New Music 08 Program and Notes
New Music at the Pozen Center


Saturday October 25th 2008 5:00 PM
Pozen Center MassachusettsCollege of Art

New Music at The Pozen Center
with Musical Hors d'Oeuvres, Spoken Text, and a Free Wine bar

1.  Spoken text: John Holland, Global Integration (in the form of a Malayan pantoun)

     John Holland and Marc McNulty  World Radio  for Digitally Modified Piano   
                                                                  and ‘Live’ Radiocast  (2008)

      John Holland - Digitally Modified Piano
      Marc McNulty - Electronic Sounds

2.  Spoken text: M. K. Ghandi, from Non-Violence in Peace and War and vocal text 
     from the final scene of Satyagraha by Phillip Glass adapted from the  Bhagavad-Gita
     by Constance De Jong, read by Mary Briggs

      Phillip Glass  Satyagraha (The Final Scene)  for Solo Piano  (2000)

      Maria Rivera White - Solo Piano

3.   Spoken text: John Holland, A Contradiction

      John Holland  Alien  for Digitally Modified Piano with Animated Marionette (2008)
      John Holland - Digitally Modified Piano
      Marc McNulty - Electronic Sounds
      Jill Domings - Puppeteer

---- Intermission ----

4.  Spoken text: John Cage, Story No. 68 from 90 Stories, with Music
      read by Mary Briggs

     John Cage  Nocturne  for Violin and Piano  (1947)
      Marla Rathbun - Violin
      Maria Rivera White - Piano

5.  Spoken text: Richard Wagner, Letter to America, read by Mary Briggs

     Richard Wagner  Albumblatt  fur Frau Betty Schott  for Piano Solo  (1875)

     Maria Rivera White - Solo Piano
6.  John Holland  A Short Biography of Stephen Crane  for Violin and Piano
                  with Speaking Voice  (2007)

    Marla Rathbun - Violin
    John Holland - Piano
    Mary Briggs - Speaking Voice

   Jill Domings - Lighting
   Lenka Chludova - Production Manager

Program Notes

Integer Music and the Collaborative Form

My music often includes the use of integers to represent the number of sounds to be played, as is the case with my piano pieces presented on this program. The musical score is divided into sections or movements each containing a set of integers and the name of a particular thing that relates to the subject of the score (Alien, for example, contains the names of familiar robots and ‘creatures’ borrowed from popular culture). The integers are derived from the names in the score (A=1, Z=26), and are read and interpreted freely by the player. The player then has the option of inserting, or not, short silences between musical segments. The various sound groups based on the integers and separated by silences determine the overall continuity and structure of the music.
We seldom experience each day as a continuous, traceable pathway where one event leads to another in an effortless progression; where transitions are smoothly bridged and beginnings and endings are profound or magical.

More typically, we experience the world as a succession of short, independent, apparently unrelated events, sometimes separated by periods of inactivity.
Our brains are continually streaming, filtering, and consolidating sensory information, converting these events into discrete experiences that help us to model reality.

I have structured what I call collaborative music to represent this shape of human experience, creating a variety of short, independent sound events that are sometimes separated by one to several seconds of silence, while at other times involve little or no transition from one event to the next.

The music is intended to provoke the listener to imagine events in the world as a locality of discrete patterns, unique and independent, yet occurring globally in a variety of forms, at different speeds, and at different orders of magnitude and scale.
The music also mimics familiar processes in nature in which small independent elements become organized into larger groups. Accumulation and timing of the short independent sound events create an increasingly organic, diverse, and complex musical form.

This music is not improvisational, but collaborative. Strict constraints are built into the structure of the music, while at the same time the player is invited to explore the broadest possible freedom based on his or her conceptual instincts, expressive vocabulary, and level of playing experience.