This page is under construction. Below are programs of Seventh Species composer concerts going back to 1990.
the critically acclaimed composers collective, founded 1990 in San Francisco by Gary Noland
Classic Pianos Recital Room
3003 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97202-2426
Saturday, 2:00 PM, May 26th, 2007
Featured Guest Composer
General Admission: $10.00
As the longest running independent concert series in Oregon that focuses primarily on presentations of original works by local and regional composers, Seventh Species has proved to be an important venue for showcasing productions of the region’s most gifted and creative musical minds. Mr. Noland has modeled this composers’ collective after similar groups that emerged in Boston in the 1980s (where and during which he served time as a graduate student and became an active member of the Harvard Resistance Movement). Thus Seventh Species is an invaluable cultural institution insofar as it has perpetuated music as a living (read: not dead) art form. Seventh Species has also contributed (however modestly) towards reversing the universally held misperception—by those unfamiliar with this charming (albeit provincial) state (which is elsewhere regarded as the “Appalachia of the West”)—that Oregon is a cultural backwater. Seventh Species has thus lent a humble hand in putting this state “on the map” as a musically robust, inventive, even relevant, region and has, quite possibly, raised the eyebrows of a few skeptics operating in more rigorous music-making environments on the East Coast and elsewhere who wouldn’t otherwise give a tinker’s cuss what goes on in Oregon (besides which, why should they if the natives don’t?). Mr. Noland founded Seventh Species in San Francisco in 1990 and brought the series to Eugene in 1994. For many years Seventh Species featured new music concerts at a wide variety of venues up and down the Willamette Valley (including colleges, universities, churches, community centers, outdoor plazas, night clubs, and so on). On several occasions Seventh Species presented concerts under the auspices of new music festivals sponsored by the University of Oregon (notably the Music Today Festival and the Millennium Festival), as well as the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI). Shortly after moving to Portland in 2005, Mr. Noland &c. began featuring Seventh Species concerts in the Portland area. In addition to its mission of featuring new works by breathing composers, Seventh Species has maintained a tradition of sponsoring performances of works by established twentieth century masters, thereby lending a broader—and deeper—perspective on the newer works presented. Seventh Species occasionally invites composer/performers from other regions of the West Coast to participate on its concerts. The celebrated Bay Area composer Guillermo Galindo is the featured guest artist on this afternoon’s program.
1. Christopher Wicks (1975-) Sonata No. 3 for Viola and Piano (2006)
Eadie Anelli, viola
Christopher Wicks, piano
Eadie Anelli holds a BA in Viola Performance from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. She has toured to such places as New York City and Australia with the San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra, and now plays in the Salem Chamber Orchestra. She is a veteran of the California new music ensemble Xindigo.
Christopher Wicks holds a BA in Music from Marylhurst University, a M.Mus. in Composition from the University of Montreal, and a M.Mus. in Organ from the University of Oregon. He has attained recognition for his work in competitions both national and international, and his music has been performed in eleven American states, four European countries, Canada and South Korea.
2. Jackie T. Gabel (1949-) Beware the Ides of March (2000) Wayne Haythorn, narrator
a narrative/musical interpretation Don Kern, narrator
(with an electronic soundtrack)
of excerpts from Julius Caesar
by William Shakespeare
Jack Gabel has written numerous concert hall works for many different combinations of instruments and voices, with and without electroacoustic accompaniments and/or enhancements. He also creates mixed-media works alone and with collaborators, using musique concrete and poetry, frequently his own, some of which has been published apart from its use in contemporary performance pieces and more traditional settings for singers. Though classically trained with composers Derek Healey, Tomas Svoboda and poet Ralph Salisbury, Gabel recounts as his most memorable musical experience, the impromptu jam session he had with an Afghan tribesman in a Herat tea house in 1972 —the composer on mouth organ and the local talent holding forth on his handmade, rough-hewn, 3-string lute. The two miraculously found a common modality straight away and carried on for several hours. "No concert-hall premiere or recording session can to date compare," adds the composer, "nor likely ever will."
