Tonight (April 22) and tomorrow night at 8:30 pm, REDCAT presents two evenings of music either composed or inspired by experimental music master Christian Wolff. A number of the works on both programs will be performed by alumni and faculty of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts.
This evening’s program includes works performed by the Formalist Quartet, which features two members of the faculty, violinist/violist Mark Menzies and violinist Andrew Tholl (Music DMA 12, MFA 08) , and two alums, violinist/violist
Wolff pays tribute to the late avant-garde composer Elliott Carter in one of the pieces, For E.C.(2003); another work, Lullaby 3 by composer Nick Deyoe, written in the spirit of Wolff’s style, has its world premiere tonight. Cellist and faculty member Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick joins the Formalist Quartet for the debut of Deyoe’s piece.
Tomorrow, composer Michael Pisaro, co-chair of the CalArts Composition Program, curates a lineup of both early and recent Wolff compositions. Calling on expert performers of Wolff’s music in the local community, the program includes Wolff’s Changing the System, which balances politics and indeterminacy.
Pisaro describes Wolff’s music in a recent email:
It is not a specialist music: It is addressed to every potential performer and every potential listener. This I believe is what leads to the profound anti-hierarchical character of the scores, and thus also the political nature of his music.
Wolff has been at the center of the experimental music scene for 60 years. He has worked alongside composers John Cage and Morton Feldman, choreographer Merce Cunningham and pianist David Tudor to create his brand of “indeterminate music.”
He received an honorary doctorate from CalArts in 2004.
The full programs are listed below:
Monday, April 22, 8:30 pm
All works by Wolff unless noted:
- Summer (1961) for string quartet
- For E.C. (2003) for string quartet
- For 2 violinists, violist and cellist (2008)
- Lines (1972) for string quartet
- Nicholas Deyoe: Lullaby 3, world premiere with Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, cello
Tuesday, April 23, 8:30 pm
All works by Wolff:
- You Blew It (from the Prose Collection) (1971)
- John Heartfield (Peace March 10), section 4 (2003)
- Trio V for James Tenney (2006), faculty Vicki Ray and Danny Holt (Music MFA 06), piano four hands and percussion
- Fall III (2000) (12 percussion), CalArts Percussion Ensemble; faculty David Johnson, director
- For 1, 2 or 3 People (1964), faculty Michael Jon Fink, electric guitar; Brian Walsh (Music MFA 08), clarinet; Andrea Young (Music DMA 15), voice with electronics
- Changing the System (1973–74), Casey Anderson (Music MFA 09), alto saxophone; Matt Barbier (Music MFA 10), trombone; Eric KM Clark (Music MFA 06), violin; James Klopfleisch(Music MFA 10), contrabass; faculty Kathryn Pisaro, oboe; Cassia Streb, viola (Music MFA 06); Christine Tavolacci (Music BFA 06), flute
Below is Wolff’s Exercise 3 (1973/74) for two or more players and variable instrumentation: