As one of the leading musicians involved with computers and new electronic music technology Ian Dearden works as a composer, performer and teacher. His score Orfeo helped win for London Contemporary Dance Theatre a prestigious Olivier Award for the "Most Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 1989" and he is currently working on a new dance piece to be premiered in Denmark later this year. He regularly teaches composition at Dartington International Summer Music School and is a Music Tutor at Hatfield Polytechnic.
Javier Alvarez has lived in the UK since 1982 and devotes his time to composition, performance and research. He is also active as an animateur, having taught composition and music technology at the Royal College of Music and at the Guildhall School of Music in London. At present he is working on Mambo, an opera which combines the singers, instrumentalists and computers, to be premiered at the 1993 Mexico City Festival.
BERNARD RANDS (b 1934) / Memo I
Memo I was written in 1972 and in a sense acknowledged Bernard's interest in my playing in Jazz and the theatrical qualities emanating from the "performance". He has written a score that enables the player to respond in a creative way whilst retaining the parameters that designate the piece as the composer's music. This collaboration allows the music to reflect the spontaneous quality desired by both participants.
Bernard Rands studied with Dallapiccola, Berio and Bruno Maderna and has established himself as a major figure among his generation of composers. Since emigrating to the United States in 1975, Bernard has been honoured by major awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, B.M.I., The Fromm Foundation, The Guggenheim Foundation, The Koussevitzky Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Rands' work Canti del Sole was awarded the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Music. He has currently commissions from major orchestras, ensembles and soloists on both both sides of the Atlantic.
BARRY GUY (b 1947) / 5 pieces
A set of short meditations on special double bass sonorities. The focus is set for listening closely to unusual and surprising areas of music from the double bass.
Hilibili meets...the brush
A lopsided country and western tune meets head-on with an animated brush.
JOHN ANTHONY CELONA / Voicings
"Voicings (1977) for solo contrabass combines the bassist's voice with extended performance techniques. The voice is used to filter, colour and reinforce the sounds made by the bass, especially bow noise. The work is inspired by the Sequenzas for solo instruments by Luciano Berio, Inside for bass by the late American composer Kenneth Gaburo, and the improvised playing of my long-time friend Joe Halpern. It is also a variation/transcription of my Gradients (1972) for solo trombone which was a composition in breath and extended playing techniques. I am deeply indebted to Barry Guy for this performance for this represents the first time I have heard the piece publicly. Barry has performed in Europe, most notably at the Zagreb Music Theatre Festival over ten years ago."
John Celona's music is noted for its spatial imaging, timbral orchestration, texture/density, real-time computer music performance/composition, emotion and eclecticism which includes new music, avant-garde jazz, popular and World musics. Celona was born in San Francisco in 1947, and studied music and composition at San Francisco State University, University of Pittsburgh, Indiana University and University of California, San Diego. His teachers include Henry Onderdonk, Iannis Xenakis, and Kenneth Gaburo. He is presently head of the music composition programme at the University of Victoria.
BARRY GUY (b 1947) / Still
After the energetic pieces in this recital, I have entered my own composition that portrays two further aspects of the double bass. Not known for its melodic qualities in pizzicato (except for certain splendid Jazz players, i.e. Scott La Faro, Gary Peacock, Eddie Gomez) here is an opportunity to hear the instruments resonance in a ballad setting that focuses upon the legato line and sustain possibilities. The piece extends the instrument by using timpani beaters placed between the strings to act as oscillators ("Rattlers") which almost take on a momentum of their own whilst new melodies emerge.
IAN DEARDEN, JAVIER ALVAREZ / Edgedance
In August 1987, Javier Alvarez and I were invited by Brian Hodgson to compose a short piece at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The brief was to make a short piece using only the sounds in Elizabeth Parker's studio (she was on holiday at the time!), and all within a period of three weeks. Edgedance is the result of that collaboration and its title refers to its lively yet ominous character.
HUBERT STUPPNER (b 1944) / Ausdrucke: Rondo for a Clown
"constant repetition ... Artistes, tamers, entertainers of the highest class, merciless, always the same exercises you know the kind, one-two, one-two, one-two ..."
Thomas Bernhard: Die Macht der Gewohnheit
Hubert Stuppner studied piano and composition at the Bolzano Conservatory and History of Literature in Padua. He attended summer courses in new music at Darmstadt and collaborated with the "Instituto Musicale Canneti" where he worked on the analyses of 20th century music. In addition to composing, he writes about music and conducts experiments in the field of music therapy. He teaches at the Conservatory of Bolzano where he has been Director of the Festival Contemporary Music for five years.