ariadne project >>>
I've been working on a big Ariadne project, Ariadne of Knossos, for
some years now. About ten years ago it took a radical turn. Until that time
I was using the standard Greek myth version of the story of Ariadne. But
then information came to my attention that made me completely change my
approach to it, indeed to all of Greek mythology. >>>
The original impetus for the piece was purely musical -- I loved Monteverdi's
madrigal Lamento d'Arianna, its close harmonies and the tension in
them. I wrote four pieces using the madrigal as a source for pitch and syllables
(Green Mountain Madrigal, Mountain Echoes, Ariadne's Lament, and Song of
Sorrows). After finishing the third piece, a friend suggested that I think
about the opera that Monteverdi wrote (and that has not been found to date),
that I should try to recreate it. He had written an opera based upon the
Ariadne myth, but Lamento d'Arianna is the only surviving scene from
it. He also wrote a four-part madrigal based on this aria, which is in existence
(and which I have used as my original source). I began to research the story
of Ariadne, and it began to interest me.
multiples project >>>
In the spring of 1999, I was asked to teach a course at the California Institute
of the Arts with the generic title of "Special Topics in Instrumental Composition."
I decided that a good way to teach about instruments, as well as to become
really familiar with the particular sound of an instrument, was to work
with compositions that were written for multiples: four or more of one instrument
(i.e. forty cellos) and/or families of like instruments treated as one instrument.
When I started the project, I was only familiar with compositions that focused
on sound in an experimental vein such as works by Phill Niblock, David First,
Lois V Vierk, and myself. I quickly became aware, though, that there are
a lot of pieces for multiples, written in all kinds of styles. >>>
This is a list
of pieces that I've compiled to date. It's the kudzu of lists, expanding
almost exponentially the longer it's in existence. It is also highly opinionated,
at times arbitrary, and makes no pretense of being comprehensive. Additions,
corrections, and suggestions will be highly appreciated.