Richard Dirlam                

She Sings She Screams

innova  543


01.  The Bear (2000)   10:51

for four baritone saxophones

Mark Engebretson (1964)

Richard Dirlam and Mark Engebretson, baritone saxophones


02.  She Sings, She Screams (1995)   11:05

for alto saxophone and tape

Mark Engebretson (1964)

Richard Dirlam, alto saxophone


03.  Eldey Island (1979)   7:55

Homo sapiens in memoriam

Eric Stokes (1930-1999)

Richard Dirlam and Mark Engebretson, alto and baritone saxophones


Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano (1970)

04.       allegro   3:36

05.       lento   3:37

06.       allegro moderato   4:46

Edison Denisov (1929-1996)

Richard Dirlam, alto saxophone; Laura Loewan, piano


07.  Gavambodi 2 (1966)   9:20

Jacques Charpentier (1933)

Richard Dirlam, alto saxophone; Laura Loewen, piano


08.  Hard (1988)   11:18

Christian Lauba (1952)

Richard Dirlam, tenor saxophone


Musique de concert (1954)

09.       Toccata   1:29

10.       Aria   1:52

11.       Ostinato   1:54

12.       Intermezzo   1:12

13.       Variazoni   2:30

Marius Constant (1925)

Richard Dirlam, alto saxophone; Laura Loewen, piano


She Sings She Screams

Richard DIRLAM, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones

Mark ENGEBRETSON, Alto and Baritone Saxophones

Laura LOEWEN, Piano




The Bear (2000)

Richard Dirlam, Marilyn Knudsen, and the Minneapolis-based chamber group, Amamus, commissioned The Bear with financial assistance from the American Composers Forum.  While the work springs from the loud, roaring sound heard at the beginning, it's a composition based on traditional ideas including combining shapes of contrasting contours, multiple meters/accentuation, pitch shapes, extremes of expression, expansion/contraction, motivic/thematic development and transformation. And more contemporary techniques such as timbre manipulation, rhythmic shapes, fractal relationships, distillation, independence of the individual vs. cohesion of the whole, and, patterns and processes of unequal lengths that progress at different rates.  The title The Bear refers to the pet name by which many saxophonists affectionately call their baritone saxophones. While this name obviously derives from the word "baritone", it also refers to the large, powerful character of the instrument, and (possibly) that the horn is a "bear" to play (meaning it can be difficult to keep under control!).  M.E.


The American Composers Forum underwrote commissioning of The Bear with funds provided by the

Jerome Foundation.


She Sings, She Screams (1995)

Susan Fancher commissioned She Sings, She Screams with financial support from the Austrian Ministry of Culture.  She premiered the work on 18 February 1995 at a Kulturspektakel concert in Vienna.


The piece represents my first work created in my own electronic music studio. It was created using a Korg 05R/W synthesizer and Cubase sequenzer.  The work is made of three large sections (or arcs) of increasing intensity, with a short coda.  The piece reflects my increasing interest in melody (in particular,

melody using quarter tones) and musical motion.  M.E.



Eric STOKES (1930-1999)

Eldey Island (1979)

Homo sapiens in memoriam

Eric Stokes was born in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and earned degrees from Lawrence College, New England Conservatory, and the University of Minnesota.  He was the recipient of many artistic awards, fellowships, and commissions, but counts among the most significant influences in his life the unscheduled spectacular multi-media performances of summer thunderstorms over his native

New Jersey.  Eldey Island is a rondo for four voices that originally existed as a piece for a solo wind instrument and self-prepared tape.  In 1993 Stokes created a new version for live performances with four players, three players situated at various positions in the auditorium and one player on stage.  This work reflects Stokes' respect, concern, and love of the environment and nature. Eldey Island is a small island near Iceland.  The island was the last known refuge of a species of bird known as the great auk, and was part of a bitterly ironic tale of this creature's extinction.  In 1830 a volcano had destroyed nearby islands where many of the auk lived.  Rather than protecting the few remaining birds, museums offered great sums to display stuffed representatives of this unique species.   In 1844 the last two great auks were hunted and their eggs destroyed for a museum display. The story of Eldey Island is not just about the end of the great auk, but also about us as a species, and the interconnectedness of all life.


Edison DENISOV (1929-1996)

Sonata for alto saxophone and piano (1970)

The Sonata was written in 1970 and dedicated to Jean Marie Londeix.  In many ways this Sonata opened the ears of many composers to the saxophone and avant-garde contemporary music, and has become one of the most significant works in the saxophone repertoire. Londeix has commented that Denisov "reveals his gifts for precision, eloquence, lyricism, and dynamism within an exemplary conciseness of style."  The three movements combine influences of Shostakovich, Boulez and Nono, elements of serialism in the first and third movements, Russian folklore in the second, and jazz in the third movement.  Denisov also studied mathematics (as evidenced in his rhythmic notation) and writes "Quarter tones give an impression of a very intimate expression...I use them mostly during moments of greatest intimate expression.  The half step is already expressive, but if it is divided by two, it becomes twice as expressive and therefore more intimate."



