PERFORMING ARTS PEOPLE
With the opening of Cabrillo Stage’s Urinetown this week, artistic director Jon Nordgren talks about his company’s relationship with Cabrillo College, now in flux. Click HERE.
REMEMBER ‘MUSIC MINUS ONE’?
If you couldn’t rehearse with other musicians, ‘Music Minus One’ records contained every part but your own. Now, it’s a whole new ball game. Click HERE.
NORMAN LEBRECHT’S BEST OF 2014
Ever-garrulous and prolix, Norman lists several winners but lands on a most unexpected top pick. Click HERE.
JOHN SCHNEIDER CELEBRATES HARRY PARTCH
Unique among guitarists, John Schneider has never shied away from exotic tunings, including those of the über-unique Harry Partch. An original American maverick composer borne of the Great Depression and homeless wanderer of California’s deserts and coasts, Partch unhesitatingly took on the musical traditions of Europe and then, iconoclastically, burned most of them down. In their place, he invented his own microtonal scale, along with several instruments to play them, and composed music accordingly. (You have to go back to Northern Italy of the latter 16th century and the work of Nicola Vicentino to find something comparable.)
Meanwhile, Schneider has made two volumes on CDs of Partch’s music for Bridge, including “Bitter Music” and the new Grammy-nominated “Plectra and Percussion Dances,” produced and edited by Schneider. Additionally, Schneider recorded two other Bridge releases, “Just Guitars” (including music by Partch, Lou Harrison, Carter Scholz and Terry Riley) and “Just West Coast” with harpist Amy Shulman (containing music by Partch, Harrison, John Cage and Lamonte Young.) Like Partch himself, Schneider had to replace the fretboard of his guitar with one made to Partch’s microtonal specifications.
Scott MacClelland, editor