Sargasso (83+), Narcissus: Strata/Panacea, and Elegy are compositions that belong to the Janus Cycle (1992-1996), eleven solo, chamber, orchestral, and choral works whose bipartite formal design comprises a dense kaleidoscope of short materials which constantly interrupt one another in a mercurial orgy, and an atmospheric monolith of texturally unified, laconic material whose narrative progresses in a linear, causal manner. Deliberately schizophrenic, the pieces weld together two sections that are distinct in character, notational approach, and compositional intent.
Janus was a Roman god whose two faces, one on each side of his head, invariably looked in opposite directions, toward different landscapes. However, in these pieces the two musical landscapes are not antithetical; they are oppositional, they exhibit an oblique relationship. As in all eleven Janus pieces, the point of intersection between parts raises questions about similarity and polarity without providing an easy reconciliation.
Sargasso (83+) was begun during the 1992 Darmstadt summer sessions in Germany and was completed shortly thereafter in Copenhagen. Sargasso (83+), along with Anesthesia (+83) for solo viola and The Plate of Transition Nourishes the Chameleon Appetite for solo violin, are short companion pieces to the behemoth four-movement string quartet Mt. Moriah (1992). In each of these solo string pieces the kaleidoscope is comprised by a manic but concise 83-beat quotation from a germinal passage in the first movement of the string quartet. In contrast to the spastic gyrations of its kaleidoscope, Sargasso’s concluding monolith is an excessively laconic consequent: 11 super-quiet—inert, immobile—pizzicato notes positioned by the player during a span of 1:51.
Narcissus: Strata/Panacea was commissioned by and dedicated to the brilliant percussionist Steven Schick on the occasion of his 40th birthday. The work is played with four mallets; in each hand the performer grips a soft mallet on the inside and a hard mallet on the outside.
The kaleidoscope is actually four distinct, overlapping narratives (four strata), each with its own musical materials (although all sharing the same formal structure), and cast in a particular time scale so that their durational proportions are 8:4:2:1. The longest stratum (I) is conceived of whole; the other strata (II, III, & IV) are cut into two, three, and four segments, respectively, and shifted in time.
By rule, shorter segments interrupt longer ones. As such, all four segments of Stratum IV are heard, but substantial parts of Strata II, III, and IV are not heard in the piece’s final realization. In other words, Strata I (a 6-minute narrative) is occasionally interrupted by Strata II—a 3-minute narrative (which is cut into two segments and shifted in time); the two segments of Strata II are occasionally interrupted by Strata III—a 90-second narrative (which is cut into three segments and shifted in time); the three segments of Strata III are occasionally interrupted by Strata IV—a 45-second narrative (which is cut into four segments and shifted in time). This multi-layered kaleidoscope is followed by an ultra-sparse, droning monolith.
Or expressed less technically, Narcissus reflects upon himself and becomes infatuated with his examination—in the end one loves one’s desire and not what is desired (Nietzsche)—devising additional methods of self-criticism, each time with a more focused lens. The process engenders violent and frequent changes of perspective, yields new discoveries, and alters the nature of the pursuit (from deep ambitions to superficial goals). The juxtapositions ascribe each moment a local, autonomous centricity but sacrifice the critical frame for ascribing value. Necessary but futile, this stratified process demands a contrasting incarnation—a monolithic panacea of infinite domain, the bank of a reflective, one-dimensional stream.
Elegy is dedicated to the late Australian composer Keith Humble (1927-1995), an extraordinary composer, conductor, pianist, improviser, teacher, mentor, and friend. Commissioned by carilloneur Scott Paulson and the University of California at San Diego Carillon Society, Elegy can also be performed on the piano with the sustain pedal engaged.
The score consists of two pages. The first page is comprised of short materials organized into 24 blocks, each with an associated duration ranging from 2 to 14 seconds. The performer may articulate the material at any time during the block’s duration. The pitches in this section are derived from a 16-step pitch set rotation system that Keith found valuable in his later work.
The second page is circular: a series of harmonic intervals—all major ninths—appear irregularly about the circumference of a circle; the player may start at any point, proceeding clockwise or counterclockwise two times around the circle. The piece is concluded when the chosen starting point is sounded a third time. This indeterminate circular structure is particularly reminiscent of some of Keith’s Arcade pieces.