3. Kurt Weill (1900-1950) Six Songs from “Threepenny Opera” Christopher Schindler, piano
I. Barbara Song
II. Jenny the Piratess
III. Ballade of the Pleasant Life
IV. Love Song
V. Ballade of the Pimp
VI. Cannon Song
Christopher Schindler performs a wide variety of standard classical and contemporary music in solo and chamber music settings. As a soloist with orchestra, he has presented concertos of Bartok, Shostakovich, and Gershwin as well as those of Mozart, Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff. Schindler was a finalist in the Villa-Lobos Piano Competition in Rio de Janeiro and performed Liszt’s Dante Sonata in Bellagio, Italy in a solo recital sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. He was pianist for Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Rhapsody in Blue and appeared last year in a two-piano production of My Fair Lady produced jointly by Portland Center Stage and the Dallas Theater Center. He released a CD, Anthology: Early Live Performances, with music of Bach, Mozart, Schoenberg, and Schubert. Christopher Schindler lives in Portland, Oregon and teaches piano in his private studio.
4. Jeff Winslow (1954-) I. Little Elegy (2002—Elinor Wylie) Nancy Wood, mezzo-soprano
II. Alone on the Prairie Jeff Winslow, piano
translation by the composer)
Jeff Winslow was born into a musical family in Salem, Oregon in 1954. Twin discoveries, of Debussy and Mahler, inspired his first serious efforts at composition. However, four things conspired to send him to the University of California at Berkeley as an electronics engineering student: Middling performance chops, a disinclination for teaching, the harmonic monotony of most popular music, and spiky academic serialism. While at Berkeley, he studied theory and composition with Joaquin Nin-Culmell, Edwin Dugger, Michael Senturia, and Richard Felciano. After years of drifting in various style doldrums, the art music scene burst wide open in the 80's. With characteristic procrastination, Jeff embraced the invitation in the 90's, and started composing again. Years were lost, but not the dedication to piquant harmony, elegant line, and fluid rhythm. Local performances include "Agnus Dei", written for the a cappella group Cantabile, songs at a Fear No Music benefit, songs performed by Cherry Blossom Musical Arts in Eugene, and several performances with Seventh Species.
Little Elegy (2002 - Elinor Wylie)
No rose can grow;
No leaf be green
If never seen
Your sweetest face;
No bird have grace
Or power to sing
Be kind, or fair,
And you nowhere.
The poem is deceptively simple, evoking a feeling of mourning merely by prefacing a series of lively images with the word "no". In the music as in the poem, the resulting rich emotional turmoil nearly bursts through the crepe curtain. A quote from Ravel's "Le Gibet" arises naturally out of the piano. Bernard Rands has said nice things about this song. A nameless adjudicator in a contest savaged its "poor use of harmonic resources". You be the judge.
Alone on the Prairie (1993 - translation by the composer; original follows)
Lying still and low in the tall green grass,
I send my gaze trav'ling away above.
Crickets incessantly creak and creak around me,
Heaven weaves the bluest spell around me.
Cloud after radiant cloud drifts along
Through all the blue, silent dream on dream...
And I imagine I have long been dead,
Blessed, and sail the Infinite among them.
Feldeinsamkeit (Hermann Allmers)
Ich ruhe still im hohen grünen Gras
Und sende lange meinen Blick nach oben,
Von Grillen rings umschwirrt ohn' Unterlaß,
Von Himmelbläue wundersam umwoben.
Die schönen weissen Wolken zieh'n dahin
Durchs tiefe Blau, wie schöne stille Träume,
Mir ist, als ob ich längst gestorben bin,
Und ziehe selig mit durch ew'ge Räume.
An homage to Brahms, in the form of a remake of his well-known song "Feldeinsamkeit". I especially admire his evocation of the mood of the poem, his subtly drawn crickets, and his gradual disintegration of the earth-solid tonal stability at the beginning of each verse. I hope my admiration is obvious from the results. The ecstasy of the final line is that of a person who is not quite sane.
5. Gary Noland (1957-) I Dare Not Ask a Kiss (1978)
(poem by Robert Herrick)
Nancy Wood, mezzo-soprano
Paul Safar, piano
Gary Noland, founder and director of Seventh Species, has been called “the composer to end all composers” (American Record Guide). His music is widely reviewed and has received ecstatic praise from some of the leading composers and musicians of the 20th century. His music has been heard throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Australia, and Japan. Numerous radio programs have featured his compositions and he has had several shows devoted exclusively to his music. Upcoming performances include an excerpt from his comic book opera Café Ritardando by Opera Vista in Houston. Six CDs of his compositions have been released by North Pacific Music and are available for purchase at this event.
