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OM 24, CONCERTS 2 & 3: Brian Baumbusch- “The Pressure” & Ivan Wyschnegradsky, music for 4 quarter-tone pianos


OM FESTIVAL 24 concluded with 2 programs:

June 15, 2019
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

Brian Baumbusch: The Pressure
World Premiere

The Pressure is a tale of gothic horror told in music, harking back to world of German expressionist silent film­­ – a tale straight from the Twilight Zone.

A snake oil peddler comes to town – a town suffering from debilitating barometric pressure – and promises a cure. There are unforeseen consequences… be careful what you wish for.

With support from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Other Minds has commissioned California-based composer and instrument builder Brian Baumbusch to write a new evening-length work, The Pressure, for narrator and a varied and eclectic mixed ensemble of instruments and voices.

It features more than 24 performers including The Lightbulb Ensemble and Friction String Quartet, 3 keyboardists, a vocal quartet, and the composer as narrator. Making their debut will be an array of newly created gamelan-style instruments in original tunings. And what results?  A sound palate of shimmering metallophones, a wide variety of keyboards, and the tonal warmth of strings and voices.

This nightmare world is explored through an original story written by award winning playwright, Paul Baumbusch, and evocative visuals by Federico Yankelevich of Madrid, Spain.


June 16, 2019
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Ivan Wyschnegradsky, Music for four pianos in quarter-tones

The late composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky (1893-1979) was a tireless explorer in the realm of quarter-tone, eighths-of-tone, 16ths-of-tone, and other microtonal tunings circa 1935-1975. Other Minds presents the first-ever American retrospective of works by this Russian-born acquaintance of Alexander Scriabin’s who lived most of his life in Paris after 1920. Charles Amirkhanian, who met with the composer three times between 1972-1978, is curating a program that will include Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra, a four-movement 30-minute work for four grand pianos, two of them tuned down a quarter-tone, and other works for piano ensemble.

Martine Joste, director of the Wyschnegradsky Association in Paris, will perform the composer’s solo piano pieces and talk with Charles Amirkhanian about the spiritual and aesthetic world of the composer. She’ll be joined by the piano duo HOCKET from Los Angeles, along with soloists Vicki Ray and Steven Vanhauwaert, conducted by Donald Crockett, in the American premieres of works for four pianos by Wyschnegradsky.



24 Preludes, for two pianos in quarter-tones (selections)
Étude sur le carré magique sonore (solo piano)
Cosmos, for four pianos in quarter-tones
Étude sur les mouvements rotatoires, for two pianos, eight hands, in quarter-tones
Three Pieces, op. 38 (solo piano)
Ainsi parlait Zarathustra, for four pianos in quarter-tones

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