Perigee & Apogee

Curiously like her name, Beata Moon's music doesn't betray its origins. The music sounds American; at least no other country's music would contain this mixture of elements. Every once in a while you'll hear a moment that sounds like Copland, but no more than a moment. It strikes one as music that was written after minimalism, because some of the white-key repeating riffs and ensemble rhythmic unisons hark back to music of Steve Reich, Philip Class, and their descendants. But if so, it's a music that veered far away from that source, for there is nothing at all of the minimalist concern for texture and static tonality. What there are are striking images that move in a field of lively rhythm. There's nothing unclear about Moon's music. The only mystery is where it came from.

And it came only from Beata Moon. Self-taught as a composer, she was trained as a pianist with the formidable Adele Marcus at Juilliard. Moon's music is an irrepressible outpouring, and sounds like it - not audibly patterned after any particular composer or school of composition, though in its innocent wanderings it may occasionally touch on a recognizable element. It is a music of irreducible images, like those of Stravinsky and Messiaen, not a music of rigorous techniques and cohesive musical language like Schoenberg or Elliott Carter. And, just from listening, one would immediately refer to those images as nocturnal, lunar, were one not afraid of making a cheap reference to the composer's last name.

Most obviously, the music, even when gentle, is driven by rhythm. Nothing about Moon is more original than her casual addiction to odd meters. Safari opens in a quick 11/16. That's rare, but hardly unprecedented; Roy Harris, Ben Johnston, and others have reveled in 11-based meters. But Moon thinks nothing of switching from 11/16 to 10/16 and 12/16, using the 5-note figure of her 11 as basis for one and the 6-note figure for the other, in a fluid rhythmic continuum that sounds perfectly clear to the ear, but must be difficult as hell for the performers to keep track of.

In Moonpaths, the disc's most ambitious chamber work, such meters are more mildly handled yet even more recurrent. The first movement proper (after a recitative-like introduction) is fueled by a chirpy ostinato in 13/8 meter, and the finale is in joyful 7/4 meter with a middle section in 5/4 (here's a Copland moment, right out of Rodeo). Even the Largo movement likes to run through patterns of five 16th-notes in 3/4 meter, just as, in the more introverted Submerged, an ostinato six notes long in one hand will run against one seven notes long in the other. Even Prelude, with its suavely mellow, Harold Budd-ish sonorities, opens with a repeated wisp of 13 notes.

Timbre is another area Moon explores in her own way. For all her melodic lyricism, she loves to suddenly bring in a quick beat on hand drums - it happens in Safari, Mary and Antelope Vamp. Though classical as to notation, she frequently lets a pop edge seep its way unself-consciously around the music. Antelope Vamp, in fact, is nothing more or less than partly-notated jazz, with its tango-like rhythm, steady maraca pulse, and a slow vibe solo that calmly enters like some mellowed-out Milt Jackson. The haunting melody of Mary, too, has a pop litheness to its contours and harmonies. You'd be tempted to call this piece New Age-y if its lyricism were allowed to descend into sentimentality. Instead, dissonant cross-rhythms in the piano that distance the melody keep it from falling into a too-easy restfulness.

Above all, Moon could be called an Imagist - a very wide-ranging term that cuts across musical styles. Mary's recurring tune is one such image, as are the piano figures from the opening that recur as Joan LaBarbara sings. The repeating chords in the center of Safari are a strong image, focusing you on the stillness at the center of the piece and neutralizing the jungle on either side. Winter Sky for violin and piano moves from image to image with gentle slowness, with the violin again and again running up to high register, only to quietly slide down again. Each piano vignette from In Transit develops an image, whether the first piece's kitten-on-the-keys splashes up and down the keyboard, the third's wintry ostinatos in high register, or the fourth's descending arpeggios used to set off dissonant notes.

All this makes Moon's music not impressive for its technical devices, like so much recent instrumental music, but rather, memorable. For all its accumulative rhythmic energy, it's a gentle music, and its lyrical passages seep into your memory and stick there quicker than you'll expect. And wouldn't we all rather be charmed than lectured to?

Kyle Cane, a composer, has been music critic for the Village Voice since 1986 and assistant professor of music at Bard college since 1997.

Korean-American composer/pianist/educator Beata Noon embarked on her musical career at age eight, performing with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Her taught into composing began after she graduated from Juilliard in 1990, where she studied piano under Adele Marcus. Subsequently, the role of the composer as performer and educator became an important one in Moon's life. She performs her own works, in addition to those of both traditional and contemporary composers, and is actively involved in aesthetic education as a teaching artist at Lincoln Center Institute. Also working with artists in a variety of disciplines, Moon's collaborators include choreographer Henning Rübsam, who commissioned Moonpaths, Prelude and Antelope Vamp for his modern dance company, SENSEDANCE; directors Juliette Carrilto, Joe Roland; and multi-media artists Edward Hudaverdi and Frances Neale who commissioned Mary.

