Karen Gottlieb, harp
Tod Brody, flute
Dan Reiter, cello
& Daniel Kennedy, percussion
for Cello and Harp (1949)
1 Chorale 1:43
2 Pastorale 3:12
3 Interlude 1:14
4 Aria 5:30
5 Chorale 1:50
for Flute and Harp (1999) 12:00
7 John Cage
Landscape (1949) 7:23
8 Dan Reiter
for Flute and Harp (1982) 11:56
for Harp with Percussion (1967-1977)
9 Serenade 2:04
10 Jahla 2:03
in Ishartum 1:57
Troubadour Music 1:30
for Bill and Me 4:29
14 Avalokiteshvara 2:11
15 Serenade 2:23
This album is a tribute to four
mid-20th century new music composers of the San Francisco Bay Area. In
particular, the compositions reflect tonal qualities, beautiful melodies and
ethnic rhythms from various cultures of Southeast Asia, India, “The Silk Road”,
I was raised
by artistic parents — my father a classical musician, scholar and
ethnomusicologist and my mother an architect. We lived for several years in India and Europe where I was
exposed to a variety of musical styles and traditions. Our
home was frequented by artists and musicians from Paul Hindemith & Darius
Milhaud to Ravi Shankar & Zakir Hussain. My father Robert Gottlieb had a
distinguished career as an ethnomusicologist, primarily in India and Southeast
Asia. In 2005 my father received the Chhandayan ‘Jyotsna Award’ from the Indian government for his
contribution to the preservation of Indian Classical Music and North Indian Tabla Drumming. He had a profound effect on my insight and
appreciation of music recorded on this CD. The pieces are some of my favorites.
For over thirty years I have been
performing with new music ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am
fortunate to have worked and recorded with many important and influential 20th
century composers. In particular, I had a wonderful and inspiring friendship
with Lou Harrison which began in 1980. I have
performed & recorded his orchestral, chamber and choral works, including
the 3rd & 4th Symphonies and “La Koro Sutra”. I
recorded “Music for Harp” in 1994 as the sound track for the film “Building A
Dream”. It was also included by producer Eva Soltes
in her documentary, “Lou Harrison: A World of Music.”
My mother, Lois Davidson
Gottlieb, spent several years living and working as an apprentice with Frank
Lloyd Wright at both Taliesin East and West. One of her final architectural
projects was a magnificent home for my brother & sister-in-law Mark &
Sharon Gottlieb, built of recycled materials (such as laminated wood and ice block)
which she chronicled and produced with Eva Soltis in
the documentary film “Building a Dream”.
She met Lou Harrison during that time and felt his music perfectly
complemented her contemporary architectural style. About the film and my
recording, Lou Harrison wrote: “It is a splendidly done documentary of
exemplary building and I am delighted that Karen so beautifully recorded my
music to accompany it.” After Lou’s death in 2003, Eva Soltis
acquired the Lou Harrison ‘Straw Bale House’ in Joshua Tree, California. Aided
by my mother’s architectural designs, Eva renovated the house and grounds and
established a center for music, art and ecology residencies.
This album is dedicated to my
harp teacher Pamela Vokolek, who encouraged my love
of new music, and to my mother, Lois Davidson Gottlieb, who always believed in
me. A special thank you to Paul Glass for his assistance preparing the written
material. Finally, my husband, David Klein, deserves my eternal gratitude for
his stellar support, encouragement and editorial advice.
— Karen Gottlieb, May 2015, San
Harrison (1917-2003) was an American composer celebrated for his
inventive scores which integrated Native American and
Asian influences. They are distinguished for their superb craftsmanship and
emphasis on melody and rhythm at the expense of traditional harmony.
