<541> Volume 2         Musicfrom Stanford

innova 658


1. Alexander Sigman: il y vad'un certain pas (2004-2005)

for flute, bass clarinet,percussion, piano, violin, and violoncello


2. Christopher Trebue Moore: Parallax (2003-2004)

for chamber ensemble


3. Yaron Sokolov: Le Barroquet (2003-2004)

for percussion solo


4. Davi∂ Brynjar Franzson: Hvi∂a (2004)

for chamber orchestra


5. José Rio-Pareja: Danzacon saliva y sudor  (2004)

for chamber ensemble


6. Hans Thomalla: wild.thing (2003)

for piano and two percussion


<541> is a concert series dedicated to performancesof challenging music by students and faculty at Stanford University. Composersin the Stanford community produce pieces that reflect a broad range ofaesthetic issues, including fragmentation of structure, complex layering ofmusical time, narrative vs. non-narrative discourses, and the relationship ofimage and sound. The <541> CD project aims at being an ongoing account ofthis multiplicity of musical concerns, with each CD being made up largely ofperformances recorded in <541> concerts.


         Wewould like to thank many people who have been involved with the realization ofthese concerts and of this recording, above all the administration of StanfordUniversity for its generous financial underwriting of the project. Manyindividual members of the Music Department have unstintingly given of theiradvice and support, including Mario Champagne, Stephen Hinton, Jonathan Berger,Mark Applebaum, and Christopher Jones. These concerts benefited hugely from theuntiring technical and public relations support provided by Mark Dalrymple andBeth Youngdoff. Our special thanks are also due to Philip Blackburn and InnovaRecordings for making this series possible.


Professor Brian Ferneyhough

Department of Music

Braun Music Center




Alexander Sigman: il y vad'un certain pas (2004-2005)

for flute, bass clarinet,percussion, piano, violin, and violoncello



Martina Roth, bass flute

Erich Wagner, bass clarinet

Stefan Haeussler, violin

Beverly Ellis, cello

Olaf Tzschoppe, percussion

Sven Thomas Kiebler, piano

James Avery, conductor


 Is it possible to constructa musical "ruin"without recourse to either Romantic categories or historical residue?Furthermore, what aspects of elements and internal relations proper to an abidingstate of "decayed original material" could be examined fromcontrasting perspectives?...             


...Across the three primarysections of the piece, a tectonic  "backbone"layer and a more entropic "fleshy" layer unfold concurrently. The former(located in the piano, cello, and percussion) consists of materialderived from three recent, related compositions,transformed via the application of a series of filters. Within each section,the skeletal material appearing within each instrument is projected cyclicallyon contrasting levels of scale. Due to the filtration/"re-reading"and expansion/compression processes, thereexists a tendency towards the degradation of any initial sense ofidentity.   The bass flute,bass clarinet and violin material initially bears a contingent relation to thebackbone (both in terms of internal content and degree of continuity), butsubsequently extricates itself, permitting greater differentiation andautonomy. However, the feeble modes of production of the instruments and theeffects of temporal compression result in material erosion...


...il  y va d'uncertain pas = "it involves a certain step," "it involves acertain not," "he/it goes a certain step," "he/it goes acertain not". While the semantic content of  the various possible translations of this statement(extracted from Derrida's Aporias) bearsignificance with respect to the projection of the skeletal material ondifferent levels of scale (pas)and the negation of identity (pas),the acts of "re-reading" necessary to construct such contrastinginterpretations of the phrase are associated with the unfolding cyclicprocedures of the narrative.


Alexander Sigman (b.1980) is currently a secondthird-yeardoctoral student in Music Composition at Stanford University, studying withBrian Ferneyhough. Prior to Stanford, Sigman received a BM in Music Compositionand a BA in Cognitive Sciences from Rice University. Additionally, he hasparticipated in several music programs and festivals, such as Centre Acanthes(2002, 2003, studying with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough, and working withthe Arditti Quartet), the Fontainebleau Conservatoire Américain (2000, 2001,studying with Marco Stroppa and André Bon), the Ircam Academie d’Été (2001),and the Darmstadt Ferienkurse (2004). Supplementary activities have includeddirecting a contemporary music radio program, performance (piano andconducting), and music cognition research.



Christopher Trebue Moore: Parallax (2003-2004)

for chamber ensemble


GailEdwards, piccolo

StacyBrubaker, flute

KyleBruckmann, oboe

SteveSanchez, clarinet

MattIngalls, bass clarinet

JarrattRossini, bassoon

FlorianConzetti, percussion

TerryLongshore, percussion

KarlaLemon, conductor


Christopher Trebue Moore began his study of composition in1997.  In June 2003, he earned aMaster's degree in composition from the University of Oregon, where he composednumerous chamber, orchestral, and electronic works.  Currently he is working towards a D.M.A. in composition atStanford University where he is a student of Brian Ferneyhough, Mark Applebaum,and Chris Chafe.  His music hasbeen performed across the U.S.A. and in Europe by ensembles including EARPLAY,Third Angle, Octandre, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Red fish Blue fish, andInsomnio.



