Saturday, July 27 Program Notes

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Kronos Quartet: KRONOS at 40 - Lincoln Center Out of Doors

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  • KRONOS QUARTET David Harrington, violin John Sherba, violin Hank Dutt, viola Sunny Yang, cello

    Lincoln Center Out of Doors Saturday, July 27, 2013 KRONOS at 40 Play-Along Concert with Kronos Quartet and Craig Woodson Program to include: Omar Souleyman (arr Jacob Garchik) / La Sidounak Sayyada (Ill Prevent the Hunters from Hunting You) Rahul Dev Burman (arr. Stephen Prutsman / Kronos) / Mehbooba Mehbooba (Beloved, O Beloved) Traditional (arr. Kronos, transc. Ljova) / Tusen Tankar (A Thousand Thoughts) Jack Body / Long-ge Severiano Briseo (arr. Osvaldo Golijov) / El Sinaloense (The Man from Sinaloa) Dumisani Maraire / Mai Nozipo (Mother Nozipo) Raymond Scott (arr. Michelle DiBucci) / Powerhouse John Oswald / Spectre All works on this program were written or arranged for the Kronos Quartet.

  • Omar Souleyman (b. 1966) La Sidounak Sayyada Arranged by Jacob Garchik Omar Souleyman is a Syrian musical legend. Since 1994, he and his musicians have been a staple of folk-pop throughout Syria issuing more than 500 studio and live-recorded albums which are easily spotted in the shops of any Syrian city. He was born in rural Northeastern Syria, and the myriad musical traditions of the region are evident in his music. Classical Arabic mawal-style vocalization gives way to high-octane Syrian Dabke (the regional folkloric dance and party music), Iraqi Choubi and a host of Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish styles, among others. This amalgamation is truly the sound of Syria. His popularity has risen steadily and the group tirelessly performs concerts throughout Syria and has accepted invitations to perform abroad in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Lebanon. Trombonist and composer Jacob Garchik, born in San Francisco, has lived in New York since 1994. He has toured Europe and North America extensively with the acclaimed Lee Konitz New Nonet, and has played with Konitz since 1997. Since 2006 Garchik has contributed dozens of arrangements and transcriptions for the Kronos Quartet of music from all over the world. An active freelance trombonist, he plays with groups including the Ohad Talmor/Steve Swallow Sextet, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Slavic Soul Party!, and the Four Bags. His second CD, Romance, was released in 2008 on Yestereve Records. Jacob Garchiks arrangement of La Sidounak Sayyada was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by the David Harrington Research and Development Fund.

  • Rahul Dev Burman (19391994) Mehbooba Mehbooba (Beloved, O Beloved) Arranged by Stephen Prutsman and Kronos Quartet Considered the most ingenious Indian film music director of his generation, Rahul Dev Burmannicknamed Pancham and sometimes credited as R. D. Burmangave a brilliant new perspective to Indian film music. An eclectic record collector, sound-effects enthusiast, and recording studio innovator, he created a unique style that married Indian classical and folk music, swing jazz, psychedelic rock, circus music, can-can, mariachi and more in ever-surprising combinations. Burman's willingness to integrate and incorporate new styles (for example, he was the first to introduce the electronic organ in India) catapulted him to great renown in the 1960s and '70s; over the course of his four-decade career, he composed the music for more than 300 films. Mehbooba Mehbooba is featured in the film Sholay (Flames of the Sun), an action-packed tale of a village besieged by outlaws and rescued through the unlikely alliance of a police officer and two petty thieves, which became one of the most successful Hindi films of all time. The sultry song is equivalent of the then-requisite cabaret number, performed by a band of gypsies who come to sell weapons to the sadistic bandit chief. Around a blazing campfire, a gypsy woman (played by Helen, an Anglo-Indian actress and dancer who specialized in vamp roles) gyrates seductively; the songs frenzied finale left all the bandits distracted with lust, and was followed immediately by a surprise attack on their lair by the scrappy underdog heroes. Born in Los Angeles in 1960, Stephen Prutsman began playing the piano by ear before moving on to more formal

  • music studies. In his early teens he was the keyboard player for several rock groups, including Cerberus and Vysion. In the early 90s he was a medal winner at the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elisabeth piano competitions, which led to performances in various prestigious music centers and with leading orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. In 2004, Prutsman was appointed to a three-year term to the position of Artistic Partner with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he acts as composer, arranger, conductor, program host and pianist. Prutsmans long collaboration with Kronos has resulted in over 40 arrangements of distinctive and varying musical languages. Backing track performed by Zakir Hussain, Wu Man, and Kronos Quartet. Note adapted from the annotations written by Philip Lutgendorf and Sanja Kumar Gupta for the album by Kronos Quartet and Asha Bhosle, You've Stolen My Heart: Songs From R. D. Burman's Bollywood. Stephen Prutsman and Kronos Quartet's arrangement of Rahul Dev Burman's Mehbooba Mehbooba was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by Margaret E. Lyon. Kronos recording appears on the album You've Stolen My Heart: Songs from R. D. Burman's Bollywood, released on Nonesuch Records. Traditional Tusen Tankar (A Thousand Thoughts) (arr. 2005) Arranged by Kronos Quartet Transcribed by Ljova Tusen Tankar is a traditional Scandinavian folk song, which recounts a timeless, mournful tale of unrequited love. The English translation of the original lyrics reads, in part: A