Born in Portland, Oregon, he
moved at an early age with his family to California. In the San Francisco area
the young Harrison absorbed music of diverse cultures which
throughout his life informed and inspired his imagination. He studied with
Henry Cowell and became friends with John Cage, with
whom he composed numerous works for percussion. In Los Angeles Lou studied
atonal theory with Arnold Schoenberg. He then moved to New York City where he
thrived not only as a composer of symphony and opera, but also as a music
critic (mentored by Virgil Thomson), and as an author, publishing a study of
Carl Ruggles. During this period Lou met Charles Ives
and conducted the premier of the elder composer’s Third Symphony; the work
eventually won the Pulitzer Prize. But despite his success the rigors of life
in New York proved oppressive to his sensibility. He left the city in 1947,
first for Black Mountain College, where he developed an interest in Asian
music; and then for Aptos, California, where he settled. Lou pursued his
innovative methods which displayed original tunings
and tonality for just intonation orchestra and chorus. After attending the 1961
East-West Music Encounter, a conference in Tokyo, his knowledge and
appreciation of Asian music blossomed. In 1975 influenced by the Javanese
gamelan orchestras, Lou began scoring many works using gamelan, western
instruments and custom-made ones to create a wonderful blend of Pacific Rim
& Asian style music – ‘East Meets West’ – in a reverence of
world cultures. Overall Lou’s music is joyous with a love of melody and beauty
in all its forms. Recognized and honored by his peers, he was named Musical
America’s composer of the year 2002. Lou Harrison passed away in 2003 en route
to a festival dedicated to his career.
Suite for Cello & Harp
For Cello And Harp (1949) was inspired by the cave paintings in Lascaux,
France. The Suite forms a cycle, beginning and ending with a beautiful
meditative chorale evoking an old man “plowing in the ancient manner behind the
immemorial ox.” The second movement “Pastorale”
depicts the “willowed, rivered landscape of the
Dordogne Valley” where the caves are located. The impressionistic fourth
movement “Aria” features a chromatically based melodic line over an ostinato
part for harp (which is an adaptation from Harrison’s “Symphony on G”).
Music for Harp
separately (and transcribed for guitar) the pieces of this collection were
created by Lou for the troubadour harp without pedals. In 1967 he bought
one of the first troubadour harps produced by Lyon & Healy Harps. With great reverence and fond memories Lou’s
harp now resides in my music studio.
Lou suggested that the harp be
tuned in specific modes or intonations for a “special resonance.” These tunings
employed the so-called modes of Pythagorean, intense diatonic tunings written
by Ptolemy; and Korean mode titled “The Delightful” and Just Intonation. After
much consideration I respectfully chose ‘well-tempered’ tunings for this CD.
These pieces reflect Lou’s growing interest in Indonesian and Asian music which highly influenced his compositions for the
remainder of his life.
was initially composed for guitar and first appeared in a letter from Lou to a
friend. For some forty years the piece remained unpublished;
photocopies (displaying Lou’s graceful calligraphy) were circulated within the
community of guitarists. Lou specified that “the harp
may play this piece too, one octave lower than where written, of course.”
During this period, Lou began
writing a kind of world music. He said, “I am interested in a trans-ethnic, a
planetary music.” Without a hint of harmony the piece has an irregular rhythm
and perfect melody with Indian and Asian influences establishing a unique
identity apart from the dense textures of East Coast Modernism. One of his most
lovely pieces, it appears twice on this CD. The complete Music
for Harp was recorded in 1994 and the final Serenade
was re-recorded in 2014.
– in the Form of Ductia to Pleasure Leopold
Stokowski on his Ninetieth Birthday (1972).
The word Jahla is borrowed from North Indian music which signifies a main melody mixed with drone notes,
creating a sense of perpetual motion. The Ductia, a
light and brisk medieval dance, is accompanied in this piece by finger cymbals
and a tambourine in an ostinato pattern.
Sonata in Ishartum
(1974) was initially composed for two troubadour harps. Ishartum signifies a mode discovered on
a tuning tablet (18th century BCE) for a Babylonian harp.
Beverly’s Troubadour Piece
was written, Lou stated, “when several of us one night in 1967 in Aptos
composed pieces for our friend Beverly Bellows to play on a new troubadour harp
which Bill and I had just acquired.” Here finger cymbals,
rattle tambourine and bongos add their charm, conjuring up Indonesian dance
through bold rhythmic statements and strong melodic lines.
Music for Bill and Me
(1966,67) was composed by Lou for Bill Colvig, his
companion of many years and colleague in the art of making instruments. Bill Colvig passed away in 1999.
(1964) is named in honor of the bodhisattva of compassion who vowed to aid the
suffering of all beings. The piece conveys an Asian ambience given its Korean
mode “The Delightful,” and specially tuned water bowls. A similarity to Jahla may be noted from a drone
effect with doubling of octaves that imply a perpetual dance.