Yaron Sokolov: Le Barroquet (2003-2004)

for percussion solo


Morris Palter, percussion


A poem by Jacob Van Maelant tells us how a parrot foretoldthat Charlemagne would become Emperor. Surprisingly, there were/are parrots whohave increased their level of creativity, while others conservatively retaintheir old repetitive craft.


In Le Barroquet a parrot goes through a process that provides himwith artistic skills. He is being transformed to carry the role of prophecy.After a short Ouverture ą la Franćaise, thatshould be played at a very slow tempo, the parrot is challenged with rhythmicfigures that he repeats and interprets freely. Then, after a long Intermedio,the parrot is left alone to compose his own original material. By concludingthe piece with an appropriate coda, the parrot is finally able to reunite withhis ancestors by visualizing the coronation of Charlemagne. The title of thepiece was constructed by combining the term Baroque with Perroquet,because the parrot’s unique style remarkably resembles that which is known tous as Baroque music.


Although accompanied by a plot, LeBarroquetis definitely not a narrative piece. Narrative is called upon only to invokethe presence of allegory. Rather, the piece implies a way in which differentsections of music may or may not carry allegorical meaning. It is about thelack of necessity of an allegorical context as much as it is about the longingfor one that was abandoned. A parrot is capable of being a parrot whether ornot he is aware of his human allegorical nature. The same is true withinstrumental music: allegory is optional. But when allegory is activelyconsidered, a simple encounter with a real parrot can be much more thrilling.It automatically transforms the parrot to carry the role of prophecy. Then, theencounter becomes a performative experience.


Yaron Sokolov graduated from the Jerusalem Rubin Academyof Music and Dance with a BMus in composition, where he studied compositionwith professors Mark Kopytman and Yinam Leef. Currently he is pursuing a DMA incomposition at Stanford University under the instruction of Professors BrianFerneyhough and Mark Applebaum.



Davi∂ Brynjar Franzson: Hvi∂a (2004)

for chamber orchestra



Andrea Lieberherr, flute

Lara Wickes, oboe

Brian Walsh, clarinet/bassclarinet

Kirsten Barrow, horn

Kevin McGlaughlin, trumpet

Ben McIntosh trombone

Liam Viney, piano

Elyssa Shalla, percussion

Justin Dehart, percussion

Eric km Clark, violin

Natalie Brejcha, viola

Geoff Gartner, violoncello

Ivan Johnson, contrabass

Mark Menzies, conductor


Hvi∂a - a single instance of agust of wind - is the second chamber piece in a cycle based on a novella by theIcelandic author Sjon. Set in 19th century Iceland, the book deals with issuestopics such as conformity to aseemingly unified society, nature as an agent, and narrative issues suchnarrative issues as the flow anddensity of information. In large parts of the book almost no new information ispresented, and the negative space left behind is embroidered and covered by ahighly embellished surface.


Hvi∂a inherits a prime object fromthe cycle's opening piece and places it in an utopian society where socialinteractions suddenly start affecting the object - twisting it, turning it,and slowly eroding its identity while forcing it to conform increasingly to themasses of society. Through the onslaught of acts of conformation, the object isled into a void where surface features are no longer discernible. In morepoetic terms, the object is eroded by the gusts of a storm where smallfragments are torn off and carried away until none of its identity can be seen,as if swept over by a thin layer of snow.


David Brynjar Franzson was born inAkureyri in 1978. He graduated in Biology and Music from Menntaskolinn aAkureyri in 1998 and in composition and theory from the Reykjavik College ofMusic in 2001. He holds a Masters Degree in composition and is currentlypursuing a doctorate from Stanford University under the guidance of BrianFerneyhough and Mark Applebaum. He recently finished exchange studies at ColumbiaUniversity with Tristan Murail. David's music has been performed in Europe, theUSA, and Asia by ensembles including Caput, Oslo Sinfonietta, asamisimasa,and the Ensemble Intercontemporain.



José Rio-Pareja: Danzacon saliva y sudor  (2004)

for chamber ensemble



Lara Wickes, oboe

Brian Walsh, bass clarinet

Kirsten Barrow, horn

Kevin McGlaughlin, trumpet

Ben McIntosh trombone

Elyssa Shalla, percussion

Justin Dehart, percussion

Natalie Brejcha, viola

Geoff Gartner, violoncello

Ivan Johnson, contrabass

Mark Menzies, conductor


Danza con saliva y sudor(Dance with Ssweatand Ssaliva) is one of the scenes of my chamber opera Comoagua sin Luz (As Wwaterwithout Llight). Being an instrumental episode of passionate dancebetween the two main characters of the opera, the structure of this piece isbased in the analysis of the different parameters of flamenco dance-steps.Three rhythmic phrases from flamenco footwork underlie during thewhole piece, although beginning with a tempo sixteen times slower than theoriginal, to evolveand evolvingin a desperate accelerando. The differences between the three kinds of dancesteps (heel, sole, and whole foot) are re-composed bythe entire ensemble, and the quasi-vocal sounds from the wind instruments are asupernatural manifestation of the sounds of the two mute dancer-singers inon the stage.


