Michael Byron: Dreamers of Pearl

Dreaming of Virtuosity
Breathless. Difficult. Obsessive. Audacious. Abstract. Shimmering. Extreme. . . . 
Such adjectives come to mind when I consider the impact of Michael Byron’s latest composition for solo
piano. Byron has been writing piano music for more than thirty years (having produced twelve solo or
multiple-keyboard pieces to date), but if we compare his earliest modest effort for solo piano, Song of the
Lifting Up of the Head (1972) with his most recent achievement recorded here, Dreamers of Pearl (2004–
05), we might be perplexed by the differences in scope, scale, material, complexity, and technical demands.
The pieces have in common a sensitivity for the sound of the piano, a sensibility of extended
playing/listening, and a sustained attention toward repetition through seemingly unsystematic processes that
gradually transform what we hear. Both pieces create situations demanding a great deal of relaxed yet
relentless concentration on the part of the performer and the listener. Indeed, Dreamers of Pearl belongs to
a rare class of recent piano music—monumental compositions of great length, beauty, and depth—all self-
consciously bound to traditional piano genres and their deeply ingrained structures, yet inventive and
thrilling in ways that inspire only a few brave pianists to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to these often
mercilessly difficult pieces. Joseph Kubera, the tremendously gifted pianist for whom Dreamers of Pearl
was written, is one of those brave few. 
Los Angeles, Toronto, New York
Michael Byron was born in 1953 in Chicago, and spent his childhood in Los Angeles where he played
trumpet from second grade on. Briefly, around age six, he had piano lessons with his aunt; he also studied
trumpet with Mario Guarneri of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Byron met the budding percussionist (and
already then new-music fan and record collector) William Winant in junior high school, and they became
lifelong friends. Byron’s musical life in Los Angeles after graduating from high school in 1971 was enriched
by his meeting the composer James Tenney in the autumn of that year. Soon thereafter he met Peter
Garland (another lifelong musical friend), Lou Harrison, William Colvig, Robert Ashley (then at Mills
College), and others active in the West Coast new-music scene. Byron’s subsequent teacher-student
relationship with Tenney in particular, not to mention the personal friendship they shared from 1971 on,
would become one of Byron’s most consequential and enriching musical encounters. 
In addition to these key acquaintances, Byron’s compositional trajectory—what might be characterized in
some circles as a “second-generation West Coast minimalist” (at least in those days)—was shaped specifically
by his association with the early experiments of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). CalArts started
in Burbank in 1970 with the help of Disney family money; the school’s move to Valencia was completed in
the fall of 1972. The radical curriculum constituted nothing less than a pedagogical revolution that was
particularly in tune with the adventurous zeitgeist of California during the early 1970s. Mel Powell and
Morton Subotnick headed the composition and electronic music programs, Bob Brown and Nicholas
England headed the World Music department. Byron’s teachers included both Tenney and Richard
Teitelbaum. In particular, Tenney’s presence brought a focus on new American music neglected by other
university music department curricula at the time (including a class on John Cage allegedly co-taught by
Teitelbaum and Tenney).
Teitelbaum’s time at CalArts ended in June 1972, and he accepted an appointment at the Chicago Art
Institute. A year later, Byron left CalArts with plans to continue his studies with Teitelbaum in Chicago;
instead he found himself in Toronto, Ontario, where Teitelbaum had taken a job at York University, in the
Music Department headed by the Canadian musicologist Austin Clarkson. A lively new-music scene took
root in Toronto and in the nearby town of Maple, where several members of that scene lived. Eventually
Tenney would also arrive to teach at York (and to live in Maple as well), and an avant-garde network grew to
include David Rosenboom and Jacqueline Humbert (both of whom Teitelbaum had urged Byron to seek
out), Cynthia Liddell, George Manupelli, Barbara Mayfield, Larry Polansky, and many others during the
mid-1970s. Byron eventually earned a “B.A. in Arts with Specialized Honors in Music” from York in June,
1975. (Byron’s friend Winant, too, went to Toronto in 1975, where he earned a B.F.A. degree.) After
finishing school Byron taught at York for about two years, and then left permanently for New York City.
