April 30 - Extensive


Finally got the key back to Paul Dresher, via a spectacular drive in the Berkeley Hills on a gorgeous day. Caught up with grading a bit at a strange little Mexican restaurant in Richmond where most of the help was eating Chinese take-out -- probably not a good sign, but the food was actually pretty retro-tasty...

Home for a mini-"Executive Board Meeting" with Harriet re this year's Fresh Voices and next, then finishing up this Spring's edition of Music History, Volume 4: Late 20th-/21st-Century. Added Death Cab for Cutie and Panic! at the Disco to the mix....

April 29 - Engaged



Thanks to Kat Cornelius and


Janet Lohr, we decided that they will switch roles in Act II of Waiting for Godot, which should be interesting when the character playing Lucky in Act I suddenly becomes Pozzo after the break....



Lots of activity today for the Easter Hangover program, and fine presentations all around, including a song by Douglas Mandell, sung nicely in duet with Suzanna Mizell. For the Halfway Mark excerpts, we went with the MIDI renditions on the MacBook, including my voice(s) being in the mix for Bianca Showalter's Ecclesiastes, the Missa "The a deux": Kyrie, and San Rafael News: Lifespan (verses 2-7)  -- the latter in the Animal Mix version Minus One... Nice full mixed choral sound for Aerial Requiem: Agnus Dei; Carl Koryat, William Loney, Lisa McHenry, Marilyn Pratt, Eliza O'Malley, Kat all in rare form for Orpheus, Rebecca, and Godot excerpts. Even the staging, with no rehearsal time, came off well....

Had to zip off after through the Golden Gate fog north to still sunny San Rafael for Marin Symphony, report soon....

April 28 - Careful!


Sing-Through of Act II Waiting for Godot at Eliza's,



with panoramic view of Mt. Tamalpais, San Francisco, San Pablo Bay -- wonderful! Rehearsal pretty good, too, although music is challenging, but cast seems by- and-large game....

Also helped Harriet put the program together for tomorrow's Easter Hangover. Final portion will include selections from Ecclesiastes, Missa The a Deux, Orpheus Cycle, Aerial Requiem, Songs for Rebecca, San Rafael News, and Waiting for Godot -- as in Halfway Mark, though with electronic and piano accompaniments.

April 27 - Expressive


Worked on pages 3-9 of Music History, Volume 4: Late 20th / 21st-Century Music, including pieces by Pamela Z, Tan Dun, Hans Zimmer, Lisa Scola Prosek, Erling Wold, Osvaldo Golijov, Bono, Prince, Sorrel Alburger, Kurt Cobain, Thom York, Michael Cooke, Steven Clark, and Sean Lennon.

April 26 - Radio Riot


Radio Riot show today in the greenspace / picnic area on the other side of the duck pond from the DVC Music Building. Performed second the aforesaid selections to a reasonably large and enthusiastic crowd. Divided audience into four shouting groups for San Fernando Hub: I. Fresno and counted and snapped the way through Business As Usual: IIc. Information Wanted and San Rafael News: Lifespan.  More varied intonations in The Pied Piper of Hamelin: Rats! (first solo endeavor on this piece) and more sprechstimme in Waiting for Godot: IV. Two Thieves -- 15 minutes in the gloriously hot sun in a tux jacket and black shirt and pants moaning, intoning, yelling, and occasionally singing was about enough for me. Returned to Theory students (a number in attendance at the gig) ready to take it easy the rest of the day....

Was able to hear Sarah (Delerium Ride) at beginning of the show and Go Cart Mozart at the end -- impressive on all counts, and a tribute to Tim White, who put it all together for KDVC FM, wherein are lodged a number of my pieces, and many others....

April 25 - Chronicle

 

Home right after teaching today -- a departure of late...

Updating pages 1-2 of Music History, Volume 4 (Late 20th / 21st-Century), on Donald Fagin / Walter Becker [Steely Dan], Sting [Police], Byrne [Talking Heads], and Michael Daughtery.

Organizing pictures in Photosmart by year of birth, to dovetail with the system developed in the books.

April 24 - Fillin' Up


Preparing for the April 26 KDVC Radio Riot show -- looks like my segment will be...

Op 49 San Fernando Hub: I. Fresno

Op 49 Business As Usual: 1B Six Friday Nights, 2A Caucasian Sketchbook,
2C Information Wanted, 3C Shane O'Donlan

Op 51 San Rafael News: Lifespan

Op 116 Pied Piper: Overture - Rats!

Op. 128 Waiting for Godot: IV. Two Theives

...most of which was done at Halfway Mark (except for the extra Business movements), but none performed as solo vocal with CD, as will be the case here....

April 23 - Daze

 

Did a provisional mix of entire Cats, Dogs, and Divas, now that our six woman have all been in the recording studio once -- getting the hang of DSP Quatro as an editing tool....

Many warm wishes re Halfway Mark, from those who were there and those who could not attend. Spoke at length with Phillip Almquist about dynamics of composition, creativity, life, the universe, et al, as did a few weeks ago with Bill Wolter....

April 22 - Bon Voyages


Harriet and I off to third Waiting for Godot rehearsal -- including blocking of Act I -- everyone in good spirits, despite the scores' continuing logistical shortcomings and the necessity of additional cuts... Looks like we're going traditional, right down to the bowler hats....


Bette, George, and Sorrel to the Wharf and late for mid-late afternoon rendezvous, so we head down to Pacifica a bit as in old times. Bit of fog, but beautiful, with a good deal of sunshine and vibrant surf...

Dinner all together at a quirky Chinese restaurant in San Bruno, with the Philadelphians and New Yorker soon to be airborn....

April 21 - Mystic


Rain. Thank goodness the concert day was beautifully clear and dry.

At home celebrating a belated birthday with family, Crystal and Sorrel fooling around with distorted photos in the Photo Shop program -- somehow appropriate -- outrageous laughter.


Wonderful gifts, particularly S's of an iPod, which will be used every day and cut down drastically on the number of temporary CD's produced as I sequentially add movements to ongoing recording projects.

Bit of debriefing re concert and a joy to have Crystal with us -- regretably she has to head off with Carolyn after Mexican dinner to be closer to airport to catch flight early next morning....

April 20 - Halfway Mark


The big day.

Somehow, we pretty much pulled it off. Seemed like a big success -- everyone apparently well-entertained -- music to cry and laugh to: beautiful, scary, funny...

Biggest surprise was turning around just before intermission to see that the crowd had well-nigh doubled since the downbeat (from around 100 to 200).... delightfully unexpected.

Nice turnout from students and colleagues, with many new faces as well...

Last minute changes included doing the first movement of Psalm 6 instead of the second, with Phil graciously allowing me to deliver the text in surreal sermonic counterpoint to his cypher playing, plus joining Lisa McHenry for snippets of "Creole Banjo Player."

No trainwrecks, Suzanna recovered from illness in fine form, many pieces actually quite wonderful from our expert instrumentalists and vocalists, nice responses from audience -- focussed, appreciative attendance, with laughter at the right times and occasional spontaneous clapping between movements, plus a standing ovation.

12th-hour addition was, at the urging of Karl Coryat, a happy birthday at the end. From this happy suggestion, was able to implement improvised composition that could represent the present year: Grating Prelude, in the spirit of Igor Stravinsky's Greeting Prelude on Happy Birthday for Pierre Monteux. In this turnabout, quickly requested that the high instruments play members of an Eb dominant 7th while low ones repeated an E major (Fb major in original) in the rhythms of The Rite of Spring. After some characteristic hits, all joined in on an "Igorian" chant-style rendition of Happy Birthday over the top...

Nice reception followed afterwards, downstairs in the social hall, with cakes and plenty of pictures. Old First proved a wonderful partner in this event, and hope to hold more in future...

Notes, Soloists, Texts

Early Oboe / Early Voice (Complete Works, Volume 1, 1974-1975)
Instruments of Deconstruction (Complete Works, Volume 2, 1976-1978)
Contrary Comotion (Complete Works, Volume 3, 1978-1981)

1, Psalm 6 , Op. 1 (1974): V-X Philip Freihofner, Oboe
Pitches and rhythms derived from Cageian algorhythms
I am wearied with groaning;
all night long my pillow is wet with tears,
I soak my bed with weeping.
Grief dims my eyes;
they are worn out with all my woes.
Away from me, all you evildoers,
for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
The LORD has heard my entreaty
the LORD will accept my prayer.
All my enemies shall be confounded and dismayed;
they shall turn away in sudden confusion.

