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Tagsbass/baritone bass clarinet bassoon chamber music Chinary Ung clarinet clarinet music commission composer contrabass Dissolving Images double bass duo Dylan Thomas Edgar Varèse Ed Gilmore electro-acoustic music Fromm Foundation Hildring jazz John Garvey johs bøe Lament Lisa Moore Lounge Pianist monodrama music oboe orchestra percussion photography piano reed trio S.O.N.Y.C. Schoenberg serenade song Stony Brook University The Fisherman Thoreau Time treehouse viola W.B. Yeats William DeFotis
Web Site: http://www.markgustavson.com
Bio: American composer of music.
Posts by Mark:
If you have a yoga practice and you are a musician, a music lover or have a sensitivity to sound and music, you may find the somewhat random collections of mismatched music and sounds during a class to be irksome. Perhaps, too, you have experienced instructors who structure (intentionally or unintentionally) the energy of a class in such a way as to resemble an asymmetrical arch or reminiscent of a musical form whose peak occurs at about 70% through.
With these observations in mind, I decided to compose a one hour piece of music for a yoga class for two live soloists (clarinet and violin) improvising at various points during a digital track of processed acoustic and digital sounds. It is titled Air and is utilitarian music.
During the summer I will announce outdoor yoga events that will use this piece with live soloists. Listen to a 5:40 clip of clarinet improvisation and digital sounds that occur at the 8:40 mark of the piece.
Listen to the seventh and last movement, Finale of Schoenberg’s “Serenade.”
Listen to the sixth movement, Lied, from Arnold Schoenberg’s “Serenade”, performed by University of Illinois faculty and students, 1981.
Fifth installment, Tanzscene, from Schoenberg’s “Serenade” performed by students and faculty of the University of Illinois, Bill DeFotis, conductor:
I am sure many have noticed this before but I noticed it while I was making the mp3. When I heard the final three chords I distinctly heard the ghost of Petrushka:
The first chord at measure 199 is a “Petrushka” chord (Db +11) voiced in a cluster, followed by a mutated “Petrushka” chord, that is, rather than two major chords a tritone apart (Db major and G major) it is two minor chords a tritone apart (Eb minor and A minor). The final chord is the first chord but voiced differently. For theory geeks, the two chords are complimentary hexachords.
Listen to the fourth movement, Sonett #217 von Petrarca.
Listen to installment #3, Variationen.
Bill DeFotis, conductor; Gary Grossman, clarinet; Mark Gustavson, bass clarinet; Larry Polansky, mandolin; Arun Chandra, guitar; John Garvey, violin; Nancy Thomas, viola; and Sarah Wiseman, cello.
This May, 1981 recording session at University of Illinois involved a single take of each movement.
Installment number two, Menuett:
In May of 1981 a group of musicians from the University of Illinois led by the late Bill DeFotis recorded Arnold Schoenberg’s Serenade, op.24 after performing it on a number of occasions. After 32 years I have a copy of the recording.
In addition to Bill’s great understanding of the music this recording also has the legendary John Garvey, former violist of the Walden Quartet, playing the violin part (with a pipe in his mouth at most rehearsals). The ensemble was rounded off with Gary Grossman, clarinet; myself on bass clarinet; Nancy Thomas, viola; Sarah Wiseman, cello; Arun Chandra, guitar; Larry Polansky, mandolin; and unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the singer.
Eventually, I will post all seven movements. Here is the opening movement, Marsch:
I will give the first performance of my Hymn to the Vanished for clarinet and piano with Jad Bernardo at Adelphi University tonight:
The original Hymn to the Vanished is for string orchestra.
This review is from the current January/February, 2014 issue of American Record Guide:
GUSTAVSON: Chamber Music
Theresa Fream, Esther Noh, Sharon Polifrone,
Cyrus Stevens, v; Keith Conant, va; Christopher
Finckel, John Popham, Kim Scholes, vc; Margaret
Lancaster, Keith Underwood, fl; Edward Gilmore,
Vasko Dukovski, Alan Kay, cl; James Rogers, trb;
Lisa Moore, Stephen Gosling, Christopher Oldfather, pno;
Richard Carrick, Anthony Korf , cond;
Albany 1424—78 minutes
Brooklyn-born clarinetist-composer Mark
Gustavson offers a collection of his chamber
music from the late 1980s through the late
1990s, recorded here with three different New
York groups over a span of 20 years. Inspired
by the improvisation aesthetic in jazz and
Southeast Asian music, Gustavson strives for
an atmosphere of seemingly spontaneous
sound and rhythm even in very strict notation.
The program includes Dissolving Images
(1986) for solo piano; Jag (1991) for a sextet of
violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trombone, and
piano; a full-length four-movement
Quintet (1993); Trickster (1997) for unaccompanied
clarinet; and A Fool’s Journey (1999), a
two-movement quasi-programmatic sextet for
violin, cello, flute, clarinet, piano, and percussion.
New York City clarinetist and sound engineer
Edward Gilmore leads string quartet Con-
Tempo in the clarinet Quintet and stands
alone in Trickster. Australian-born avant-garde
pianist Lisa Moore opens the recital with Dissolving
Images. The group Either/Or performs
Jag, and the musicians of Parnassus play their
own commission, A Fool’s Journey.
Gustavson’s music fuses modernist gestures
with an Expressionist aesthetic. Each
score simmers with emotional vigor, from nervous
quiet murmurs to sudden violent outbursts.
The often abstract harmonic language,
though, requires a high level of professionalism
to transcend. While all the performers
bring enthusiasm and commitment, the level
of sonic refinement varies greatly. Some players
have complete control of their craft, others
not so much, and so appreciation of Gustavson’s
efforts can be difficult.
Clarinetists interested in the quintet and
the unaccompanied Trickster, for example, will
welcome Gilmore’s expressive vision but may
be turned off by his much too free-blowing
set-up and his persistently spread tone. At the
same time, though, pianists who check out
Dissolving Images will be impressed by
Moore’s exquisite touch, riveting musicianship,
and thorough command of the keyboard.