6. Guillermo Galindo (1960-) Imutation five (2006-7)
for live interactive electronics
and field recording manipulation
Guillermo Galindo, electronics
The i-mutation series is a series of controlled improvisations, modular computer interactive pieces in which the changing interaction between the performer and the computer through time defines the actual form of the piece. All i-mutation pieces are interchangeable with one another. Each piece has some pre-determined parameters and leaves other parameters open to the performer to manipulate. All i-mutation pieces eventually become cells of more complex organisms and eventually become larger pieces. Each piece explores different modes of live interaction and approaches the manipulation of diverse musical parameters. In this case, the piece i-mutation 5 is based on the emission of sine waves tuned unconventionally and coming from different spatial directions in a continuum from the beginning to the end of the piece. The piece consists of the fabrication of different tone colors and timbral textures that are at times combined and tuned against pre-recorded field recording material.
Guillermo Galindo’s artistic work spans a wide spectrum of expression from symphonic composition to the domains of musical and visual computer interaction, electro-acoustic music, opera, film music, instrument building, three dimensional installation, live performance and sound design. His music has been performed and shown at major festivals and art exhibits throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
As an active member of Pocha Nostra, an international performance troupe based in San Francisco and founded by Guillermo Gomez Peña, Galindo’s most recent work has focused on music and sound as archetype, performance ritual, live audience interaction, the creation of cyber-totemic sonic objects; and the conception of site specific sonic environments.
Galindo’s orchestral works include two symphonies: “Ome Acatl”, (1997)based on the proportions and symbols of the Aztec Calendar, premiered by the OFUNAM Mexican National University Philharmonic Orchestra and “Trade Routes” (2005) for orchestra, spoken word and chorus, with text and spoken word by San Francisco Poet Laureate devorah major, commissioned and performed by the Oakland East Bay Symphony Orchestra and chorus.
His chamber and solo electro-acoustic works include “Haiku II” (for flute and recorded ambience) with text by Michael McClure which opened the first series of Latin American experimental music in the US at the The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Redcat Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles 2003 and was chosen among 150 compositions of all over the world to be performed at the World Music Days at the Miami ISCM Chapter (2006); “Post Colonial Dicontinuum” (2006) for chamber orchestra and his “cybertotemic®” sonic object “MAIZ” commissioned by the Earplay Ensamble, premiered at the Hearbst Theater during the San Francisco International Arts Festival 2006 “Post Colonial Discontinuum” was later performed as part of the inauguration performance series at the new DeYoungMuseum in San Francisco, California.
In the field of opera Galindo has written two major works: Califas 2000 with text and performance art by MacArthur Fellow Guillermo Gomez Peña; and “Decreation/Fight Cherries” with libretto by MacArthur Fellow Anne Carson. He has scored numerous films and contemporary dance pieces. From 1992 to 2004, Galindo acted as a resident composer for the San Francisco based Asian American Dance Performances Unbound Spirit Dance Company.
His latest performance pieces explore the meaning of sound through live performance and cyber-totemic sonic objects in works such as “Cruise4ide” and “TRES” in which he experiments with cultural genetic engineering and sonic symbolism through highly elaborated hybrid “hyper-folkloric@” rituals. His 3D environment piece, “live/en vivo”, converts the space into a virtual sanctuary that transforms the movements of an ant colony into live sounds and images through a computerized microscope.
In regard to community interactivity, sound spatialization and the creative use of physical and time space Galindo’s current works include; Transmission Series, a series of pieces focused on the transmission of culture through the information media of sound and radio in collaboration with composer Chris Brown; Glance, an interactive sound and video installation in collaboration with Gustavo Vazquez commissioned by the ISEA/Zero One international science and art festival; and “DIVOX” a multi channel audio piece installation written for the “Oasis Sonoro” project which included twelve 2 hour pieces to be played 24/7 at the Bellas Artes concert hall esplanade in Mexico City.
