Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Personnel: Ensemble 9 (strings); Robert Black (electric bass, electronics).
Liner Note Author: John Dillberto.
Recording information: Vienna, Austria (1994).
Ensemble: Ensemble 9.
Introduction by: John Dillberto.
Photographers: Cristiana Ceppas; Deborah O'Grady; Allen Nomura.
This album presents an overview of Dresher's beautifully modal, "minimalist" works from the 1980s. In a score for the Wendy Rogers Dance Company entitled "Underground" (1982), plain waveforms from a simple Casio electronic keyboard, modified by a 15-band graphic equalizer, were put through a specially constructed analog tape-delay system. The resultant composition features long tones which overlap, creating a floating, mysterious landscape. The tape piece "Other Fire" (1984), commissioned by the Olympic Arts Festival, employs as its sound recordings made during the composer's travels in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Japan. Processed through a harmonizer and the delay system used for "Underground," the music maintains its mystery throughout with fascinating timbres and complex polyrhythmical combinations. "Mirrors" (1988-1989, revised 1991) was created for Robert Black, who performs the piece on double bass, electric upright bass, and electric bass guitar with electronics. Initially, lovely, suspended tones form harmonic combinations by overlapping in this work, and the texture is heavenly and a delight to the ears. Very gradually, short cycles of picked tones take over and the music attains a state of light propulsion backed up by sustained drones. The final offering on this CD is "Casa Vecchia" (1982) for double-string quartet, which is built upon "a 12-note diatonic phrase...varied by a few arbitrary rules." The profoundly beautiful harmonies of the opening are followed by continually varied rhythmic and pitch cycles that eventually develop into a spirited Italianate dance at the end. ~ "Blue" Gene Tyranny
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