Neo-Tribes was composed in the fall of 1997 at Mississippi State University. The piece consists of four determinate, gesturally heterogeneous, and mercurial sections. Three musical mobiles, each a rumination on a unique gesture, are to be interpolated into the interstices between the determinate sections by the performer. That is, the mobiles may be arranged in any order between the four determinate sections. Within mobiles, the player improvises his or her ordering of its materials. Furthermore, these materials are modified according to information contained within each preceding material. For example, the duration and envelope of a glissando is directed by whichever previous glissando is chosen in performance; the speed of a trill is determined by whichever previous trill is chosen; etc. In this manner, not only are the sequences of events indeterminate, but intrinsic ontological details are also varied according to their immediate pre-history.
The experienced listener might recognize three principal influences, all classic modernist formulations: from Brian Ferneyhough’s Cassandra’s Dream Song (1970) Neo-Tribes learns its large-scale form; from Roman Haubenstock-Ramati’s Mobile for Shakespeare (1960) it assumes the mobile itself; and from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klavierstücke XI (1956) it borrows the notion of sequential modification. The title refers to society in the near-future, a mosaic of groups whose cultural cohesiveness is defined by mutual consumer preferences rather than via regional identity. On some level, this work is a response to my then recent move to a small Mississippi community whose traditions are increasingly challenged by inside and outside elements, the division of which seemingly becomes more and more obscure.
Brian Ferneyhough’s Funérailles for seven strings and harp requires that its two versions be performed on the same concert but not consecutively. In this regard my series of solo works, Entre Funérailles, are hypothetical interludes to his two versions; as autonomous compositional improvisations, they may also be performed independently. These pieces are a sort of dual homage and whimsical aesthetic intrusion.
Entre Funérailles II for vibraphone contains indeterminate elements that are left to the performer’s discretion. Like the second half of Elegy, the score is circular in nature; the performer chooses a starting point and proceeds clockwise or counterclockwise until the chosen starting point is reached. The piece resides on the boundary between a foreground, intellectually engaging music and an ambient background, an environmental tint, shadowy sounds that are overheard.
Unlike almost all of my other compositions, pieces that are worked out—agonized over—during several months or years, the Entre Funérailles series has a self-imposed requirement that its pieces be composed rapidly within 72 hours. Entre Funérailles II was composed on an airplane ride to the premiere of Entre Funérailles I for trumpet. This is the first time that I have commenced and completed a piece on an airplane, but certainly not the first time that I have composed in one. I regularly find the high altitude environment conducive to composing, perhaps because of oxygen deprivation.
Disciplines was inspired by the life, music, and philosophy of Sun Ra. Sun Ra, for whom the concept of discipline was always significant, began composing a series of pieces in 1971 for his Arkestra, the so-called Disciplines—demanding, “tightly conceived exercises using minimal material” which eventually numbered over 100. (See John Szwed’s captivating and well-researched biography Space Is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra.) My five disciplines for piano too exhibit profound demands (of technique, interpretation, and resolve).
Just as Sun Ra created a self-mythology by fusing the far-out and the mundane, drawing on sources ranging from ancient historical esoterica to science fiction, in Disciplines I have tried to discover a language of teasingly familiar syntax whose rules follow a logic vaguely perceived but not quite comprehended, a kind of mannerist artform based on a lost classic and preclassic ancestry.
I am consistently fascinated by rituals whose purposes are not clear to me (but which I sense are central to its participants), games whose rules are not familiar (yet which appear to follow a foreign logic), and languages whose grammar I do not comprehend (but which are obviously a medium for meaningful expression among its speakers). I enjoy being the inquisitive, curious outsider. The sense of vertigo is intoxicating and seems to be proportional to my distance from the inside. Musically, this results in a magnetic allure toward expressive clarity, always countered by obfuscation; compositional amendments to the laws that govern a musical context thwart clear comprehension so that the inside is always only notional, a perpetually exotic place that can never be quite reached. The disparity invites the rapid juxtapositions of diverse, incongruous materials dragged away from the goal-oriented narratives that engender them, and static, “sensation for its own sake” meditations alike. But unlike many postmodern pastiches that rely on a lattice of clear reference, these materials tend more toward abstraction (and thus portability) and do not attempt to refer to specific cultural loci.
