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Ben Johnston: Ruminations - settings of Rumi & Billie Holiday incl The Tavern; Revised Standards; Parable / John Schneider, voice; guitar; Jim Sullivan, clarinet; Sarah Thornblade, violin

Album Summary

>Johnston, Ben : The Tavern, for voice & microtonal guitar
>Johnston, Ben : Revised Standards, for string quartet
>Johnston, Ben : Parable, for voice, clarinet & violin
>Word, Spoken : Johnston on "The Tavern" (conversation with Ben Johnston)
Performers Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"More than 20 years ago, the music critic John Rockwell described Ben Johnston in the New York Times as 'one of the best non-famous composers this country has to offer.' What has changed is that Johnston is now, I'd suggest, our BEST non-famous composer." - Mark Swed LA Times In this exquisite chamber music recital, Ben Johnston sets the provocative texts of Rumi [the medieval mystic Sufi poet] in the pure tunings & modes of the Middle East. While THE TAVERN tells of an initiate, intoxicated with the possibilities of a new spiritual life, PARABLE offers a delightful story about a Mouse & a Frog. Rumi uses the time-honored technique of teaching by example, using the relationship between these two tiny creatures, one of the land and the other of the water, to reveal truths about the human experience. REVISED STANDARDS - Inspired by the midcentury songbook of Billie Holiday, Johnston tells us, "In jazz improvisation, the soloist has very great freedom to play with intonation... In my just-tuned jazz, spontaneity is disciplined in a new way so that all players are creating both melodic and harmonic microtonal innovation that can vary greatly in how it affects the listener, but always innovates in both melody and harmony." All of these premiere recordings are performed in Just Intonation. "Stunning" - LA Times "All the performances are spot on.... an extraordinary range of technique and expression. This is an artistic voice yes, of genius, but also of a fundamental integrity and modesty. Must-have listening for all interested in music of our time." - Fanfare Magazine

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Architecture, Los Angeles (03/04/2009); San Francisco (03/04/2009); Studio 34, Los Angeles (03/04/2009); Architecture, Los Angeles (04/05/2009/10/23/2010); San Francisco (04/05/2009/10/23/2010); Studio 34, Los Angeles (04/05/2009/10/23/2010); Architecture, Los Angeles (06/26/2012); San Francisco (06/26/2012); Studio 34, Los Angeles (06/26/2012); Architecture, Los Angeles (11/11/2012); San Francisco (11/11/2012); Studio 34, Los Angeles (11/11/2012).



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Works Details

>Johnston, Ben : The Tavern, for voice & microtonal guitar
  • Performers: John Schneider (Guitar); John Schneider (Voice)
  • Ensemble: Eclipse String Quartet
  • Running Time: 24 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1998

>Johnston, Ben : Revised Standards, for string quartet
  • Running Time: 16 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1987

>Johnston, Ben : Parable, for voice, clarinet & violin
  • Performers: Karen Clark (Mezzo Soprano); Jim Sullivan (Clarinet); Sarah Thornblade (Violin)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2000

>Word, Spoken : Johnston on "The Tavern" (conversation with Ben Johnston)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic