Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30 - View From On High

Record a provisional Op. 148 VARIATIONS ON AMERICANA,

a mapping of pitches from the four strains of John Philip Sousa's The Stars and Stripes Forever onto four sections of Charles Ives's Variations on America, which ultimately will be part of the recording ORBITAL AMERICAN DESERATA;

High-tail it to Theory, where Cecilia presents a nice dictation / board harmony exercise on movie music, a C natural/harmonic minor melody featuring temporary tonicization of the relative major (via a secondary plagal relationship), and a fine descending bass of Do, Te, Le, Sol, Fa.

Back finishing up the May 2008 issue of 21st-Century Music ( and

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29 - Parts of It Are Excellent

Begin the parts to Variations on Americana -- the woodwinds.

Cristina teaches Theory class today and gives us first seven bars of Henry Mancini's Moon River, in 3/4.

C: Sol Re Do Ti La Sol Fa Sol Do Ti La Sol Fa Sol Do Re

Harmony: I vi IV I6 IV I6 viiho7

Home thereafter, writing up the Marin Symphony Carl Orff / Colin McPhee show (posted at, to be published in Commuter Times this Friday and 21st-Century Music / soon).

Back again for Music History class, with The Police, Talking Heads, Mark Alburger, Tan Dun, Erling Wold, Prince, and Nirvana, among others (recordings, of course).

Left Bank with Owen, Doug, and Aaron -- then home and dark.

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 28 - A Day at the Opera

Very early, mix a version of San Rafael News: VIII. Rain-Death Fugato (Death Is the Rain) of Kristen Jones and Elizabeth Henry.

Text from a book on hunting:

Death is the rain that fills the river of life inside us all
Nature's not fed by mercy

Then off to an Opera America Workshop at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, featuring a tour of backstage and views from upstage looking out into the house (at top),

and top gazing down to the stage and pit (N.B. the two pianos and harpsichord as part of the pit set-up for SF Ballet Festival of New Works -- one can only wonder when such a festival would be part of an SF Opera Season....).

Full photos of the day's events eventually at -- after the wine-and-cheese we enter back into the glorious light between the War Memorial and Herbst Theater, looking toward City Hall,

Harriet basking briefly in the sun,

ultimately heading over the Golden Gate Bridge,

to the Marin Headlands,

making a beeline toward the

Rainbow Tunnels,

and downgrade again north with Mt. Tam rising.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27 - Death and Life

Finish preparing the full score of Variations on Americana (will be doing the parts this week), then off to Chamber Arts (again!) for rehearsal of the 10 Deathsongs that are San Rafael News with Kristen Jones and Elizabeth Henry, and

Eliza O'Malley, Harriet March Page, and Janet Lohr.

Record Elizabeth and Kristen in

III. Death Catch
IV. Immortality
VIII. Rain-Death Fugato (Death Is the Rain)
IX. The Reproductive Organs

All above will be recorded by Eliza next week, plus Harriet and Janet in Death Catch and Rain-Death Fugato.

Also record Kristen's solo VI. Ozymandias (yes, above image is Olmec rather than Middle Eastern...)

Then off for another walk along Fairview Road, above Castro Valley and Hayward, featuring views east to unfortunate new construction in the pristine hills,

and west to a hazy San Francisco Bay,

dallying with a llama (get it?) through the slats of a fence --

make that two (in the spirit of the double and triple popes of the Babylonian Captivity and the multiple usages of the "Delay Lama" in the DVC lab) --

and a gaunt horse (is that an apocalyptic pale horse?) --

make that two, too (and a black horse! -- and weren't there duo steeds in the Synge / Vaughan Williams Riders to the Sea?).

But no cats (or guard ducks, for that matter) in sight.