2. Ecclesiastes, Op. 3 (1975): V.-VI. There Is Evil Bianca Showalter, Soprano
Troped on George Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children
VI: 1 There is . . . evil . . . under the sun, and it lies heav[il]y upon men . . .
4 [I]t comes into vanity and goes into darkness
V: 1 Guard your steps when you . . . draw near . . . to the house of God . . .
. . . listen[ing] is better than to offer . . . [a] sacrifice of fools;
for they do not know that they are doing evil.

3. Variations and Theme, Op. 6 (1976): XV-XVI. Alexis Alrich, Piano
Troped on John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes

4. The Twelve Fingers, Op. 8 (1977): VIII. Sonata Alexis Alrich, Piano
Eight-note lipogram after W.A. Mozart and Henry Cowell

5. Three Places in America, Op. 13 (1978): III. Swarthmore... Alexis Alrich, Piano
Neoclassical, neolatino, neomedieval necromancy Lisa Scola Prosek, Piano

6. Some Stuff, Op. 16 (1979): II. Urban Scherzo Bruce Salvisberg, Flute
Rondo interruptus after The Rolling Stones's Some Girls Michael Garvey, Bassoon
Alexis Alrich, Piano
Victor Flaviani, Percussion
John Beeman, Bass

7. Missa "The a Deux," Op. 21 (1980): I. Kyrie David Chavez, Tenor
Cantus-firmus mass on Vincent Youmans's Tea for Two William Loney, Tenor
Kyrie eleison Lord Have Mercy Karl Coryat, Bass-Baritone
Christe eleison Christ have Mercy Christopher Lujan, Bass-Baritone
Kyrie eleison Lord have mercy

Desert Muse (Complete Works, Volume 4, 1982-1985)
Bass and Range (Complete Works, Volume 5, 1985-1986)
A Windblown Rock in San Rafael (Complete Works, Volume 6, 1987-1988)
One-Hour Color Processing (Complete Works, Volume7, 1989-1990)
8. Duo Sonata No. 1 ("Hyphenated"), Op. 22 (1981): III. Serenade- Clare Twohy, Violin
Minimalist-Balinese-Rag-Swing Aaron Urton, Tenor

9. Orpheus Cycle, Op. 24 (1982): Y: Lyre's Melody Lisa McHenry, Reciter
After Wagner, 50's rock, club jazz, Bali, and Beethoven William Loney, Tenor
Karl Coryat, Bass-Baritone
Bruce Salvisberg, Flute
Rachel Condry, Clarinet
Alexis Alrich, Piano
Clare Twohy, Violin
Aaron Urton, Cello

10. Stolen Students, Op. 25 (1983): I. Rondo Alexis Alrich, Piano
Reverse sonata after Philips Academy Andover academics

11. Sinfonietta, Op. 26 (1984): I. Allegretto Orchestra
Pseudo-Crumbian sketches mapped over Leos Janacek

12 Aerial Requiem, Op. 27 (1985): X. Agnus Dei Voices and Orchestra
Minimal minimalist paean to Paul Miley, lost over Wyoming
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi dona eis requiem
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi dona eis requiem
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi dona eis requiem sempiternam

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world grant them peace
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world grant them peace
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world grant them peace everlasting

13. Merton Songs, Op. 30 (1986): VIIIb. Five Angels Eliza O'Malley, Soprano
Punk hemiola after Thomas Merton's La Comparsa en el Oriente (A Conga)
Five angels beating bongos
Seven saints ringing their bells
Where clothes made out of paper money
And shoes made out of shells.
They clatter like a box of nickels,
Holding candles, on fire:
They whirl these as solemn as wise men,
Paper temples in the air.

Lights fly like birds behind the cane
And shot flies after, but in gourds,
When the camparsa goes off to the plains
With fires in her mouth, but no words:
For ten angels ring gangarias
When the comparsa goes away,
With all the mountain people and pilgrims
Dancing down to Camaguey.

Then pray for us, Mother of Jesus,
Caridad, Merced,
Queen of Cobre and of the three towers
That watch over Camaguey:
The ten angels are playing gangarias
And the comparsa goes away.

14. Crystal Series, Op. 32 (1987): I. Crystal Bells Philip Freihofner, Oboe
Developmental idylls to Crystal Alburger (b. 1987)

15. Songs for Rebecca, Op. 34 (1988): I. Spiral Marilyn Pratt, Soprano
Lydian cascade after texts selected by Rebecca Jones
....this spiral has no bottom and no top....

16. At a Photo Shop, Op. 37 (1989): I. English Mark Alburger, Tenor
Overseas karaoke after a language lesson
You want take photo?
No, I want develop and print
Several roll film
All right each sheet negative print
How many sheet
Three sheet this one roll only develop
Not print
All right. Give them to me.
When will they be ready?
In three days.
In advance all right or not all right
Because day after tomorrow I
Just want to other place go visit.
Can. We try satisfy your request.
This is the order slip.
Fetch photo time please bring along.
You here sell not sell color film?
Sell. You look these several kinds not bad.
Camera use 135 film, want to roll
Kodak 135. Have photo album.
Have. You want big volume or small volume?
Both kinds all let me have a look.
You look. This kind big one can put four sheet
Color photo. Cover also good looking.
Small one each page put one sheet take with.
Very convenient. . . .

17. Trumpet Concerto ("Macho Concertino"), Op. 40 (1990): I. Danny Weinstein, Trumpet
Assembled from student sketches in theory classes

Lost in Place (Complete Works, Volume 8, 1991-1992)
Beyond (Complete Works in Progress, 1993-2000)

18. Mice Suite No. 1, Op. 41 (1991): I. Worksong Orchestra
Act II Mechanistic Ranch Prelude later used in Mice and Men, Op. 45

19. Helena Suite, Op. 44 (1992): I. Beautiful Women Janet Lohr, Mezzo-Soprano
Cantus on S. Foster's Beautiful Dreamer, after dating service
Beautiful Women Don't Go to Singles Bars
The truly beautiful woman who finds herself single
Does not go to singles bars
But she is out there
And she would love to meet that special man
If you are single, successful, and interested
In finding a special lady
Call Helena
Do not confuse this with a dating service
There are no embarrassing videos, no silly questions, no awkward moments
For more than twenty-five years Helena
Has been introducing thousands of singles one by one
Resulting in countless successful marriages
And she can do the same for you.

20. San Fernando Hub, Op. 48 (1993): I. Fresno Karl Coryat, Shout 1
Dantean Thrash Inferno after United Parcel Service Workers William Loney, Shout 2
Fresno! Fresno, your truck's fillin' up! Janet Lohr, Shout 3
Lancaster! Douglas Mandell, Shout 4
Put a raincoat on Mojave!
Who forgot about Ridgecrest?

21. L.A. Stories, Op. 50 (1994): Business As Usual: Information Wanted Mark Alburger, Tenor Spy vs. Spy after Lecture Notes and Wanted Poster at Claremont Graduate University
Who Decides (a look a way you talk)?
Information Wanted
$1000 Reward
(Look a way)
Management Does Nothing
Friday April 20
An aggravated assault reported at Cal Poly
A female student was reported at
9:30 in Parking Lot A
The assailant strangled
The victim with a rope
And then he burned her with cigarettes.

22. San Rafael News, Op. 51 (1995): V. Lifespan Voices and Orchestra
12-Tone 12-Bar Major7th Encyclic after Encyclopedia article
Elephants Dogs Cats Horses Whales Carp Eagles Owls and Parrots
Parakeets Box Tortoises Giant Tortoise Redwood Tree Creosote Bush

70 years 18 years 14 20 years 60 years 30 5 years 16 years
12 years 100 200 3,000 years

Every higher organism has a species characteristic average lifespan
That is defined and limited for the best interest in species survival

For an animal to live forever after procreation
It would deplete the food supply and then jeopardize the species survival

Immortality would half the process of the natural selectivity
Which is the major instrument in adapt ion for all species survival

Mortal generations have superior adapt ion via sexual means
Than an immortal populace in the challenges of species survival

23. Mice Suite No. 2, Op. 53 (1996): V.-VI. Deathsongs Marilyn Pratt, Soprano
Extracted from Act V: ii of Mice and Men, after J. Steinbeck Susanna Mizell, Soprano
Ah'm lonely I want to talk to someone Karl Coryat, Bass-Baritone

Ah ain't 'sposed to talk to you

Ah jes' like pettin' sof' things

Well, who doesn't ever'body like that

Just feel that hair
It's soft 'n fair
Ah'm tellin' you
It's silky too

Now Curley's hair
is tough like wire
But my is sof'
Sets men on fire

But Ah, you're messin' it up!
Don't
Ah you're messin' it up!
Stop!
Ah you're messin' it
That's enough!
Ah you're messin' it

Ah!

