Gannian Homage to Ives, for Orchestra

A recording of my 2011 orchestra piece Serenity Meditation has arrived, courtesy of the Bowling Green State University New Music Festival, and conducted by J.J. Pearse. The piece, curated for this event by John Luther Adams, is based on three Ives songs, mostly "Serenity" and to a smaller extent "Sunrise" and "General William Booth Enters into Heaven." It's dedicated to Neely Bruce, who commissioned the keynote address in which I mentioned those three songs as examples of Ivesian stasis. I've had so little experience with orchestras that it's … [Read more...]

November While It’s Still November

When I moved my web site I didn't re-upload the four-plus-hour recording Sarah Cahill and I made in Kansas City of Dennis Johnson's minimalist piano classic November. Several people have asked me to reinstall it and I keep forgetting, but it's up here now. Andy Lee is recording the piece for the Irritable Hedgehog label, so there will be an excellent commercial studio recording out soon. I'll let you know. … [Read more...]

Everybody’s a Critic

"I might end up never firing the pistol. Contrary to Chekhov's principle." "That's fine, too," Tamaru said. "Nothing could be better than not firing it. We're drawing close to the end of the twentieth century. Things are different from back in Chekhov's time. No more horse-drawn carriages, no more women in corsets. Somehow the world survived the Nazis, the atomic bomb, and modern music." - Haruki Murakami, 1Q84, p. 1108 And I started reading the book because it mentioned Janacek's Sinfonietta in the second … [Read more...]

The Schumann of Postclassicism

Since his memorial service I've been desperately longing to hear William Duckworth's Simple Songs about Sex and War, but I couldn't find my old tape of it. (There's a commercial CD, but the performance is weird and too disappointing to listen to.) Finally I ran across an mp3 on a hard drive - he and Nora must have given it to me last time I visited - and for all those similarly susceptible I post it here. Based on poems written for Bill by Hayden Carruth, it is the perfect postclassical song cycle, sung by the incomparable Barbara Noska (a … [Read more...]