There he wrote a variety of loud loosely-scored hardcore art rock/punk/noise works, performed by Byron
with his friend Rhys Chatham, for lower Manhattan’s club scene during the late 1970s and early 1980s. At
the same time he was frequently engaged as a copyist and editor on various projects for La Monte Young,
Robert Ashley, and others, and became involved with new ventures like The Kitchen, where, in 1980, his
chamber piece Tidal was performed with the composer Julius Eastman conducting (Tidal was originally
issued as an LP on Glenn Branca’s Neutral Records and recently re-released on Cold Blue Records). Byron
has lived in the New York City area ever since.
“We Had No Money, We Just Had an Idea”1: Composers Inside Publishing
Byron’s generation of American experimentalists, and many older composers in their network (Philip
Corner [b. 1933], Eric Richards [b. 1935], Daniel Goode [b. 1936], Malcolm Goldstein [b. 1936], David
Mahler [b. 1944], Barbara Benary [b. 1946], David Rosenboom [b. 1947], etc.) have not been represented
in any way by mainstream music publishers. As a result, or perhaps in spite of an aura of neglect, many of
them have thrived in the field of self-publishing composers’ collectives, independent distribution, and
independent composers’ performing organizations that decisively support the production of unconventional
and improvisatory new American ensemble music. Historical models like Henry Cowell’s New Music
Society and his related publications (roughly between 1927 and 1958) provided inspiration, as did
composer-organized events, such as the Tenney–Goldstein–Corner Tone Roads concert series (starting in
New York around 1963). From 1967 until 1971, the influential Davis, California–based multi-media
composers’ forum called Source: Music of the Avant-Garde published eleven unique volumes containing
articles, scores, recordings, and interviews by and with composer-performers working in non-academic ways.
Peter Garland started his Soundings Press series in 1971 after attending a publishing workshop with Dick
Higgins at CalArts. Kenneth Gaburo founded Lingua Press in 1974. Later followed the composer-driven
collective Frog Peak Music (founded by Jody Diamond and Larry Polansky), which currently provides a
repository and a publishing/distribution center for dozens of independent and experimental composer-
performers in this network. It is worth noting, however, that though Byron is an active member of the Frog
Peak collective, he frequently prints, copies, binds, and distributes his music himself, and at his own
 Byron, interview with Rebecca Stuhlbarg, on Santa Cruz (CA) public radio KUSP, April 23, 2006.
In the spirit of these initiatives mentioned above, Byron himself produced three historically significant
publications during the mid-1970s: Pieces: An Anthology (1975–76); Pieces: A Second Anthology (1976);
and Pieces 3 (1977). The first soft-cover edition of Pieces: An Anthology was financed in part by York
University (with support from Austin Clarkson); the hardcover second edition of the first Pieces volume was
published by the Aesthetic Research Centre (A.R.C.) in Vancouver, Canada, which had been founded by
instrument builder/musical sculptor (and A.R.C. chief editor) John Grayson, whom Byron and Peter
Garland sought out, at the suggestion of Lou Harrison, in Vancouver in the summer of 1972.2 Byron
privately financed all other editions. It is notable that these publications appeared at the same time as the
German composer Walter Zimmermann’s unprecedented interview collection called Desert Plants:
Conversations with 23 American Musicians, also published by the A.R.C. in 1976.3
The first Pieces anthology documents a body of post-minimalist process pieces, and new works and writings
by Marion Brown, Harold Budd, Byron (his Music for Every Night for four rattles and four marimbas),
Peter Garland, John Grayson, David Mahler, Tom Nixon, David Rosenboom, Frederic Rzewski (including
his essay “Private or Collective?”), Teitelbaum (a shakuhachi piece employing shakuhachi notation),
Tenney (including his Three Pieces for Drum Quartet and the Spectral Canon for Conlon Nancarrow for
harmonic player piano), and Stephan von Huene (then acting dean at CalArts). The second Pieces, in
which Byron gave special thanks to Harrison and Colvig, included works by Charles Amirkhanian, Robert
Ashley (a lecture written for a symposium in Rome), Marion Brown, Byron (his Entrances for David
Rosenboom; and Song of the Lifting Up of the Head, dedicated to Peter Garland, 1972), Harold Budd,
Philip Corner (non-traditional gamelan pieces), David Behrman (Cello With Melody-Driven Electronics),
Lou Harrison (the previously-unpublished fifty-six page handwritten full score of his Pacifika Rondo “for an
orchestra of Western and oriental instruments” of 1963), Daniel Lentz, David Mahler, Thomas Miller,
David Reck, Rosenboom, and Tenney’s Chorales for Orchestra.
