It was a very varied program at Grow Gardens Nursery last Sunday night. We hope the plants recovered from the Xenakis and thrived with the 15th Century choral music (that we stole and used for strings). Good to have shovels and rakes handy in case we dropped notes.....Mr. London is taking it all very seriously in this photo.
Xenakis was raised in a music loving family and studied both music and architecture in school. Forced to leave Greece after WWII (where he had been a resistance fighter) he landed in Paris and studied with Le Corbusier. This picture is the Phillips Pavilion at the 1958 Worlds Fair in Brussels, which he designed. Looking at it might help in understanding the jaggedness of his music.
In Paris he also wanted to continue his musical studies. He was rejected by Boulanger, and Honegger, who said that the fact that there were parallel fifths and octaves in his compositions meant that they were not music. It was Olivier Messiaen who did finally accept him as a student. Messiaen introduced him to serialism and also encouraged him to use his mathematical and architectural skills in composition. That is the path he followed. He also went on to be part of the budding computer music world in the 1960's and 70's. His book, "Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition" was written in 1971 while teaching at Indiana University.
"Charisma", the clarinet and cello duet on this program is an edgy piece. In just 4 minutes he builds a sparse, varied, and yet unified structure.
In case anyone had trouble getting into this blog, it actually was removed for a few days by Google. It somehow got trapped in a spam filter. After reviewing it I guess they decided that we really are not very scandalous!
The Alphabet Concerts started as a 2 year project. We presented 23 concerts in 2010-2011 with composers names representing every letter of the alphabet (ok, 2 months will double-up).
The fun was finding more repertoire than we had known before, and just putting more music on the map! It stared in January, 2010, with composers whose last name (or lack of one, Anon) starts with "A".
And......everyone who came to that got a card with a lovely "A" on it. In February a "B" card.... The cards are designed by different local artists starting with Andree MacColl, Bonnie Boren......and Bonnie is also designing the "U" card. "V" was designed by Victoria Ehrlich, and "W" by Emily Roeder. "XY" was by Elly Lichenstein and David Bowes supplied the last card;"Z".
At the final concert and party, we ate alphabet soup and zwetschendatschi, drank wine from the A-Z winery, and gave prizes for the best collections of letter cards. In April, Roger and Eileen Weeks, Paul Besco and Gary Shepard were our guests for a very enjoyable lunch at Chez Panisse. VERY enjoyable!
It was all so much fun that we decided to continue the frivolity with A-Zed through the centuries. This time we are collaborating with Cinnabar Theater and we very much appreciate their support! After the September concert, all others will be held at Cinnabar Theater. We look forward to seeing you there!
Well...the backround for the a-zed concerts...
After many years of playing opera (SF) and Symphony (SF) and various other orchestra, solo and chamber music concerts, it seemed time for a substantial project that involves lots of playing, lots of friends, and searches for music that we had not known before.
Now, more than half way through, it turns out that all those things are happening and it is even more fun than we had imagined. So many wonderful musician/friends are jumping in with ideas and a willingness to play for, frankly, very little renumeration. And the audience is a gas! So great to see friends on a monthly basis!
So...more ideas are always appreciated! And thanks to all!!