:

The
Vinny Golia
Orchestra
Live at
REDCAT
Los Angeles

A joint release of
pfMENTUM and Ninewinds
PFMDVD123/NWDVD400
www.pfmentum.com

All compositions and arrangements by Vinny Golia
℗ and © 2018 Ninewinds, BMI

Steve Adams / Scott Walton: Cookies for Cyrano (PFMCD103)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="935"]

1. Force Field of Oblivion 6:04
2. one of countless sporadic manifestations of the alternate universe in which Olivier Messiaen is a fervent agnostic 7:15
3. Membrillo 6:14
4. Operatic 13:37
5. The Enumeration (for Glenn Spearman) 6:13
6. Ogonix 8:58
7. Black Notebook #8 13:37

Steve Adams – alto and baritone saxes, bass flute, electronics
Scott Walton – acoustic bass

All compositions by Steve Adams, © 2016 Metalanguage Music (BMI)

Recorded Feb. 25, 2015 at Fantasy Studio B by Jesse Nichols.
mixed July 8 and December 29, 2015 at Fantasy Studios by Jesse Nichols.
mastered May 5, 2016 by Myles Boisen at the Headless Buddha Mastering Lab.

The Steve Adams/Scott Walton Duo has been performing since 2013. Steve is best known as a member of the Rova Sax Quartet, with whom he has played for over twenty five years, toured internationally and released more than twenty five recordings. His compositions have been performed at the Bang on a Can and Meet the Composer Festivals. Scott Walton is a bassist and pianist whose music negotiates the terrain between jazz, free improvisation, and the classical avant-garde.  He has performed throughout North America and Europe with groups he co-leads, and in a host of collaborative contexts.

pfMENTUM CD103
PFMCD103

Virtual Tour: A Reduced Carbon Footprint Concert Series. Featuring Mark Dresser, Michael Dessen, Nicole Mitchell, Sarah Weaver, Gerry Hemingway and more.

Mark Dresser / Nicole Mitchell / Myra Melford / Michael Dessen: Virtual Tour: A Reduced Carbon Footprint Concert Series (PFMDVD094)

Jeff Kaiser

In April 2013, a quartet of renowned composer-improvisers—Mark Dresser, Nicole Mitchell, Myra Melford and Michael Dessen—performed an unprecedented “virtual tour” of new music conceived for world-class musicians performing together live in different geographic locations via Internet2. Building on years of prior telematic collaborations and using high-speed bandwidth available only at research and educational institutions, Virtual Tour linked performers and audiences across thousands of miles, using lifelike, uncompressed audio and high definition video to set a new standard for telematic music making. The core quartet, based in San Diego, California, collaborated with a different remote ensemble for each of the three concerts: Jason Robinson, Marty Ehrlich and Bob Weiner in Amherst, Massachusetts; Matthias Ziegler and Gerry Hemingway in Zurich, Switzerland; and Sarah Weaver, Ray Anderson, Jane Ira Bloom, Min Xiao-Fen, and Matt Wilson in Stony Brook, New York. With footage from all three concerts and featuring eleven world premieres designed specifically to explore the unique potentials of this medium, this DVD documents an important step forward in bringing world-class creative music to the telematic stage. Please visit http://virtualtour2013.com for more information on this project.

Total run time approximately 193 minutes

Virtual Tour:

Amherst Concert:
Mr. Not-So TC, composed by Mark Dresser (14:29) (Del Dresser Music/ASCAP)
For Instance, Today, composed by Michael Dessen (16:22) (Cronopio Music/ASCAP)
The Story of My Anxiety, composed by Marty Ehrlich (9:41) (Dark Sounds Music/BMI)
God’s Bits of Wood, composed by Nicole Mitchell (6:25) (Wheatgoddess Creations/ASCAP)
Noema, composed by Jason Robinson (11:59)(Circumvention Music/ASCAP)

Performers in Amherst, MA: Marty Ehrlich, alto saxophone and bass clarinet; Jason Robinson, tenor saxophone and alto flute; Bob Weiner, drums

Performers in San Diego, CA: Nicole Mitchell, flute; Michael Dessen, trombone; Myra Melford, piano; Mark Dresser, bass

Zurich Concert:
3 Stories, composed by Gerry Hemingway (19:22)(Nagual Music/GEMA/BMI)
Between Walls, composed by Nicole Mitchell (9:45) (Wheatgoddess Creations/ASCAP)
SubTeleToning, composed by Mark Dresser (21:14) (Del Dresser Music/ASCAP)
Buffered Fragments, composed by Matthias Ziegler (14:48) (Matthias Zieger/SUISA)

Performers in Zurich, Switzerland:
Matthias Ziegler, flute; Gerry Hemingway, drums
Performers in San Diego, CA: Nicole Mitchell, flute; Michael Dessen, trombone; Myra Melford, piano; Mark Dresser, bass

Stony Brook Concert:
Universal Synchrony Music: Volume 1, composed by Sarah Weaver (30:30) (Sarah Weaver Music Publishing, ASCAP)
SubTeleToning, composed by Mark Dresser (25:16) (Del Dresser Music/ASCAP)
Telepathology, composed by Nicole Mitchell (14:41) (Wheatgoddess Creations/ASCAP)

Performers in Stony Brook, NY:
Sarah Weaver, conductor; Jane Ira Bloom, soprano saxophone; Ray Anderson, trombone; Min Xiao Fen, pipa; Matt Wilson, drums; Doug Van Nort, laptop (on Universal Synchrony Music: Volume 1)
Performers in San Diego, CA: Nicole Mitchell, flute; Michael Dessen, trombone; Myra Melford, piano; Mark Dresser, bass

Additional content:
Program notes for all compositions
Interview with Virtual Tour co-directors Mark Dresser and Michael Dessen

Locations and dates/times:

San Diego location for all 3 performances:
Conrad Prebys Music Center Theatre, University of California, San Diego, CA

For Amherst Concert:
7pm PDT/10pm EDT, April 5, 2013
Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College, Amherst, MA
For Zurich Concert:
12pm PDT/9pm CET, April 6, 2013
Institute for Computer Music and Technology (ICST), Zurich, Switzerland

For Stony Brook Concert:
4pm PDT/7pm EDT, April 7, 2013
Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, with support from Consortium for Digital Arts, Culture and Technology (cDACT), Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Production Credits:

Project Directors:
Co-directors of Virtual Tour: Mark Dresser and Michael Dessen
Amherst site director: Jason Robinson
Zurich site director: Matthias Ziegler
Stony Brook site director: Sarah Weaver

In San Diego, CA:
Trevor Henthorn, technology director
Josef Kucera, technology consultant
Antonio Estrada and Andrew Johnson, local audio
Isaac Garcia Muñoz, network audio
Michael Ricca, audio recording
Daniel Ross, recording assistant
Yeung-ping Chen, network video
Kyle Johnson and Ash Smith, documentation video
Jennifer Bewerse, promotion design

In Amherst, MA:
Edmund Keyes, production assistant
Mark Santolucito, production assistant, audio networking
Joshua Baum, production assistant, video networking
Dan Richardson, sound engineer
Rob Ansaldo, networking assistance
Sara Leonard, lighting
Ross Karre and company, video documentation

In Zurich, Switzerland:
Johannes Schütt, network director
Joel de Giovanni and Benjamin Burger, video direction
Daniel Späti, stage director
Simon Könz, sound engineer

In Stony Brook, NY:
Kevin Schinstock, live audio, audio recording
Derek Kwan, network audio
Timothy Vallier, network video
Ross Karre and company, live video, video documentation
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, lighting