The preface to Pieces 3 admitted the ambition of its editor but also revealed that the series was in trouble.
“I intend to do all that is possible to continue publishing PIECES on a more regular basis,” Byron wrote.
He continued:
Much will depend on increased funding and book sales, but if as I very much hope, this
materializes, I will attempt to publish at least two issues each year. Efforts are being made
to find some channel for the International distribution of PIECES. To date these have
been unsuccessful; a response from anyone with ideas concerning this would be very
 According to a description printed in the first Pieces anthology, the A.R.C. was “an incorporated, non-profit organization
dedicated to innovative research and development in the areas of art, human development, and the extended nature of man.”
(Pieces: An Anthology [Vancouver: A.R.C. Publications, 1976]: 176.) At the time of the appearance of the first Pieces,
A.R.C. had published collections and recordings related to sound sculpture, biofeedback and the arts, “environments of
musical sculpture,” and brainwave music. 
In the front matter of the first Pieces, a blurb labeled “About the Editor” reports that Byron was at the time the editor
and publisher of Pieces Profile Series (a planned series of publications focusing on individual composers—though Byron
actually produced just one, in 1975, called From Wheelock Mountain: Music and Writings of Malcolm Goldstein)—and was
also the editor of the Journal of Experimental Aesthetics, a serial publication launched by the A.R.C. in 1974.
 The only composers who overlapped in both Byron’s three Pieces anthologies and Zimmermann’s Desert Plants were
Robert Ashley, Philip Corner, Alvin Lucier, David Rosenboom, Frederic Rzewski, Richard Teitelbaum, and James Tenney.
During his research for Desert Plants Zimmermann stayed in Maple, Ontario, with Byron and David Rosenboom. They
consequently put him in touch with John Grayson at the A.R.C., which published the first print run of Desert Plants.
The third—and, indeed, final—Pieces volume included works by Byron (his massive A Living Room at the
Bottom of a Lake), Philip Corner (more gamelan and percussion pieces), Alvin Curran (selections from his
48-piece collection called Music for Every Occasion), Paul Dresher, Peter Garland (including his review
essay titled “The Experimental Music Catalogue”), Malcolm Goldstein, Daniel Goode, Dick Higgins, Alvin
Lucier (Music on a Long Thin Wire), and Tom Nixon. 
All three Pieces volumes emphasized a dedication to living composers, to diversity in sound sources, and to
a wide variety of experimental and idiosyncratic methods of notation. Byron’s respect for and devotion to
the music of his peers is evident in the dedications of these volumes: The first, “Dedicated, warmly, to the
composers whose music and ideas appear in this volume”; and the second, “my personal association with
the composers whose work appears here has been a constant source of inspiration and energy.” His
compositions, too, were (and are) often dedicated to his peers and mentors like Rosenboom and Tenney,
and later others, including Harold Budd, Louis Goldstein, Eric Richards, and Richard Teitelbaum. 
