Music of Edwin London
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR852     Release Date: 2007-01-01
University of Connecticut Concert Choir, John Poellein, Conductor; John Brndiar, trumpet; James Darling, trumpet; Richard Solis, horn; James DeSano, trombone; Ronald Bishop, tuba; Extended Vocal Techniques Ensemble: (Deborah Kavasch, soprano; Linda Vickerman, mezzo-soprano; Edwin Harkins, tenor; Philip Larson, bass-baritone); University of Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players: Guillermo Perich, viola; Thomas Fredrickson, bass, voice; John Fonville, flute; Paul Martin Zonn, clarinet, voice; Ray Sasaki, trumpet; Jim Staley, trombone; Daniel Perantoni, tuba, voice; Don Baker, percussion; Arthur Maddox, piano; Edwin London, Conductor, voice; Smith College Chamber Singers, Iva Dee Hiatt, Conductor


The period during which the five works on this disc were composed, 1965 to 1977, was perhaps the most productive of my creative life. Starting in 1961, I had wandered into a commonplace and somewhat churlish fascination with biblical text, not to alleviate sins committed it seemed, but rather to establish a connection with a situational referent that could be generally understood. For reasons not all that clear to me here in the year 2000, I am still engaged in setting biblical text. These works on sacred subject matter stand along side a group of other contemporaneous works, ‘secular’ in nature, small to large, that are, at least in my view, complements to the ‘religious’ works.

These pieces also make me notice that counterpoint (a much maligned process for textural presentation in the 20th century), however useful it sometimes is, has a way of obscuring the sung word. Thus, I chose to deal much of the time with thick polyphonic textures as, all the while, the text remained, one hoped, deliberately accessible in its obscurity. The audiences’ turning of text pages printed in programs became unnecessary; the audience was familiar not only with the subject but with it’s conceptual and traceable lexical root progression as well. No matter how far one departed, or strayed, as it were, from given biblical extract, a link with the acculturated congregation was maintained.

The clash between sacred intent and secular intentions has replicated itself in another observable dichotomy in my works: An ongoing creative friction (sometimes a rasping conflict!), between European-influenced tonal organization and structure versus the unruly practice of an abrasive developmental improvisatory jazz-like suggestiveness both in rhythm and ornamented melody and with theatrical implications. Brass Quintet (1965) is straightforwardly ‘serial’ in its lay-out and distribution of pitches but its rhythms are intuitively wrought from remembered mind models. The other works on the disc are similarly constituted.
-Edwin London, January 2000


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Music of Edwin London

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Track Listing

Day of Desolation
Edwin London
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Brass Quintet: I. Allegro malinconico
Edwin London
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Brass Quintet: II. Molto adagio quasi sguaiato ma con dolce forza
Edwin London
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Psalm of These Days II
Edwin London
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Psalm of These Days III: I. Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?
Edwin London
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Psalm of These Days III: II. Let us break their band asunder and cast away their cords from us.
Edwin London
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Psalm of These Days III: III. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling
Edwin London
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Dream Thing on Biblical Episodes
Edwin London
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