Jacques CHARPENTIER (1933)

Gavambodi 2 (1966)

Charpentier in his youth traveled extensively in India studying music. Gavambodi 2 exhibits the mystical/ spiritual impressions of these travels to India and the influences of his teacher Olivier Messiaen.  The piece is in three parts; the first is mysteriously poetic and contemplative; voice-like monody, rhythmic drive and intensity characterize the middle section.  Time seems to be suspended in the concluding portion as it explores relationships among the pitches of a Southern India karnatic mode, initially in the piano and saxophone separately, and then finally together. 



Christian LAUBA (1952)

Hard (1988)

Lauba was born in Sfax, Tunisia and studied European languages and composition in Bordeaux, France.  Much of Lauba's music is characterized by the synthesis of popular music and contemporary "classical" music.  A wide diversity of musical elements and styles can be found in his music including traditions from Africa, North Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, American jazz and soul, and rock. Hard uses rock and soul music as a starting point to explore the expressive capabilities of these genres in a piece that is notated precisely but should give the impression of a long improvisation culminating with an exuberant, dionysiaque, and joyous shout.



Marius CONSTANT (1925)

Musique de concert (1954)

Marius Constant was born in Bucharest, Romania and there attended the Royal Conservatory.  In 1946 Constant moved to Paris where he studied with Olivier Messiaen, Nadia Boulanger, and Arthur Honegger.  In Paris he made a name for himself in the contemporary music scene and in 1954 received a commission to write Musique de concert for the annual concours of the Paris conservatory saxophone class.  The piece is a collection of short suite-like movements that are a synthesis of a predominantly atonal harmonic language in the context of more classical forms and structures.  The work also exists with a chamber orchestra accompaniment.  In both versions of Musique de concert, the orchestration and "kinetic" rhythmic movement is characteristic and reminiscent of the widely recognized television theme that Constant later wrote for The Twilight Zone.



Richard Dirlam

Saxophonist Richard Dirlam has performed as a recitalist, with chamber ensembles, and orchestras in Europe, North America, and Japan.  With Marilyn Knudsen, he is a founding member of Amamus, an ensemble consisting of professional and amateur musicians that regularly presents chamber concerts, called SaxoSalons, featuring contemporary music that includes saxophone.  Dirlam earned First Prizes and Medals of Honour in performance and chamber music from the Conservatoire de Musique de Bordeaux, France while in the studio of Jean-Marie Londeix.  He also holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from the University of North Texas, and chemistry degrees from the University of Minnesota.  He freelances in Minnesota performing with the Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Contemporary Ensemble, Dale Warland Singers, Zeitgeist, and other venues.  Dirlam can also be heard on Minnesota Orchestra recordings, and innova label recordings Pure Saxophone and The Sax Ascendant. Presently Monsieur Dirlam is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of saxophone at College of St. Benedict/St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and chemistry/physics instructor at DeLaSalle, Minneapolis, Minnesota.



Mark Engebretson

Mark Engebretson, Lecturer in Music Theory at SUNY Fredonia has received numerous commissions from the Austrian Ministry of Culture as well as from STIM (Sweden) and the American Composers Forum. His works have been performed in concerts and at festivals around the world, including Wien Modern (Vienna), Gaida Festival (Vilnius, Lithuania), Hörgänge Festival (Vienna), Filharmonia Hall (Bialystock, Poland), Ny Musikk (Bergen, Norway), Théâtre la Chapelle (Montreal), Indiana State University New Music Festival (Terre Haute, IN), ISCM Festival (Tirana, Albania), World Saxophone Congresses (Pesaro, Italy, Montreal) and Stockholm Radio.


As a performer, he was a member of the Vienna Saxophone Quartet from 1992-1999. In addition to performances all over the world with the quartet, he has performed in many countries as soloist with orchestra, in recital and as a chamber musician, particularly with Susan Fancher, Swedish percussionist Anders Åstrand and the Chicago-based ensemble MeloMania!.  Mr. Engebretson received a Fulbright Fellowship for studies in France with Jean-Marie Londeix (saxophone) and Michel Fuste-Lambezat (composition).  He holds a doctorate in music composition at Northwestern University where he studied saxophone with Frederick Hemke and composition with M. William Karlins, Pauline Oliveros, Marta Ptaszynska, Michael Pisaro, Stephen Syverud and Jay Alan Yim.



Laura Loewen

Collaborative pianist Laura Loewen, a native of Winnipeg, Canada, has  appeared in concerts throughout Canada and in the United States.   Her performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio's local and national programming. She began her training as an accompanist with degrees from Brandon University and McGill University, and in 1998 received a Manitoba Arts Council Grant to begin a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of Minnesota, where she studies with Margo Garrett and Karl Paulnack.



Produced by Richard Dirlam.

Executive Producer, Philip Blackburn.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Matthew Zimmerman at Wild Sound, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Art direction, design, and photography

by Amy Ballinger.

Instrumental technical support

by Doug Kuehn.

Respectfully dedicated to my mentors Ruben Haugen and Jean-Marie Londeix.