Some awards granted to Guillermo Galindo include:
ISEA Zero/One GLANCE installation commission, 2006, Meet the Composer Earplay Ensemble commissioning grant 2005, Sistema Nacional de Creadores Composition Grant, Mexico City 2005-2008, Oakland East Bay Symphony Orchestral Commission “Words and Music Project” Oakland, CA, 2004; Creative Work Fund Media Arts Grant, San Francisco, CA 2003; California Arts Council Composers Fellowship 2000; American Composers Forum Continental Harmony Grant 1999; Residency for Composition at the Bannff Center for the Arts, Canada 1999; the ASCAP Special Awards 1995-06.
7. Jeff Winslow (1954-) Epigraph (2006) Nancy Wood, mezzo-soprano
(found on a wall in Sumatra Jeff Winslow, piano
a few days after 12/26/04)
(found on a wall in Sumatra a few days after 12/26/04)
As you were playing in the sea without a care, you were taken.
We did not know that you had come into this world to be part of a tsunami.
Waves, why have you taken away my children?
A small song inspired by a tremendous event - the 2004 super-earthquake and tsunami in the East Indian Ocean. A mother paces the beach on a calm, sunny tropical day, while the ocean laps lazily nearby. It gives no sign, betrays no concern over the horror it unleashed on her people just a few days before. At least, not at first.
The text was reported in the March 2005 issue of Habitat World, a publication of Habitat for Humanity.
8. Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Nun seh’ ich wohl (1901) Nancy Wood, mezzo-soprano
(text by Rückert) Jeff Winslow, piano
Nun seh' ich wohl (Mahler, text by Rückert) (1901)
Nun seh' ich wohl, warum so dunkle Flammen
Ihr sprühtet mir in manchem Augenblicke, O Augen!
Gleichsam, um voll in einem Blicke zu drägen eure ganze Macht zusammen.
Doch ahnt' ich nicht, weil Nebel mich umschwammen,
Gewoben vom verblendeden Geschikke,
Daß sich der Strahl bereits zur Heimkehr schicke,
Dorthin von wannen alle Strahlen stammen.
Ihr wolltet mir mit eurem Leuchten sagen:
Wir möchten nah dir bleiben gerne!
Doch ist uns das vom Schicksal abgeschlagen.
Sieh' uns nur an, denn bald sind wir dir ferne!
Was dir nur Augen sind in diesen Tagen,
In künft'gen Nächten sind es dir nur Sterne.
From the four-hankie set "Songs on the Death of Children", the lyrics of this song are obsessed with the lights of the children's eyes and their premature transformation, through mysterious and implacable Fate, into the magnificent stars of the night sky. Composed at the dawn of the 20th century, its scattered, pungent and yet poignant dissonances may distract you from noticing its musical connection to my own song Epigraph.—JW
9. Paul Safar (1969-) Star Nancy Wood, mezzo-soprano
Nancy Wood (1964-) (lyrics by Nancy Wood) Paul Safar, piano
Paul Safar composes in a wide variety of styles. He has produced five CDs of original music, from folk to classical to jazz. His choir pieces have been performed in Seattle and Eugene and his chamber music in New York City’s CAMI Hall. In 1995, Paul had an original folk opera entitled Chenoa performed in Greenville, Ohio. Together with Nancy Wood, he wrote the original children’s musical Nisse’s Dream, which they produced at the Lord Leebrick Theater in Eugene, OR in August 2005. Recently, they have produced concerts of new music featuring new works by Northwest composers and performance artists, including new works of Paul’s. In addition to his work with Nancy, Paul teaches piano and composition and performs four hands piano with Ben Farrell. Paul is a member of BMI and the American Music Center.
Nancy Wood has an eclectic background in music, dance and theater, with a B.A. in English. As a vocalist and lyricist, she has led her own jazz quartet, and writes and performs original music with Paul Safar. She wrote the book for their musical Nisse’s Dream, and with Paul, co-wrote the lyrics. Together they also recorded the song cycle Dream A Story, with Paul’s music and Nancy’s words. She has also choreographed three performance pieces set to Paul’s music, the most recent being a performance poetry piece September 11 which was included in the multi-disciplinary concert Visual Music 2006. Nancy has enjoyed working with Paul, exploring the possibilities of vocal harmony, as well as creating new works that combine elements of music, word, dance and theater. Nancy is a member of BMI, The Dramatist’s Guild, and the International Dance Council.