Post-production:
Audio mixing/mastering: Michael Dessen, Jason Robinson, Stephanie Robinson, Kevin Schinstock, Sarah Weaver, Gerry Hemingway, and Joe Branciforte
Video editing: Ross Karre
DVD production: Trevor Henthorn
Graphic design: Ted Killian

pfMENTUM DVD094
PFMDVD094

Steuart Liebig / The Mentones: Nowhere Calling (PFMCD039)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="445,443"]
The Mentones
Tony Atherton: alto saxophone
Bill Barrett: chromatic harmonica
Joseph Berardi: drumset, percussion
Steuart Liebig: contrabassguitars

chatterbox – – 4:17
double-blade axe – – 3:58
coal – – 4:41
back seat, white cadillac – – 7:08
hardcase – – 2:30
iodine cream – – 4:10
manchild hustle – – 3:16
way high lonesome – – 4:55
the single-double two-step – – 1:58
rocking chair – – 6:29
angel city dust – – 3:47
daisy man – – 2:00
rooster rocket – -1:53

© 2006, steuart liebig/sisong music (ascap)

photos/montages by steuart liebig;
band photos by amparo fernandez;
inside photo from david witham video, processed by joseph berardi;
layout by steuart liebig
recorded at newzone studio, by wayne peet; mixed at newzone studio, by wayne peet and steuart liebig, mar vista, california, 2006

gear thanks: fodera basses, thomastik-infeld strings, rick turner and raven labs; pat missin; paiste cymbals and attack drums heads