24. For My Brother For My Brother, Op. 56 (1997): 1.. A Poem... Lisa McHenry, Voice
Poem sent from S. to M., music returned by M. to S.
Now that age....

25. Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 61 (1998): III. Menuetto Orchestra
Grid derived from Ludwig van Beethoven's Op. 21
Comments overheard after L.A. premiere of Gorecki's Symphony No. 3
("It wasn't classical it was symphonic....
It wasn't a symphony, because it did not have a sonata-allegro")

26. Henry Miller in Brooklyn, Op. 77 (1999): XIa. June's Song Susanna Mizell, Soprano
Troped on Weill's Threepenny Opera and Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale
(Words by Mel Clay)
What do men see in me?
Why don't they let me be
Just a girl in a white dress
Trying to be good

But I get so mad
You want me to be bad.

You want to be my slave
You want to crawl and beg
You want me to tuck you in
And be your woman

Men are such little boys
Grateful little things

If you make me
I'll break you
You'll hate me
And be happy

Just a girl in a white dress
Call me mommy.

27. Antigone, Op. 88 (2000): X. Quartet - "Come On Now" Eliza O'Malley, Soprano
Troped on W.A. Mozart's The Magic Flute Male Chorus
(after Sophocles and Jean Anouil)
Come on now miss
Give it a rest
Chief will be here soon

I have my orders
Don't want to know
What you were doing

People's excuses
We'd never get work done

Tell them to let me go
Shan't run away
My father was Oedipus
I am Antigone

Antigone well well well

Take your dirty hands off me!

What about stiffs
And dirt and such
You weren't afraid of that

No!

Opera in the Dark (Complete Works in Progress, 2001-2006)

28. The Bald Soprano, Op. 94 (2001): Overture Orchestra
After Eugene Ionesco, troped on Rossini's Barber of Seville

29. Out on the Porch, Op. 107 (2002): X. Creole Banjo Player II Lisa McHenry, Mezzo-Soprano
Words by Harriet March Page, after Verdi and Debussy
I'm going to new orleans
looking for you great grandfather
great-grandmothers father killed you [be]fore
I was born
thrown in some dark alley
a creole banjo player

30. Camino Real, Op. 110 (2003): Block 12 Suzanna Mizell, Soprano
After Tennessee Williams, and George Bizet's Carmen William Loney, Tenor
Why do you wear that outfit?
Safety and fun. What are you going to do?
I will establish a beachhead beside you on the Camino Real
How about lifting your veil?
I cannot do it, but you can.
Here I go lifting your veil.
Ah you're hurting me
I'm not hurting you. I am sincere.
That wasn't much to give up golden gloves for.
Are you sad?
Yes!
Ah! Plus you're heart's as...
Big as a baby.
Mine's about to break.
We must have known it.
Love's no more than dirty words
Painted on fences by schoolkids
You didn't notice my beautiful eyes.
You look like all gypsy's daughters;
I'm back from Walgreens on the Camino Real

31. The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Op. 116 (2004): Overture - "Rats" Voices and Orchestra
After Robert Browning, and W.A. Mozart's Cosi fan tutte
Rats! They fought the dogs and killed the cats
And bit the babies in the cradle and ate the
Cheeses out of the vats
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladle
Split open the kegs of salted sprats
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats and even
Spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking in
Squeaking and shrieking in
Fifty different sharps and flats.

32. Waiting for Godot, Op. 128 (2005): IV. Aria - "Two Thieves" Eliza O'Malley, Soprano
After Samuel Beckett, and Stravinsky's Rake's Progress Kat Cornelius, Soprano
Two thieves crucified at the same time
As our Savior.
What?
As our Savior.
Two thieves, one was supposed to have been saved
And the other
What?
Damned.
Saved from what?
Hell.
I'm going.
And yet. How is it -- this is not boring you, I hope --
How is it that of the four Evangelists
Only one speaks of a thief being saved
The four of them were there
Or thereabouts.
And only one speaks of a thief being saved.
Come on, Gogo, return the ball, can't you,
Once in a way.
I find this really most extraordinarilly interesting.

One out of four.
Of the other three, two don't mention
Any thieves at all, and the fourth says both abused him.
Who?
What?
What's this all about? Abused whom?
The Savior.
Why?
Cause he wouldn't save him.
Saved from hell?
Imbecile! From death!
I thought you said hell.
From death! From death!
Well what of it.
Well then the two of them don't agree.
And why not?
But one of the four said that one of the two was saved.
Well, they don't agree, and that' all there is to it.
But four of them were there or thereabouts,
And only one speaks of a thief being saved.
Why believe him, rather than the others?
Who believes him?
Everybody. That's the only version anybody knows.
People are bloody ignorant apes.

33. The Ring of Harriet, Op. 142 (2006): Cats...:XXIII "Brunnhilde" Suzanna Mizell, Soprano
From Cats, Dogs, and Divas (Page, Verdi, Wagner) Maggie Tenenbaum, Soprano
brunnhilde transformed by life Janet Lohr, Mezzo-Soprano
two and a half years ago Lisa McHenry, Mezzo-Soprano
after 16 years I went back Cynthia Weyuker, Mezzo-Soprano
to my old voice teacher

thought I'd pass myself off as a
character mezzo but he said oh no you're a

dramatic soprano and you
must be brunnhilde you've got to be kidding I said
but he wasn't

I fell in love with her
she's such a spoiled child
lusty and wild a goddess
for god's sake

with a magic sword with which she pierces the hearts of heroes
And my favorite part her

father's favorite daughter the god wotan is the
father of her several sisters and the mortals siegmund and sieglinde

twins separated at birth who have found each other
and have found incestuous consummation

wotan orders his favorite daughter brunnhilde
to kill siegmund brunnhilde agrees

but when she meets siegmund
earthly womanly ungodly feelings well up in her and she

vows to save siegmund well human feelings naturally render her powerless
and siegmund is slain

then there's this incredible scene between wotan and brunnhilde
where he tells her how much he loves her but now she must die

brunnhilde humbles herself and virtually sings her way up his body
no mere mortal can sing like this it goes on for about an hour but
I have I to show you just a little bit how it goes

[Die Walkure excerpt]

the most amazing thing is while I played her four men came out of the woodwork
with whom I shared (well not all at once)

a mutual conjugation a kind of a serial sex

so if you're looking for a guy put on these horns and carry a spear
it really works

April 19 - Assembled Forces


I evidently crashed and burned the yahoo address by immediately using it to alert folks about Halfway Mark -- oh, well.

Meanwhile, astoundingly enough, the dress rehearsal at Paul Dresher's went off with nary a hitch. Fine renditions, pretty much kept on schedule until the end, just about everyone on time and not lost and in good spirits. Aaron Urton proved invaluable all night, helping with set up and take down and buzzing people in through the various doors.

Rain could be heard about midway through rehearsal -- not surprising since my parents had just flown in and they perceive that bad weather always finds them during vacations....

Suzanna sick, but Aga finally makes it to rehearsal and proves a valuable addition. Overall, at least some of the rehearsal was so fine, that even if there are glitches in performance we can feel good about many of the pieces...

Spent bit of time before rehearsals neurotically putting up a plethora of signs guiding folks through the space's many passageways and other complexities, so, of course, had to take it all down after. People who parked in the enclosed second-story loading dock were temporarily trapped after rehearsal -- had to run up and down the ramp may times to let our hard-working musicians out with the key....

After dropping off Aaron, popped in for a late visit with the East Coast folks

April 18 - Keyed In


Rendezvous'd with Paul Dresher at his studio to go over the logistics for the third orchestral/vocal Halfway Mark rehearsal. He's looking good with spiked hair, was working with a colleague when I arrived with a chain machine that makes godawful, wonderful noises -- something like this will evidently be in an upcoming piece....



Very grateful, of course, that Paul could host us at a reasonable price -- space is nevertheless a bit daunting as part of a cavernous warehouse, with multiple buzz-in entrances, labyrinthine halls, a second-story loading dock, remote parking, unusual locks -- hopefully everything will work out reasonably well.

After c. 14 years on aol, have signed up for a free yahoo account, and so far so good (aol is now reminding me of pcs -- something to simply abide....). Should eventually have an email address with own domain name, and this looks like a tangible possibility in the near future....

Also sent program off to Old First for Friday show, as below ...

HALFWAY MARK
A 50th-Anniversary Concert
of excerpts from 33 years of music by Mark Alburger
as a benefit and featuring members of
SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA,
and SAN FRANCISCO CABARET OPERA / GOAT HALL PRODUCTIONS
8pm, Friday, April 20, 2007; Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA
Mark Alburger and John Kendall Bailey, conducting

Early Instruments of Comotion (12:39)

1. Psalm 6 , Op. 1 (1974): V-X (1:40) Oboe
2. Ecclesiastes, Op. 3 (1975): V.-VI. There Is Evil (2.56) Voice and Orchestra
3. Variations and Theme, Op. 6 (1976): XV-XVI. (0:44) Piano
4. The Twelve Fingers, Op. 8 (1977): VIII. Sonata (2:04) Piano
5. Three Places in America, Op. 13 (1978): III. Swarthmore... (1:34) Piano Four-Hands
6. Some Stuff, Op. 16 (1979): II. Urban Scherzo (1:46) Ensemble
7. Missa "The a Deux," Op. 21 (1980): I. Kyrie (1:25) Voices and Orchestra

Desert Bass Wind Color (25:56)

8. Duo Sonata No. 1 ("Hyphenated"), Op. 22 (1981): III. Serenade- (3:49) Violin and Cello
9. Orpheus Cycle, Op. 24 (1982): Y: Lyre's Melody (3:15) Voice and Ensemble
10. Stolen Students, Op. 25 (1983): I. Rondo (0:57) Piano
11. Sinfonietta, Op. 26 (1984): I. Allegretto (1:18) Orchestra
12 Aerial Requiem, Op. 27 (1985): X. Agnus Dei (1:56) Voices and Orchestra
13. Merton Songs, Op. 30 (1986): VIIIb. Five Angels (4:02) Voice and Piano
14. Crystal Series, Op. 32 (1987): I. Crystal Bells (2:14) Oboe and Piano
15. Songs for Rebecca, Op. 34 (1988): I. Spiral (2:17) Voice and Piano
16. At a Photo Shop, Op. 37 (1989): I. English (5:21) Voice and Piano
17. Trumpet Concerto ("Macho Concertino"), Op. 40 (1990): I. (2:37) Trumpet and Orchestra

Lost Beyond (19:29)

18. Mice Suite No. 1, Op. 41 (1991): I. Worksong (1:27) Orchestra
19. Helena Suite, Op. 44 (1992): I. Beautiful Women (1:53) Voices and Orchestra
20. San Fernando Hub, Op. 48 (1993): I. Fresno (0:54) Voices and Orchestra
21. L.A. Stories, Op. 50 (1994): Information Wanted (3:11) Voice and Orchestra
22. San Rafael News, Op. 51 (1995): V. Lifespan (3:13) Voice and Ensemble
23. Mice Suite No. 2, Op. 53 (1996): V.-VI. Deathsongs (2:14) Voice and Ensemble
24. For My Brother For My Brother, Op. 56 (1997): 1.. A Poem... (0:42) Voice and Piano
25. Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 61 (1998): III. Menuetto (3:02) Orchestra
26. Henry Miller in Brooklyn, Op. 77 (1999): XIa. June's Song (1:24) Voice and Ensemble
27. Antigone, Op. 88 (2000): X. Quartet - "Come On Now" (1:29) Voices and Orchestra

Opera in the Dark (20:24)

28. The Bald Soprano, Op. 94 (2001): Overture (6:07) Orchestra
29. Out on the Porch, Op. 107 (2002): VII. Creole Banjo Player II (1:51) Voice and Piano
30. Camino Real, Op. 110 (2003): Block 12 (4:00) Voices and Orchestra
31. The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Op. 116 (2004): Overture - "Rats" (1:34) Voices and Orchestra
32. Waiting for Godot, Op. 128 (2005): IV. Aria - "Two Thieves" (1:58) Voices and Orchestra
33. The Ring of Harriet, Op. 142 (2006): Cats...:XXIII Brunnhilde (3:54) Voices and Orchestra

SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
SAN FRANCISCO CABARET OPERA / GHP

Mark Alburger Music Director and Conductor, SFCCO / SFCO / GHP
Erling Wold Associate Music Director, SFCCO
John Kendall Bailey Associate Conductor, SFCCO
Harriet March Page Artistic Director, SFCO / GHP

Flute
Bruce Salvisberg
Piccolo
Harry Bernstein
Alto Flute

Oboe
Phil Freihofner

Clarinet
Rachel Condry
Bass Clarinet

Bassoon
Michael Cooke
Soprano Sax
Michael Garvey
Lori Garvey
Contrabassoon

Trumpet
Daniel Weinstein

French Horn
Brian Holmes

Trombone
Kevin Grant

Guitar
Chris Lee

Piano
Alexis Alrich
Lisa Scola Prosek

Synthesizer
Erling Wold

Percussion
Victor Flaviani
Anne Szabla
Chris Carrasco

Violin I
Clare Twohy

Violin II
Aga Borzuchowski

Viola
Annie Chang

Cello
Aaron Urton

Bass
Jon Beeman

Soprano
Kat Cornelius
Suzanna Mizell
Eliza O'Malley
Marilyn Pratt
Bianca Showalter
Maggie Tennenbaum

Mezzo-Soprano
Janet Lohr
Lisa McHenry
Harriet March Page
Cynthia Weyuker

Tenor
Mark Alburger
David Chavez
William Loney
Douglas Mandell

Bass-Baritone
Karl Coryat
Loren Jones
Christopher Lujan


Notes, Soloists, Texts

Early Oboe / Early Voice (Complete Works, Volume 1, 1974-1975)
Instruments of Deconstruction (Complete Works, Volume 2, 1976-1978)
Contrary Comotion (Complete Works, Volume 3, 1978-1981)

1, Psalm 6 , Op. 1 (1974): V-X Philip Freihofner, Oboe
Pitches and rhythms derived from Cageian algorhythms
I am wearied with groaning;
all night long my pillow is wet with tears,
I soak my bed with weeping.
Grief dims my eyes;
they are worn out with all my woes.
Away from me, all you evildoers,
for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
The LORD has heard my entreaty
the LORD will accept my prayer.
All my enemies shall be confounded and dismayed;
they shall turn away in sudden confusion.

2. Ecclesiastes, Op. 3 (1975): V.-VI. There Is Evil Bianca Showalter, Soprano
Troped on George Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children
VI: 1 There is . . . evil . . . under the sun, and it lies heav[il]y upon men . . .
4 [I]t comes into vanity and goes into darkness
V: 1 Guard your steps when you . . . draw near . . . to the house of God . . .
. . . listen[ing] is better than to offer . . . [a] sacrifice of fools;
for they do not know that they are doing evil.

3. Variations and Theme, Op. 6 (1976): XV-XVI. Alexis Alrich, Piano
Troped on John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes

4. The Twelve Fingers, Op. 8 (1977): VIII. Sonata Alexis Alrich, Piano
Eight-note lipogram after W.A. Mozart and Henry Cowell

5. Three Places in America, Op. 13 (1978): III. Swarthmore... Alexis Alrich, Piano
Neoclassical, neolatino, neomedieval necromancy Lisa Scola Prosek, Piano

6. Some Stuff, Op. 16 (1979): II. Urban Scherzo Bruce Salvisberg, Flute
Rondo interruptus after The Rolling Stones's Some Girls Michael Garvey, Bassoon
Alexis Alrich, Piano
Victor Flaviani, Percussion
John Beeman, Bass

7. Missa "The a Deux," Op. 21 (1980): I. Kyrie David Chavez, Tenor
Cantus-firmus mass on Vincent Youmans's Tea for Two William Loney, Tenor
Kyrie eleison Lord Have Mercy Karl Coryat, Bass-Baritone
Christe eleison Christ have Mercy Christopher Lujan, Bass-Baritone
Kyrie eleison Lord have mercy

Desert Muse (Complete Works, Volume 4, 1982-1985)
Bass and Range (Complete Works, Volume 5, 1985-1986)
A Windblown Rock in San Rafael (Complete Works, Volume 6, 1987-1988)
One-Hour Color Processing (Complete Works, Volume7, 1989-1990)
8. Duo Sonata No. 1 ("Hyphenated"), Op. 22 (1981): III. Serenade- Clare Twohy, Violin
Minimalist-Balinese-Rag-Swing Aaron Urton, Tenor

9. Orpheus Cycle, Op. 24 (1982): Y: Lyre's Melody Lisa McHenry, Reciter
After Wagner, 50's rock, club jazz, Bali, and Beethoven William Loney, Tenor
Karl Coryat, Bass-Baritone
Bruce Salvisberg, Flute
Rachel Condry, Clarinet
Alexis Alrich, Piano
Clare Twohy, Violin
Aaron Urton, Cello

10. Stolen Students, Op. 25 (1983): I. Rondo Alexis Alrich, Piano
Reverse sonata after Philips Academy Andover academics

11. Sinfonietta, Op. 26 (1984): I. Allegretto Orchestra
Pseudo-Crumbian sketches mapped over Leos Janacek

12 Aerial Requiem, Op. 27 (1985): X. Agnus Dei Voices and Orchestra
Minimal minimalist paean to Paul Miley, lost over Wyoming
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi dona eis requiem
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi dona eis requiem
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi dona eis requiem sempiternam

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world grant them peace
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world grant them peace
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world grant them peace everlasting

13. Merton Songs, Op. 30 (1986): VIIIb. Five Angels Eliza O'Malley, Soprano
Punk hemiola after Thomas Merton's La Comparsa en el Oriente (A Conga)
Five angels beating bongos
Seven saints ringing their bells
Where clothes made out of paper money
And shoes made out of shells.
They clatter like a box of nickels,
Holding candles, on fire:
They whirl these as solemn as wise men,
Paper temples in the air.