Paul and Nancy are also the founders and directors of Cherry Blossom Musical Arts, a non-profit dedicated to the creation and performance of original multi-disciplinary performance pieces, as well as the managers of four children, ages 5-12.
10. Gary Noland (1957-) * Café Ritardando Op. 89 Gary Noland, piano, voice
a Comic Book Opera—excerpt Jack Gabel, voice
Guillermo Galindo, voice
Paul Safar, voice
Jeff Winslow, voice, percussion
Nancy Wood, voice
* Parental Advisory: Some of the language and subject matter in this piece might be considered unsuitable for children.
Café Ritardando is a patchwork of images dating back as far as 1970, when I was a strapping young buck of thirteen. Much of its content initially appeared in an entirely different form from what it is at present. I have expurgated all of the original text (which I’d composed as an adolescent) and re-arranged the panels and images into a Frankenstein-like collage. Thus the “libretto” is of relatively recent vintage.
I call this work an “opera,” notwithstanding that it is notated in the form of an underground comic book. Although I have proposed a sequential order to the drawings and text, I have left out page numbers so as to enable the work to be played in alternative consecutions. Nevertheless, it is the function of musicians, actors, lighting engineers, dancers, stage directors, conductors, prop artists, etc. to exhibit a “method” to their “madness” apropos the interpretation of this work.
The dialogue may be narrated, sung, or expressed by means of Sprechstimme and/or Sprechmelodie, or it may be expressed thru various combinations thereof. The text may be rendered in small fragments or in large segments. It is neither necessary nor desirable for each performer to recite all of the text on a given page. Instead, there may be a “dialogue” between singers and musicians involving indeterminate degrees of repetition, textual overlapping, hocket techniques, and responsorial recitations to create the effect of a declamatory collage. These “chance comix” are an abstract form of notation calculated to elicit an extemporized response from each singer and player. Suffice it to say that the successful rendition of this work depends almost entirely on the imaginative talents of its interpreters. Performers may—but are not mandated to—extemporize simultaneously from a given page. Or, if they prefer, they may extemporize from several different pages at the same time.
Café Ritardando is a “liquid” piece (that is, in a constant state of flux), as its narrative continuously shifts in and out of focus. The text may be recited forwards, backwards, from the center outwards, and so on.
The pictures themselves may be interpreted by any number of players, with no limitations as to the types of instruments employed. Although the composer prefers the interpreters to be imaginative musicians with cultivated tastes and a penchant for free improvisation, no stylistic or aesthetic biases are indicated. The only “rule” set forth by the composer is that the singers and players respond musically to the text and images. There are no durational restrictions, nor any requirement that the full opera be presented in one sitting. The conventionally notated segments are to be played precisely as written. The instrumentation, which is often unspecified, may be varied according to whatever is deemed appropriate for a given context.
“Often challenging, frequently whimsical and consistently intriguing, this novel combination of performance elements simultaneously offers entertainment and food for thought.”—Berkeley Voice
“Two and a half hours’ worth of Hell … I don’t think it’s that bad a bargain … after all, these musicians actually went to school for years to torment us at this level of proficiency.”—David Rochester
“… Cutting edge … The … concert series is one I heartily embrace: It provides a vital environment for new music … A splendid launch of an important new music series.…”—Fred Crafts, KUGN’s Critic-at-Large of KUGN Newstalk 590, Eugene Oregon.
“… one of the major new music events of the year.”—Brett Campbell, the Eugene Weekly.
“… the music … ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous….”—James McQuillen, The Oregonian
“… a promising and provocative new composers' collective...eclectic and widely varied....”—East Bay Express
“… for the musically adventurous…”—Willamette Week
This event would not be able to happen without the generosity of Classic Pianos, which has donated the use of its new recital room and piano(s). Special thanks to Peggy Zackery for being so accommodating and helpful.
Seventh Species would also like to thank Jack Gabel for donating his services as a recording enginee