Since January 2005, Music From Other Minds has presented new and unusual music by innovative composers and performers from around the world. Produced weekly for KALW 91.7 FM San Francisco by Charles Amirkhanian and the Other Minds staff, and aired at 8pm every Sunday, Music From Other Minds aims to open up radio listeners to experimental classical work by living and recent composers. We bring you the latest in contemporary music from around the world, and some glimpses into the past, to give a context for today’s music.
Program 726: European Minimalism
This program features minimalist music from Europe. Minimalist music began as a distinctly American style of composition in the 1960s concentrated in California and downtown New York. As its stature grew, this new style, which Michael Nyman describes as “anti-European,” began to have a profound effect on European composers. European composers who adopted minimalist techniques often did so in ways that supported their preexisting aesthetic or political views, resulting in a variety of interpretations. This program includes English composer Michael Nyman’s String Quartet No. 2, Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s De Staat, Belgian composer Karel Goeyvaerts’ Litanie V, and Polish composer Hanna Kulenty’s A Fourth Circle.
Program 725: Hamelin Plays Ives, Ornstein, Oswald, and More
On this Music from Other Minds, Liam Herb plays recordings of virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin ahead of Other Minds’s 30th Anniversary Concert at Littlefield Concert Hall (Mills College at Northeastern University).
Program 724: Music from California’s Central Valley
Although it is often overshadowed by Los Angeles and San Francisco, California’s Central Valley has a long history of contemporary music. New music in the Valley has mostly been centered around Fresno, the region’s largest city. The program starts with music by Valley natives Charles Amirkhanian and Leslie Bassett, followed by former Fresno State professors David Bates and Arthur C. Berdahl. Also featured are music by composers Jordan De La Sierra, Deborah Kavasch, and Terry Allen, and singers Dorothy Renzi and Helene Joseph-Weil.
Program 723: Drone for the New Year
For many people, 2022 was a year that can’t end soon enough. Whether you’re glad to leave it behind or just ready a fresh start, there’s nothing like a drone to clear the mind. Assembled from individual parts contributed by musicians across the US, plus France and New Zealand, Drone for the New Year celebrates the new year with all the right notes. Bay Area musicians Lori B Bloustein (voice, guitar), Tom Djll (trumpet, electronics), Andrew Voigt (tenor sax, bass flute, piccolo), and Paul Winstanley (modified electric bass) join 20 other players to create a shimmering, shifting, two hour drone. Produced and mixed by Ed Herrmann.
Program 722: Free Range New Music
Tonight is another freeform show – no particular theme. I’m enjoying finding music that fits together based on criteria other than some musical “ism” we’d like to feature, or a particular composer. We’ll play work by Laurie Anderson, Joan La Barbara, Laurie Spiegel and Argentinian Lucrecia Dalt. We’ll hear from Carl Stone, Don Cherry, and Steve Reich. Then we’ll play a portion of Einstein on the Beach, an important work from the 1970s by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson.
Program 721: Iranian Female Composers Association +
The first half of this program features music by members of the Iranian Female Composers Association. IFCA plays an important role of promoting music by Iranian women in Iran and the diaspora to counteract the suppression of women’s voices in their homeland. The program includes music by two of IFCA’s founders, Aida Shirazi and Niloufar Nourbakhsh, as well as members Kimia Koochakzadeh-Yazdi and Martyna Kosecka. Following this, we move to music by other composers from the region including Anoush Moazzeni (Iran), Shumaila Hemani (Pakistan), Zeynep Gedizlioğlu (Turkey), Eren Gümrükçüoğlu (Turkey), and Vache Sharafyan (Armenia).
Program 720: All Hail the Electron!
A stylistically diverse selection of electronic music, starting with works by New York artist David Lee Myers, aka Arcane Device, who uses custom built feedback systems with a variety of electronic instruments. Three Bay Area composer/performers: Chris Brown accompanies percussionist William Winant with computer controlled analog electronics; Tom Djll combines trumpet and Serge modular synthesizer; and Thomas Dimuzio joins David Molina for an improvised performance. Also Stelios Giannoulakis from Athens, Midori Hirano of Berlin, The Canadian Electronic Ensemble, Jill Fraser of Los Angeles, and from France, Philippe Petit. Plus wacky jazz composer and bandleader turned electronic inventor and pioneer, Raymond Scott.
Program 719: The 100th Year of Ned Rorem
Composer Ned Rorem celebrated his 99th birthday in New York City on October 23, 2022. In our first hour, hear this most articulate artist in conversation with Charles Amirkhanian, along with music critic Fleur Paysour, then of the Charlotte Observer, recorded in 1987 at KPFA in Berkeley. Long hailed as the best and most prolific American art song composer, Amirkhanian launches what promises to be a year of Rorem tributes with a survey of early songs in addition to two orchestral pieces—Lions (A Dream), and Eagles, inspired by a Walt Whitman poem.
Rorem’s 1964 Columbia Records LP, featuring 32 of his greatest hits accompanied at the piano by the composer himself, comprises most of the second hour of the broadcast. Still the composer’s own all-time favorite release, it is reissued on Other Minds Records. Soloists include Gianna d’Angelo and Phyllis Curtin, sopranos; Regina Sarfaty, mezzo-soprano; Charles Bressler, tenor; and Donald Gramm, bass.
Program 718: Hennix, Corner, Amacher, and Satie
On this Music from Other Minds, C.C. Hennix’s 1971 composition Music of Auspicious Clouds for amplified Renaissance Oboe, Amplified Sarangi, and Live Electronics. Also on the program, works by Philip Corner, Maryanne Amacher, and Erik Satie.
Program 717: Rock Experiments
The program this week features instrumental work written for mutated rock band from three masters of the genre – Rhys Chatham, Thurston Moore and Elliott Sharp. We’ll play a 43-minute work by Rhys Chatham from 1989, called “An Angel Moves Too Fast To See,” written for bass guitar, drums and 100 electric guitars. Then we’ll hear an extended work of over an hour by Thurston Moore, “Alice-Moki-Jayne” from his 2021 album Spirit Councel. Finally, we play two shorter works by legendary downtown New York composer and guitarist Elliott Sharp, with his 1980s ensemble, Carbon. Enjoy rocking out, then we’ll all get some rest!