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Beth Anderson

Release Date: August 7, 2020

Catalog Number: OM 1027-2

Available Formats: CD, Digital Download

List Price: $15

Composer: Beth Anderson

Performer: Beth Anderson

Conductor: N/A

Orchestra/Ensemble: N/A

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Recording Notes

If an artists’ work is a composite of influences from others, Beth Anderson’s Namely inverts that notion, creating a work from the names themselves of her influencers. The album consists of 65 short pieces, each using the name of one of Anderson’s varied influences as source material. Anderson applies a generative procedure to each name to create a text-sound poem that is performed as a vocal piece by the composer.

The collection of names reveals the intermedia nature of Anderson’s work — from the artist’s mother, to composer Julius Eastman, to Fluxus “founder” George Maciunas, to Other Minds’ very own Charles Amirkhanian. Each piece functions not only as a musical piece, but a work of concrete poetry, as author Jeremy Bushnell explains in his detailed liner notes essay.

In twisting up these familiar names, Anderson utters strange combinations of familiar words and creates new ones. By weaving a web of her own influences, Anderson is charting a map from which to navigate the rest of Anderson’s deep catalog, a necessary tool for understanding an artist whose work spans from text-sound poetry, to proto-No Wave, to near-baroque minimalism. Namely begs the question: What would a similar list of 65 influencers on a different composer look like? And how would the composer translate those 65 names into a work of their own?

Anderson’s answer is at once loud and clear and deeply confounding. Namely is a work that invites a deeper dive, so jump in.

Beth Anderson (www.beand.com/) is a poet and composer of new romantic music, text-sound works, and music theater events. She has composed an opera, an oratorio, three off-off Broadway musicals, several downtown music theater collaborations, music for orchestra, voice, chorus, tape, instrumental solos with and without electronic modulation, and a large amount of chamber music, in this country and in Europe, on radio and in concert. She joined Ear Magazine on  V.1#5 in May 1973 and took it to NYC where she ran it 1975-79. Her all-Beth Anderson recordings are out on MSR (The Praying Mantis & The Bluebird, 2012), Albany (Quilt Music, 2004), New World (Swales & Angels, 2004), and Pogus (Peachy Keen-O, 2003). 1750 Arch and then Other Minds (2003) includes Torrero Piece. Her other music is on Capstone, North/South, Newport Classics, and Opus One. She is her own publisher along with Antes/Bella Musica in Germany. Born in Kentucky, she studied primarily in California with John Cage, Terry Riley, Robert Ashley and Larry Austin, at Mills College and the University of California at Davis. She has been awarded an Aaron Copland Fund for Music grant, many Meet the Composer grants, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Foundation for the Contemporary Performance Arts grant.

Editorial Reviews

…every one of these pieces is a gem unto itself; and playback technology will now allow every listener to set his/her own strategy for appreciating the many delights of this album.  Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio blog
Read the complete review.

Namely is just damned fun to listen to, and if you’ve grabbed Lovely Music’s Robert Ashley reissues, I’ll bet you’ll be into this, too. Joseph Neff, The Vinyl District
Read the complete review.

“…artfully patterned and performed with rigour, plus Anderson’s sparkly humour.” Julian Cowley, The Wire

Track Listing

Namely (2020)
by Beth Anderson

Total time: 55:52

01   John Adams
02  Alvin Ailey
03  Charles Amirkhanian
04  Laurie Anderson
05  Marian Anderson
06  George Antheil
07  Robert Ashley
08  Hugo Ball
09  Bruno Abrantes Basseto
10   Johanna Beyer
11   Elizabeth Blair
12   Jaap Blonk
13   Boudewijn Buckinx
14   Thomas Buckner
15   John Cage
16   Ruth Crawford-Seeger
17   Stefania de Kenessey
18   Julius Eastman
19   Kyle Gann
20   John Giorno
21   Tony Gnazzo
22   Martha Graham

23   Percy Grainger
24   Lily Greenham
25   Brion Gysin
26   Sten Hanson
27   Lou Harrison
28  Sorrel Hays
29  Bernard Heidsieck
30  Jennifer Higdon
31  Scott Joplin
32  Alison Knowles
33  Richard Kostelanetz
34  George Maciunas
35  Jackson Mac Low
36  Colin McPhee
37  Enzo Minarelli
38  Meredith Monk
39  Charlotte Moorman
40  Pauline Oliveros
41  Yoko Ono
42  Frank Oteri
43  Nam June Paik
44  Florence Price

45  Steve Reich
46  Terry Riley
47  Paul Robeson
48  Ned Rorem
49  Arnold Rosner
50  Nathan Rubin
51  Frederic Rzewski
52  Michael Sahl
53  Eric Satie
54  Kurt Schwitters
55  Charles Shere
56  Ethel Smyth
57  Naomi Sparrow
58  Laurie Spiegel
59  Gertrude Stein
60  Virgil Thomson
61  Remedios Varo
62  Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
63  Anne Waldman
64  La Monte Young
65  Pamela Z

Sample Tracks
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