Byron’s Sound World
To date, Byron has composed some forty-seven works for percussion, keyboard, solo instruments, chamber
groups and various mixed ensembles.4 The biographical paragraph he included in the front matter of the
first Pieces anthology described him as “a composer-performer whose recent work involves the application
of open and predesigned forms to both formalized and ‘real-time’ composition.” His “early” music
(approximately 1972-82) could be seen as belonging to a tradition of pieces that explore gradual processes,
and focus to a large degree on percussion, repetition, extended forms, and other characteristics generally
associated with “minimalism.” Indeed he has admitted that he “was associated very closely with that
movement of reduced resources,” and that he felt that reducing sound resources offered compositional
opportunities “too beautiful to pass up.”5 His later works (1995 to the present) retain some techniques
traceable to classic minimalism, but demonstrate a more complex treatment of rhythmic and modal
modulation, as well as richer contrapuntal textures. 
Some early works like Starfields (1974), for two pianists, focus on clusters and an increasing density of
events within one-second timeframes, becoming very thick at the end. One year later Byron composed
Entrances for the composer-pianist David Rosenboom (the piece was revised in a realization for four pianos
in 2000). The solo piano score represents a spatial idea of lengthening phrases, and the material expresses
mathematical principles (the Gaussian distribution function, for example), proportional relationships
between tempi and the amount of notes played, and “expanding and contracting pitch sets” (as it was
explained in a Mills College concert program). The piece’s instructions are symptomatic of his approach, as
they allow some freedom within an integrated methodical process:
Rhythm corresponds to the density of the work as it changes throughout the performance.
The tempo at which pitches are sequenced bears a direct relationship proportional to the
number of pitches played simultaneously. The duration between pitches should increase
and decrease proportionally with the number of pitches played simultaneously.
 A few of these works, however, contain many internal works, such as 156 Pieces for String Instruments (1979), 200 Pieces
for Keyboard Instruments (1980), and Eighty Pieces for String Instruments (1995–96). 
 Byron, interview with Rebecca Stuhlbarg, on Santa Cruz (CA) public radio KUSP, April 23, 2006. 
Byron’s Piano “for John Cage” (1977), written on the occasion of Cage’s sixty-fifth birthday (the two
composers had met one year earlier), consists mostly of chords that dissolve into arpeggios over time.
Typical of many of his early gradual process pieces (like Music for Every Night), the piece has no meter or
rhythm, and each bar is one second long (as in Starfields). Piano presents an element of consistency in
terms of motion and dynamic level (loud throughout). Also from 1977, Byron’s large process piece A
Living Room at the Bottom of a Lake is described in the skeletal open score as “improvisational,” as “the
work’s eventual shape will depend on each improviser’s musical judgment.” This ensemble piece, which
seeks “maximum variation within the fabric,” contrasts the colors of keyboards-plus-mallet percussion
against “sustaining instruments.” Here, the pitches within each ten-second measure are “sequenced quickly
at a tempo of five-to-eight pitches per second”—as in other pieces from this period, Byron wishes for “an
approximate correlation between ‘duration’ and the number of pitches played simultaneously.” He adds
that the general feel of the piece should be “momentum and continuity.” Indeed, momentum and
continuity, forward motion and tenacious consistency, could be viewed as reliable features of nearly all of
his music. Byron’s last composition from this period, called Tidal (1981; revised 2001, dedicated to Richard
Teitelbaum), is a fifteen-minute- long piece for two pianos, synthesizer, and string quintet. The piece is
scored entirely in common meter, but the piece’s texture, not unlike A Living Room at the Bottom of a
Lake, offers a sense of surging: once it gets going, it becomes strong and wave-like, with a fluid and relentless
forward motion. The haunting and hypnotic texture is similar to many of his other works; here the pianos
create cumulative arpeggios, adding one pitch at a time slowly over the duration of the piece, sequencing
them freely. 
