New Vocal Music
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL325     Release Date: 2010-02-01

NMCE I; Kenneth Gaburo, director; Neva Pilgrim, mezzo-soprano; Allen Blustine, clarinet; Ursula Oppens, piano; Bethany Beardslee, soprano; Allen Blustine, clarinet; Ronald Anderson, trumpet; Thomas James, piano; Albert Regni, saxophone; Stanley Silverman, guitar; David Gilbert, conductor; Elaine Bonazzi, mezzo-soprano; Notes from Underground conducted by Andrew Thomas

Robert Erickson writes:

“What drew me to Finnegans Wake was especially its polyphony. That quality of multiple levels was what I have tried to bring out in my setting of this passage from the end of Book I, Chapter 2.

“There is no plot in Finnegans Wake—almost all of its themes appear on every page—but in this particular passage there is an event sequence which may be helpful to those who are new to Joyce: the children come home from play; they study their lessons; they become noisy; their father chases them off and slams the door; they flee to the bedroom; a prayer ends the chapter.

“Joyce’s meanings fan out from this domestic scene to the life and history of mankind; all fleeing, all thunderous door slams, all sexual relationships are woven in. The multiplicity of meaning can become very confusing, although there are no nonsense words. Everything has a meaning—more likely, several.”

John E. Ferritto writes:

Oggi, means ‘today’ in Italian; the setting is a reflection upon the general mass dream of life going on on any particular day. The words are often meaningless in the sense of linear thought. Textural word phrases are often set up only to create certain timbres with the instruments. The thrust of the work is conceived as a gradual change in roles of the three players. The singer and the players interchange their functions as the work progresses, and finally, in the last section, each role is clearly defined. The singer’s recitation of the old Celtic prayer is the final summation of all of the real or unreal thoughts which have been felt throughout.”

Of his Improvisation on a poem of E. E. Cummings (1961), J. K. Randall writes:

“My Improvisation should seem very much the poem speaking. Not something being done with (or to) a text. Nor someone delivering the poem. (Please read it.) Not vocalization packaging phonemes as timbre; or aping the rhythms and contours of ‘natural’ speech either. (Nor like a Syllable Count.) And certainly not like music going like music goes, fending off (for both’s sake) some debris of what once was language. Nor known words speaking, except as carriers of a meaning/rhythm evolving as the poem’s own vocabulary evolves as the poem speaks; (words in a vocabulary evolved along some finely erotic edge of what once was mystic; somewhere I have never traveled). Like rhythms of grammar made flesh. (Nor does the title report the method of composition.)”

Jean Eichelberger Ivey's Hera, Hung From the Sky was commissioned by the University of North Dakota’s Collegium Musicum, which gave the world premiere under its conductor Tamar Read, April 12, 1973. The occasion was a festival on Women in the Arts and the composer had been asked to select a text by a woman writer.

“I searched through a great den of poetry before I came upon this poem in a volume by Carolyn Kizer,” writes Dr. Ivey. “As soon as I saw it, I knew I had found my text. It deals with the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, who for her presumption of equality with him was punished by being turned into a constellation, still hanging in the sky. This re-interpretation of myth from the woman’s point of view seemed not only appropriate to a woman’s conference, but full of vividly dramatic possibilities well suited to the ensemble of winds, percussion, and tape for which I had been asked to write. Besides, much of the poem’s imagery, especially the swinging pendulum, seemed to invite musical expression. When I had found the text, the music almost wrote itself.”

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available as a burn-on-demand CD (CD-R) or download in MP3/320, FLAC or WAV formats. CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included. Full liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Various Artists

New Vocal Music

MP3/320 $7.99
FLAC $7.99
WAV $7.99
CD-R $7.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print material or jewel case included.
A *.pdf of the notes may be accessed here free of charge.
   Liner Notes

Track Listing

End of the Mime
Robert Erickson
John Ferritto
J.K. Randall
Hera, Hung From the Sky: I. -
Jean Eichelberger Ivey
Hera, Hung From the Sky: II. -
Jean Eichelberger Ivey