Wayne Peterson was awarded the
1992 Pulitzer Prize in Music, crowning a distinguished career
which began in 1958 with a commissioned premier and recording by the
Minnesota Orchestra under Antal Dorati. More honors
include: fellowships and commissions from the Guggenheim, Koussevitzsky,
Fromm, Meet The Composer, and Djerassi Foundations,
and an award of excellence from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Peterson
has catalogued more than sixty compositions for orchestra, chorus and chamber
Professor Emeritus of Music at
San Francisco State University, Wayne Peterson has been a guest professor in
composition at Stanford University, Indiana University, the University of
Minnesota, Brandeis, U.C. Santa Barbara and the Composer’s Conference in
Wellesley, MA. He served on the nominating committee for the Pulitzer Prize in
1999 & 2000 and was a jury member for the First Seoul International
Competition for Composers. His appreciation and knowledge of the harp were
inspired by his work with Marcella DeCray.
Commissioned by flautist, Sue
Kahn and harpist, Susan Jolles, Colloquy
was completed in 1999 and is a riveting dialogue between the flute and harp. A
sense of organic unity is achieved with frequently recurring motifs despite the
absence of a preconceived structural plan. Numerous extended techniques, unique
to the latter half of the 20th century, are employed in addition to traditional
begins with sustained, lyric passages which
increasingly alternate with those of a more animated and fragmentary nature.
Midway, a scherzo emerges and builds inexorably to an exciting climax. There
follows a gradual reduction of tension and pace, which resolves with a delicate
reference to the opening statement. This recording also appears on Peterson’s
album, Peregrinations (Troy601).
Composer, writer, theorist, and
artist, John Cage was one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th
century. A student of Henry Cowell and Arnold
Schoenberg, Cage merged their insights with his investigations into chance.
Revered for his innovative methods Cage early in his career experimented with
instruments, altering their sound, to create music unique and original.
Inspired by Eastern philosophy and religion, particularly Zen Buddhism, he
often consulted the I-Ching to determine elements of
Actively involved in the visual
and performing arts Cage created numerous works with choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham; their partnership flourished for many
In a Landscape
was scored in 1948 for dancer Louise Lippold. Lyrical
and meditative the piece evokes an ethereal quality that seems to suspend time.
With a debt to Erik Satie the patterns and rhythmic structure of 15 X 15
measures alternate between modes in B and G, adhering to the rhythmic structure
of Lippold’s choreography. Cage intended the piece
for harp or piano. It was originally premiered at Black Mountain College, a
center for the creative ‘maverick’ spirits of the mid-20th century.
Dan Reiter (b.1951) is the
principal cellist with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Fremont Symphony, and
the Festival Opera Orchestra. With these orchestras, he has performed the
Schumann Cello Concerto, Strauss’s Don
Quixote, and Three Meditations from ‘Mass’ by Leonard
Bernstein. In 2012, Dan received an Irvine Grant to write for the OEBS, and on
May 3rd 2013 had his world premiere of Mysterium, an
orchestral work that explores the Kaballah.
In 1980, his Ricercar for three cellos, harp and dumbeck received critical acclaim in the Oakland Symphony’s
Sound Spectrum Series. During this period he created music for clarinet, cello
and bass. One of these works, Reiter’s Raga, was recast for clarinet,
viola and cello, and performed by Earplay, a
contemporary music ensemble, on tour in California in 2006. Dan has played with
Earplay as an extra since the 1980’s.
Dan has studied Indian
classical music with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and is
both performer and arranger on two CDs with master Khan. There is found much
influence from Indian music in Dan’s compositions, mostly in his works for
cello and harp, such as Aubade
and Windflow. In the 1980’s Dan formed The
Pacific Arts Trio made up of flute, cello and harp. This trio performed and
toured the Western United States and Alaska for ten years. During this time he
created many arrangements and composed Phantasy Trio
and his Sonata for Flute and Harp. The trio continues with the
new principal flutist of OEBS Alice Lenaghan.