Lights fly like birds behind the cane
And shot flies after, but in gourds,
When the camparsa goes off to the plains
With fires in her mouth, but no words:
For ten angels ring gangarias
When the comparsa goes away,
With all the mountain people and pilgrims
Dancing down to Camaguey.

Then pray for us, Mother of Jesus,
Caridad, Merced,
Queen of Cobre and of the three towers
That watch over Camaguey:
The ten angels are playing gangarias
And the comparsa goes away.

14. Crystal Series, Op. 32 (1987): I. Crystal Bells Philip Freihofner, Oboe
Developmental idylls to Crystal Alburger (b. 1987)

15. Songs for Rebecca, Op. 34 (1988): I. Spiral Marilyn Pratt, Soprano
Lydian cascade after texts selected by Rebecca Jones
....this spiral has no bottom and no top....

16. At a Photo Shop, Op. 37 (1989): I. English Mark Alburger, Tenor
Overseas karaoke after a language lesson
You want take photo?
No, I want develop and print
Several roll film
All right each sheet negative print
How many sheet
Three sheet this one roll only develop
Not print
All right. Give them to me.
When will they be ready?
In three days.
In advance all right or not all right
Because day after tomorrow I
Just want to other place go visit.
Can. We try satisfy your request.
This is the order slip.
Fetch photo time please bring along.
You here sell not sell color film?
Sell. You look these several kinds not bad.
Camera use 135 film, want to roll
Kodak 135. Have photo album.
Have. You want big volume or small volume?
Both kinds all let me have a look.
You look. This kind big one can put four sheet
Color photo. Cover also good looking.
Small one each page put one sheet take with.
Very convenient. . . .

17. Trumpet Concerto ("Macho Concertino"), Op. 40 (1990): I. Danny Weinstein, Trumpet
Assembled from student sketches in theory classes

Lost in Place (Complete Works, Volume 8, 1991-1992)
Beyond (Complete Works in Progress, 1993-2000)

18. Mice Suite No. 1, Op. 41 (1991): I. Worksong Orchestra
Act II Mechanistic Ranch Prelude later used in Mice and Men, Op. 45

19. Helena Suite, Op. 44 (1992): I. Beautiful Women Janet Lohr, Mezzo-Soprano
Cantus on S. Foster's Beautiful Dreamer, after dating service
Beautiful Women Don't Go to Singles Bars
The truly beautiful woman who finds herself single
Does not go to singles bars
But she is out there
And she would love to meet that special man
If you are single, successful, and interested
In finding a special lady
Call Helena
Do not confuse this with a dating service
There are no embarrassing videos, no silly questions, no awkward moments
For more than twenty-five years Helena
Has been introducing thousands of singles one by one
Resulting in countless successful marriages
And she can do the same for you.

20. San Fernando Hub, Op. 48 (1993): I. Fresno Karl Coryat, Shout 1
Dantean Thrash Inferno after United Parcel Service Workers William Loney, Shout 2
Fresno! Fresno, your truck's fillin' up! Janet Lohr, Shout 3
Lancaster! Douglas Mandell, Shout 4
Put a raincoat on Mojave!
Who forgot about Ridgecrest?

21. L.A. Stories, Op. 50 (1994): Business As Usual: Information Wanted Mark Alburger, Tenor Spy vs. Spy after Lecture Notes and Wanted Poster at Claremont Graduate University
Who Decides (a look a way you talk)?
Information Wanted
$1000 Reward
(Look a way)
Management Does Nothing
Friday April 20
An aggravated assault reported at Cal Poly
A female student was reported at
9:30 in Parking Lot A
The assailant strangled
The victim with a rope
And then he burned her with cigarettes.

22. San Rafael News, Op. 51 (1995): V. Lifespan Voices and Orchestra
12-Tone 12-Bar Major7th Encyclic after Encyclopedia article
Elephants Dogs Cats Horses Whales Carp Eagles Owls and Parrots
Parakeets Box Tortoises Giant Tortoise Redwood Tree Creosote Bush

70 years 18 years 14 20 years 60 years 30 5 years 16 years
12 years 100 200 3,000 years

Every higher organism has a species characteristic average lifespan
That is defined and limited for the best interest in species survival

For an animal to live forever after procreation
It would deplete the food supply and then jeopardize the species survival

Immortality would half the process of the natural selectivity
Which is the major instrument in adapt ion for all species survival

Mortal generations have superior adapt ion via sexual means
Than an immortal populace in the challenges of species survival

23. Mice Suite No. 2, Op. 53 (1996): V.-VI. Deathsongs Marilyn Pratt, Soprano
Extracted from Act V: ii of Mice and Men, after J. Steinbeck Susanna Mizell, Soprano
Ah'm lonely I want to talk to someone Karl Coryat, Bass-Baritone

Ah ain't 'sposed to talk to you

Ah jes' like pettin' sof' things

Well, who doesn't ever'body like that

Just feel that hair
It's soft 'n fair
Ah'm tellin' you
It's silky too

Now Curley's hair
is tough like wire
But my is sof'
Sets men on fire

But Ah, you're messin' it up!
Don't
Ah you're messin' it up!
Stop!
Ah you're messin' it
That's enough!
Ah you're messin' it

Ah!

24. For My Brother For My Brother, Op. 56 (1997): 1.. A Poem... Lisa McHenry, Voice
Poem sent from S. to M., music returned by M. to S.
Now that age....

25. Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 61 (1998): III. Menuetto Orchestra
Grid derived from Ludwig van Beethoven's Op. 21
Comments overheard after L.A. premiere of Gorecki's Symphony No. 3
("It wasn't classical it was symphonic....
It wasn't a symphony, because it did not have a sonata-allegro")

26. Henry Miller in Brooklyn, Op. 77 (1999): XIa. June's Song Susanna Mizell, Soprano
Troped on Weill's Threepenny Opera and Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale
(Words by Mel Clay)
What do men see in me?
Why don't they let me be
Just a girl in a white dress
Trying to be good

But I get so mad
You want me to be bad.

You want to be my slave
You want to crawl and beg
You want me to tuck you in
And be your woman

Men are such little boys
Grateful little things

If you make me
I'll break you
You'll hate me
And be happy

Just a girl in a white dress
Call me mommy.

27. Antigone, Op. 88 (2000): X. Quartet - "Come On Now" Eliza O'Malley, Soprano
Troped on W.A. Mozart's The Magic Flute Male Chorus
(after Sophocles and Jean Anouil)
Come on now miss
Give it a rest
Chief will be here soon

I have my orders
Don't want to know
What you were doing

People's excuses
We'd never get work done

Tell them to let me go
Shan't run away
My father was Oedipus
I am Antigone

Antigone well well well

Take your dirty hands off me!

What about stiffs
And dirt and such
You weren't afraid of that

No!

Opera in the Dark (Complete Works in Progress, 2001-2006)

28. The Bald Soprano, Op. 94 (2001): Overture Orchestra
After Eugene Ionesco, troped on Rossini's Barber of Seville

29. Out on the Porch, Op. 107 (2002): X. Creole Banjo Player II Lisa McHenry, Mezzo-Soprano
Words by Harriet March Page, after Verdi and Debussy
I'm going to new orleans
looking for you great grandfather
great-grandmothers father killed you [be]fore
I was born
thrown in some dark alley
a creole banjo player

30. Camino Real, Op. 110 (2003): Block 12 Suzanna Mizell, Soprano
After Tennessee Williams, and George Bizet's Carmen William Loney, Tenor
Why do you wear that outfit?
Safety and fun. What are you going to do?
I will establish a beachhead beside you on the Camino Real
How about lifting your veil?
I cannot do it, but you can.
Here I go lifting your veil.
Ah you're hurting me
I'm not hurting you. I am sincere.
That wasn't much to give up golden gloves for.
Are you sad?
Yes!
Ah! Plus you're heart's as...
Big as a baby.
Mine's about to break.
We must have known it.
Love's no more than dirty words
Painted on fences by schoolkids
You didn't notice my beautiful eyes.
You look like all gypsy's daughters;
I'm back from Walgreens on the Camino Real

31. The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Op. 116 (2004): Overture - "Rats" Voices and Orchestra
After Robert Browning, and W.A. Mozart's Cosi fan tutte
Rats! They fought the dogs and killed the cats
And bit the babies in the cradle and ate the
Cheeses out of the vats
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladle
Split open the kegs of salted sprats
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats and even
Spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking in
Squeaking and shrieking in
Fifty different sharps and flats.