Liner Notes by Nels Cline:
The Mentones. The name conjures up some preconceptions: a sort of retro outfit, maybe a blues/rock or R&B thing. Dudes. Maybe Texan dudes. Or Oklahomans. The kind of band dudes get rowdy to, or maybe even couples shake their tailfeathers to. Interestingly, although the name is derived from bandleader/composer/bassist Steuart Liebig’s street name in Los Angeles County, there are shards of truth in these preconceptions. But they certainly don’t tell the tale. The Mentones—and yes, they ARE all men— actually do play a kind of blues boogie, though their brand of this is calculatedly skewed in a kind of Bartokian way. This is an all-instrumental thing, so already we’re talking some kind of FUSION band, right? The kind men might dig, since the rumbling roots of the band’s concept are blues, boogie, and some kind of out jazz freakout. HOWEVER: I have watched women groove mightily to The Mentones! I’ve heard them applaud their taut, economical solo workouts! And it’s not because these guys are working the image thing, OK? Not a hipster hat, no sharkskin, no stage presence is in evidence (sorry, cats)! What, then, IS this SoCal combo all about? Why are these hepcats and hepkittens in major DIGULATION MODE?? *** If one follows the prolific and mercurial output of CONTRABASS guitarist Steuart Liebig, one quickly gets dazzled—if not fully bogged down—in the myriad projects he has formed and for which he composes. I have truly lost count of how many bands Steuart is doing concurrently— it’s well over five—and each one operates within tight conceptual parameters. The Mentones is Herr Liebig’s rockingest combo, and it is specifically created to simultaneously refer to and mangle elements of blues, R&B, and, to my mind, surf and the old “instrumental hits” idea, particularly as it played out in the mid-60s. I am also repeatedly reminded of the early quartet music of Ornette Coleman, not stylistically, but in the tight and focused ensemble statements. There are no 5-minute solo forays here. Each piece is highly compressed, and some are over before you even know they’ve started. There appear to be other tightly controlled parameters. For example, it all seems to be about meaty vamps and unison or octave melodies between alto saxophone and harmonica. It’s a thing! I know this because I’ve known Steuart for 30 years! It’s how he thinks and works. His writing for octets, chamber trios, is rife with neo-modernist harmonies. But not in The Mentones. I cherish a fantasy (apologies in advance to Oliver Reed): Lee Marvin, looking for a out-of-the-limelight spot to have a drink or five, stops into a Salvadoran joint like Culver City’s Club Tropical. On the dance floor, The Mentones are at it, pounding out the mighty Liebig salvo, “Hardcase.” Marvin walks right up to the band, his towering, manly frame blocking the view of many of the reverent denizens. As they WHOMP! the song’s abrupt conclusion Marvin, a few Patron Silvers into his evening asks, to no band member in particular, “What are you guys supposed to be, some kind of LOCRIAN BLUES BAND?!” Too bad Lee’s joined his ancestors, but man, he’d be right! With melodies derived from obscure modes (Steuart is positively besotted with flatted fifths) or completely chromatic, the CHUG and CHURN of the bass and drums ram the solar plexus while the peculiar (and totally singular) melodies dance like satyrs in the cerebellum. *** A few words about the men of The Mentones: On alto saxophone is Tony Atherton. Sure, he sounds like he’s sucked up plenty of the toxic stench in Naked City, or perhaps worshipped at the feet of Big Satan. But the maniacal frothing of his playing is totally ROCK ’N ROLL. If he was around in the late 50s, he’d have been the kid in high school who hung out with all the older nighthawks, jamming into the wee hours—or at least as long as the benzedrine in his inhaler lasted. His imposingly tall frame and gentle demeanor barely mask what is obvious: he is a TOTALLY GONE CAT. After negotiating the written material to a tee, he then uncorks the reedy gusher of his horn/psyche. Bill Barrett plays the harmonica. Simply stated, he is one of the most cogent and arresting soloists ON ANY INSTRUMENT playing today. I kid you not. Listen to this shit! He goes from classic blues harp to fucking campfire memories to ghostly shakuhachi rushes without ever losing the moan and shriek of the blues. His playing is consistently haunted. It haunts the music like a spectre, imbuing each moment it inhabits with what David Briggs called “The Spook.” Drummer Joe Berardi has credits longer than the ‘thank yous’ on a Mariah Carey record. I’ve seen him in so many situations spreading his excellence around that it’s dizzying. Do some homework on this man. In The Mentones, Joe really GETS DOWN. Whether playing prepared drums, a tin can, or just laying it down normal-style, this is a BURNER for Joe (and beautifully recorded, I might add). There remains one question: how can a man so consistently well dressed SHRED like that? As for the fearless leader himself, Steuart Liebig here eschews his effects pedal dazzle for a virtuosic though never out-of- the-pocket piledrive through the lexicon of bass and guitar. You see, Steuart bought one of those 6-string basses right when they came out. These things were the fulfillment of a dream, much in the way the MiniMoog was the fulfillment of a dream for Jan Hammer. If only these select individuals were the only ones to bring these instruments to light! Anyway, now Steuart has 3 or 4 of these monster basses. One fretless, one fretted/flatwound, one fretless, one fretted/roundwound, all customized, stickered, slathered with the foam of the mad scientist he is. He plays slide, digs deep into involuntary bowel movement frequencies, and skitters around in the guitar’s range like a musician version of the Manster. AND OH YES, he writes all these neo-Peter Gunn, Locrian, Willie Dixon jams. When The Mentones perform, Steuart name checks his bandmates about 23 times—per set! But I hope that you, the holder of this fine CD, can take a minute to let the names of these men seep into your over-stimulated brain. *** By the way, this disc really starts to ramp up around track 9 (programmers take note!), so all you kids put on your crash helmets and don’t miss the exciting conclusion of Nowhere Calling! Cowabunga!
Nels Cline—Glendale, CA, April 1, 2006

pfMENTUM CD039

PFM039

Steuart Liebig / MINIM: Quicksilver (PFMCD023)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="405,407"]
Steuart Liebig / MINIM

Quicksilver

Ellen Burr: Flute, Piccolo and Alto Flute

Jeff Gauthier: Electric 4 and 5-String Violins

Jeanette Kangas: Drumset, Percussion and Vibraphone

Steuart Liebig: C, Eb and Prepared Contrabass guitars

1-23: Mosaic – (51:38)
24: Chrysanthemum – (15:37)
25: A Single Rosehip Bursts in Praise – (12:21

Copyright 2004 Steuart Liebig/Sisong Music (ASCAP)

Recorded April 2002, by Wayne Peet
Mixed June and October 2003, and March and July 2004
by Wayne Peet and Steuart Liebig; all at Newzone Studios, Mar Vista, California

Jeff Gauthier plays 4- and 5-string electric violins made by Rich Barbera, and a bow made by some dead French guy.

