This is not our usual fare in some ways, but it’s such an alternative approach to music history that it’s right down our alley in others. Doctor David Patterson, our good friend (and the author/editor of a bunch of books and articles on John Cage), is launching a Kickstarter event to record a CD of the music of William Wright, father of Frank Lloyd Wright. Here’s what is promised:
The music of William Carey Wright! Songs, piano pieces, organ pieces! Waltzes, polkas, variations, schottisches, and more! Check out the video for some sample sound bytes!
You may know already that Kickstarter is a site where people do the equivalent of a PBS telethon to get money for projects (they have only thirty days to do so), so it is basically an ad space, but it’s cool in its own rights (or Wrights). David has created a really fun page of explanations and a neat video here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2112817236/frank-lloyd-wrights-influences-the-music-of-wm-c-w . Wright on, David!
The Japanese composer-pianist Yuji Takahashi and the mezzo-soprano Mutsumi Hatano will be performing two pieces by Chris Hobbs in concert: Drei Lieder aus der Struwwelpeter (with slides) 20th July (in Kobe?) and Conspicuous Consumer, 4 Nov, in Tokyo.
Drei Lieder aus der Struwwelpeter (1990) uses the Victorian children’s book of the same name. These ‘merry stories and funny pictures’ offer cautionary tales of children who die in a variety of horrible ways because they have not obeyed their elders. Ha-ha-ha – very merry indeed! Hatano and Takahashi performed this piece in the Salon Tessera, Tokyo on 6 November 2011, using slides from the book (for further horrific merriment!), which they will repeat in Kobe. In the November 2011 concert, Takahashi also played two of Hobbs’ ‘pataphysical piano pieces, ‘apres Schubert’ and ‘apres Scarlatti’ from the collection L’Auteur se Retire (1996).
Conspicuous Consumer (1997) is a setting of yuppie/middle class/aspirational adverts from Gourmet and Sunset magazines. If you’ve wanted your lieder to stop messing with trivia like wandering, water, love, and the like, and get down to important stuff like five-star hotels, Jacuzzis, and pet llamas (with quotations from Mahler and Mozart), well, this is your song cycle. Takahashi and Hatano performed this on 17 June in Kobe. It’s a lovely performance.
For information on all the amazing things Yuji Takahashi has been doing, visit http://www.suigyu.com/yuji/Yuji_Takahashi_en.html . The concerts need updating, but it’s worth visiting for his scores, writings, and other information.
Daniel Varela sends us news from Buenos Aires of his exciting project to record Hugh Shrapnel’s massive Cantation II (1970), for any number of pianos. Varela has used four piano tracks, The whole recording is a little over 5 hours, with slight variations in time for each part. Can you imagine? 20 hours!
It’s now in mixing and all that good stuff, but Daniel sent us some pictures from the recording sessions. We’re looking forward to more of that Shrapnel-y goodness!