HARRY PARTCH Daphne of the Dunes
theorist and inventor as well as a composer, Harry Partch questioned the tuning
system of Western music, exploring non-traditional tunings and temperaments,
and eventually formulating a 43-tone scale. Daphne
of the Dunes was originally composed as soundtrack music for a film
entitled Windsong, based on the myth
of Daphne and Apollo; in 1967, Partch rewrote the work for live performance.
MASON BATES Mass Transmission
Bates is currently a guest composer in the San Francisco Symphony’s Project San
Francisco initiative and composer-in-residence for the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra; his alter-ego, DJ Masonic, spins and mixes at clubs. Composed in
2011, Mass Transmission exhibits what
has become Bates’s stylistic signature: the blend of acoustic instrumentalists
and/or singers with electronic sounds.
LOU HARRISON Concerto for Organ and
to most of the major developments of 20th-century American music, Lou Harrison
was also fascinated with Asian music and incorporated the sound of the Javanese
gamelan into his works, bridging the gap between East and West. His Concerto
for Organ and Percussion was a result of separate requests by musician colleagues
for concertos for both organ and percussion. Harrison bridges the “fixed,
sustained tones of the organ and the unfixed and more ephemeral tones of different
groups of percussion [using] pianos, vibraphones, celesta, and other
fixed-pitch percussion instruments … these groups join together, separate, and
combine with the organ” in various ways.
DAVID DEL TREDICI Syzygy
Del Tredici’s early works evinced a strong interest in 12-tone and serial
techniques as well as a fascination with texts by James Joyce. Syzygy, from 1966, reflects a degree of
this structural influence.