José Rio-Pareja was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1973.Beginning his piano studies at a very young age, José obtained a diploma inpiano and the degrees of “Professor Superior” of Orchestral Conducting, ChoralConducting, and Composition in the Conservatori Superior Municipal de Música deBarcelona with professors Albert Argudo, Carles Comalada, and Xavier Boliart.At the completion of his studies at this conservatory, he was awarded HighestHonors in Composition. Currently, he is pursuing a DMA in composition atStanford University, studying with Brian Ferneyhough.


He has received numerous awards such as the First Prize fromthe 15ththYoung Composer Competition, 1995 FredericMompou International Award, the XIV  International Festival ofYouth Orchestras 2000 Award, the First Prize in the Composition Competition ofthe SGAE (General Association of Authors and Editors from Spain) 2000, theFirst Prize in the XXI International Composition Competition Cristobal Halffter2001, the Merit Diploma 2002 of the Accademia Chigiana in Siena (Italy), andthe 2004 Concours Henry Dutilleux Prize.


His music has been played by the Ensemble Intercontemporainconducted by Peter Rundel, Ensemble Contrechamps conducted by Jurjen Hempel, pianist GeorgesPludermacher  and by prestigious Spanish musical groups including, amongothers, the Grupo Enigma, the Chamber Orchestra of the Auditorium of Zaragoza,the Plural Ensemble, 2111 Gėtic Brass, and Grupo Finale. He has also receivedseveral grants such as the scholarships of the Courses Manuel de Falla, the IAEgrant, the Accademia Chigiana, Centre Acanthes, Stanford University,and la Caixa fellowship—the most prestigious grant for internationalgraduate studies in Spain. Selected by the National Spanish Radio, his work Zarzas(for viola and ensemble) participated in the International Rostrum of Composersorganized by UNESCO 2001 in Paris.


Selected by the National Spanish Radio, his work Zarzas(for viola and ensemble) participated in the International Rostrum of Composersorganized by UNESCO 2001 in Paris.



Hans Thomalla: wild.thing (2003)

for piano and two percussion



Florian Hölscher, piano

Pascal Pons, percussion

Boris Müller, percussion

Gabriele Starke, sound engineer

Günther Zapletal, sound engineer

SWR 2004


wild thing, you make my heart sing

Jimy Hendrix, Monterey 1967


A cadential figure in ChopinsNocturne Op. 37 #1, my first experience of “Piano Music” in early childhood,has been almost synonymous with the instrument ever since. It is a stereotypeof introspection. The drumset in the final measures of the live recordingof Jimmy Hendrix’s WwildTthing live recording: acymbal crash in unison with a bass-drum accent creates eruption and focus atthe same time; a snare-drum figure is on the edge of rhythm and rollbetweena rhythm and a drum roll. wild.thing is COUNTERPOINTsimultaneityof different musical Gestalts.


These Gestalts are changing. They influence, violate,annihilate one another. And they are FILTEREDT,changed from “outside.. Theyare amplified, distorted, transposed and cut, without regard to their internalstructure,  – until they havebecome only impulses without identity, without context, without meaning.


Free? Maybe SET FREE to become figures, which are notpredetermined by the contexts from which they derive, which set their owncontexts, step by step, every moment in a different way, developed only out ofthe sound itself, out of the now liberated, “wild” material.



This recordingwas provided courtesy ofthe Südwestrundfunk, 2004.


Hans Thomalla was born 1975 in Bonn, Germany. From1994 to 1999 he studied composition at the Hochschule für Musik inFrankfurt. In 1999 he joined the Dramaturgy of the Stuttgart Opera, where heworked on various opera-productions and developed a new-music concert series“Dialoge.. Hismusic has been performed by major German ensembles and orchestras, such as theSWR-Radiosinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, SR-Sinfonieorchester,Ensemble Modern, and Ensemble Recherche. He receivedvarious awards and fellowships and was a fellow of the Studienstiftung desdeutschen Volkes as well as the DAAD. In 2004 he was awarded the KranichsteinerMusikpreis, in 2005 the Christoph Delz Prize. A CD of his works isforthcoming on the Wergo label.  HansThomalla is currently pursuing a DMA-Programin composition at Stanford University.




<541>series co-producers: Mark Applebaum, Brian Ferneyhough, & ChristopherJones.

Innova issupported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation

PhilipBlackburn: innova Director, design

ChrisCampbell: Operations Manager