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 702: Raven Chacon
On this Music from Other Minds, Joseph Bohigian plays music by Raven Chacon. Chacon is a composer, performer, and installation artist living in Albuquerque, New Mexico who is renowned for his chamber music and his work performing as a noise musician. The program includes his 2022 Pulitzer Prize-winning piece Voiceless Mass, as well as one side of his upcoming Other Minds Records LP release with Tatsuya Nakatani and Carlos Santistevan Inhale/Exhale.
Program 701: The Plains of Gordium
On this Music from Other Minds, Liam Herb plays Petr Kotik‘s percussion work The Plains of Gordium (2004) performed by Talujon on 36 tuned-drums and bells followed by an archival broadcast of works of radio art by Peter Gordon, Ned Sublette/David van Tiegem, and Maryanne Amacher.
Program 700: New York City, 1980s
Artists that were creating new experimental music in New York City in the 1980s. We’ll hear Rhys Chatham’s work for rock ensembles; David Linton’s created uncompromising work with an emphasis on volume and abrupt changes of direction; Nicolas Collins’s electronics-focused work with a radical political tilt; The Ordinaires, whose work is challenging without being pretentious.
Program 699: Mandorla Awakening II
The futuristic world imagined in Nicole Mitchell’s Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds is “an egalitarian society designed by people who have awakened their ability to communicate directly with the Source. Having survived the destructive forces of the Egoes Wars and the global virus, the Mandorlians have made a biological transformation after two generations of a natural lifestyle, making them permanently immune to the virus.” A live performance of Mandorla Awakening at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, plus Old Locks and Irregular Verbs by Henry Threadgill, and works by Douglas Ewart, Trio WAZ (Ed Wilkerson, Tatsu Aoki, Michael Zerang), and Irreversible Entanglements are featured in this week’s program.
Program 698: Avant-Garde Exotica
On June 6 the Norwegian composer Øyvind Torvund visits the Bay Area for a performance of his The Exotica Album, a sophisticated parody/tribute combining elements of “exotic lounge music” from the 1950s with early electronic modernism. In anticipation of this momentous event Ed Herrmann presents music by Øyvind Torvund along with highlights from music that inspired him, including Les Baxter and Martin Denny. In addition to excerpts from The Exotica Album, we’ll hear Torvund’s untitled school performed by Yarn/Wire; and the Norwegian ensemble asamisimasa performing Torvund’s Neon Forest Space. The program also includes selections by Hans Reichel, Bart Hopkin, Mauricio Kagel, Tom Djll, Spike Jones, and Edvard Grieg.
Program 697: Late-Soviet Composers
On this Music from Other Minds, a program of music by composers from the former Soviet Union from the mid 1970s to early 1990s that looks outward, away from the country’s administrative center, engaging with influences at the edges of the Soviet East and South, or looking toward Western Europe. Including works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Alfred Schnittke, Edison Denisov, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, Astraea, and Valentin Silvestrov.
Program 696: Pushing Pianos
On this Music from Other Minds, Liam Herb plays two long-form pieces for piano: Hanna Kulenty‘s Piano Concerto No. 3 (2003) and William Duckworth‘s pioneering post-minimalist work The Time Curve Preludes.
Also on the program, music by Robert Ashley, Ruth Crawford, and Clara Ionnatta.
Program 695: Christopher Luna-Mega
This week on Music from Other Minds, composer Christopher Luna-Mega talks with host Ed Herrmann about his use of nature as a musical model and source of inspiration, and the specific approaches used in each of the pieces on his new record, Time’s Arrow. Luna-Mega has developed a compositional process he calls “environmental sonic translation,” in which nature sounds are recorded, transcribed, and converted into musical scores for acoustic and electronic instruments. In this practice nature provides guidance for both the structure and details of the music, as well as a spiritual foundation. The program also includes Night Music, a composition for woodwinds performed by Splinter Reeds.
Program 694: Frederic Rzewski
A May Day tribute to the late American composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski, whose work often included political and social themes. The first hour of the program is devoted to a single piece – The People United Will Never Be Defeated! – a set of 36 piano variations based on the song “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” by Sergio Ortega. The second hour includes two pieces Rzewski composed for the ensemble Zeitgeist: Spots and The Lost Melody; Whimwhams for string quartet and marimba, performed by the Eclipse Quartet and William Winant; and an example of an unusual form that Rzewski explored, pieces for piano in which the pianist speaks a text.
Program 693: Forgetting and Remembering in Anatolia
On this Music from Other Minds, a program about memory and forgetting in Turkey. The program features music which brings forth suppressed memories of the country’s present and historical Armenian, Greek, Assyrian, and Kurdish populations. Featuring music by Diamanda Galás, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Tigran Mansurian, Turgut Erçetin, Yiğit Kolat, and Marc Sinan.