A Concert for Those Who Like to Buy Their New Music in Bulk Quantities
the Paris New Music Review
December 1996


Rarely does one come away from a concert marveling at the logistics of the event, but that was the case for me and the Opus 415 New Music Marathon. November 19, 1995, in San Francisco Imagine scheduling six hours of music and having everything run on time Even the electronic pieces went off without a hitch, such as Chris Chafe's performance of his attractive and engaging Push Pull for celletto and electronics.

Of 27 pieces, I strongly disliked only three, and ^those pieces were in the last third of the concert, so listening fatigue might bc as much to blame as the music. Sensitive program order kept things fresh, for example, the fool-proof pleasant-on-thc-car combination of flute and vibraphone in Ron Smith's modestly complex Still/Life [played by Karen Bergquist and Mark Goldstein] was followed by thc marvelously harsh and gratingly insistent metallic sounds of Cheryl E Leonard's Strip Search Nightmare, a tape piece Each two hour block was anchored by Thc Code Ensemble, an improv group made up of Chris Frumkin, piano; Dave Revelli, drums; Steve Horowitz, bass; Randy Porter, guitar; and Tom Yoder on trombone. I licked the feeling of this group being the `house band' for the event, but unfortunately their performances failed to set off the sparks I always hope to hear from improvisation. Dan Becker's ReInventions were another nice recurring element in the marathon. These disklavier pieces were transformations of Bach Inventions, very witty and enjoyable. Listening to completely new and unfamiliar music for six hours can be taxing so it was nice to experience pieces based on familiar music. One did not have to formulate a listening strategy on thc fly - it was immediately clear that the game was to recognize the Bach-objects and ponder their recombinations and minimalist repetitions.




randall WOOLF belinda REYNOLDS ed HARSH melissa HUI carolyn YARNELL marc MELLITS john HALLE dan BECKER

Copyright 2002 Common Sense | 4348 26th St. | SF CA | 94131 | 415 285 8680 | CREDITS