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UMS Concert Program, March 12, 1994: Kronos Quartet --

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University Musical Society
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Season: 115th
Concert: Forty-sixth
Power Center For The Performing Arts, Ann Arbor, Michigan

University Musical Society
with Foday Musa Suso, kora and drums
David Harrington, violin
John Sherba, violin
Hank Dutt, viola
Joan Jeanrenaud, cello
Saturday Evening, March 12, 1994, at 8:00 Power Center for the Performing Arts, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Foday Musa Suso Program to be announced.
II Kronos
Sing Sing: J. Edgar Hoover ................Michael Daugherty
Quartet No. 4.......................Sofia Gubaidulina
River Beneath the River ....................Lois V. Vierk
Kronos Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals+ . . Raymond Scott (Ait. S. Mackey)
Powerhouse+ ................Raymond Scott (Arr. M. DiBucci)
Twilight in Turkey+ ..............Raymond Scott (Arr. R. Woolf)
Mach ............................John Oswald
Amazing Grace.........................Ben Johnston
Foday Musa Suso and Kronos Kafu Julo.........................Foday Musa Suso
Written for Kronos Arranged for Kronos+
Thanks to Michael Daugherty, U-M Professor of Composition, for this evening's Philips Educational Presentation
Large print programs are available upon request from an usher.
Forty-sixth Concert of the 115th Season 23rd Annual Choice Series
Program Notes
Sing Sing: J. Edgar Hoover
Michael Daugherty
Born in 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, currently living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Composers have frequently found musical inspiration in folklore, fables and historical figures, and a look at Michael Daugherty's catalogue published by Peer Music reveals an array of titles drawn from contemporary American culture, such as Sing Sing: ]. Edgar Hoover (for the Kronos Quartet and tape), Desi for Symphonic Winds and Conga Sobist (a Latin big band tribute to Ricky Ricardo from "I Love Lucy" for Symphonic Winds), Dead Elvis (for Boston Musica Viva,) Elvis Everywhere (for the Kronos Quartet and three Elvis impersonators), and the Superman-inspired five-movement, forty-minute Metropolis Sym?phony which was recently performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Zinman at Carnegie Hall.
These compositions from the last five years reflect a diverse musical background. As a young man Daugherty was active as a jazz, rock, and funk keyboardist and studied classical piano. At North Texas State University he composed his first orchestral work while studying with composer James Sellars. Daugherty then spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow composing computer music at Boulez's IRCAM in Paris, began performing live synthesizer concerts of his own music with classic silent film, and collaborated with jazz arranger Gil Evans in New York. He received a doctorate in music composition in 1986 from Yale University, studying in New Haven from 1980-82 with composers Earle Brown, Jacob Druckman, Bernard Rands, and Roger Reynolds, and from 1982-84 in Hamburg, Germany with Gyorgy Ligeti. After teaching composition at Oberlin Conservatory from 1986-91, Daugherty joined the faculty at the University of Michigan where he is currently Associate Professor of Composition.
Michael Daugherty's music has been performed throughout America and abroad by, among others, the New York Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, the symphony orchestras of Los Angeles, Detroit, New Jersey, St. Louis, Buffalo, Memphis, Honolulu, and ensembles including Lontano, Boston Musica Viva, Netherlands Winds, and Kronos Quartet. His compositions have been featured at Bang on a Can, Aspen, Tanglewood, the Grand Tetons, Warsaw Autumn, and Holland Festivals. In the past decade, Daugherty has received numerous awards for his music including recognition from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Friedheim Kennedy Center Award. Recent commissions include Motor City for symphonic brass and two percussionists by the Detroit Chamber Winds, a new work from the Bath Festival for the London-based Smith String Quartet, a cello concerto inspired by the artwork of Rube Goldberg, and a piano concerto entitled The Tomb of Liberace. Under the baton of David Zinman, The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will record Daugherty's Desi and the Metropolis Symphony in 1994.