Byron’s later works (from the mid-1990s on) include Music for Two Pianos (1995); Continents of City and
Love (2001, for Harold Budd) for two pianos, synthesizer, and string quintet; and his recent piano quintet
Alone in the Treasure Room (2006), which is part of a set of four quintets (in progress) based on rhythmic
and modular principles similar to those presented in Dreamers of Pearl. Byron’s four-hand piano work
Evaporated Pleasure (2001; dedicated to Sarah Cahill and Joseph Kubera)—a work the composer himself
describes as “unforgiving, intense, very difficult to write, very difficult to perform, and very difficult to listen
to”—demonstrates various levels of his recent compositional thinking. In this work, Byron explains, the
keyboard is literally split in half, and “pitch material [is] based on an abstraction of the harmonic and
subharmonic series, with A equaling fifty-five cycles per second, up to the twenty-first partial.” He claims
that this approach is not taken for acoustical reasons, but has the effect of “absolutely dividing the piano
symmetrically,” and creating “a network of asymmetrical surprises.” In this piece as in others, Byron
describes his interest as “not causal relationships but meaningful simultaneities: where those might occur,
and where those silences might occur, according to certain degrees of probability.”6 
Byron’s recent works frequently continue developing ideas he explored during the 1970s: free tremolo;
additive/subtractive arch forms (in addition to dynamic arch forms); cumulative structures that build density
slowly over time; sparse unchanging ideas; measurements in seconds rather than meter; complex,
asymmetrical divisions of the beat; lengthy, sustained, continuous textures; processes that seem to engage a
pattern and then run their course without interruption. Many of these characteristics are crystallized in
Dreamers of Pearl.
 Byron, interview with Rebecca Stuhlbarg, on Santa Cruz (CA) public radio KUSP, April 23, 2006.
Dreamers of Pearl 
Byron originally conceived of Dreamers of Pearl as an approximately twenty-minute solo vehicle for pianist
Joseph Kubera. Since receiving the completed, yet near hour-long (!) score, Kubera has performed the
work in full or in parts some half-dozen times since the Dartmouth College premiere in January 2006.
Remarkably, given the complexity of the work and the idiomatic nature of his keyboard writing, Byron
composes at neither the computer nor at the piano. He has been overheard referring to himself, certainly
ironically, as “the last of the Romantic composers,” yet despite the lyrical (and, one might assume,
programmatic) titles of the three movements, Dreamers of Pearl is a self-contained piece of pure
(“absolute”) music without obvious quotation or extra-musical references. Dreamers makes its case within a
classically-balanced architectural design: three extended “fast-slow-fast” movements of roughly equal length
(263, 199, and 226 measures, respectively). The notation is meticulous, specific, precise. Much of the
work’s texture could be characterized as Baroque, given the perpetual motion of the consistent two-voiced
polyphonic layering—some of it cryptically and distortedly imitative. Byron has described the work as a
“long string of abstract counterpoint operations” in which, according to pianist Kubera, the rhythmic
content of every beat in every measure is “not only asymmetrical, but is different from every other beat.”7
(This is true for the entire piece except for the very end of the last movement.)
The first movement, “Enchanting the Stars,” is scored in 4/4 throughout; the right hand is given a B-flat
major key signature while the left hand has a blank slate. Despite the implied bitonality, the movement
presents a gradual modulation of material, a constant introduction of new pitch fields, and gradual changes
to the rhythmic content. Occasionally, synchronized material between the parts surprises the ear. Repeated
note figures are gradually introduced, and these have the effect of further limiting the material, becoming a
kind of a hocket game between the hands themselves. There are slight, almost imperceptible tempo
changes, as the piece gradually gets a little faster as it goes along. Scalar, arpeggiated, or repeated material
alternate with space, with small gestures and odd flourishes [See Ex. 1]. Neither hand stays in its designated
“key signature,” but continuity is achieved in part through the uniformity of dynamics, articulation, motion,
and an overall feeling of detachedness. A slight accelerando and crescendo hurries toward the end, and the
motion suddenly breaks off, completely unexpectedly.

 Byron, with Joseph Kubera, interview with Rebecca Stuhlbarg, on Santa Cruz (CA) public radio KUSP, 23 April 2006.
To this listener’s ears, the second movement, “A Bird Revealing the Unknown to the Sky,” is a thing of
pure beauty. In contrast to the angular, disjunct, atonal-sounding first movement, the music heard here
seems diatonic/modal, smooth, directional, sustained, intimate, and expressive [See Ex. 2]. 