I used to suspect that the need to escape desiderata represented a kind of self-loathing. More recently, I think that this repulsion may instead represent the inclination to maintain a compelling distance to the knowable unknown. Brian Ferneyhough once told me that we cannot escape ourselves but we can situate ourselves in an unfamiliar context and discover how we act under its foreign conditions. Each movement of Disciplines is like a set of cultivated foreign conditions, artificial and counterintuitive compositional rules against which I provoke myself to react, always creating the music that appears to be necessitated by the present moment. The result is five abstruse, enigmatic rituals of great technical and exegetic demand, often with profuse, over-grown surfaces that are the result of quite simple procedures applied-in obsessive and compounding excess-to minimal materials.
Is a music based on hermetic logics alienating? The listener, who is likely unfamiliar with this specific piece, and perhaps my music in general, may find the vertiginous distance too vast. But I invite the intrepid listener with the simple acknowledgment that music is heard subjectively by individuals.
The movements have individual titles that simultaneously reflect a formal compositional subtext and a corresponding aspect of Sun Ra’s own life and work.
Discipline 1: Heliopolis is conceptually divided into a continuum of 18,480 time points. Eight simultaneous melodic lines of unequal duration and event density (11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, & 88 notes), whose origin lies in a spiral relation from the center to the periphery of an 88-note by 88-note matrix (itself generated from a pitch row of 88 piano keys), are stretched proportionally and overlapped (as in Nancarrow’s canons). The 396 individual notes are articulated on 396 of the 18,480 time points.
Full of intentionally awkward disjunct leaps, anti-idiomatic dynamics, and the ubiquitous sustain pedal whose blurring exhibits an unconventional approach to piano writing, the movement aspires to function as a kind of timbral sorbet between courses, these being before the piece and the rest of the piece. In some sense this is not unlike the Introductory-Movement/Main-Movement relationship in some of Lutoslawski’s compositions, or any social ritual that serves to draw the participant to a different metaphysical state.
Heliopolis is graphically notated, somewhat like John Cage’s Etudes Australes. In 1984 Cage and Ra met; when Cage was asked for a list of ten words that defined his life’s work, he included discipline.
The cosmo drama or myth-ritual was a structured program in which Sun Ra expressed his beliefs through a series of musical and theatrical events. Together these events could be taken as a model for an improved world, or as the vehicle for engendering that world. Frequently a cosmo drama would include one of his disciplines.
My cosmo drama—Discipline 2: Cosmo Drama—consists of only two formal sections: a sequence of rising figures intermixed with colorful sustained chords, followed by a perversely long coda of triadic, undulating arpeggios whose notes are unpredictably grouped into clusters of 1, 2, 3, or 4. (Although one might associate the regular pulsation of the latter section with “minimalism”, I was in fact reflecting on Kagel’s An Tasten, however vaguely or misguidedly.)
This movement contrasts Discipline I in a number of significant ways: it was intuitively through-composed, the pitch language embraces the extended tertian harmonies that compelled many jazz musicians (who admired and studied the work of Bartok and Scriabin), and one senses the presence of a linear, dramatic narrative vector.
Ontological shock occurs when a person recognizes that he or she is someone else, that a change in identity has taken place. It is in this moment that prophets are born.
In Discipline 3: Ontological Shock, the shortest of motives—a single note and its immediate repetition—is first explicated and then transformed again and again. The entire movement evolves from this simple beginning. After a journey of strange deformations and reinventions, the movement is concluded when the motive evolves itself back into its first, germinal condition. As a whole, the movement is the history of a subject’s transformation, each subsequent measure reflecting the consequent evolutionary step.
During its composition, the score consisted of 217 measures, each measure a transformation of its preceding neighbor. However, in the ultimate work, much of this narrative is missing: measures were removed and although the remaining pieces were sewn together in time, a narrative gap remains. By increasing the number of consecutive deleted measures from zero to ten, the final result—what is actually played—is a reading of original measures 1, 2, 4, 7, 11, 16, 22, 29, 37, 46, 56. By reversing the process, decreasing the number of deleted measures, the piece continues: 65, 73, 80, 86, 91, 95, 98, 100, 101. The deletion continues again, its scope increasing to and decreasing from eight deleted measures, then to six, then to four, and finally to just two deleted measures before the movement’s conclusion.
