On April 28, at Montgomery County Community College, Philadelphia saxophonist/bandleader Bobby Zankel’s big band the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound will premiere a new piece written expressly for the ensemble by legendary pianist/composer Muhal Richard Abrams, who will conduct the ensemble. Ars Nova Workshop has the second of a series of articles about the event.
C. Spencer Yeh: I’ve worked some ‘structured improvisations’ into my project Burning Star Core when it involved other band members, but without any micro-level direction of their sounds. I knew the players pretty well, and knew what they could do, so the structured improvisations were definitely shaped with that in mind. I suppose that selecting players is a composition unto itself.
In an onstage interview at her Making Music concert at Zankel Hall on Monday evening, the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho explained her approach to “From the Grammar of Dreams,” a 2007 setting of Sylvia Plath texts, by making a fascinating distinction between wakefulness and dreaming. When you are awake, she told Jeremy Geffen, the moderator, you speak in sentences that move sequentially through time. But when you dream, your speech can be four-dimensional.
Curran co-founded the avant-garde group Musica Elettronica Viva in Rome in 1966. He has created over 150 compositions and sound installations, and his pieces incorporate everything from synthesizers and taped natural sounds to rock and classical instrumentation. He was born in Providence, R.I., and attended Brown University, then studied under composer Elliott C. Carter, Jr. ’30 at the Yale School of Music. Curran now teaches privately in Rome and continues to conceive new pieces.
THE REMOTE VIEWERS – Nerve Cure
I TRENI INERTI – Luz Azul
PETER WRIGHT – Ghost Haven
ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE – Emilio
TERRY RILEY – Aleph
CHRISTINA VANTZOU – No.1
PHILIP CORNER – Pieces From The Past: By Philip Corner For The Violin Of Malcolm Goldstein