Periodic half-step modulations (usually heard one measure before a key signature alteration appears in the
score) continually shade the modality in a way that gives the impression of repeatedly viewing a painting or a
landscape under different conditions of light. Throughout the movement, the repetition of certain notes
(though, like birdsong, never repeated precisely), the outlines of chords, reinforce our orientation, our
familiarity with them—and our listening comfort is thus ensured. Accented pitches create a kind of three-
dimensional space where some events seem to appear in an aural foreground. A captivating section in the
middle of the second movement evokes the impression that the fluttering melodic figures, the emphatic
chords, and the arpeggiated grace notes are all different expressions of the same “obsessive image” (in the
composer’s words) [SEE EX. 3].8 The chords drop out after a while and the movement progresses to a final
section of purely ascending motion, striving for a goal of F-natural. 
 Byron uses the phrase “obsessive image” to describe a compositional approach descending from Carl Ruggles and Edgard
Varèse in which “every piece is a further realization of that image,” as opposed to the “radical eclecticism” of Charles Ives,
for example. 

It Is the Night and Dawn of Constellations Irradiated,” the third movement, starts with the same disjunct
two-voice texture of the first movement, but has a more clearly imitative feel. The motives and gestures are
shorter, more arrested [SEE EX. 4]. It seems that this music is gasping for breath, starting and stopping, as if
searching for the next pitch to fill in the sequence, or a cipher to crack the code. 

One of the fascinating aspects of this movement is how that space gets filled until there is no more space,
just notes filling it completely, ascending and descending strings of pitches, relentless in their drive up or
down. [Ex. 5] Careful listeners to Dreamers of Pearl will be rewarded with the mystery and constancy of
Byron’s “obsessive image” by confronting the work’s thematic characters, the gestural languages they speak,
the rhythmic puzzles they solve, and the harmonic landscapes they negotiate. In the end, they conquer that
landscape, as the breathtaking coda to this tour-de-force seems to suggest.
—Amy C. Beal
Amy C. Beal is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She contributed
liner notes for Works for Violin by Antheil, Beyer, Cowell, Dodge, Crawford, Mahler, Polansky, Wolpe
(New World Records 80641) and has recently published a book on the history of American experimental
music in West Germany, New Music, New Allies (University of California Press, 2006).
Michael Byron (b. 1953, Chicago) grew up in Los Angeles. He was a pupil of James Tenney at the newly
created California Institute of the Arts, and later, with Richard Teitelbaum at York University. His music
has been performed and recorded by such noted soloists and ensembles as Sarah Cahill, the FLUX
Quartet, Joseph Kubera, Jenny Lin, Aki Takahashi, and the William Winant Percussion Ensemble. He
taught on the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University, and was editor-publisher of Pieces, a small press
devoted to the increased visibility of exploratory directions in American music.  
Byron is a composer of instrumental music. The formal organization in his scores is meticulously notated,
harmonically rich, and rhythmically intricate. It is also exclusively virtuosic. His furthest effort in this
direction is heard in the one-hour work, Dreamers of Pearl, composed for the pianist Joseph Kubera. He is
the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the
Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council, as well as numerous commissions and residencies. His scores are
available from the composers’ collective Frog Peak Music. Four CDs of his music have been released on
Cold Blue Records, two of which are exclusively devoted to his music.
Pianist Joseph Kubera has been a leading interpreter of contemporary music for the past three decades.
He has been a soloist at such festivals as the Warsaw Autumn, Prague Spring, and Berlin Inventionen
Festival of the DAAD. Michael Byron, Anthony Coleman, David First, Alvin Lucier, Roscoe Mitchell, and
“Blue” Gene Tyranny, among others, have written works for him. A longtime Cage advocate, he has
recorded the Music of Changes and Concert for Piano and Orchestra, and toured with the Cunningham
Dance Company at Cage’s invitation. Mr. Kubera has been awarded grants through the NEA Solo Recitalist
Program and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts.