Through this mechanism—which, after being employed later in Entre Funérailles IV for solo flute, I pretentiously dubbed Sequential Metamorphosis Censorship—I attempted to suggest an expanding and contracting narrative distance between adjacent measures, producing moments of logical consequence as well as incongruous, surreal ones. As the maximum gap contracts, so decays the ambit of narrative incongruity. In response to the assumption that music changes either gradually or suddenly, this movement oscillates progressively from gradual changes to sudden ones.
Discipline 4: Outergalactic Discipline consists of nine brief, tranquil, and sensual arpeggios, each built on a unique harmonic interval. Within prescribed limits, the temporal location and rate of the arpeggios are left to the performer’s discretion. On a technical level, this movement is the easiest to execute; the “outergalactic” performance discipline refers to the challenge the player faces in divining a meaningful response to the available indeterminate temporal possibilities. Impressionistic and intuitively composed, Discipline 4, as well as Discipline 2, serve as foils to the schematic formulations and dense, mercurial, and often caustic comportments of Disciplines 1, 3, and 5.
In the early 1990s Sun Ra performed a number of retrospective shows. One such show, From Saturn to Alabama: Travels in Outer Space, was performed in Sun Ra’s native Alabama (a neighbor of Mississippi, the state in which I composed Disciplines). The dénouement of the work, Discipline 5: From Saturn to Alabama: Travels in Outer Space is also the most conceptually and technically challenging.
The formal architecture of the movement began with the observation that it is possible for a knight to move in its distinctive pattern around the 64 squares of a chessboard, stopping once and only once on each square. By extension, all 100 squares of a hypothetical 10 x 10 board can be visited once and only once by a knight. By redefining this 10 x 10 board as the map of an apartment floor (as first did Georges Perec in his extraordinary novel La Vie mode d’emploi—faithfully described by Marjorie Perloff in her book Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media), I created, not 100 rooms, but 39 rooms of varying dimension, from one square in size up to 14 squares in size. By taking the same journey, the knight (henceforth the subject) visits rooms of dimension one (one square in size) once, rooms of dimension two twice, rooms of dimension three thrice, and so forth.
Each of my 39 “rooms” is a unique musical material whose meter corresponds to its schematic dimension. That is, rooms of dimension one generate 1/4 measures, rooms of dimension two generate 2/4 measures, and so forth; the room of dimension 14 is conceived and notated 5/4 + 4/4 + 3/4 + 2/4. Three simple guidelines informed the whimsy with which I composed the materials: (1) each material should have a unique sonic identity; (2) materials of an odd-numbered meter should be more dense, acerbic, and abstruse than those of an even-numbered meter; and (3) materials employing the same meter (for example, there are 12 rooms of dimension three, hence 12 materials cast in 3/4) should be conceived in a separate pulse (for example, only one of the 3/4 measures has a true three-note feel; others include a five-note feel (notated as a 5:3 tuplet in a 3/4 measure, but equally playable as a 5/4 measure with a tempo increase of 1.66 times the original), an 11-note feel (notated as a 11:12 tuplet in a 3/4 measure, but equally playable as a measure of 11/16 with a tempo decrease of .9166 times the original), etc.).
The movement is 100 measures in length, each corresponding to a visit made by the subject. In this manner, 1/4 measures will be heard once, 4/4 measures four times, etc. Materials are articulated in their original composed form upon their first appearance in the movement (their first visit by the subject). Materials of dimension two or greater are transformed upon subsequent articulation. When a material is articulated a second time it replicates some element from the previous measure. (To use the apartment metaphor, if the subject goes from the kitchen to the bedroom and the bedroom has already been visited once before, the subject finds that the bedroom now has a toaster in it.) A material’s third articulation will adopt one element from each of the previous two measures. (For example, the subject again returns to the bedroom via the living room, via the bathroom; this time the bedroom has a sofa and bathtub in it, as well as its original appointments and the toaster—do you remember the toaster?) A material’s fourth articulation will adopt one element from each of the previous three measures, and so on.
