Saturday, April 7, 2001 3:00 PM
Lyman Hall
Thatcher Music Building
Corner of Fourth and College
Pomona College
Claremont CA

-- P R O G R A M --

Opening Invocation for a Shadow PlayKraig Grady
Meta-slendro vibraphoneKraig Grady

For a Few Tones More for extended pythagorean mbira array and light showBill Wesley

StryxSean Griffin
Amplified celloTom Flaherty

-- I N T E R M I S S I O N --
Tear for quadraphonic tapeShahrokh Yadegari

Improvisation for just intonation guitarRod Poole

Opening Invocation for a Shadow Play. It is common in many cultures around the world to consider theater performances a religious activity. This is even more so of the different forms of shadow theater and explains why we can find in India and Indonesia, to name just two, performances starting days before the first audience arrives. In Anaphoria, the performers undergo first a banishment ritual and sweatlodges for purification. On the day the full moon before, the first invocation is performed, being musical in nature and occurring as far to the east as the performer can travel to on foot. The music performed represents the archetypal personalities that will manifest in the play. Being the first manifestation, the conflicts between the personalities have yet to become apparent or differentiated. The music which might at first be heard as harmonic, is thought of in Anaphoria as more as a condensation of melodic material, the primal material yet to be hatched. Today's performance is in anticipation to the shadow play, Her Stirring Stone, being performed May 4 and 5. A closing ritual, west of the performance will be performed May 20, just before the new moon. Being a returning of the forces from where they came, resembles today's performance but with opposite intent.

Kraig Grady was born in Montebello, California. While still in his teens, he realized he had an overwhelming urge to be a composer. After studies with Nicolas Slonimsky, Dean Drummond, Dorence Stalvey (all briefly) and Byong-Kon Kim (longer) he produced his earliest compositions. Since meeting Erv Wilson in 1975, he has composed and performed in alternative tunings of Wilson's. In the 80s Kraig Grady (along with Keith Barefoot) became one of the first to revive the combination of live music with silent film. He was responsible for the films as well as the music. During this period he took part in the LA Philharmonic's American Music Weekend as well as New Music America. In 1990 with the opera War and Pieces, film retreated to a background for live performers. Soon afterwards was his first exposure to the music of Anaphoria Island where he took up residence, on and off, for a period of three years. On his return he found himself being asked to act as a liaison between Anaphoria and North America. In this role he has produced numerous solo and ensemble works and three shadow plays BLACK EYE MERU, TEN BLACK EYE I & II.

For A Few Tones More. This polyrhythmic composition was created in real time by Bill Wesley on his patented Array Mbira, which uses a unique 2-dimensional grid of pitches with no relation to the conventional piano keyboard. The Array Mbira is tuned to extended Pythagorean intonation, which allows Wesley to get schimic near-just major and minor thirds within the Pythagorean system. This live light show done to Bill's music is typical of the performances Bill has masterminded for more than 35 years. This track comes from Bill's CD For A Few Tones More (on sale at this conference at a special discount price) which features an entire orchestra of his handcrafted microtonal instruments.

Born in 1953, Bill Wesley is a master microtonal instrument builder and a master of live light shows. Starting at the age of 14, Wesley perfected his technique with classic analog light shows until he has today reached the point where his light shows exceed the possibilities afforded by computer visual effects projectors.

Stryx for amplified cello. This work is the continuation of a piece I wrote several years ago called Lillith. Lillith was originally associated with Assyrian demonology. She is later referred to by Festus as Stryx - hence the name of the second incarnation of the piece. According to Talmudic legend, she was Adam's first wife and bore him thousands of demonic children. In several descriptions she haunted cities, castrating men and devouring newborn children. Ovid depicts her as "wont to utter a shrill cry in the fearsome night." In book IV of Virgil's Aeneid, Dido warns of her coming, "you shall hear the earth groan underfoot." She is frequently described as having the power to "turn the constellations off course and perverse fixed laws of nature." In several poetic fictions, she assumes the form of a man. She is often described as being barefoot with long, disheveled hair. Hearing „the earth grown underfoot¾ and the concept of „perverting fixed laws of nature¾ were attractive compositional goals to me. In an attempt to explore these rich sonic possibilities, I turned to the natural phenomenon of the overtone series. The piece evokes a missing fundamental (D) below the range of the cello, and many of its upper partials, that waver, modulate and, after a violent break, return. The cello attempts to "capture" the fundamental by loosening the C peg, only to miss by a 1/2 step (Db); the piece begins again on G but ends with a meditation on the incommensurability of the G to Db relationship (Diabolus in Musica -- a tritone). This is the examination of a "fractured" or "perverted" overtone series.

Sean Griffin (b. 1968) is a native of Southern California where he lives and works. He studied music in Europe and at CalArts. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at UCSD. In addition to composing and performing, Sean has collaborated with visual, video, and theater artists. His music, theater pieces, and multimedia works have been presented in Europe, China, Mexico, and the United States. He was recently a featured artist in the LA Edge festival. His new chamber opera, Sister Benedetta, new video works, and an intermedia collaboration with Juliana Snapper, called Onuphrius, will be premiered on May 12th at Spruce Street Forum in San Diego.

Tear (1999) is a study on the relationship between timbre and melody. It is based on a melodic improvisation by Mohammad Reza Shajarian, one of the greatest living vocalists of Iran, in the Persian Dastgah Bayat Tork. Viewed simply as scale, the tuning is similar to the western major scale with the 7th degree flatted a quarter tone. The scale is composed of two overlapping tetrachords "D E F-quarter-sharp G" and "G A B C". However, a dastgah defines not only the pitch locations, but also the melodic figures. Algorithmic composition techniques have been used in this piece to generate melodic figures similar to those found in the Dastgah Bayat Tork to accompany the vocal melodies. The piece first establishes a mood in which the vocal melody would ambiguously enter, however, as the piece progresses, both opposing qualities -- the traditional beauty of the melody and the mechanical precision of the accompanying timbres -- keep their own character yet move in the same direction. The preservation of the original feeling of the vocalist and the content of the poem by Hafez (Persian poet of 13th century) were the initial assumptions and difficulties of this study. All the sounds, except the voice of M.R. Shajarian, have been synthesized by a synthesis method based on fractals, devised by the author.

Shahrokh Yadegari (Iran, 1961) graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1982, and from MIT's Media Lab with a master's in 1992, where he studied computer music with Tod Machover. He has studied santur with Esmaeel Tehrani since 1987. Yadegari has worked at IRCAM in the years 1987 and 1989. He is one of the founders and the artistic director of Persian Arts Society (Kereshmeh Records), an organization dedicated to advancement and preservation of Persian traditional music. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Critical Studies and Experimental Practices at the music department of University of California, San Diego, where he is studying music philosophy and interactive performances with George Lewis and Miller Puckette. Yadegari has given talks in the United States and Europe at institutes such as at IRCAM, Sonology at the Royal Conservatory of The Netherlands, CNMAT at the University of California Berkeley, and Society for Electro-Acoustic Music Los Angeles chapter. His music has been played in the United States, Sweden, Netherlands, and China.

Born on January 4, 1962 in Taplow, England, Rod Poole began his studies in guitar in 1972. He has experimented with various musical idioms, including free improvisation, free jazz and live electronic music. A founding member of the Oxford Improvisor's Cooperative, Poole's association was between the years 1983 and 1986. He performed with Derek Bailey as well as in private collaborations with Keith Rowe of AMM. After moving to the United States in 1989, his studies in just intonation began with instructor, Ervin Wilson.

For more information about this concert and MicroFest 2001 conference, call (909)607-4170 or email alves@hmc.edu

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