Mr. Kubera is a core member of S.E.M. Ensemble, the DownTown Ensemble, and Ostravska Banda, and
he has performed with a wide range of New York ensembles and orchestras ranging from Steve Reich and
Musicians to the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He tours with new-music baritone Thomas Buckner, and such
luminaries as Terry Riley and Ingram Marshall have written for his duo-piano team with Sarah Cahill. Mr.
Kubera’s solo playing may be heard on the Wergo, Albany, New Albion, New World, Lovely Music, O.O.
Discs, Mutable Music, Cold Blue, and Opus One labels. His Web site is www.josephkubera.com.
Awakening at the Inn of the Birds. Cold Blue CB 0012.
Elegant Detours. Included on Marty Walker: Dancing on Water. Cold Blue CB 5.
Marimbas in the Dorian Mode. Included on Cold Blue. Cold Blue CB 8.
Music of Nights Without Moon or Pearl. Cold Blue CB 0002.
Byron, Michael, ed. Pieces: An Anthology. Second Edition (revised). Vancouver, Aesthetic Research
Center, 1976. 
___________, ed. Pieces: A Second Anthology. Maple, Ontario (self published by Byron): 1976.
___________, ed. Pieces 3. Self-published by Byron, Ontario, 1977. 
Diamond, Jody, and Larry Polansky. “Experimental Independent Music Publishing in the United States, or:
Beyond Imprimatur” (1992). Unpublished manuscript archived at
Garland, Peter. “The American Experimental Tradition: A Personal Perspective.” In Search of Silvestre
Revueltas: Essays 1978–1990 (Santa Fe: Soundings Press, 1991): 5-16.
Hitchcock, H. Wiley. “Books on America’s Music—Past and Present [on Soundings and Pieces Series],”
Institute for Studies in American Music Newsletter, Vol. VII, No. 1 (November 1977): 8. 
Marshall, Ingram. “New Music at Cal Arts: The First Four Years (1970-74).” In Numus-West 7, Vol. 2, No.
1 (1975): 52–60.
Produced and engineered by Judith Sherman.
Engineering and editing assistant: Jeanne Velonis
Digital mastering: Paul Zinman, SoundByte Productions, Inc.
Recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, on November 14 and 15, 2007.
Design: Jim Fox
Piano by Steinway & Sons.
I am deeply indebted to the extraordinary Joseph Kubera, for whom Dreamers of Pearl was composed. For
his selfless support, I thank my colleague and friend Larry Polansky. My appreciation to the following for all
their help: Amy Beal, Thomas Buckner, Jody Diamond, Ralf Dietrich, Jim Fox, Peter Garland, Tom
Hamilton, Dan Joseph, Ivy Newman, Priscilla Patterson, Eric Richards, Judith Sherman, Paul Tai, and
Jeanne Velonis.  
Dreamers of Pearl is published by the composer.
Dreamers of Pearl (2004-05)   53:24
I. Enchanting the Stars  17:58
II. A Bird Revealing the Unknown to the Stars  16:40
III. It Is the Night and Dawn of Constellations Irradiated 18:44
Joseph Kubera, piano
This recording was made possible by a grant from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead
Herman E. Krawitz, President; Lisa Kahlden, Vice-President; Paul M. Tai, Director of Artists and
Repertory; Mojisola Oké, Bookkeeper; Anthony DiGregorio, Production Associate.
Richard Aspinwall; Milton Babbitt; Jean Bowen; Thomas Teige Carroll; Emanuel Gerard; David Hamilton;
Rita Hauser; Lisa Kahlden; Herman E. Krawitz; Fred Lerdahl; Robert Marx; Arthur Moorhead; Elizabeth
Ostrow; Cynthia Parker; Larry Polansky; Don Roberts; Marilyn Shapiro; Patrick Smith; Paul M. Tai; Blair
Francis Goelet (1926–1998), Chairman
Made in U.S.A.
P 2008 Anthology of Recorded Music, Inc.