Through this technique a process of accretion occurs: measures become denser and increasingly homogenous as they are infected by the once unique characteristics of their neighbors. Not only do measures adopt the elements intrinsic to a previous measure: a given measure may adopt an element which was long before passed to that previous measure from some historically distant source. Like the case of recessive genes, a thing’s presence may be effete in one context and of profound influence in another. (And while the admission may be unpopular, I confess that the texture and enigmatic discursive tendencies of Sorabji’s piano music were lurking in the background of my mind.)
This process continues during the first 50 measures. However, during the last 50 measures the process of accretion changes to one of destruction. From measure 51 onward, a replicated element replaces some detail of the current measure.
Disciplines was commissioned by Betty Freeman for Gloria Cheng, to both of whom it is lovingly dedicated. I wish also to express my gratitude to Leonard Stein and Alan Rich for their enthusiasm that helped engender this project for the Piano Spheres concert series.
Mark Applebaum (b. 1967, Chicago) is Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at Stanford University, where he received the 2003 Walter J. Gores Award for excellence in teaching. He received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at San Diego where he studied with Brian Ferneyhough, Joji Yuasa, Rand Steiger, and Roger Reynolds. His solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, and electroacoustic music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia with notable performances at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, the Bourges Festival in France, ICMC in Beijing and Singapore, Italy’s Festival Spaziomusica, the Young Nordic Music Festival in Sweden, Sonic Circuits in Hong Kong, Amsterdam’s Great Virtuoso Slugfest, SEAMUS, strictly Ballroom series at Stanford University’s CCRMA, the Woodstockhausen Festival in Santa Cruz, the College Music Society, the Southeastern Composers League, NWEAMO, the Florida Electro-Acoustic Music Festival, the Northwestern University New Music Marathon, the Kansas City Electronic Music Festival, Piano Spheres, SIGGRAPH, the North American Saxophone Alliance, the American Composers Orchestra’s OrchestraTech, UC Berkeley’s CNMAT, Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center, the Essl Museum in Austria, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at Electronic Music Midwest where he served as the 2002 visiting artist.
He has received commissions from Betty Freeman, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Vienna Modern Festival, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, Zeitgeist, MANUFACTURE (Tokyo), the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Harmida Trio, Belgium’s Champ D’Action, Festival ADEvantgarde (Munich), the Jerome Foundation, and the American Composers Forum, among others. His music has been played by the Arditti String Quartet, Speculum Musicae, Musica Nova, Zeitgeist, newEar, “red fish blue fish” percussion ensemble, the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble, the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble, the NYU New Music Ensemble, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, the Callithumpian Consort, Skin & Bones, MANUFACTURE, players under the direction of Harvey Sollberger and Dennis Russell Davies, and some of the finest solo artists of our time, including Steven Schick, Irvine Arditti, Gloria Cheng, Craig Hultgren, Helen Bledsoe, and Bertram Turetzky. Performances of his chamber music can be heard on his recent CD Catfish on Tzadik, and his orchestral works appear on the 2004 Innova CD Martian Anthropology.
In 1997 Applebaum received the American Music Center’s Stephen Albert Award and an artist residency fellowship at the Villa Montalvo artist colony in Northern California. He has engaged in numerous intermedia collaborations, including That Brainwave Chick (with neural artist Paras Kaul), Archittetura Redux (with film-maker Iara Lee, Caipirinha Productions), Concerto for Florist and Ensemble (with florist James DelPrince), Aphoristic Fragment (with animator Anna Chupa), Interactive Sound Pavilion (with architect David Perkes), Spring Migration (with choreographer Brittany Brown), and projects with the laptop DJ ensembles Digital Cutup Lounge (Hong Kong) and Tricky OL (Japan).
Since 1990 Applebaum has built electroacoustic instruments out of junk, hardware, and found objects for use as both compositional and improvisational tools. His latest instrument—the Mouseketier—is a musical Frankenstein consisting of threaded rods, nails, combs, doorstops, springs, squeaky wheels, ratchets, a toilet tank flotation bulb, and other unlikely objects which are plucked, scratched, bowed, and modified by a battery of live electronics. Mousetrap Music, a CD of sound-sculpture improvisations can be heard on the Innova label. Also on Innova is The Janus ReMixes: Exercises in Auto-Plundering, a CD of eleven electronic works whose source material corresponds exclusively to recordings of the eleven acoustic compositions that constitute his Janus Cycle (1992-1996). Hybrid pieces featuring both acoustic and electronic instrumentation can be heard on the 2003 Innova CD Intellectual Property.