Of Sing Sing: ). Edgar Hoover, the composer writes,
Sing Sing: J. Edgar Hoover is about the man who directed the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation virtually unchallenged from 1924 until his death in 1972.
My composition opens with one of Hoover's favorite mottos. 'The FBI is as close to you as your nearest telephone.' This 'reassurance' to the American public also served to authorize his systematic invasion of their privacy: for Hoover, the telephone became an instrument for playing out his lifetime obsession with collecting sensitive information for his so-called 'secret files.' Throughout his 48 years as director of the FBI, Hoover ordered the wiretapping of the telephones of movie stars, gangsters, presidents, civil rights activists, politicians, communist sympathizers, entertainers, and anyone who opposed his own political and moral agenda. For me, the motto offers an opportunity to listen in on Hoover's voice,
and to manipulate it for my own compositional purposes. The telephone, like the digital technology I have used, mediates voice so that it is both distant and near. I wanted to bring the dead voice of J. Edgar Hoover back to a posthumous life through technology, so that it may 'sing' of its own death.
I created the tape part by digitally sampling bits of actual historical speeches delivered by Hoover from 1941 to 1972, to such diverse audiences as the American Legion, Boy's Club of America, and the FBI National Academy. It was eerie to be the first person to hear these tapes since they were made available to the public: who listens to Hoover today, and how I composed string parts to 'sing along' with Hoover, in order to convey my sense of Hoover's grim, threatening, yet darkly comic personality. The part played by Kronos is also inspired by sounds associated with the FBI, such as sirens, American patriotic songs, and machine gun syncopations. The quartet therefore creates another context for hearing Hoover's own words: 'I hope that this presentation will serve to give you a better knowledge and a deeper understanding of YOUR FBI.'
The composer extends his thanks to the staff of the National Archives in Washington D. C. for their help in obtaining the Hoover F. B. I. tapes, through the Freedom of Information Act.
Sing Sing: ]. Edgar Hoover is the second of three works Daugherty has written for Kronos and was commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Daugherty's two other works for Kronos are Beat Boxer (1991) and Elvis Everywhere (1993).
Quartet No. 4(1993)
Sofia Gubaidulina
Born in 1931 in Chistopol, Tatar.
Sofia Gubaidulina, along with Schnittke, Denisov and Silverstrov, is regarded as one of the leading representatives of new music in Russia. In 1954 she graduated from the Kazan Conservatory, where she studied piano and composition. She went on to the Moscow Conservatory where she continued her composition studies until 1959 with a pupil of Shostakovich, Nikolai Peikoat, and subsequently did postgraduate work under Vissarion Shebalin. Her work from this period reveals a preoccupation with the inner world, which she describes as "secret, hidden and even arcane." Her song-cycle, Fatselya (1956), shows the influence of a more traditional Russian idiom, yet with underlying expressions that point toward an even more mysterious and deeper realm of existence. In 1963 Gubaidulina moved to Moscow to compose works on a freelance basis, and she now lives in Hamburg.
The technical perfection with which Gubaidulina realizes her musical ideas and her uncompromising attitude to life, which is characterized by humanity and religious faith, impart a very personal character to her works. In recent years, Gubaidulina has moved toward combining two elements the open and the hidden. This synthesis is perhaps most evident in Perception (1983), a work that began as a challenge from Francesco Tanzer, leading to an exchange of poems and letters that delved into a subject area dear to Gubaidulinathe differences between a man's and a woman's perception of the world. In response to this exchange, Gubaidulina began to write fragments of music that later developed into a highly dramatic work emphasizing the contrast between the male and female characters for mezzo-soprano, baritone, seven strings and tape. Later, in Quartet No. 2 (1987) Gubaidulina, for the first time, dealt with an idea she called "Musical symbolism" (i.e. what appears as a symbol is not some sound or other, nor yet a conglomeration of sounds, but the separate constituent elements of a musical instrument or the properties of those elements).
