Anne LeBaron


innova 236


       In the early 1970Õs I began improvising with my first harp, a Wurlitzer with ivory pegs, rescued and restored from its fate as an unstrung object languishing in the corner of an elderly coupleÕs living room. Many of these explorations took place during regular Sunday night sessions in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at the home of LaDonna Smith and Davey Williams. Here, a group of musicians gathered to embark on musical odysseys into uncharted territories.  Our models ranged from surrealist concepts and philosophies to the purism of Derek Bailey, to the gritty blues of Johnny Shines.  My deconstruction of the harp — finding ways to prepare it, to bow the steel-wound wires and gut and nylon strings, and to slither vertically on the strings, discovering endless microtonal worlds — was stimulated by this proto-environment. Later, living and performing in Europe in the 80Õs, I made music with Ôfirst-generationÕ improvising musicians, some of whom are represented here. 

       The performances on these CDs, selected from the past eight years, span four generations of musicians, hailing from seven countries — Austria, Canada, England, Germany, Iceland, Japan, and the USA.  All of the tracks represent live performances, with the exception of 2: 4-8, recorded in a studio setting. What unites these pieces, other than my appearance in each of them, is the aesthetic of spontaneous improvisation, engaged in by all participants with the tacit agreement of creating music together, relying on no pre-conditioned concepts other than the configuration of musicians for each event.  All the pieces are therefore co-composed by all participants, taking shape in real time.  Captured by the recording process, they become collective compositions that can be repeated and savored, critiqued and analyzed. IÕm grateful to all the musicians involved for their permission to include these recordings in this 2 CD set.

       1, 2, 4, 3 — this collection of solos, duets, quartets, and trios — is dedicated to the memory of dear friend and colleague, the extraordinary composer and violinist Leroy Jenkins, and to the memory of exceptional trombonist, Paul Rutherford.

                                                                        ---Anne LeBaron, 2010



CD 1 - 57:56


1        Heat Wave 1                                                                                                           04:42

Anne LeBaron, amplified harp with live electronics

2        Succulent Blues                                                                                                      10:12

Wolfgang Fuchs, contrabass clarinet; Ronit Kirchman, violin,

mouth whistle; Anne LeBaron, harp, flute; Torsten MŸller, bass.

Tracks 1-2: Polestar New Music Festival, Seattle, WA (2004)                                           

3        Rippling with Leroy                                                                                              08:24

Leroy Jenkins, violin; Anne LeBaron, harp

4        Mirage                                                                                                                        06:59

Leroy Jenkins, amplified violin; Anne LeBaron, electric harp

with live electronics.

Tracks 3-4: Roy O. Disney Hall, CalArts, Valencia, CA (2002)


5        Deleuzion                                                                                                                  10:50

Chris Heenan, alto saxophone; Anne LeBaron, harp, percussion;

Torsten MŸller, bass; Paul Rutherford, trombone

6        Principles of the Rhizome                                                                                  04:02

Chris Heenan, bass clarinet; Anne LeBaron, harp, harp/uke with

ÔfoundÕ tuning; Torsten MŸller, bass; Paul Rutherford, trombone

7        Make a map, not a tracing                                                                                  05:48

Chris Heenan, alto saxophone; Anne LeBaron, harp;

Torsten MŸller, bass; Paul Rutherford, trombone.

Tracks 5-7: line space line festival of improvised music,

Salvation Theater, Los Angeles, CA (2002)


8        Heat Wave 2                                                                                                              03:42

Anne LeBaron, amplified harp with live electronics

9        Intermezzo                                                                                                                03:00

Wolfgang Fuchs, bass clarinet; Ronit Kirchman, violin;

Anne LeBaron, harp; Torsten MŸller, bass.

Tracks 8-9: Polestar New Music Festival, Seattle, WA (2004)


CD 2 - 72:30


1        Wake                                                                                                                            12:32

Georg Graewe, piano; Anne LeBaron, harp, percussion;

John Lindberg, bass

2        Stream                                                                                                                        12:04

Georg Graewe, piano; Anne LeBaron, harp; John Lindberg, bass.

Tracks 1-2: Roy O. Disney Hall, CalArts, Valencia, CA (2008)


3        Sœkkulaði Scream                                                                                                    08:56

Kristin Haraldsdottir, viola; Anne LeBaron, harp;

Nathan Smith, clarinet/bass clarinet:

The Wild Beast, CalArts, Valencia, CA (2010)


4        Into something rich and strange                                                                      07:28

Kiku Day, shakuhachi; Anne LeBaron, harp; Kanoko Nishi, koto

5        Submerged Cavern                                                                                                    01:41

Kiku Day, shakuhachi; Anne LeBaron, harp; Kanoko Nishi, koto

6        Song of Marble                                                                                                        08:10

Kiku Day, shakuhachi; Anne LeBaron, harp; Kanoko Nishi, koto

7        Funeral Bells for Harry Partch                                                                        09:00

Kiku Day, shakuhachi; Anne LeBaron, harp; Kanoko Nishi, koto

8        Full Fathom Funayurei                                                                                          03:05

Kiku Day, shakuhachi; Anne LeBaron, harp; Kanoko Nishi, koto.

Tracks 4-8: Mills College, Oakland, CA (2005)


9        Lagniappe: Hourglass of Stars                                                                          09:06

Earl Howard, electronics; Leroy Jenkins, amplified violin;

Anne LeBaron, amplified harp with live electronics:

JoeÕs Pub, NYC (2004)


Anne LeBaron, composer and performer, writes music embracing an exotic array of subjects that encompass vast reaches of space and time, ranging from the mysterious Singing Dune of Kazakhstan, to investigations into physical and cultural forms of extinction, to legendary figures such as Pope Joan, Eurydice, Marie Laveau, and the American Housewife. Widely recognized for her work in instrumental, electronic, and performance realms, she has earned numerous awards and prizes, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Alpert Award in the Arts, a Fulbright Full Fellowship, an award from the Rockefeller MAP Fund for her opera, Sucktion, and a 2009-2010 Cultural Exchange International Grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for The Silent Steppe Cantata. An accomplished harpist, LeBaron is renowned for her pioneering methods of developing and implementing extended harp techniques, electronic enhancements, and notation in compositional and improvisational contexts. She teaches composition and related subjects at the California Institute of the Arts.



Anne LeBaron, producer

Clay Chaplin, recording engineer, mastering

Sandra Powers, design and artwork

Scott Groller, photographer

Special thanks to: Doug Haire, who recorded 1:1,2,8,9 for Jack Straw ProductionsÕ Sonarchy Radio; David Rothbaum, recording engineer for 1:5-7; Jim Murphy, recording engineer for 2:3; Norman Teale, recording engineer for 2:4-8; Henry Hughes, Festival Producer, Polestar Music Gallery; Yvonne Eadon, track title assistant.



innova is supported by an endowment

from the McKnight Foundation.

Philip Blackburn: Director, layout

Chris Campbell: Operations Manager


Supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. InnovaÕs NYFA Series celebrates music by the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellows in Music Composition.