Applebaum is also active as a jazz pianist. He has concertized from Sumatra to the Czech Republic, most recently performing a solo recital in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso sponsored by the American Embassy. In 1994 he received the jazz prize of the Southern California Jazz Society and in 1999 the Mark Applebaum Trio performed in the first Mississippi arts event broadcast live over the World Wide Web. At present he performs with his father, Bob Applebaum of Chicago, in the Applebaum Jazz Piano Duo. Their first recording, The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree, is available on Innova.
Prior to his current appointment, Applebaum taught at UCSD, Mississippi State University, and Carleton College where he served as Dayton-Hudson Visiting Artist. He has been invited to give lectures and master classes at various institutions, including Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, Wesleyan, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Brooklyn College, the Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Kansas City Conservatory of Music, Hong Kong University, the JML/Irino Foundation in Tokyo, the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz, Austria, the Universities of Toronto, Michigan, Illinois, North Texas, Oregon, California at San Diego, California at Berkeley, San Francisco State, Lawrence University, the College of Santa Fe, the Janacek Akademie, Czech Republic, and at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club. Additional information and announcements of upcoming performances may be found at www.markapplebaum.com.
Recognized as a leading performer of contemporary music, cellist Eric Bartlett has commissioned many new works for the cello and participated in over sixty premieres with ensembles such as the New York New Music Ensemble, the Group for Contemporary Music, the Columbia String Quartet, and Speculum Musicae with whom he has performed since 1982. In 1986 he gave the Warsaw premiere of Elliott Carter’s Sonata for Cello and Piano. Other recital appearances include Avery Fisher Hall, Tokyo’s Orchard Hall at Bunkamura, and the University of California at San Diego.
Bartlett has served as Acting Associate Principal of the New York Philharmonic. He has appeared frequently as a member soloist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and is featured on several of their recordings. Other solo appearances include the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Anchorage Symphony, the Hartford Chamber Orchestra, the Aspen and Juilliard orchestras, and the New York Philharmonic’s Horizons ‘84 series.
Bartlett is the recipient of a Solo Recitalist’s Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has recorded for CRI, Opus One, Bridge, Delos, and Deutsche Grammophon. Bartlett has served on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts and is currently on the adjunct faculties of Columbia University and Queens College.
Critically acclaimed saxophonist Griffin Campbell has performed throughout the United States, Italy, Great Britain, and Japan, including performances at meetings of the World Saxophone Congress, North American Saxophone Alliance, SCI, SEAMUS, and ICMC. World premieres he has given include concerti, chamber works, electroacoustic music, and solo pieces. His recordings can be heard on the Capstone, Centaur, EMF, SEAMUS, Vestige, and WorldWinds labels. Campbell frequently conducts seminars and master classes throughout the United States and Europe including the Faenza International Saxophone Festival. His musical explorations run the full gamut of available genre, including directed and free improvisation with the groups Guys w/Big Cars and the eXpanded trio.
Campbell is the Regional Director of the North American Saxophone Alliance for the Southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico, and is Professor of Saxophone and Chair of the Instrumental Performance Division of the Louisiana State University School of Music where he has served on the faculty since 1984.
Terry Longshore maintains an active musical life as a performer, composer, and percussion educator. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad, both as a soloist and with the percussion duo Skin & Bones and the electroacoustic improvisation ensemble T2. He can be heard on numerous CD and motion picture recordings and has premiered many compositions for solo percussion, percussion ensemble, chamber ensemble, and symphony orchestra. Major festival performances include the Bang on a Can Festival in New York City, the Britt Classical Festival, the Festival of New American Music, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Cycle of Percussion at the National Center of the Arts in Mexico City.
Longshore holds bachelor’s degrees from California State University at Fresno and Sacramento and the master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California at San Diego. His teachers include Daniel Kennedy, Steven Schick, tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, and sitarist Kartik Seshadri. Longshore currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at Southern Oregon University. He is a Zildjian and Yamaha Performing Artist.