Quartet No. 4 is Gubaidulina's first work for Kronos and was commissioned by Mrs. Ralph I. Dorfman, the Barbican Centre in London and Theatre de la Ville in Paris. Quartet No. 2 appears on Kronos' ElektraNonesuch recording Short Stories.
River Beneath the River (1993) LoisV. Vierk(b. 1951)
Lois V. Vierk is known for her directional, developmental music that often builds to high climaxes. Vierk studied composition with Mel Powell, Leonard Stein and Morton Subotnick. In addition, Vierk spent ten years in Los Angeles studying Gagaku (Japanese Court Music) with Suenobu Togi, formerly of the Emperor's Court Orchestra, and two years in Tokyo with Sukeeyasu Shiba of the same ensemble. Her works, including Hexa for tap dancers, percussion and electronic processing, have been performed at the US Art Festival in Berlin, the Holland Festival and the American Dance Festival. Vierk has received commissions from Champagne Tattinger, Meet the ComposerReader's Degest, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York State Council on the Arts and American Dance Festival, among others.
Of River Beneath the River, Vierk writes:
In this piece, currents of sound made up of string phrases and textures of tremolos, glissandos, sustained sounds, highly articulated passages, etc. are constantly developed. The currents alternately co-exist, separate, coalesce, in their flow from a gentle beginning, through many harmonic areas, to a fortissimo conclusion.
The idea of interaction of two or more instruments forming one sound shape continues throughout the piece. The music unfolds slowly. The constant transforming and developing of the relatively simple sound shapes and relationships at the beginning of the piece employ principles which I call 'exponential structure'. This refers to rates of change of musical materials, which in this piece are constantly increasing by exponential factor.
River Beneath the River was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by the Barbican Centre in London.
Works of Raymond Scott
Born in 1908 in Brooklyn, New York.
Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals (1937arr. 1993)
Att. by Steve Mackey
Powerhouse (1937arr. 1993)
Arr. by Michelle DiBucci
Twilight in Turkey (1938arr. 1993) Arr. by Randall Woolf
Born as Henry Warnow, Raymond Scott adopted his name from a Manhattan Telephone book, explaining that "It was a nice sounding name. It had good rhythm."
In 1931 Scott graduated from the Institute of Musical Art (later known as the Juilliard School), a classically trained jazz-based pop visionary who sought to portray the modern world in musical vignette, Scott had his start with the Saturday Night Swing Session from New York, where he worked with Bunny Berigan's first band, the staff band of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Johny Williams, Dave Wade and Dave Harris.
From his beginnings with swing bands, and in addition to his work as a recording engineer, electronic music pioneer and inventor, Scott would go on to assemble the first racially-integrated radio network orchestra (for CBS in 1942), score Hollywood films, Broadway shows and television dramas, write commercial jingles and compose music for "serious" concerts and ballet.
Though never writing specifically for cartoons, Scott's music is perhaps best know through his many tunes which were adapted by Carl Stalling and others for Warner Brothers. These tunes were perfectly suited to accompany animation, owing to a combination of playful melodies, cat-chase-mouse rhythms, and spring board syncopation which can be
heard underscoring the antics of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Tweety & Sylvester, the Road Runner and others. More recently, Scott's music has been quoted by Devo, They Might Be Giants and Jim Thirwell of Foetus, and has been used to underscore the Ren and Stimpy cartoons.
The arrangement of Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals was commissioned for Kronos by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The arrangements of Powerhouse and Twilight in Turkey were commissioned for Kronos by Hancher AuditoriumUniversity of Iowa.
John Oswald (b. 1953)
Canadian composer John Oswald is well known for his development of "audioquoting" (or sampling) techniques which have challenged contemporary notions of artistic ownership.
In 1990, Oswald's notorious recording Plunderphonic had to be destroyed as a result of legal action by Michael Jackson. In 1991 a sequel CD was released, featuring thoroughly reworked soundtracks by musical artists as diverse as the Doors, Carly Simon and Metallica. Discosphere, a CD retrospective of dance soundtracks, was released in 1992 and 'Plexure' the third of the Plunderphonic CD's has just been released.
Currently Oswald is Director of Research at Mystery Laboratory, an audio and sensory research, production and dissemination facility. Oswald's most recent activities include producing a Grateful Dead album, collaborating for a second time with choreographer Bill T. Jones, composing a work for the Esprit Orchestra, and the exhibition of 'Pitch Pivot', a building which contains absolute darkness created by his perpetual research group PITCH.
This is Oswald's third quartet for Kronos, and the piece was commissioned by Canada's Ontario Arts Council and Hancher AuditoriumUniversity of Iowa. Oswald's first quartet for Kronos, Spectre, appears on Kronos' ElecktraNonesuch recording, Short Stories.
Amazing Grace (Quartet No.4) (1973)
Ben Johnston
Born in 1926 in Macon, Georgia.
Ben Johnston attended the College of William and Mary in Richmond, Virginia. After Navy service in World War II, he received his masters degree in music from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. His self-professed "fascination with sound from a scientific point of view" was manifested in accelerating interest in acoustics. After reading a book by new music rebel Harry Partch, Johnston struck up a correspondence and eventually moved to California to study with the instrument inventor and designer of the 43-note scale. Through Partch, Johnston met Darius Milhaud at Mills College in Oakland, and received a second masters there. Johnston went on to a position in the dance program at the University's Festival of Contemporary Arts. Johnston began a friendship with John Cage, after Cage delivered a lecture at the University of Illinois in 1952, and later worked with Cage while on a Guggenheim Fellowship from 1959-1961. Johnston has received many national and international grants and commissions, and in 1984 he retired from his long-held position at the University of Illinois to pursue fulltime composing. Amazing Grace was commissioned by the Fine Arts quartet in 1973.
Of his work, Johnston writes:
One of the things that I've been trying to do over the years is to answer the question, 'what would this kind of music and that kind of music and this other kind of music and that kind of music have been like if equal temperament had never been adopted and instead just intonation had been adopted' That's the reason for eclecticism whenever it shows up in my work, and it does in the Fourth Quartet (for example, there's a direct quotation from Harry Partch in it). Based
on the traditional American hymn, 'Amazing Grace,' Quartet No. 4 is also a proliferation of gradually increasing proportional complexity of pitch and of metrical rhythm.
Kronos' recording of Amazing Grace is included on the Quartet's ElektraNonesuch release, White Man Sleeps.
Kafu Julo (Song for a Crowd) (1993)
Foday Musa Suso
Born in 1950 in the Sarre Hamadi Village of Gambia.
A virtuosic kora player and drummer, composer Foday Musa Suso was born into the griot lineage, where he began his musical training as soon as he could speak. He has performed concerts throughout the world, as a solo artist and on tours with his own band, Mandingo Griot Society. From 1975 through 1977, Suso taught at the University of Ghana's Institute of African Studies, and since the late 1970's he has lived in the United States. Suso's collaborations with American jazz artists Don Cherry and Herbie Hancock have led to many recording and performance projects, including the duet album Village Life, developed with Hancock. In 1984, Suso, Hancock and Bill Laswell composed the official theme music for the Olympic Games Field Events. More recently, he has worked in collaboration with Philip Glass to compose the score for the American premiere of Jean Genet's The Screens, and developed the African instrumentation for the motion picture, Mountains of the Moon.
Of Kafu julo, Suso writes:
For the piece, I began with two instruments that have never been played together before: the calimba, a wooden box instrument with metal keys and high pitched notes found all over Africa; and the dousongoni, a six string bass harp lute played by the Mandingo hunter musicians of Mali and Guinea in West Africa. Because I always likes new ideas, I came up with a way of tuning the calimba and the dousongoni so that they could be played together. The two instruments work in the middle of the piece.
As the piece moves in a different direction, the dousongoni holds the bassline and slowly changes. The kora, a twenty-one string instrument, joins in and provides both rhythm and improvisation. The combination of the bass, rhythm and improvisation allows each instrument's part to be different. In this way, Kafu julo is much different from my last piece for Kronos, Tilliboyo.
Music is universal. One can write a song alone in a quiet place. However, after completing the creation, it becomes a gift to the world. This is why I chose the title Kafu Julo, meaning 'song for a crowd.'
Kafu Julo is Suso's fourth piece for Kronos and was commissioned by David and Evelyne Lennette and the Arts Council of Great Britain. Suso's TilUboyo is included on the Quartet's ElektraNonesuch recording, Pieces of Africa.
About The Artists
Since its inception in 1973, the Kronos Quartet has emerged as a leading voice for new work. Combining a unique musical vision with a fearless dedication to experimentation, Kronos has assembled a body of work unparalleled in its range and scope of expression, and in the process, has captured the attention of audiences world-wide.
The Quartet's extensive repertoire ranges from Shostakovich, Webern and Ives to Astor Piazzolla, John Cage and Howlin' Wolf. In addition to working closely with modern masters
such as Terry Riley, John Zorn and H.M. Gorecki, Kronos commissions new works from today's most innovative com?posers from around the world, extending its reach as far as Zimbabwe, Poland, Australia, Japan, Argentina and Azerbaijan. The Quartet is currently working with many composers, including Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Foday Musa Suso, Scott Johnson, Sofia Gudaidulina, Steven Mackey, John Oswald, Thomas Mapfumo, Philip Glass and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky.
Kronos performs annually in many cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, and tours extensively with more than 100 concerts each year in concert halls, clubs
and at jazz festivals throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico, South America, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Australia. Recent tours have included appearances at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Kennedy Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Tanglewood, London's Royal Festival Hall and Severance Hall in Cleveland.
The Quartet records exclusively for Elektra Nonesuch, and the catalogue includes Bob Ostertag's All the Rage (1993), Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki's String Quartets Mo. I and 2 (1993), Short Stories (1993), Pieces of Africa (1992), Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki's Already It Is Dusk (1991), Astor Piazzolla's Five Tango Sensations (1991), Kevin Volans' Hunting:Gathering (1991), Witold Lutoslawski's String Quartet (1991), Block Angels (1990), which received a Grammy nomination for Best Chamber Music Performance, Salome Dances for Peace (1989), which received a Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Composition, Different Trains (1989), which received a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Composition, Winter Was Hard (1989), White Man Sleeps (1987), which received a Grammy nomination for Best Chamber Music Performance, and Kronos Quartet (1986).
A virtuosic kora player and drummer, composer Foday Musa Suso was born in the Sarre Hamadi Village of the West African nation of Gambia. Bom into the griot lineage, Suso began his musical training as soon as he could speak. After studying with his father until age eleven, Suso undertook training with master kora play, Saikou Suso, and tama (talking) drummer Jalimadi Suso. He has performed concerts throughout the world, as a solo artist and on tours with his own band, Mandingo Griot Society. From 1975 through 1977, Suso taught at the University of Ghana's Institute of African Studies, and since the late 1970's he has lived in the United States. Suso's collaborations with American jazz artists Don Cherry and Herbie Hancock have led to many recording and performance projects, including
the duet album Village Life, developed with Hancock. In 1984, Suso, Hancock and Bill Laswell composed the official theme music for the Olympic Games Field Events. More recently, he has worked in collaboration with Philip Glass to compose the score for the American premiere of Jean Genet's The Screens, and developed the African instrumentation for the motion picture, Mountains of the Moon.
Tonight's performance marks the Kronos Quartet's and Foday Musa Suso's UMS debut.
Larry Neff, Lighting Designer Scott Fraser, Audio Engineer
For the Kronos Quartet: Janet Cowperthwaite, Managing Director, Melissa Smith, Development Director, Kelly McRae, Production Manager, Terrell Kessler, Business Manager,
Anne Gallick, Administrative Assistant. The Kronos Quartet records exclusively for ElektraNonesuch.
Supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

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