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It has been a weird and trying couple of years. Our organization is built around the presentation of live music to an audience, and the continuing plague of virus variants has made it very difficult to plan and produce these events. Yes, we managed to successfully run our 25th music festival in October 2021, after a year and a half of delays, and during a lull between the ebbing of the Delta variant and the rise of the Omicron. The latest Covid variant has forced us to postpone the first planned event of 2022, another installment of our series The Nature of Music, featuring composer Christopher Luna-Mega and the Splinter Reeds wind ensemble. The list of events below represent what we have scheduled in the coming months. We hope for the best, but will continue to abide by the current CDC wisdom regarding these kinds of gatherings. Check this page periodically to see if we have any updates, postponements or re-schedules. Thanks!

Dennis Russell Davies & Maki Namekawa

Maki Namekawa & Dennis Russell Davies
Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” and other works for piano
Saturday, March 5, 2022 @ Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley

Other Minds is pleased to welcome back Maki Namekawa and Dennis Russell Davies for a recital of solo and piano four-hands music with real-time interactive projections by Cori O’Lan at Hertz Hall in Berkeley, Saturday, March 5, 2022.  The centerpiece of this recital will be the complete ballet score to Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird (1910) arranged for piano four hands by Dennis Russell Davies in 2015.

In 1909, businessman and founder of the Ballets Russes Sergei Diaghilev approached the then 28-year-old composer Igor Stravinsky to write the score for his new Russian nationalist ballet The Firebird. The resulting performance in Paris in June of 1910, which was equally celebrated by audiences and critics, boosted the young composer to international fame overnight. With complex rhythms and extraordinary tonal effects—many of which were borrowed from his late teacher Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)—Stravinsky created a gripping characterization of the mystical story of Prince Ivan Zarevich defeating the evil sorcerer Kaschej the Immortal and his demons with the help of the magical firebird. Davies’ piano four-hands version of The Firebird retains these complexities and colorful tonalities but strips away the dense orchestral timbres, creating a clearer aural path to the essence of Stravinsky’s great composition.

The program will also include shorter solo and four hands works by Philip Glass, Marc Raibel, Laurie Anderson, Hania Rani, and Kurt Schwertsik. Each work will be accompanied by visualized elaborated analysis of frequency spectrum, dynamics, and timings by Austrian artist Cori O’Lan.

Karen Power

The Nature of Music: Karen Power
April 12, 2022 @ The David Brower Center, Berkeley

Karen Power (born 1977) is a composer whose work spans compositions for orchestras, to sound installations. She is known for incorporating everyday sounds into her works. Karen’s compositions utilize two primary sources; acoustic instruments and everyday sounds, spaces and soundscapes. Her output is diverse – both in its approach and delivery – and her primary aim is to capture and translate the essence of an idea through any artistic means necessary. For example, recent projects have been presented as orchestral works, sonic installations, chamber music, collaborations between sound and dance, image and experimental film, free improvisations and musical happenings.

Everyday environments and how we hear everyday sounds lies at the core of Karen Power’s practice with a continued interest in blurring the distinction between what most of us call ‘music’ and all other sound. She has found inspiration in the natural world and how we respond to spaces we occupy. She continually utilizes our inherent familiarity with such sounds and spaces as a means of engaging with audiences. Resulting works challenge the listeners memory of hearing while simultaneously shifting focus and presenting new contexts for such sounds. Karen’s current practice revolves around her development of aural scores + parts as alternate methods of communication with performers.

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