Scott Paulson is University Carillonneur at the University of California, San Diego where he administers a commissioning program for the Geisel Library’s rooftop chimes. He also serves as the outreach coordinator for the UCSD Arts Libraries for whom he founded and directs various festivals that also commission new works, including: The Short Attention Span Chamber Music Series, the annual Toy Piano Festival, The Not-So-Silent Film Festival, and a Paper Theatre Festival.
His own performance ensemble, The Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra, provides live music for silent film showings, ballet productions, radio dramas, operas, and theatrical productions. Critics have lauded the group’s richness, eccentricity, wit, and inspiration; the Los Angeles Times remarked: “a sort of modern day morphing of Captain Kangaroo and Spike Jones…always lively and at times wonderfully chaotic”. In addition to his more experimental endeavors, Paulson plays oboe in the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of San Diego.
For the past twenty years Steven Schick has championed contemporary percussion music as a performer and teacher. He has commissioned and premiered more than one hundred new works and has performed them on major concert series such as Lincoln Center’s Great Performers and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella concerts, as well as in international festivals including Warsaw Autumn, the BBC Proms, the Jerusalem Festival, the Holland Festival, the Stockholm International Percussion Event, and the Budapest Spring Festival, among others. He has recorded many of these works for SONY Classical, Wergo, Point, CRI, and Tzadik, and will release a new solo CD with Neuma Records.
Schick has performed in a number of important ensembles including the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the percussion group “red fish blue fish”, and in duos with pianist James Avery and cellist Maya Beiser. He taught at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik and has been a regular guest lecturer at the Rotterdam Conservatory and the Royal College of Music in London. He is Professor of Music at the University of California at San Diego and Lecturer in Percussion at the Manhattan School of Music.
Pianist Shannon Wettstein has performed widely as a soloist and chamber musician. A founding member of the Calliope flute and piano duo and Boston’s Auros Group for New Music, Wettstein has collaborated with numerous composers and premiered countless new works. She has given performances in New York’s Lincoln Center and the New School for Social Research, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall, the New Zealand Embassy in Washington D.C., the Japan America Theater in Los Angeles, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival of Vermont, and the Sandpoint Music Festival in Idaho.
As an Artist-Faculty member of the New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance, Wettstein is dedicated to bringing new music to young pianists and new audiences. She is also the director of the Junior Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance at the New England Conservatory, and was a 2004 Artist-in-Residence at the Walden School in New Hampshire. Since 2000 she has served on the music faculty at Bemidji State University in Minnesota.
After completing a masters degree from the New England Conservatory, Wettstein received her doctorate from the University of California, San Diego where she specialized in the performance of contemporary music. Her teachers have included Aleck Karis, Stephen Drury, Sequiera Costa, Richard Angeletti, and Claude Frank. Wettstein’s other performance of the music of Mark Applebaum can be heard on the Tzadik label. She has also recorded for Mode Records and Koch International Classics, and her solo CD of music by Chopin, Berg, Debussy, and Brian Ferneyhough appears on the Centaur label.
Recorded at Warren Studio A, UCSD, November 1, 1995.
Joe Kucera, engineering
Mark Applebaum & Tom Ozanich, editing
Requested by Steven Schick and dedicated to him on the occasion of his 40th birthday.
Recorded at Warren Studio A, UCSD, November 23, 1994.
Mark Applebaum, engineering
Tom Ozanich, editing
Commissioned by Scott Paulson and the UCSD Carillon Society. In memory of Keith Humble.
Track 3: Recorded at Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota, August 20, 2004.
Mark Applebaum, engineering, editing
William Sadler, piano technician
Track 4: Recorded at the Geisel Library Carillon, UCSD, October 25, 1995.
Mark Applebaum, engineering
Recorded at PINK, February 19, 2004.
Mark Applebaum, engineering, editing
Entre Funérailles II
Recorded at PINK, June 13, 2004.
Mark Applebaum, engineering, editing
Commissioned by Betty Freeman for Piano Spheres.
Dedicated to Betty Freeman and Gloria Cheng with thanks to Leonard Stein.
Recorded at Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota, August 20-21, 2004.
Mark Applebaum, engineering, editing
William Sadler, piano technician
Innova Recordings is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Philip Blackburn, director, design
Bob DeMaa, mastering