Cage and Gould in virtual dialogue

Cage and Gould in virtual dialogue
It sounds like a late-night parlor game:  pick two artistic geniuses of the 20th century that you’d like to hear share a conversation in the great beyond. Michael Century had no trouble coming up with a dynamic combination:  experimental composer John Cage and classical pianist Glenn Gould.  He’s paired them up in an unusual concert happening Saturday night at EMPAC and presented by the iEar series. Actually “happening”...
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Queeries for Mohammed Fairouz

Queeries for Mohammed Fairouz
Composer Mohammed Fairouz, 26, refuses to name a favorite poem but admits to being obsessed with texts.  He’s written 13 song cycles and his first opera, Sumeida’s Song, is due out on Bridge Records soon.  He’s also collaborated with poets Mahmoud Darwish, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney.   October will be a landmark month for Fairouz. Besides the CD release, he’ll have...
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“Cage oversaturation”

Because of his centennial on September 5, there’s been way too much Cage happening all year for me to be comprehensive or even give many highlights.  In the Times on Saturday, Steve Smith acknowledges the once-unthinkable:  ”Who would ever have imagined a year in which Cage oversaturation might threaten to set in?” Letters Inspire an Intertwining of Boulez and Cage: John Cage and Pierre Boulez Juxtaposed...
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“Einstein on the Beach” at BAM

“Einstein on the Beach” at BAM
Maybe it’s because of the legacy of “Rite of Spring,” but when encountering a legendary work that’s said to have changed the course of a genre, one tends to expect an explosive tumult.  Listening to Philip Glass’ “Einstein on the Beach” on disc, there’s certainly a rigid austerity to the chunks of minimalist repetitions.  Yet the opera had an unexpected elegance in the long awaited staged revival that’s...
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Nice guys gather round a piano

Nice guys gather round a piano
“What Makes You Beautiful” from The Piano Guys
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More about Oliveros at 80

“I’m not dismissive of classical music and the Western canon,” Ms. Oliveros said during a wide-ranging interview at the office of her foundation in Kingston, N.Y., where she lives with her longtime partner, Ione, a writer and performance artist. “It’s simply that I can’t be bound by it. I’ve been jumping out of categories all my life.” She laughed, a hearty sound that liberally punctuated a generous, easygoing...
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Pauline Oliveros 80th birthday celebration (concert review)

Pauline Oliveros 80th birthday celebration (concert review)
Is there any career that gives better birthday celebrations than being a composer? Pauline Oliveros turns 80 later this month and RPI, where she teaches, pulled out all the stops on Thursday night (5/10/12) at EMPAC in Troy. There was music and speeches, cake and champagne, plus party favors (a newly issued DVD). The vaunted acoustics of the EMPAC concert hall were even spiffed up for the occasion. A computer-aided loudspeaker...
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Harrison documentary at Castro Theatre (3/6), prelude to MTT’s Mavericks Festival (3/8-30)

Harrison documentary at Castro Theatre (3/6), prelude to MTT’s Mavericks Festival (3/8-30)
“Lou Harrison:  A World of Music,” Eva Soltes’ documentary, will have its west coast premiere at the Castro Theatre on Tuesday March 6.  Before the screening starts, Terry Riley will improvise on the theater’s Wurlitzer organ. Then, on Thursday March 8 begins the latest and greatest installment yet of Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s American Mavericks program.  Concerts...
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“The Eleanor Hovda Collection” on Innova

“The Eleanor Hovda Collection” on Innova
Two years ago I interviewed conductor Jeannine Wager and subsequently wrote on this site what seems to still be the only complete account of the last years of composer Eleanor Hovda (1940-2009).  During our conversation Wager, her companion of 20 years, was forthcoming but obviously still grieving. She told me that she would soon be leaving their Arkansas home and was planning to begin archiving Hovda’s studio in New...
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West coast concert of music by Julius Eastman

When Julius Eastman died in 1990, most of his music was thought to be lost. But an all-Eastman concert was given on Friday February 10 in Berkeley, produced by Luciano Chessa and Sarah Cahill. It’s only the latest chapter in the on-going revival of Eastman’s music.  Mary Jane Leach pulled together three CDs of his music from archive recordings and released it all on New World Records about five years ago and...
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