These chamber works from 1994 to 2002 include many of my favorite concert works, and represent a cross section of approaches I've taken and musical media I've utilized in concert music recently. By the end of 1993, I had spent the better part of 12 years focusing on composing for opera/music theater and for modern dance, involving live music with other performing disciplines. The success of many of these projects led to more and more similar commissions. However, the kind of problems encountered in creating music for opera, music theater, or for dance are often not of a purely musical nature, but are rather more the result of the collaborative process and aesthetic goals that are not specifically musical. I felt, at the end of this period, that my own musical vocabulary was in some sense stagnating, and felt a need to devote the next period of work to creating works exclusively for the concert stage. This coincided as well with a desire to return, as I had done regularly throughout the 1970's, to performing works by other composers. To meet both this and the goal to compose primarily for the concert stage, I decided to form the Electro-Acoustic Band, a new chamber ensemble that would offer to composers (including me) a group of virtuoso musicians able to use the extraordinary advances in music technology of the past 15 years and who possessed the ability to genuinely perform music possessing roots in very diverse traditions including contemporary classical, rock and roll, jazz and various world musics.
Most of the works on this CD were premiered by or on concerts performed by the Electro-Acoustic Band.
ReviewsPlenty of drama remains, especially evident in the Concerto for Violin and Electro-Acoustic Band. A fresh essay in the genre, it pits the violinist against manipulated samples of John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano. Samples from Cage's work rhythmically advance the concerto with a gritty and infectious texture in the first movement. In the second a wistful solo by violinist David Abel and a haunting electric guitar solo by Dresher arise and then entwine with the Cage samples peppered about or in ostinato.- Gramaphone