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Earth Music: Ten Years of Meridian Music - Composers in Performance

Audio Samples

>Golia, Vinny : Steps
>     [Excerpt]
>Bischoff, John (II) : Quarter Turn
>     [Excerpt]
>Sperry, Matthew : Improvisation
>     [Excerpt]
>Smith, Damon : Lines for Trio, for cello, contrabass & violin
>Oliveros, Pauline : Pauline's Solo
>     [Excerpt]
>Goldberg, Ben [Clarinet] : All Chords Stand for Other Chords
>     [Excerpt]
>Hikage, Shoko : Improvisation, for koto
>Gratkowski, Frank : Improvisation, for alto sax
>Schoenbeck, Sara : Improvisation, for flute & bassoon
>Corringham, Viv : Improvisation, for electonics, vocals & recorded sound
>Raskin, Jon : Sonic Coordinates, for baritone sax
>Bickley, Tom : Microtonic Meditations for Endings and Beginnings
>     Movement 2
>Braxton, Anthony : Comp 40 N and Comp. 110 A, for pipa & shakuhachi
>Wong, Theresa : Nightwatching, for cello & vocals

Album Summary

>Golia, Vinny : Steps
>Bischoff, John (II) : Quarter Turn
>Sperry, Matthew : Improvisation
>Smith, Damon : Lines for Trio, for cello, contrabass & violin
>Oliveros, Pauline : Pauline's Solo
>Goldberg, Ben [Clarinet] : All Chords Stand for Other Chords
>Hikage, Shoko : Improvisation, for koto
>Gratkowski, Frank : Improvisation, for alto sax
>Schoenbeck, Sara : Improvisation, for flute & bassoon
>Corringham, Viv : Improvisation, for electonics, vocals & recorded sound
>Raskin, Jon : Sonic Coordinates, for baritone sax
>Bickley, Tom : Microtonic Meditations for Endings and Beginnings
>Braxton, Anthony : Comp 40 N and Comp. 110 A, for pipa & shakuhachi
>Wong, Theresa : Nightwatching, for cello & vocals
Performers Composers
Notes & Reviews:

Since 1998, the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, CA has run a stimulating series of gallery concerts under the umbrella title of Meridian Music: Composers in Performance. Innova's Earth Music is a compilation of 14 cuts taken from live recordings from within this series, several being improvisations from star instrumentalist/composers -- Vinny Golia, Frank Gratkowski, Matthew Sperry, and koto virtuoso Shoko Hikage, to name a few -- and others being excerpts from loosely, or more strictly composed, pieces by Pauline Oliveros, Damon Smith, a voice/cello song by Theresa Wong, and even a simultaneous realization of two Anthony Braxton pieces performed by the series' first curator, Philip Gelb, and pipa player Jie Ma. It's a well-chosen selection, emphasizing some of those magical moments that seem only to emerge from improvising, usually off in the air and gone by the time anyone thinks to hit "record." Thankfully, the curators of the series thought ahead and had the tape rolling before the music got underway. As one might expect, there is a little inconsistency in the sound quality throughout the program, with older tapings sounding a bit more distant and hissy than later ones, suggesting a change in the recording rostrum along the way, or at least evolutionary engineering expertise. Several of the pieces are exceptionally striking, however, such as John Bischoff's Quarter Turn; nothing on Earth Music is really long enough to wear out its welcome, and some pieces, such as Shoko Hikage's koto improvisation, seem a little too short. Nevertheless, Earth Music is a solid snapshot of this interesting concert series and provides an enjoyable, ad hoc primer of the improvisation movement in the United States in the naughts.



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Works Details

>Golia, Vinny : Steps :: [Excerpt]
  • Performers: Vinny Giola; Vinny Golia (Clarinet)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bischoff, John (II) : Quarter Turn :: [Excerpt]
  • Performer: John Bischoff (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sperry, Matthew : Improvisation :: [Excerpt]
  • Performer: Matthew Sperry
  • Running Time: 4 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Smith, Damon : Lines for Trio, for cello, contrabass & violin
  • Performers: Damon Smith; Hugh Livingston [Composer/Cello] (Cello); Carla Kihlstedt (Violin)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 59 sec.

>Oliveros, Pauline : Pauline's Solo :: [Excerpt]
  • Performer: Pauline Oliveros (Accordion)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Goldberg, Ben [Clarinet] : All Chords Stand for Other Chords :: [Excerpt]
  • Performers: John Scott (Organ); Ben Goldberg; Ben Goldberg (Clarinet)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 29 sec.

>Hikage, Shoko : Improvisation, for koto
  • Performer: Shoko Hikage (Koto)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 37 sec.

>Gratkowski, Frank : Improvisation, for alto sax
  • Performer: Frank Gratkowski
  • Running Time: 3 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Schoenbeck, Sara : Improvisation, for flute & bassoon
  • Performers: Ellen Burr (Flute); Sara Schoenbeck (Bassoon)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 58 sec.

>Corringham, Viv : Improvisation, for electonics, vocals & recorded sound
  • Performers: Vivienne Dogan-Corringham; Viv Corringham (Electronics)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 50 sec.

>Raskin, Jon : Sonic Coordinates, for baritone sax
  • Performer: Jon Raskin
  • Running Time: 3 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Bickley, Tom : Microtonic Meditations for Endings and Beginnings :: Movement 2
  • Performers: Bob Marsh (Voice); Tom Bickley (Recorder); Bob Marsh (Accordion)
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Bob Marsh.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Braxton, Anthony : Comp 40 N and Comp. 110 A, for pipa & shakuhachi
  • Performers: Philip Gelb (Shakuhachi); Jie Ma (Pipa); Anthony Braxton (Saxophone)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Wong, Theresa : Nightwatching, for cello & vocals
  • Performer: Theresa Wong (Cello)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary