Program 691: Beats By Baumbusch
KALW Broadcast Date: April 3, 2022 | Host: Ed Herrmann
The highlight of this program is a new release from Other Minds Records, “Effigy” by California based composer Brian Baumbusch. The two pieces on this CD reflect Baumbusch’s interest in world music and complex rhythmic relationships. Kings is an homage to Lou Harrison, written in 2017 to commemorate Harrison’s centennial. Isotropes was composed in 2020 and explores seemingly impossible rhythms such as a 51 beats per minute phrase played simultaneously with a phrase of 50 beats per minute. The procedure sounds complex, but the music is subtle and enchanting. The program opens with Don Freund’s Ukrainian Fantasy, which sets a solo violin against a pre-recorded collage of Ukrainian folk music. We’ll also hear Holographic Universe for solo violin and orchestra by Gloria Coates, and Jennifer Koh performing Kaija Saariaho’s violin concerto Graal Théâtre. A tribute to Rex Lawson rounds out the show. Only one person in the world is considered a virtuoso on the pianola (similar to the mechanical player piano, but requiring a performer using foot pedals to play it), and that‘s Rex Lawson. We’ll hear Lawson’s performance of Les Noces by Stravinsky. This is not an arrangement, but an alternate version composed by Stravinsky himself. Even if you’re familiar with the usual four piano version, Lawson’s performance on the pianola will be a revelation.