Co-written in 2010 by Victor Zupanc and Kevin Kling, For the Birds is a concert length work that, on the surface, seems to be about birds. It features a series of musical pieces extolling the nature of each particular bird (sparrows, roosters, woodpeckers, Canadian geese, hawks), drawing parallels with our own human nature. Interspersed between, is insightful storytelling created by Kling reflecting on childhood memories, immigration, illness, accidents, and healing. However, just below the surface (but discernible to those that look), For the Birds is a work about that part of our human nature that compels us to reach beyond ourselves for more —more opportunity for our family, more money, more fun, more speed, more knowledge, more love. When all goes well, we call that need aspiration. When it doesn’t, and we plunge to the earth with melting wings, we call it hubris. Through utterly delightful music and a worldview only Kevin Kling can provide, For the Birds gives us the space to contemplate our nature, laugh at ourselves, and heal. Continue reading “Victor Zupanc & Kevin Kling: For the Birds”
by Scott Miller
SIGNATURE ONE: A MENDELSSOHN FANTASY (1980) by Homer Lambrecht was commissioned by the Jerome Foundation for Zeitgeist and received its premiere at Carnegie Recital Hall October 18, 1980 in New York.
“Music spans time in history; the movement of time also articulates the form and substance of music. Patterns of movement form streams of rhythm, flow of harmonic motion, and currents of timbre. These patterns also reveal the spiritual substance of the composer and his cultural heritage. To find patterns that connect my time with the past is the origin of SIGNATURE ONE. Techniques common to today’s music are used to transform ‘Adieu,’ one of Mendelssohn’s ‘Songs Without Words.’” Continue reading “Homer Lambrecht: Signature One: Mendelssohn Fantasy”
MUSIC FOR KLEIST (1980) by Zeitgeist
In the collectively composed MUSIC FOR KLEIST, severe changes in mood reflect the character of Kleist’s life and work (particularly a short story entitled “Earthquake in Chile,” which provided the dramatic frame for the composition). Dramatic, expressionistic gestures are contrasted with serene, almost euphoric passages.
SPINNGEWEBE (1976) by Tristan Fuentes was inspired by the way a spider weaves its web, first spinning a framework and then adding the spiral. Written for Zeitgeist, the piece was premiered July 25, 1980.
THIS (1980) by James DeMars
THIS (a contracrostipunctus) for Frederic Rzewsky and Douglas Hofstadter IS an opportunity to adJUST to circles of reference and TIME, because a variety of “meanings” are available in (this) unusual interplay of an invertible text AND a looping melody which apparently refer to each and YOU; however, if you TAKE your TIME (AND you are) YOU may HEAR JUST both, which is MUSIC, which IS an opportunity to adJUST to circles of reference and TIME, because a variety of “meanings” are available in (this) unusual interplay of Continue reading “James DeMars: This”
PATTERN STUDY #2 by Stacey Bowers, dedicated to the Blackearth Percussion Group, was written in 1976. The score is a set of several melodic patterns, to be played in any order, repeated as often as desired, and used as a basis for improvisation. The form emerges from the resultant improvisation.
Stacey Bowers was born in 1952 in Wisconsin, USA. Early in his career he was a percussionist and pianist with the Blackearth Percussion Group and held teaching positions at Northern Illinois University and the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music. He is currently an executive with Woodstock Percussion, Inc., based in the New York Hudson Valley.
PATTERN STUDY #2 appears on Zeitgeist’s album BOWERS/DEMARS/STOCKHAUSEN; originally released 1980, re-released 2015.
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Set Sail for the Sun (1968)
by Karlheinz Stockhausen
SET SAIL FOR THE SUN by Karlheinz Stockhausen is from the set Aus den Sieben Tagen, written in May of 1968 in California. It is realized from verbal instructions rather than a traditional notation. Continue reading “Karlheinz Stockhausen: Set Sail for the Sun”
Premonitions of Christopher Columbus (1979)
by James DeMars
PREMONITIONS of CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS by James DeMars was premiered by Zeitgeist at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in October of 1979. This recording uses five musicians playing alto saxophone, two pianos, tablas, marimba, cymbals, and a tam tam. The form is similar to that of the Moroccan “nuba” tradition, in which a pulse gradually emerges to support melodic material. The eclectic blend of idioms and sonorities produces a paradoxical “state of being” as each gesture draws forward. Continue reading “James DeMars: Premonitions of Christopher Colmbus”
Listen to the Rolling Thunder (1982) 12’51’’
by Stacey Bowers
Rolling Thunder looking long at his son before he spoke. Then he spoke quietly. “Now you know what has to be done here, so why don’t you wait until you feel those things are done, and then speak?… If you’re feeling impatient, then you’re where you think about time, and if you’re thinking about time, you should be able to think about the order of things. Things have their order. You know there are certain things I can’t do until I do other things first.”
The title and above quote are from Rolling Thunder by Doug Boyd, copyright 1974 by Robert Briggs Associates. The main melodic theme is from “The Bells” by William Byrd, The Fitzwilliam Virginal, volume one. Continue reading “Stacey Bowers: Listen to the Rolling Thunder”