A swing past the highrise of Cal State East Bay (an eventual walking goal), down (Mr.) Jackson Street and over the San Mateo Bridge (beyond pyramided roof) to San Francisco allows errands at Goat Hall and John Partridge's,

then over the Golden Gate to Kinko's San Rafael (the view of San Pedro Ridge while xeroxing) to print up a couple of copies of

The Bald Soprano: Overture (on the cover, that's Tisha Page as the Nurse, who's flown back home to Seattle by now after her whirlwind yesterday, and Percy Martinez as the Firechief, who's flown God-knows-where, in my direction of several year's past before Goat Hall began its ongoing renovations),

followed by a drive to the Civic Center (with views up toward the eucalyptus on Ridgewood Drive near where we used to live), and dynamic Marin Symphony performances of Colin McPhee's Tabulah and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, the latter with supertitles -- first time experienced in an oratorio after all these years of use at various operas -- a visceral experience, with report in a few days for Commuter Times and 21st-Century Music ( and eventually at

Up late mixing Elizabeth and Kristen's recordings, with particular attention to Ozymandias, since all the rest are still works-in-progresss until Eliza et al can be added (shot of K by Tom Voigt during The Playboy of the Western World run, one of six dressing room knitting

For Ozy, it's Big Electric Lead Guitar Center, Piano Right and Left Hands at Left and Right 16, two recordings of Kristen as "Epic Diva" with standard settings (Chorus, Track Echo, 1/4 Echo, 1/3 Reverb) at Left and Right 32, a string of 4 Ceramic Drums and 2 Dombeks at Left 48, and the first eight Tambourines at Right 48 -- both percussion tracks set to "Edgy Drums," and all instrumental tracks at maximum reverb.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26 - Variations on Americans

More exciting encounters, preparing for publication first eight pages of section 4 Variations on Americana (Spacious Skies , Green with a Touch of Amber Waves, Purple Twin Sisters Mountains Majesty Above a Fluted Suisun Plain from yesterday's Cordelia Turtleback Escape trip),

then Harriet and I rendezvous with Tisha at Oakland Marriot for a brewpub calimari and tostada dinner before a Works-In-Progress show at Chamber Arts, run by Eliza O'Malley,

with Alex Katzman and Alix Jerinic warming up,

as T and H gaze attentively,

as do (less attentively) friend-of -AJ, AJ, Deborah, and Meghan Dibble later on.

Whereafter Tisha takes the floor for German opera,

while Richard Mix looms ominously,

and sings marvelously during the show itself.

And speaking of marvelous, Harriet delivers her bang-up Old Lady's Tango (I Am Easily Assimilated) from Leonard Bernstein's Candide,

and I'm up for a piano-vocal of Sylvia Dryer from San Rafael News; home late finishing up business cards with above shots for Harriet and me.

Friday, April 25, 2008

April 25 - Impediments and Overcomings

Finished preparing for publication Triple Fugato of Vengeance (Part 2) and Postlude from Mice and Men Act V, Scene 1, and recorded both in the DVC lab (shot above of the drying-out North Lagoon Mountains, taken several days ago on April 21 when returning home, may stand in for another Salinas-valley-environs photo).

Theory dictation is from Block 3 of Camino Real, the whole of which is played in class, as well as a bit of Block 4, and a nice work-in-progress from Sarah.

Part of return is along the road paralleling I-80 to the southeast, stopping off at Cordelia,

where a turreted homestead

is occluded by a line of tanker cars.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April 24 - Fullway Recording Plowing On Amen

Two more pages (9 and 10) of Part 2 Triple Fugato of Vengeance (three subjects, but only bipartite) from Mice and Men, Act V, Scene 1, prepared for publication (which means the manuscript is finally in the music software program in computer, and can be turned into midi as needed).

The final quiz -- 14 -- in Theory today: Analysis, with musical examples from the 1980's... Philip Glass's Satyagraha (Act I, Scene 1) and Akhnaten (the Akhnaten-Nefertiti Love Duet), and Sting's King of Pain from Synchronicity.

Beyond, it's the lab again, finishing up the editing and mixing of the rest of Halfway Mark -- finished, Hallelujah!