  • thousand thoughts oppress me/ For love of one who can't be mine./ All I can feel is the pain I bear/ And it's all for you, my dear. Kronos arrangement is based on a recording by the Swedish folk band, Triakel, built around the haunting vocals by Emma Hrdelin. Triakel consists of Emma Hrdelin (vocals and fiddle), Kjell-Erik Eriksson (fiddle) and Janne Strmstedt (harmonium). All three are well-established in the forefront of Swedish folk music. The group has toured throughout Sweden and also played in about fifteen different European countries. They have also appeared in Japan and several times in the Unites States and Canada. Triakel has recorded one single CD (Innan Gryningen, 1999) with Benny! Andersson, and five full-length CDs of their own. The first was released in May 1998 and the latest in February 2011. According to Triakel, the first two verses of Tusen Tankar were taken from a version by Swedish singer Thyra Karlsson, while the third verse can be traced back to Danish origins. Kronos' arrangement of Tusen Tankar was commissioned for Kronos by the Angel Stoyanof Commission Fund. Jack Body (b. 1944) Long-Ge (1987) Jack Body studied at Auckland University, in Cologne and at the Institute of Sonology, Utrecht. During 1976-77 he was a guest lecturer at the Akademi Musik Indonesia, Yogyakarta, and since 1980 he has lectured at the School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington. His music covers solo and chamber music, orchestral music, music theatre, music for dance and film as well as

  • electroacoustic music. He has also worked in experimental photography and computer-controlled sound-image installations. A fascination with the music and cultures of Asia, particularly Indonesia, has been a strong influence on his music. As an ethnomusicologist his published recordings include music from Indonesia and China. A recent publication he edited was South of the Clouds, instrumental music of the minorities of southwest China (Ode Records). Body has been commissioned by the New Zealand String Quartet, the NZ Symphony Orchestra, and many others, and has written three works for the Kronos Quartet. His opera Alley was premiered to wide acclaim at the 1998 NZ International Festival of the Arts. This work incorporated Chinese instruments in a Western ensemble and featured Chinese singers, including two authentic folksingers from Gansu, northwest China. In 2003 he was a featured composer at the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, and with the Atlas Ensemble at the 2004 Holland Festival. Recordings of his music include Suara (Ode), electroacoustic compositions using field recordings from Indonesia; Sacred and Profane (Ode), three large scale works for voices; and Pulse (Rattle), a series of five works based on transcriptions from traditional non-Western musics, which won the 2002 NZ Music Award for Best Classical CD. Waiteata Music Press released a Composer Portrait of his music in 2003. Long-Ge reflects Body's expansive interest in traditional ethnic music from around the world. Long-ge is the first part of a larger work, Three Transcriptions, which comprises music from China, Madagascar and Bulgaria. This piece was inspired by a recording of the long-ge, a Jew's harp with three blades played by the Yi nationality in southern China. The melody is formed on the upper partials, and on

  • the long-ge the player is able to create two-part counterpoint. Jack Body's Long-Ge was written for Kronos and appears on Kronos' Nonesuch recording Early Music (Lachrym Antiqu). Severiano Briseo (19021988) El Sinaloense (1943) Arranged by Osvaldo Golijov This raucous, bawdy song about a drunken character from the western coastal state of Sinaloa was actually written by a man who lived on the opposite coast, in the city of Tampico. Severiano Briseo, who performed with a popular trio in the 1950s called the Trio Tamaulipeco, reportedly began writing El Sinaloense at a bar in Mazatln, in southern Sinaloa. The song was later made famous by Banda El Recodo de Don Cruz Lizarraga, one of the most well-known of the bandas sinaloenses. Banda El Recodo was founded in the 1930s by Lizarraga in the town of El Recodo, outside of Mazatln, as a 12-member instrumental ensemble. By the time he died in 1995, the banda had grown to 16, comprised mostly of brass players, with a complement of clarinetists, percussionists, and vocalists. (The band has survived the passing of its first generation of musicians, and continues to perform today.) It was a recording of this song by Banda El Recodo, with superstar singer/songwriter Juan Gabriels vocals, that inspired Kronos and record producer Gustavo Santaolalla to try to capture the bright timbre and virtuosity of the bandas brass section. Osvaldo Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina. He was raised surrounded by Western classical music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla. He moved to Israel in 1983, where he studied with Mark Kopytman at the