Joan La Barbara's career as a composer/performer/sound artist explores the human voice as a multi-faceted instrument, expanding traditional boundaries in compositions for multiple voices chamber ensemble, music theater orchestra and interactive technology. using a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques-moltiphonics. circular singing, ululation and glottal clicks-that have become her "signature sounds " Among her awards are the prestigious DAAD Artist-in-Residency in Berlin, 7 NEA grants and numerous commissions including Saint Louis Symphony, Meet the Composer and European radio. She has produced 11 recordings of her own works, including her latest, ShamanSong (New World), served as producer and performer on internationally-acclaimed recordings of music by John Cage and Morton Feldman and has premiered landmark compositions, including Morton Subotnick's chamber opera, Jacob's Room; the title role in Robert Ashley's opera, Now Eleanor's Idea; Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach at Festival d'Avignon; Morton Feldman's Three Voices; and Steve Reich's Drumming.

Violinist Tom Chiu enjoys a celebrated career as soloist. composer-improviser, and bonding frontman of the FLUX Quartet, which has performed to rave reviews at the Melbourne, Ojai, and Oslo Festivals among other musical centers around the world. As a leading innovator of experimental art music, he has collaborative relationships with balloonist Judy Dunaway, minimalist dancer Eun-Me Ahn, theatre conceptualist Lee Breuer, and music legend Ornette Coleman. Chiu holds degrees in chemistry and music from Yale and Juilliard. He can be heard on recordings on the Asphodel, Cambria, Harmolodic, and Tzadik labels. He occasionally reminisces about appearing alongside Tom Hanks in the 1985 20th Century Fox feature, The Man With One Red Shoe.

David Fedele, flutist, has performed as soloist and in recital throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Japan. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Young Concert Artists International Award. Mr. Fedele concertizes with Trio Fedele with cellist Eric Gaenslen and pianist Robert Koenig, and in duos with marimbist Makoto Nakura and harpist Victoria Drake. He also performs and records with numerous ensembles, including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Ensemble 21, Ensemble Sospeso, the Steve Reich Ensemble, Bang on a Can, and the Group for Contemporary Music. Mr. Fedele serves on the faculty of Columbia University and is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, where he studied with Julius Baker.

Clarinetist Alan R. Kay has traveled worldwide with distinguished chamber groups including Hexagon, Orpheus and Windscape. He regularly appears as guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Da Camera of Houston and with the Santa Fe and Bridgehampton Music Festivals. As Artistic Director of the New York Chamber Ensemble, he has drawn crowds to his classical music events with his thematic and genre-chamber music programming and alluring arrangements. Also a conductor, Mr. Kay studied at Julliard under Otto-Werner Mueller and has appeared with the Jupiter and Staten Island Symphonies, the Cape May Festival Orchestra, and the New York Chamber Ensemble. Recipient of numerous awards, including the Young Artist's International Award and the C.D. Jackson Award at Tanglewood, Mr. Kay can be heard on many CDs, most recently with Windscape in an Arabesque recording, The Roaring Twenties, and in a just-released Sony Classical CD with saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his colleagues at Orpheus.

Acclaimed for his deep musicality and virtuosity, violinist Chin Kim has been concretizing extensively throughout North America, Asia and Europe as soloist with such orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the Moscow Philharmonic, and also as a recitalist, and chamber musician. Top prizewinner in several prestigious international violin competitions, including the Concours International de Musique de Montréal, the Queen Elisabeth Competition, the Paganini Competition, and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, he can be heard on critically acclaimed CDs (released under Platinum Entertainment) performing the concertos of Tchaikovsky, Glazunov and Prokofiev. Mr. Kim graduated from the Curtis School of Music and the Juilliard School, where his major teachers were Dorothy DeLay, Ivan Galamian, and Josef Gingold.

Cited by the New York Times as a "virtuosic percussionist," Thomas Kolor is active as a recitalist and chamber musician. Mr. Kolor has appeared throughout the United States and Europe as a member of the Talujon Percussions Quartet, Ensemble 21, Ensemble Sospeso, and the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble and has performed with the DaCapo Chamber Players, Continuum, Newband, the Group for Contemporary Music, Speculum Musicae, and the New Millennium Ensemble. Mr. Kolor has recorded Milton Babbitt's Beaten Paths for solo marimba on Koch International Classics. He has also recorded for CRI, Mode, and New World labels as well as for French, Danish, and American national radio stations. Thomas Kolor holds a BM from William Paterson College and an MM from the Juilliard School.

