Petals 8 is meant to be a kind of rip of ancient Japanese court music, gagaku. With that ‘elegant music’ it shares cyclic structures, an accreted funky-slash-improbable-slash-maybe-inevitable instrumental assemblage, and an often oblique, mannered time feel. Another influence upon its time feel is that occasionally radical sense of contingency heard in the performances of certain open scores from composers of the New York School. The music is unflaggingly committed to its naive, handmade complexity, among other things to modulate its weirdness and cheap jokes. Petals 8 is dedicated to my teacher Christian Wolff, in respect to his music as well as that of his friend, Morton Feldman.
Petals 1, 2, & 3
From the original program note: Three scenes, each treating different sonic materials, in response to different compositional ‘problems’: (1) Road test doing things the hard way plus information-rich syntactic endurance; (2) Try to make lemonade out of a lemony improvisation; (3) Relate species of early digital sound to glo-fi.
One Note Solo
From the original program note: The one note solo is native to many musical genres — jazz, rhythm & blues, rock & pop, and ‘serious’ music. Here, the note is C, the least fancy note there is. However, ‘note’ is interpreted broadly. For example, frequencies related to particular Cs via the harmonic series are allowed, and clusters of these frequencies can be used to (AM) modulate other, more strictly formed Cs. Lois V. Vierk’s take on the ostrich guitar provides another deviation. Musical materials are derived from tuning forks, guitars, synthesis analog and digital, and atmospherics. Rhythms include (among others) those related to speech and those regulated by sub-audio rate Cs. For that matter, structure is regulated by periods of super-low Cs, too.
Sonatina contains both the oldest material on this album — gamba recordings of Loren Ludwig forming a loop that closes the track, and the newest — improvised microphone feedback. In between is music made with Abigail Levine in respect to Robert Motherwell, and with Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell for her public theatre work, No Wake.
— Notes by Ted Coffey
Bill T. Jones; the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company; Paul Matteson & Jennifer Nugent; Abigail Levine; Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell; the Department of Music at the University of Virginia; Judith Shatin, Matthew Burtner, Luke Dahl, Travis Thatcher, and Composition & Computer Technologies grads & alums; the Vice Provost for the Arts at UVA; the Deans of the College of Arts and Sciences at UVA; Sam Crawford; Kyle Maude; Kojiro Umezaki; Mark Graham & The Sound; Rebekah Wostrel; Elsa Belle Blue Coffey; my teachers.
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