One composition each from Antoine Beuger and John Cage performed on the oboe by Kathryn Gleasman Pisaro; Beuger's work presents tones in regular intervals offset by silence; Cage's piece uses pitch and tone color with microtonal inflections, mutes and harmonic fingerings.
Pisaro, Kathryn Gleasman
Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Released in: Germany
"Few composers have the self-control seen here to allow the silence that surrounds all we do to be so present, to bring to the forefront that which is covered by all of our daily activities, only present when we let ourselves realize the stillness at the base of all action, all sound.
The regular presence of notes in calme étendue (oboe) provides for the listener a feeling similar to that of a light on top of a lighthouse as it regularly turns in the night - a feeling of grounding. Every eight seconds, the oboist reaffirms the world of constructed sound with constant repetitions of three seconds of a sound followed by five seconds of silence. After a group of these beacons, the silence takes over again. The feeling is of heading back out to sea as silence resumes its supremacy.
The subtle play of sounds given to the oboist comes from an aspect of playing so common many professional players do it almost unthinkingly. Most oboists, when playing notes that use only a few fingers will add keys lower down on the oboe to provide subtle alterations of pitch and tone quality. The ethereal beauty of the subtle color and pitch changes make the sounds heard in calme étendue (oboe) haunting, yet beautiful.
The interludes of John Cage's "Music for One" are also haunting, again using alternative pitches and tone colors. Cage uses microtonal inflections, mutes and harmonic fingerings to subtly shade the tones and pitches, surrounding each grouping with expanses of silence.
Although long notes and short phrases dot the composition, the most memorable features of the work are the melodic vignettes that appear throughout, examples of Cage's melodic gift. Possibly a legacy of his early love of Grieg, these melodies create small worlds that become clear when heard in a solo version, as they are here. The Eastern nuances of the oboe sliding between notes, the elephantine qualities of loud, low playing, the manic energy of the last explosive phrases, the plaintive quality that comes through when a section is played at a slower tempo, all of these musical nuances come from a part of Cage not usually revealed."-Kathryn Gleasman Pisaro
• Show Bio for Antoine Beuger
"Antoine Beuger (b. 1955 in Oosterhout, Netherlands) studied composition with Ton de Leeuw at Sweelinck Coservatorium in Amsterdam 1973-78. In 1990 he began composing after an interruption of about 10 years. Two years later he founded Edition Wandelweiser together with composer/performer Burkhard Schlothauer. Since 1994 he's been active with the conception and organisation of KLANGRAUM, a concert series at Kunstraum Düsseldorf. During the years 1995-2001 he was working together with visual artist Mauser as artistic director of "Werkraum", Place for Interdisciplinary Artistic Events, Cologne. Since 1996 he's been artistic director of edition wandelweiser records and since 2004 managing director of Edition Wandelweiser gmbh."-Last.FM (http://www.last.fm/music/Antoine+Beuger/+wiki)
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• Show Bio for John Cage
"John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 - August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was also Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives.
Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title. The content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is often assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance. The work's challenge to assumed definitions about musicianship and musical experience made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance. Cage was also a pioneer of the prepared piano (a piano with its sound altered by objects placed between or on its strings or hammers), for which he wrote numerous dance-related works and a few concert pieces. The best known of these is Sonatas and Interludes (1946-48).
His teachers included Henry Cowell (1933) and Arnold Schoenberg (1933-35), both known for their radical innovations in music, but Cage's major influences lay in various East and South Asian cultures. Through his studies of Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism in the late 1940s, Cage came to the idea of aleatoric or chance-controlled music, which he started composing in 1951. The I Ching, an ancient Chinese classic text on changing events, became Cage's standard composition tool for the rest of his life. In a 1957 lecture, Experimental Music, he described music as "a purposeless play" which is "an affirmation of life - not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we're living"."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cage)
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Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Catalog ID: EWR 0401
Squidco Product Code: 21791
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded 8/98, Hohenferchesar by Peter Hecker.
Kathryn Gleasman Pisaro-oboe
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1. Calme Etendu (1997) 45:10
2. Music For One (1984) 30:05