Program 548: Meditations on Divinity and Loss
KALW Broadcast Date: February 22, 2019 | Host: Liam Herb
The first work on the program is a 1971 work for homemade electronics and tape entitled Namo. Alden Jenks describes the work by saying, “I made this piece with a tape recorder and home-made electronics (with buzzing oscillators). Our preoccupations at the time — in/out of tune, beats, phasing, trance, stillness, are all in evidence here. I was beginning my (not yet ended) infatuation with the classical music of North India. I was also getting involved with Tibetan Buddhism at the time. Namo means something like ‘HAIL,’ a salutation, usually to a divinity.”
Ingram Marshall began composing Gradual Requiem in the late 70’s after finishing his first live electroacoustic work, Fragility Cycles. Here’s a quote from a WNYC interview where Marshall describes the process of composing the work:
“When I began to experiment with vocal keening through the delay matrix, and realized the melodic shaping was somehow related to the requiem chant I had heard – the music just became a requiem, or self-identified as such. By the time it was ready for performance in the early ’80s, it had become a requiem for my father Harry Marshall, who had recently died. Working on that music, and performing it, helped me to get through that period of deep sense of loss and mourning.
But I have come to realize that this music is not just for my father — although it’s is dedicated to his memory — but for anyone and everyone who has suffered loss.”