32. Waiting for Godot, Op. 128 (2005): IV. Aria - "Two Thieves" Eliza O'Malley, Soprano
After Samuel Beckett, and Stravinsky's Rake's Progress Kat Cornelius, Soprano
Two thieves crucified at the same time
As our Savior.
What?
As our Savior.
Two thieves, one was supposed to have been saved
And the other
What?
Damned.
Saved from what?
Hell.
I'm going.
And yet. How is it -- this is not boring you, I hope --
How is it that of the four Evangelists
Only one speaks of a thief being saved
The four of them were there
Or thereabouts.
And only one speaks of a thief being saved.
Come on, Gogo, return the ball, can't you,
Once in a way.
I find this really most extraordinarilly interesting.

One out of four.
Of the other three, two don't mention
Any thieves at all, and the fourth says both abused him.
Who?
What?
What's this all about? Abused whom?
The Savior.
Why?
Cause he wouldn't save him.
Saved from hell?
Imbecile! From death!
I thought you said hell.
From death! From death!
Well what of it.
Well then the two of them don't agree.
And why not?
But one of the four said that one of the two was saved.
Well, they don't agree, and that' all there is to it.
But four of them were there or thereabouts,
And only one speaks of a thief being saved.
Why believe him, rather than the others?
Who believes him?
Everybody. That's the only version anybody knows.
People are bloody ignorant apes.

33. The Ring of Harriet, Op. 142 (2006): Cats...:XXIII "Brunnhilde" Suzanna Mizell, Soprano
From Cats, Dogs, and Divas (Page, Verdi, Wagner) Maggie Tenenbaum, Soprano
brunnhilde transformed by life Janet Lohr, Mezzo-Soprano
two and a half years ago Lisa McHenry, Mezzo-Soprano
after 16 years I went back Cynthia Weyuker, Mezzo-Soprano
to my old voice teacher

thought I'd pass myself off as a
character mezzo but he said oh no you're a

dramatic soprano and you
must be brunnhilde you've got to be kidding I said
but he wasn't

I fell in love with her
she's such a spoiled child
lusty and wild a goddess
for god's sake

with a magic sword with which she pierces the hearts of heroes
And my favorite part her

father's favorite daughter the god wotan is the
father of her several sisters and the mortals siegmund and sieglinde

twins separated at birth who have found each other
and have found incestuous consummation

wotan orders his favorite daughter brunnhilde
to kill siegmund brunnhilde agrees

but when she meets siegmund
earthly womanly ungodly feelings well up in her and she

vows to save siegmund well human feelings naturally render her powerless
and siegmund is slain

then there's this incredible scene between wotan and brunnhilde
where he tells her how much he loves her but now she must die

brunnhilde humbles herself and virtually sings her way up his body
no mere mortal can sing like this it goes on for about an hour but
I have I to show you just a little bit how it goes

[Die Walkure excerpt]

the most amazing thing is while I played her four men came out of the woodwork
with whom I shared (well not all at once)

a mutual conjugation a kind of a serial sex

so if you're looking for a guy put on these horns and carry a spear
it really works

April 17 - Celestial Mechanics


Wrote below for Commuter times, will also appear in June 2007 at 21st-centurymusic.com....

Hits and Misses from Misters Stravinsky and Takemitsu

Not everything Ludwig van Beethoven wrote was a masterpiece. And not everything Igor Stravinsky wrote was, either. That was clear enough on April 4, when Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas led the San Francisco Symphony in a mixed program of Toru Takemitsu and Stravinsky at Davies Hall.

The great work was Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms (1930), in an interpretation that was fresh at every step. The taut first movement kept listeners breathless in a performance that took nothing for granted and coaxed new possibilities out of this familiar music, where the orchestra and the Symphony Chorus provided energy and polish.

The second movement, always in danger of being a mere academic angular affair, sustained a surprising sweetness; and the third underscored the ironic disconnect between the Latin text and the music, where seemingly clangorous passages are transformed into sustained moments of rapture. This was a beautiful, engaging reading among the best.

There was nothing particularly wrong with the realization of the composer's slightly earlier Apollo (Apollon Musagete) (1928 -- all three of the Stravinskys on the program were from the early years of his second, neoclassic period), except that it's simply not as strong a piece. For a number of us who have listened to this work for years, it has kept itself apart, in a cool, color-opaque world that seems skewed more to the classical than the neo. That fact that many still return to the piece, however, tellingly suggests that there is still much of merit here. But, for the money, the other two Balanchine ballets on classical subjects (Orpheus and Agon) offer greater rewards.

The third Stravinsky on the bill, the Symphonies of Wind Instruments, occupies that middle ground as a minor masterpiece: a refined, problematic gem that is worthy of bringing out of storage every once in a while to admire. And there was much to admire in this sensitive, austere telling of a quixotic transitional essay (1920) that presaged the composer's transition from the Russian folkloric to the International thievoric.


The odd Stravinsky-out was Takemitsu's rhapsodic, one-movement clarinet concerto, Fantasma/Cantos, winningly argued by the eccentric and virtuosic Richard Stoltzman. This one-theme transfigured-all tome takes off, as much of early Stravinsky, from the coloristic sound-world of Claude Debussy's impressionism. But where the Russian adds rhythm, this Japanese master goes for super-diffuse and leisurely, as a walk around a garden. For this reviewer, a run around with the Takemitsu percussion concerto Cassiopeia is a more satisfying exercise.

April 16 - Suspicions


Finished recording Mice and Men, Act II, with L "You seen a girl."

April 15 - Hills Alive



Printed up half the scores for Halfway Mark, then rehearsals at Goat Hall, after avoiding traffic tie-up in Cordelia Junction (did the beautiful end-run around Rockville Park on a sunny, brisk afternoon).


Review/reconfiguration rehearsal for Brunnhilde, with Lisa McHenry nicely filling in for the absent Sandy Castleberry -- who is getting married soon and quite caught up with the plans -- and Sarah Hutchison -- who will be out of town.  Amazed at some of the choreography -- usually my head is buried in the piano part....

Then Waiting for Godot read-though of Act II on the porch, with same challenging conditions of last week, busses passing by, etc. Cast enthusiastic and game for the project, despite a score that was obviously prematurely hustled to press without benefit of enough proofreading.



Lunch at Connecticut Yankee with Harriet, then set up for the second evening SFCCO / SFCO / GH rehearsal. Brief run to 16th and Mission to pick up Clare -- and a later run by Harriet to pick up violist Annie Chang....

Good work in evening rehearsal, despite getting a bit behind schedule...

April 14 - Co-Operative


At home organizing photos in the computer for 21st-Century Music, burning copies of second act of Waiting for Godot for Sunday's reading, and organizing CD's from the studio.

Printed up roster for Halfway Mark as follows....

SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA


SAN FRANCISCO CABARET OPERA / GOAT HALL PRODUCTIONS

Mark Alburger Music Director and Conductor, SFCCO / SFCO / GHP
Erling Wold Associate Music Director, SFCCO
John Kendall Bailey Associate Conductor, SFCCO
Harriet March Page Artistic Director, SFCO / GHP

Flute
Bruce Salvisberg
Piccolo
Harry Bernstein
Alto Flute

Oboe
Phil Freihofner

Clarinet
Rachel Condry
Bass Clarinet
Peter Brown

Bassoon
Michael Cooke
Soprano Sax
Michael Garvey
Lori Garvey
Contrabassoon

Trumpet
Daniel Weinstein

French Horn
Brian Holmes

Trombone
Kevin Grant

Guitar
Chris Lee

Harp
Esther Lee

Piano
Alexis Alrich
Lisa Scola Prosek

Synthesizer
Erling Wold

Percussion
Victor Flaviani
Anne Szabla
Chris Carrasco

Violin I
Clare Twohy

Violin II
Aga Borzuchowski

Viola
Annie Chang

Cello
Aaron Urton

Bass
Jon Beeman

Soprano
Kat Cornelius
Suzanna Mizell
Eliza O'Malley
Marilyn Pratt
Bianca Showalter
Maggie Tennenbaum

Mezzo-Soprano
Janet Lohr
Lisa McHenry
Harriet March Page
Cynthia Weyuker

Tenor
Mark Alburger
David Chavez
Karl Coryat
William Loney
Douglas Mandell

Bass-Baritone
Loren Jones
Christopher Lujan

April 13 - Tangled Web


Picked up Act II of Waiting for Godot, and May 2007 issue of 21st-Century Music at the printer's in Marin -- discovered that the post of the latter is not on the 21st-centurymusic.com space yet -- despite Erling and my energies in this regard, so will have to check and see what's up.... perhaps something to do with Friday the 13th.....

