Daniel Lentz: On the Leopard Altar


Daniel Lentz

On the Leopard Altar

  1. Is It Love? (9:04)

  2. Lascaux (9:21)

  3. On The Leopard Altar (5:19)

  4. Wolf Is Dead (10:05)

  5. Requiem (2:27)

Voices: Jessica Lowe, Paul MacKey, Susan James, Dennis Parnell

Keyboards: Brad Ellis, David Kuehn, Arlene Dunlap, Daniel Lentz

Wineglasses: Brad Ellis, David Kuehn, Arlene Dunlap, Jessica Lowe, Susan James

On the Leopard Altar, with its multiple vocal, keyboard and wineglass parts, haunting neo-romantic melodies, and unusual additive and subtractive structures, is a remarkable collection.

Lentz's music inhabits what he terms a musical "state of becoming," where both new and reappearing musical and textual fragments are fused through complex layering processes. However, the real basis of his seductive music may be the dreamy impressionism of Debussy and the lyrical voice and keyboard interaction of Schubert's lieder.

--John Schaefer, WNYC, New Sounds

The form and flow of Is It Love? is determined by a subtractive text/lyric process. The voices begin each line with the nearly simultaneous sounding of all the phonemes of all of the words. As the work progresses, phonemes and notes are taken away until a finished line emerges.

Lascaux is scored for wineglasses, sixteen of which are rubbed and nine of which are struck. Other than reverb, no effects have been added to the natural sounds of the glasses.

On the Leopard Altar consists of six songs, each of which is heard alone and in combination with those that preceded it. Each text line makes its own kind of sense, which will change when combined with other lines from which phonemes are borrowed in order to make different words and new lines.

In Wolf Is Dead each line of text is joined by a phonetic link to the line following it, creating a word chain (e.g., "you died" overlapping "you did"). This concept is the basis for the musical structure as well, with each chord overlapping and fusing with the one following it.

Requiem attempts to capture the experience of hearing a lone singer in a large, empty cathedral. While this occurs, and from an entirely different space, one hears big, resonant "church bells" producing an array of overtones that seem to form melodies of their own.


Produced by Yale Evelev.

Recorded and mixed by Daniel Protheroe, Santa Barbara Sound, February 1984.

Moog synthesizer programming by Daniel Lentz.

Thanks to Leslie Gill, Kip Hanrahan, and Dan and Lil.

CD mastered by Kevin Gray, Acoustech Mastering, Camarillo, CA.

Design by Jim Fox.

Cover photo © Mark Kostich. Used by permission.

All other photos © Philip Baird/www.anthroarcheart.org.

All words and music by Daniel Lentz (Lentz Music, BMI), except for

On the Leopard Altar, which has words by Daniel Lentz and Jessica Lowe, and Requiem, which uses text from the Latin Mass.

This recording was released on vinyl by ICON Records in 1984.

Cold Blue Music thanks Yale Evelev for his kind support of this CD.

©& P 1984 ICON Records. © 2005 Cold Blue Music. All rights reserved.

Cold Blue Music, P.O. Box 2938, Venice, CA 90294-2938