Jeanette Kangas (formerly known as Jeanette Wrate) plays
Paiste cymbals exclusively.

Steuart Liebig plays Fodera Basses, uses the Raven Labs PMB-1,
and uses Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats strings (C basses) and Fodera roundwound strings (Eb and C basses).

Live Band and dancer (Belinda Cheng and John Dowell) photos by Anthony Cheng. Band rehearsal photos by Belinda Cheng.

Cover photos/montages by Steuart Liebig.
Thanks to David Poelman for digital assistance
Layout by Steuart Liebig and Jeff Kaiser.

Thanks Leslie, Anya and Aron.

“Mosaic” is a piece made up of 23 miniatures based on haiku. “Chrysanthemum” is a single movement of 14 parts. “A Single Rosehip Bursts in Praise” was written for a collaboration with choreographer Belinda Cheng for the Auricle Dance Company and premiered on 17 November 2002.

NOTES:

Mosaic: 23 Miniatures After Haiku

The idea for a piece comprised of a group of 23 miniatures for small improvising ensemble has been one that I had kept in the back of my mind and in small sketchbooks for some four years. I envisioned an ensemble in which I would be able to utilize some of the “prepared bass” and less “bass-like” techniques that I had been using for a number of years. Additionally, I wanted to write for some less-usual (for me) techniques for both tuned and untuned percussion and a standard melody instrument. Finally, after many years of languishing as only sketches, these miniatures were written in a fairly short time.

There were a few catalysts for this seemingly sudden turnaround. One was that I had just finished a long-term writing and recording project that consisted of four long-form pieces (now released as Pomegranate, on Cryptogramaphone Records) and, still feeling the creative ferment from that experience, needed the opportunity to do much shorter pieces that were formally less involved (though, as whole group, the overall structure does have some formal complexities and is pretty long!). The second was the decision to move from a trio setting to a quartet setting, thereby opening up more orchestrational possibilities. Third, I decided to base the pieces on haiku; rather than choosing specific poems, however, I chose to base the pieces on some of the syllabic rules of haiku—while hopefully achieving some of the brevity, feeling and wonder that one experiences from reading this sort of poem.

As such, these 23 pieces are all based on the number 17—a piece may have 17 measures, thematic material made up of 17 notes, etc. The overall piece is structured to have a solo piece (four) for each member of the quartet; a duet and trio for the different possible groupings in the quartet (six and four, respectively); and nine pieces for the full quartet. I tried to have contrasting sections and parts that referred back to other parts of the overall piece and to evoke differing moods and emotions throughout.

A Single Rosehip Bursts in Praise

This piece was written as part of a collaboration with choreographer/dancer Belinda Cheng. The title comes from a passage in the novel, Art & Lies, by Jeanette Winterson. The piece itself is broken into two major sections. The first is a sort of unfolding that the phrase suggested to me. The second is a more pictorial setting of the action in the book: three people (the characters Handel, Sappho and Picasso) on a subway, each with his/her own thoughts.

Chrysanthemum

This piece is based on the structure of a sonnet: 14 lines of 10 syllables each. In this case, I have “cells” of 10 notes (stated at the beginning and end as two 5-notes chords) that I have treated in a more or less serial fashion in 14 discrete sections. That is, each written section of the piece uses only those 10 original notes, though they are reordered or split between the various players. Again, I have split the quartet that performs the piece into some of its component parts: each player gets a solo and there are four trios, the remaining six sections are for the full quartet. Again, I attempted to have contrasting sections. Whereas Mosaic is played in 23 sections with breaks, this piece is performed as one continuous whole.

pfMENTUM CD023

PFMCD023