April 12 - Looming


First combined orchestral/vocal rehearsal for Halfway Mark -- at Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. Provided transport for Claire Twohy and Aaron Urton, so we were able to get a jump on the goings-on and set a tone for the entire evening.

Wonderful to have most of the assembled forces together, and pleased with the basic sound and progress made -- kept on the brisk schedule with a minimum of speedbumps....

The entire show, and the associated CD, are as follows....

HALFWAY MARK
A 50th-Anniversary Concert
of excerpts from 33 years of music by Mark Alburger
as a benefit and featuring members of
SAN FRANCISCO COMPOSERS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA,
and SAN FRANCISCO CABARET OPERA / GOAT HALL PRODUCTIONS
8pm, Friday, April 20, 2007; Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA
Mark Alburger and John Kendall Bailey, conducting

Early Instruments of Comotion (12:39)

1. Psalm 6 , Op. 1 (1974): V-X (1:40) Oboe
2. Ecclesiastes, Op. 3 (1975): V.-VI. There Is Evil (2.56) Voice and Orchestra
3. Variations and Theme, Op. 6 (1976): XV-XVI. (0:44) Piano
4. The Twelve Fingers, Op. 8 (1977): VIII. Sonata (2:04) Piano
5. Three Places in America, Op. 13 (1978): III. Swarthmore... (1:34) Piano Four-Hands
6. Some Stuff, Op. 16 (1979): II. Urban Scherzo (1:46) Ensemble
7. Missa "The a Deux," Op. 21 (1980): I. Kyrie (1:25) Voices and Orchestra

Desert Bass Wind Color (25:56)

8. Duo Sonata No. 1 ("Hyphenated"), Op. 22 (1981): III. Serenade- (3:49) Violin and Cello
9. Orpheus Cycle, Op. 24 (1982): Y: Lyre's Melody (3:15) Voice and Ensemble
10. Stolen Students, Op. 25 (1983): I. Rondo (0:57) Piano
11. Sinfonietta, Op. 26 (1984): I. Allegretto (1:18) Orchestra
12 Aerial Requiem, Op. 27 (1985): X. Agnus Dei (1:56) Voices and Orchestra
13. Merton Songs, Op. 30 (1986): VIIIb. Five Angels (4:02) Voice and Piano
14. Crystal Series, Op. 32 (1987): I. Crystal Bells (2:14) Oboe and Piano
15. Songs for Rebecca, Op. 34 (1988): I. Spiral (2:17) Voice and Piano
16. At a Photo Shop, Op. 37 (1989): I. English (5:21) Voice and Piano
17. Trumpet Concerto ("Macho Concertino"), Op. 40 (1990): I. (2:37) Trumpet and Orchestra

Lost Beyond (19:29)

18. Mice Suite No. 1, Op. 41 (1991): I. Worksong (1:27) Orchestra
19. Helena Suite, Op. 44 (1992): I. Beautiful Women (1:53) Voices and Orchestra
20. San Fernando Hub, Op. 48 (1993): I. Fresno (0:54) Voices and Orchestra
21. L.A. Stories, Op. 50 (1994): Information Wanted (3:11) Voice and Orchestra
22. San Rafael News, Op. 51 (1995): V. Lifespan (3:13) Voice and Ensemble
23. Mice Suite No. 2, Op. 53 (1996): V.-VI. Deathsongs (2:14) Voice and Ensemble
24. For My Brother For My Brother, Op. 56 (1997): 1.. A Poem... (0:42) Voice and Piano
25. Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 61 (1998): III. Menuetto (3:02) Orchestra
26. Henry Miller in Brooklyn, Op. 77 (1999): XIa. June's Song (1:24) Voice and Ensemble
27. Antigone, Op. 88 (2000): X. Quartet - "Come On Now" (1:29) Voices and Orchestra

Opera in the Dark (20:24)

28. The Bald Soprano, Op. 94 (2001): Overture (6:07) Orchestra
29. Out on the Porch, Op. 107 (2002): VII. Creole Banjo Player (1:51) Voice and Piano
30. Camino Real, Op. 110 (2003): Block 12 (4:00) Voices and Orchestra
31. The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Op. 116 (2004): Overture - "Rats" (1:34) Voices and Orchestra
32. Waiting for Godot, Op. 128 (2005): IV. Aria - "Two Thieves" (1:58) Voices and Orchestra
33. The Ring of Harriet, Op. 142 (2006): Cats...:XXIII Brunnhilde (3:54) Voices and Orchestra

April 11 - Torrents, Methinks






Awakened from a short night's sleep by Harriet in emergency mode -- hose connection under sink in main bathroom had become disconnected and water was spraying everywhere. Carpet wet down hallway, I in bathrobe became the boy with his finger in the dike (allusion sounds suspect these days) attempting to hold back floodwaters. Was able to reconnect, but only temporarily as water pressure was too great, and all surfaces slippery and unco-operative. Retrieved outside hose, routing much water out the front door, some remaining handled as a bucket brigade to bathtub while Harriet called 911 and roused our handyman neighbor Bud (H and I are not exactly handy-around-the-house-types). Water main was eventually found (hiding in plain sight below where I had retrieved garden hose), shut off. Harriet has appointment in Santa Rosa, so I am awaiting plumber. Had to cancel class today, but will allow me to catch up on grading, backup copies of all music for Halfway Mark, and publication preparation of Mice and Men.

Off this evening to review SF Sym and then attend the end of SFCCO Board Meeting...

April 10 - Looking Beyond


Worked at school all afternoon between noontime Music Theory and evening Literature class -- evidently keeping the laptop charged and the internet connection hooked up trumps going out to local eateries. Now that the new DVC bookstore is up and running, i'ts a civilized place to grab a quick something and certainly convenient, being right across the viewshed from the pond....

Planning to update Theory and Lit books and recordings, process begun this afernoon, and to present material -- audio and visual directly from computer.  Early in morning seemed to accidently trigger another Word program from Microsoft in the Mac, and surprise, surprise, started receiving occasional error messages. Seems like old times.  Hope this trial Word does not commandeer my legitimately registered version...

Went over music with Chris Lee and Aaron Urton (Clare likewise previous afternoon). Another late evening.

April 9 - Orderly Rounds


Since first orchestral rehearsal of Halfway Mark is so close, hand-delivered music to Chris Lee, Clare Twohy, John Beeman, and Erling Wold, which meant tooling around the Bay Area all afternoon on a lovely day (beautiful heartless blue sky) from Lafayette to the Berkeley Hills to Half Moon Bay and San Francisco. Met Clare Twohy's father, Mike, a cartoonist who was working on a bit for the New Yorker in his studio.


Sad to see construction beginning on the



Devil's Slide Bypass....



Then third rehearsal of Lisa Prosek's Belfagor with the pearly-toned set; home late.

April 8 - We Could Do Our Exercises

 




Back-to-back Halfway Mark and Waiting for Godot rehearsals. In both, used the MacBook for the first time directly plugged into Douglas Mandell's speakers -- great leap forward from rehearsing with a boom box for the last couple of weeks -- got carried away with the dynamics, but will find the appropriate balance....

Complete run-through and staging of former, read-through of Act I in the latter, halfway through Godot, had to decamp to front porch of Goat Hall to accommodate Easter Hangover rehearsal -- worked out pretty well nonetheless, since the portable laptop could run on batteries outside -- sound more than a bit on the quiet side (absolutely wiped out by passing busses), but still satisfactory situation.

Wonderful casts in both rehearsals...

Nathan and Claire here for the weekend, and a delight to have them both at home and Goat Hall....

April 7 - The Persistance of Music


Burned out copies of Waiting for Godot for first rehearsal tomorrow, plus sent out more Halfway Mark music. Starting to get the hang of scanning and organizing photos, including a few [hello] Dalis for Harriet. This new little laptop should prove revolutionary in so many ways....

