Music for Instruments, Voice and Electronic Media


O P E N S P A C E 16
Elaine Barkin
Legong Dreams
Three Rhapsodies
Emma Carlé
Go Go Gadget Arms
Judith Exley
The Cave of Tidal Sound
Mara Helmuth
Meeting the Free Dreamer
(1) Poem (1999) 4:53
UCLA Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Thomas Lee, conductor
(2) Ebb Tide (1977) 9:16
Kenneth McGrath, Aaron Smith, vibraphones
(3-6) Four Songs (1995)
Maurita Phillips Thornburgh, soprano Susan Allen, harp
(3) “for my friends’ pleasure” [Sappho] 3:17
(4) “Octopus” [Sue DeVale] :30
(5) “You are on that side” [N. Indian Santal Girl] 1:53
(6) “Witchcraft was hung” [Emily Dickinson] 1:50
(7) Legong Dreams (1990) 3:36
Michael Kibbe, oboe
(8-10) Three Rhapsodies (1986)
Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin, flute/piccolo; Susan Gall, alto flute;
Ian Greitzer, clarinet
(8) Rhapsody 1:19
(9) Rhapsody in Black & White 3:36
(10) Rhapsody on a Rhapsody 3:15
Music for Instruments, Voice, and Electronic Media
(11) Go Go Gadget Arms (1999) 4:40
Chris van der Zee, Anna Broadbent,
Eleanor Ryan, violins; Jo Hilder, bonang barung
Go Go Gadget Arms is included with kind permission of Ode Record Co. Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand-Aotea-roa.
(12) Cave of Tidal Sound (1993) 9:17
for two-channel tape
(13 & 14) Meeting the Free Dreamer (1992) 1:37 + 7:33
computer synthesized

Much in Poem’s concise & compact life can be thought of as being in-process: erupting from who knows where, forming, breaking down, re-embarking, falling apart, loosening up, re-collecting, not going anywhere in particular. Not the old standard, but loads of “white” notes, major 7th chords, tunes, & a lust for mellow & laidback. EbbTide opens with a design wherein interiors & exteriors exchange places, a design that then recedes into the background, allowing for stretching, recoloring & re-vivifying. Four Songs [Sappho, DeVale, Santal girl, Dickinson] Despite anxieties about ‘using’ others’ words, I like to imagine that I’m finding a way to get into a poet’shead until her words morph into my words, that she is listening to herself through me, & that—at whatever remove—we’re in it together & all can be heard. Legong Dreams was composed as a way of exorcising Balinese Legong dance-tune-demons that had invaded my entire Being during many months of rehearsal with UCLA’s Balinese gamelan. Legong tune fragments —recontextualized & distorted — entwine & flitter in & out in a fuzzy sonic dreamscape.  In Three Rhapsodies, composed soon after I returned from my first visit to Australia, I sought to evoke anomalous, incongruous, & fantastic ‘scapes’ of all sorts, as well as express the impasse of unison & accordance, of togetherness, of being ‘the same’, yet remaining singular, distinct, apart.


The title Go Go Gadget Arms derives from the children’s cartoon “Inspector Gadget” and the work requires the bonang player’s arms to stretch to both ends of this fairly long instrument. The challenge for me was to mix the different scales and tunings of Western and Gamelan instruments. The challenge for the bonang player is to keep the melody continuous while harmonics, pizzicato and finger slides of the 3 violins offset Bonang’s unequal tuning.


The Cave of Tidal Sound is drawn from electronic material originally commissioned by Rose Beauchamp for her play Storytelling, presented in the 1993 WomenPlaywrighters’ Festival. Cave was created in the Electronic Music Studio of the Victoria University School of Music, Wellington, New Zealand, using soundsrecorded at Makara Beach.


Meeting the Free Dreamer is about discovering an interactive partnership with the sometimes awkward, sometimes brilliant collaborator, the computer. I programmed C algorithms to create sequences of piano sounds, which were then processed with C-mix instruments and put together intuitively.


CD Mastering by Greg Ripes
Tracks 1,2,7 Edited by Loren Nerell
Produced by Elaine Barkin

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