Danny Mallon, multifaceted percussionist in all styles of music, can be heard in film scores, television spots, and recordings. His numerous CDs include Chatham Baroque's Sol y Sombra, Danse Royale, and Espaoletta, all on the Dorian label, and NARM's Best of '99, Classical Greatness in the Making recording. Mr. Mallon studied hand-drumming technique with the renowned Glen Velez and received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in orchestral percussion from the Mannes College of Music (New York), where he has been a faculty member since 1991.

Karen Marx, violinist, is presently a member of New York City's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She has also been a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, where she served as Assistant Concertmaster. Ms. Marx earned her Master's degree from the Juilliard School as a student of Szymon Goldberg and received a Bachelor of Music degree and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School, where she studied with Sylvia Rosenberg. She received fellowships from the Aspen and Tanglewood Festivals and has performed in the Grand Tetons Music Festival, the distinguished International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove, England, and as guest artist with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Makoto Nakura leads an active life performing as soloist across the United States, Europe and Asia, commissioning and championing new works for the marimba. He became the first marimbist to win a place on the Young Concert Artist roster, has appeared as guest artist with the chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the American Ballet Theatre, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York and has been televised nationally on CBS Sunday Morning. Well-regarded for his enlightening educational residencies, Mr. Nakura has served as visiting consultant for Percussion Studies at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts and was recently name an Associate of the royal Academy of Music in London. His upcoming CD, featuring compositions written especially for him, will be released on the Helicon Records label.

This CD is a product of an enormous amount of hard work and love. I especially would like to thank the following people for their generous support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.



Barton M. & Judith L. Biggs

Mike & Beth Lee

Michael Patrick & Carol Sedwick



Carl Case

Sarah Case

Paul E. Lee & Kimberly Lee

Matthew G.S. Moon

Paula Moon

Sungmo Ro



Marc, Pam, Sabrina, Julianne

Mr. & Mrs. O.J. Beaulieu

James R. & Mary B. Campbell

Isaiah Sheffer/Symphony Space


Anonymous (6)

Charlotte, Diane, Rob

Nora, Gail, Dave

The Aron-Schneck Family


Mary & Steve Bates

Sara Blumenthal

Carolyn & Barry Bogardus

Alan C. Brown, M.D.

Ed Budz

Marc Finkbeiner

Dr. & Mrs. Michael S. Francis

Alice Fricke

Andrea Giardino

Douglas Gorenstein

Ida M. Haus

John Hluchyj

Stefan Jacobs/Sound designer

Tim Jhung & Nam Hui Choe

Chin Kim

Hong Sup Kim

Dr. Chong A Lee

Dr. Young Hee Lee

Dr. Young Yung Lee

Andrew & Carissa Marino

Erica Marks & Dan George

Mill Korean Restaurant

Allan Miller

J.B. Moore

Stefanie Nelson

David Nochimson

Kyung Kim Park

Joe Patrych

William H. Phillips

Chuck Saaf

Wesley Satterfield

Gordon Selvy

Mr. & Mrs. Alden Sprague

Andrea & Dan Sullivan

Jai Yun


Anonymous (8)

Donald J. Aibel, Esq.

Beth Albert

The Amsel-Mullen Family

Beatrice Aron

Phil Ashby

Juliette Carrillo

James & Mary Coyne

John & Carole Coyne

Jay Crane

Pat Edwards

Kenneth N. French

Anna Gross

Kimberly Hirsch

Tina & Rob Hwang

Jerry James

Christine Jones

Insoon Kil

Barbara & Kate Kolenda

Gordon Kupperstein

Y.D. Lee

Lincoln House Outreach

Tami & David Miller

Noberto H. Muller

Christopher Oates

Eunice Palzer

Nancy & Molly Polin

Joseph Roland

Ella Rae & Jim Stovall

Sandra K. Thompson

Ilona Velios

David Wallace

Florence Weintraub

Special thanks to my dear family and to John Beaulieu, Cary Frumess, Henning Rübsam, Julie Samuels, Brendan Connell & the staff at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, NY, Susan Bush, Kyle Gann, Lorenz Ehrsam, Leszek Wojcik, Curtis St. John, Colleen Perry, and to all the musicians performing on this CD for their time, talent and dedication to new music.

Producer: Beata Moon

Recorded by Leszek Maria Wojcuik

Booklet design: Ehrsam Productions

Photography: Andrew Brucker

Recorded April 19, 20, 21 and May 22, 2000 at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music Recital Hall, Purchase, NY on a Steinway Piano Model D, provided by Steinway & Sons.



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