April 6 - Boom Bachs


The hard-working Phillip George checked in with below, then went to press with the May 2007 issue of 21st-Century Music, online soon at 21st-centurymusic.com...

Tech Lab Riot

KDVC Radio Riot (Volume1). Randit - Kicking and Screaming; pHence - Bells and Whistles; Pee Dot Scott - Computer Love Robotic; Patricia Bahia - Long Distance Lullaby; Chanell J. Wilson - Mountains Away; Christine Urban - Unwind; Fall City Phantom - Asphyxia; The Delirium Ride - Daylight's Flight; Stoneman - Supersize Me; Bones / Flow - Money Motivated; L. Nealli - Blue Sea; James Piscitelli / Kristina Kilborne / Deandre Reynolds - No Guarantees; Queen Blankety Blank - Do You Know; Audiodidactis - In Due Time; TYE - Out of the Cave; Erin Brooks - Shake It; Kid Moe - Goodbye California; The Seth Chaplas - Outta My League. Duck Pond Records.

Electronic music was born in the recording and radio studios of the 1940's and 50's, particularly in the musique concrete movement exemplified by Pierres Schaeffer and Henry, and Edgar Varèse. The invention of synthesizers from such luminaries as Robert Moog and Don Buchla in the 60's brought new sounds to a wider public, and the personal computer revolution has further enlarged the arena.

Nevertheless it is still remarkable that Diablo Valley College -- in Pleasant Hill, CA -- has one of the most ethnically diverse and impressive academic music studios that this writer has had the pleasure to experience.

Far from the era of white-smocked technicians and ivory-tower exoticism, this is a lab peopled by folks on the artistic growth edge, many of whom, in the tradition of Peter Maxwell Davies, are seeking to raise their economic as well as aesthetic fortunes.

Besides offering a "Music Industries" certificate, the DVC Music Technology Center has begun an internet radio station -- KDVC.org -- and produced their first album, on the newly-established Duck Pond Records (referencing the music building's location), entitled Radio Riot.

This is a compilation that rivals anything heard in the commercial music market, with many of the typical provisos: insistent ostinati, direct chord cycles, steady harmonic rhythm, vernacular vocal styles, rhymed poetry, sexual overtones, and received forms.

The riot and the revolution, however, are in the open-sourcing, the anybody-can-do-it-but-we're-doing-it-pretty-damn-good aspect. Ten years ago, it was not usual for composers and performers to pay big bucks to local studios with on site experts in such recording programs as ProTools, at that time almost prohibitively expensive to the average up-and-coming musician. Now, recording programs are as available and affordable as a basic laptop (still an economic leap for some, admittedly). In DVC's case, this is acknowledged even in a course title: Do-It-Yourself Production.

The lab in question has more than 20 desktops (skewed significantly but quixotically in the direction of PC's vs. Macs), two sound booths, and a mix room. Can great music be made therein? Definitely.

Randit (Randy Yee) begins in an alternative rock mode with Kicking and Screaming, which would do Nirvana proud in its anguished nasal vocals and moody acoustic-electric string and organ world. In Bells and Whistles, pHence has the requisite sound effects in a folkish Pink Floyd homage, whereas Pee Dot (Percy) Scott takes off from the future into a comic rap mode.

Hip hop is the informing style for many of the practitioners -- including Stonewall (Stoneman) Towery (Supersize Me refers very positively to BBW's rather than Big Macs), Bones / Flow's Money Motivated, L-Nealli's Blue Sea, James Piscitelli's No Guarantees, and Queen Blankety Blank's Do You Know -- where an apparent autobiographic street experience is often to the fore. This no doubt resonates particularly well in certain times and places; for someone not sharing the experience or the commonality of English (e.g. Spanish or Lithuanian-only speakers), the rhythmically-sprung nuanced song-speech can perhaps only generally be heard in the context of recitation traditions stretching back to Polynesian, Roman, and Zuni chant, through Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg's expressionism

Patricia Bahia has the vocal heft of a pop diva in Long Distance Lullaby, as does Chanell J. Wilson in her impressive Mountains Away. Sweet harmonies and elaborate vocal ornamentation and counterpoint are hallmarks of many of these endeavors.

Often engaging sonic atmospheres are set up before the return of the inevitable pulse, as in Christine Urban's paradoxically tight Unwind, Audiodidactis's In Due Time, and TYE's Banshee-mysterious overtonic Out of the Cave, with its Steely-Dan-like timbral harmonies. From here, Fall City Phantom's Asphyxia is wound to breaking in its urgent heavy metal urgings harkening back to the days of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's seminal screechings. Daylight's Flight is its antidote in Sarah Rubin's (a.k.a. The Delirium Ride's) distinctively haunting, tremulous vocals, with magic touches from engineer Scott Zhang.

Three varied, solid, guitar-based pieces conclude in Erin Brooks's Shake It, Kid Moe's Goodbye California, and The Seth Chaplas's Outta My League. Emotions, wit, and atmosphere are well established, even in the latter's instrumental neo-Grateful Dead / Robert Fripp adventures.

What, no contemporary classical music? Oh, well, maybe next time...

April 5 - Forward


Also spent some time yesterday casting about for a venue for the third Halfway Mark rehearsal, and was basically totally unsuccessful -- was able to touch base with Midge Heath (whose talented son Stephen sung I'm a Cranky... and You Ain't Seen from Street Songs at Non-Taxing Non-Toxic years


before at


Dominican University) who now works at First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael (where I was Music Director for several years) and secured the space as a backup (too far away from the central SF Bay Area to be pleasing to ensemble, plus prohibitively expensive with legal hoops as well).


Then, this morning, Paul Dresher returns voice mail from yesterday, and saves my rehearsal life by the use of his Oakland space at a reasonable rate -- dancing around the house for several minutes in glee seemed to be the proper response...

With that done, was able to contact all (some 40 performers...) via email with details and updates, plus mailing odds and ends of music out to wind players....

Also learned how to manage photographs in HP Photosmart Studio, inserting pictures into the May 2007 issue of 21st-Century Music....

April 4 - Head Over Heels


Great to hear from Crystal yesterday, and also to learn that we've been awarded a $4,000 grant (two $2,000 grants, actually -- respectively from Zellerbach and Hewlett) for The Playboy of the Western World, on the August Oakland Metro show, along with Stephen Clark's Dionysius....


Not much time to make up the roster for Halfway Mark, before heading to Berkeley's Caffe Venezia (which has the Venetian feel of an indoor-outdoor cafe, complete with laundry strung on a line high above from one balcony to another -- good place to do opera someday....) for a way-after-the-fact Cats, Dogs, and Divas cast party w/ Harriet, Suzanna, Maggie, Cynthia, and Janet.

April 3 - Enlightenment



Spent the morning preparing full scores for the parts of Halfway Mark conducted by John Kendall Bailey, who arrived afternoon so that we could all have a good time catching up.

Shortly after that, for the first time ever, established wireless access to the Internet from home. Wow! So much that I've been missing...



Somewhere in there, designed a poster for Easter Hangover, based on what I perceived to be a Rio crucifix, with a strange Warhol spin. Harriet and I got to thinking of Salvador Dali, and headed off to the local Borders to buy a volume. Alas, none, astoundingly, in the hinterlands, but at least found out they now carry the New York Times, then found plenty Surrealist offerings online at Wikipedia, etc, including welcomed downloadable images. Also found time for cake and ice cream and merriment and newbie Internet surfing...

April 2 - Joyful Noise


The Halfway Mark show is on April 20, but I turned 50 today, a birth date that I usually note is one day late...

Nice to hear from Bette and George and Sorrel. Harriet and I will celebrate tomorrow.



Worked on the May 2007 issue of 21st-Century Music -- two pages from completion, then off to SF to rehearse Lisa Prosek's Belfagor. Turns out her dates conflict w/ SFCCO schedule, so will bequeath the baton to Marty Stoddard in a few weeks.

Douglas Mandell shows me how to hook the laptop up to the speakers in Goat Hall, so we'll have better sound for the next HM rehearsal....

April 1 - Faces the Music




No fools at Goat Hall, but another decent Halfway Mark vocal rehearsal, now roughly in program order.




Goat Hall Board Meeting after, then home, producing cover art for One-Hour Color Processing, A Windblown Rock in San Rafael, 


L.A. Stories, 


Deathsongs, 


Everything is Relativity, 


Symphonies of the Air, 


Out on the Porch, 


Camino Real, 


The Pied Piper of Hamelin, 


Waiting for Godot, and  


The Ring of Harriet...