Michael Byron: Music of nights without moon or pearl


Michael Byron: Music of Nights without Moon or Pearl

Music of Nights without Moon or Pearl (8:36)

Invisible "Seeds" for James Tenney (15:35)

CalArts New Century Players

Mark Menzies, violin

Cindy Moussas, violin

Ray Tischer, viola

Guenevere Measham, cello

Barry Newton, contrabass

Bryan Pezzone, piano

Vicki Ray, piano

Brent Crayon, synthesizer

David Rosenboom, conductor

Recorded and mixed by Clay Chaplin, Dizzy Gillespie Recording Studio,

California Institute of the Arts, 2000.

Recording assistant: Willow Williamson.

Entrances (20:53)

David Rosenboom, realization and pianos (4)

Recorded by Robert Shumaker, 1750 Arch Studios, 1982.

Mixed by Robert Shumaker and David Rosenboom.

August 14, 2000

Dear Michael,

I just put on your Music of Nights without Moon or Pearl, and it's already lifting my spirits. It's a wonder that music can have such power to (en)lighten the soul and that you have the gift to so empower us. It's surely a rare one that should be cherished.

Hearing this piece tonight takes me back to the orange groves of Piru, when we were all young and dreamy. Or to some beach near Oxnard, waves "flopping" in, like in One-Eyed Jacks. And to those soft, slow improvs we used to do with Peter Garland and others in the big, empty, unfinished concert hall at CalArts. Or drinking Mai Tais at Tip's with Harold Budd and Jim Tenney.

A lot of water has flowed since those halcyon days, and you've produced an extraordinary body of beautiful and original work.

One of the most striking things about this CD is the range or variety of emotion, tension, and activity among the three pieces. While still drifting idyllically in Nights, the unexpected arrival of Invisible "Seeds"is a bit of a shock, pulling me abruptly out of that California paradise. Seeds wakes me to a harder kind of reality, and its oddly placed "bops" jump-start speculative modes of thought, making me wonder about the nature of their rhythmic process before I settle in to listen and contemplate the inevitable existence of tension and pain in the universe.

Entrances is yet another story of human behavior: a creature of extraordinary dexterity and intelligence engaged in some brilliantly mad, wildly inscrutable activity. Man battling his human limitations of physical ability and expressive intensity, struggling to become like a machine or a superman and, in the beauty of the struggle, transcending them both.

It's wonderful that you've created a score that promotes such obvious pleasure in its realization. David's joyful exuberance comes through so clearly in the physicality of his performance.

Well, Michael, it's a delight to listen to your music. I thank you for carrying me to three such different, intense, and totally absorbing spheres--of no-Minded peace, thoughtful tension, and physical joy.

Hope to have more such pleasures from you soon. Please send me your new scores. I hope you get more of your music recorded soon. The world needs to hear it!


Richard Teitelbaum

CD produced by Michael Byron, David Rosenboom, and Jim Fox.

Mastered by Andre Knecht, ARK Digital, Pasadena, CA.

Design by Tom Recchion.

Cover photograph: Kusakabe Kimbel

Other photographs: anonymous.

Special thanks to Mary Byron, to whom this recording is dedicated.

Michael Byron's scores are available from Frog Peak Music (www.frogpeak.org).

© and p 2000 Cold Blue Music. All rights reserved.

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