William Matthews, Ramon Zupko
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL375     Release Date: 2011-01-15
University of Iowa Ensemble of the Center for New Music: William Hibbard, viola; David Miller, bass; Jane Funk, flute; David Ross, clarinet; Charles Koster, bassoon; Karen Bernstein, harpsichord; Gary Boerckel, piano; Linda Carolan, percussion; Steven Schick, percussion; Dennis Loftin, percussion; Richard McCandless, percussion; James Dixon, Conductor; Nancy Elan, violin; Barbara Bagatin, cello; Andrew Thomas, piano; Harvey Sollberger, Conductor

William Matthews writes:

“I have long been interested in modelling musical forms after other, real-life time experiences, and the two compositions on this album are both examples of the possibilities. The first of the pieces, Letters From Home, for 11 musicians (antiphonally arranged into four groups which surround the audience), has a non-specific correlation to the psychological time of a term of autobiography. The musical materials expand gradually from the initial isolated (harpsi)chord, taking some odd twists and turns along the way to an epiphanal climax which virtually obliterates the effect of what precedes it. Throughout the piece, the players are asked to contribute sounds other than those they normally produce with their instruments — notably voiced and unvoiced vocal sounds.

“In Field Guide, for computer-synthesized electronic sound, the composer and computer wander together through a 'field' of 103 different sound events. The program for the piece calls upon the composer to decide which general direction the music should take during the course of performance, while the computer is allowed to decide the details. Listening to Field Guide is a bit like walking through a woods in which each species of flora is found only in its particular habitat, while interloping fauna are more free to put in surprising appearances here and there.”

Ramon Zupko has written the following about his music on this record:

“explore obsession
“-focus (out of chaos)
“-set in time (tradition persists)
“frozen movement-change without change ...

“Since about 1970 I have been concerned with four areas of expression in my music in varying degrees of emphasis: space, timbre, expanded tonality, and theatre. Fixations deals in one way or another with each of these, the last one of course being apparent only in live performance. Spatial characteristics are enhanced in live performance through the placement of the speakers for the tape part behind the audience. The sounds of the tape part are electronically modified and de-synthesized versions of several of the live instrumental sounds, relating. to the latter as extended timbres and dimensions of them. The pitch and rhythmic structure is derived entirely from the two hexachords and rhythmic cells of the first dozen bars, and each section of the piece deals with a fixed harmonic field, which creates its own tonal hierarchy. There are ten continuous sections within the single movement, four of which are rhythmically freer cadenzas for each of the three solo instruments, as well as the tape.

Fluxus I for electronic sounds (1977) is in many ways an alternate solution, employing completely different materials, to the stylistic approach developed in Fixations. It was realized on the Moog synthesizer of Western Michigan University, and employs as raw material four parallel seventh chords, and pitch sequences derived from them. These are subjected to a wide variety of controlled manipulations, creating within the basic drone character of the piece a constant state of flux between density and transparency, simple and complex timbres, foreground and background, tonal progression and stasis, rapid and slow spatial movement, regular and irregular rhythms, dramatic declamation and reverie.”

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. Liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Various Artists

William Matthews, Ramon Zupko

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

Letters From Home
William Matthews
Field Guide
William Matthews
Ramon Zupko
Fluxus I
Ramon Zupko