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Highly Contrasting

Microtonal music,
reviewed by

American Festival of Microtonal Music    P-200209

Ear Gardens - Reinhard, Riley, Corner, Cage. © 2006 Americal Festival of Microtonal Music

Recordings of works that were first heard at Festivals of Microtonal Music over the last decade or so provide, in this instance, a highly contrasting group of pieces, each arresting in its own quite individual way.

Johnny Reinhard's Cosmic Rays is an almost eight-minute string quartet based 'on the principle of the sun's cosmic rays as reflected through intonational genuflecting'. The brief notes are more complex than the ebullient and extrovert sounds produced by a fine group of players.

Information on how to play this media file.
Listen -- Johnny Reinhard: Cosmic Rays (track 1, 0:00-1:20)
© 2006 American Festival of Microtonal Music Inc

Terry Riley's In C in just intonation is an arrangement of his famous creation of 1964 (Keith Potter's recent book Four Musical Minimalists, published by Cambridge University Press, is highly recommended as background for this vital American scene -- and Riley in particular). It was specially made for the 1988 Festival, and although at 23 minutes it is about a third of its usual length, the sounds of plucked instruments, fretted guitars, harpsichord, kanon (a kind of modern clavichord played by its inventor Skip La Plante) and viola provide a fascination of their own.

Listen -- Terry Riley: In C in just intonation (track 2, 21:40-23:01)
© 2006 American Festival of Microtonal Music Inc

There are two Microtonal Melodies for trombone and Moog theremin by Philip Corner

Listen -- Philip Corner: Microtonal Melodies No 1 (track 3, 0:00-0:46)
© 2006 American Festival of Microtonal Music Inc

and John Cage's Ten, perhaps carelessly invented in 1991 a year before his death, but still providing half an hour of fun for a group of ten players exploring microtonal resources.

Listen -- John Cage: Ten (track 5, 14:53-16:07)
© 2006 American Festival of Microtonal Music Inc

Copyright © 5 July 2008 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


Ear Gardens

P-200209 Stereo FIRST RELEASE 70'30" 2006 American Festival of Microtonal Music Inc

Johnny Reinhard (born 1956): Cosmic Rays (1995) (Tom Chiu, violin; Corinn Stillwell, violin; Tanya Halko, viola; Dave Eggar, cello); Terry Riley (born 1935): In C in Just Intonation (John Schneider, just-fretted guitar; Wim Hoogewerf, just-fretted guitar; Anastasia Solberg, viola; Rebecca Pechefsky, harpsichord; Skip La Plante, kanon; Steven Antonelli, pulse guitar); Philip Corner (born 1933): (two) Microtonal Melodies (1998) (polymelody; harmonic stasis) (Peter Zummo, trombone; Johnny Reinhard, Moog theremin); John Cage (1912-1992): Ten (1991) (American Festival of Microtonal Music Ensemble)


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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular series of shorter CD reviews