At the request of Angela Koregelos, Principal Flautist of the Oakland Symphony, The
Sonata for Flute and Harp (1982) was composed for Ms. Koregelos
and Natalie Cox, Principal Harpist of the Symphony.
evokes the sounds and emotions of various duos such as Shakuhachi
and Koto, Sarod and Tabla,
Violin and Cymbalom. The language is that of chords
spreading out from a center; simultaneously, melodies sound above and below a
center. Reworked motifs from Afghanistan and India are heard, giving an
impression of a Silk Road Journey.
Karen Gottlieb has performed
with the San Francisco Symphony for more than two decades as second harpist.
She has toured extensively with the Symphony on its USA, European and Asian
tours and has performed on their recordings and DVDs. In addition, Ms. Gottlieb
is the Principal Harpist for The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and
performs regularly with other Northern California new music groups —
Opera Parallèle, Earplay,
Empyrean and Left Coast Ensembles. She has recorded regularly with the Skywalker
Recording Symphony and substituted with the San Francisco Opera and Ballet
orchestras. For twenty years she served as Principal Harpist with the
California Symphony and performed as a member of the San Francisco Symphony
“AIM” ensembles, including 4 Sounds, Strings & Things, THAT! Group and Silver & Gold, Plus.
Ms. Gottlieb received her
Bachelor of Arts at the University of Washington, Seattle and her Masters in
Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She teaches harp at San
Francisco State University, Mills College and privately. As a certified harp
technician for Lyon & Healy and Salvi Harps, Ms.
Gottlieb maintains and repairs harps locally, within the USA and abroad.
Brody is principal flutist with San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, as
well as Northern California new music groups Earplay,
Eco Ensemble, and
Empyrean Ensemble, with an extensive career that has included
performances of numerous world premieres and many recordings. He is also principal
flutist of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Sacramento Opera, and the
California Musical Theater, and makes frequent appearances with the San
Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet orchestras, and in other chamber and
orchestral settings throughout the S.F.Bay Area. He is on the faculty of the University of
California, Davis, where he teaches flute and chamber music.
has served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the
American Composers Forum, and is currently Executive Director of Opera Parallèle, which presents 20th- and 21st-century operas in
Grammy nominated percussionist
William Winant is internationally regarded as a
leading performer of avant-garde music. Over the course of his career, Willie
has collaborated with legends of 20th and 21st century music, from Iannis Xenakis to Steve Reich and
Yo-Yo Ma, and from Merce Cunningham to Kronos Quartet and Sonic Youth. Composers who have written
for Willie include John Cage, Lou Harrison, John Zorn, Peter Garland, Larry Polansky, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Somei Satoh, and Wadada Leo
Smith. He is a member of San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and is the
percussionist with the avant-rock band Mr. Bungle,
and performs locally with his own ensemble, William Winant
Percussion Group. A member of the
instrumental faculty at the University of California at Berkeley and Mills College,
and a Visiting Lecturer at University of California, Santa Cruz, Winant has made over two hundred recordings covering a wide
variety of music, including the revered recording of Lou Harrison’s La Koro Sutro
and the 2013 release of Five American Percussion Pieces.
Described as a “subtly graceful
soloist” and a “stellar performer” in the San Francisco Chronicle, Daniel has
been dedicated to the performance of contemporary percussion repertoire for
more than three decades. He has been the
founding member of several ensembles, including the California E.A.R. Unit, the
Talujon Percussion Quartet, and Rootstock
Percussion. As a soloist, his concert
appearances have included performances at Washington’s Kennedy Center, New
York’s Merkin Concert Hall, the Los Angeles County
Museum, San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and at numerous
international music festivals. Recently, he appeared with Steve Reich and the
contemporary music ensemble “Alarm Will Sound” at Stanford’s Bing Theater,
performed in Italy with Berkeley’s ECO Ensemble, and toured with Gamelan Sekar Jaya in Bali, Indonesia. Daniel has been a member of the San Francisco
Contemporary Music Players since 1993, and is currently the Instructor of
Percussion at Sacramento State University.
Robert Shumaker, recording
engineer • Cover photo – Peter Neibert, Golden
Gate Bridge at Sunrise with Fog • Tracks 9-14 recorded 1994 • Tracks 1-8, 15
supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation. Philip
Blackburn, director, design; Chris Campbell, operations director; Steve