  • Jerusalem Rubin Academy and immersed himself in the colliding musical traditions of that city. Upon moving to the United States in 1986, Golijov earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with George Crumb, and was a fellow at Tanglewood, studying with Oliver Knussen in the early 1990s. Golijov became personally acquainted with the Kronos Quartet at Tanglewood, and has since collaborated with the group on about thirty works. Golijov is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, among many other awards. The recording of Golijov's La Pasin Segn San Marcos, on Hnssler Classic received Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations in 2002. Also in 2002, EMI released Yiddishbbuk, a Grammy-nominated CD of Golijov's chamber music, recorded by the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Kronos recording of Golijov's The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind was released in 1997 on Nonesuch Records, with clarinetist David Krakauer. Program note by Sidney Chen. Osvaldo Golijov's arrangement of Severiano Briseo's El Sinaloense was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet and appears on the Nonesuch recording Nuevo. Dumisani Maraire (19431999) Mai Nozipo (Mother Nozipo) (1990) Dumisani Maraire established himself as a master of contemporary and traditional Zimbabwean music through a catalog of over a dozen recordings, made between his arrival in Seattle in 1968 and the present. As artist-in-residence at the University of Washington, Maraire taught mbira, marimba, Shona African singing, dance and drumming for 20 years in the Pacific Northwest, in addition to touring the United States with his marimba bands. Having completed a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of Washington, Maraire returned to the University

  • of Zimbabwe in 1990 to oversee his own ethnomusicology program, the first of its kind in that country. Of this work the composer wrote, "My aim was to portray the life of my mother who passed away in 1989. I wrote this piece in three parts. The first portrays my life with my mother on earth. It was all very loving and full of caring and happiness. The second part is sad, portraying her death. The third movement is happy again, portraying that my mother is well, cares for and looks after me and all her children still on earth, as she now lives her new life in the world of spirits or in heaven. We shall all meet her when we die." Mai Nozipo was written for the Kronos Quartet. The commissioning of Mai Nozipo (Mother Nozipo) was made possible by a grant from the Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund in cooperation with Festival In The Sun, Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa, Lincoln Center and the Walker Art Center. Mai Nozipo is featured on the Kronos Quartet's Nonesuch recording Pieces of Africa. Raymond Scott (19081994) Powerhouse (1937) Arranged by Michelle DiBucci Born as Henry Warnow in Brooklyn on September 10, 1908, Raymond Scott adopted his name from a Manhattan Telephone book, explaining that, "It was a nice sounding name. It had good rhythm." In 1931 Scott graduated from the Institute of Musical Art (later known as the Juilliard School). A classically trained jazz-based pop visionary who sought to portray the modern

  • world in musical vignette, Scott had his start with the Saturday Night Swing Session from New York, where he worked with Bunny Berigan's first band, the staff band of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Johny Williams, Dave Wade and Dave Harris. From his beginnings with swing bands, and in addition to his work as a recording engineer, electronic music pioneer and inventor, Scott would go on to assemble the first racially-integrated radio network orchestra (for CBS in 1942), score Hollywood films, Broadway shows and television dramas, write commercial jingles and compose music for "serious" concerts and ballet. For the five years prior to his retirement in 1977, Scott headed Motown's electronic music division. Though never writing specifically for cartoons, Scott's music is perhaps best known through his many tunes which were adapted by Carl Stalling and others for Warner Brothers. These tunes were perfectly suited to accompany animation, owing to a combination of playful melodies, cat-chase-mouse rhythms, and springboard syncopation which can be heard underscoring the antics of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Tweety & Sylvester, the Road Runner and others. More recently, Scott's music has been quoted by Devo, They Might Be Giants and Jim Thirwell of Foetus, and has been used to underscore the Ren and Stimpy cartoons. This arrangement of Powerhouse was commissioned for Kronos by Hancher Auditorium / University of Iowa. John Oswald (b. 1953) Spectre (1990) Canadian composer John Oswald is well known for his development of "audioquoting" techniques, which have challenged contemporary notions of artistic ownership.

  • In 1990, Oswald's notorious recording Plunderphonic had to be destroyed as a result of legal action taken by Michael Jackson. In 1991, a sequel was released, featuring thoroughly reworked soundtracks by musical artists as diverse as the Doors, Carly Simon and Metallica. Discosphere, a retrospective of dance soundtracks, was released in 1992 followed by Plexure, the third album of the Plunderphonic series. A retrospective CD box set of Plunderphonic works has been called "mind-numbingly amazing" by Peter Kenneth in Rolling Stone, and made Spin Magazine's Top 10 in 2001. A Governor General Media Arts Laureate, Ars Electronica Digital Musics and Untitled Arts Award winner, as well as the fourth inductee into the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Alternative Walk of Fame, Oswald has also been nominated to third place in a list of the most internationally influential Canadian musicians, tied with Cline Dion. Oswald is Director of Research at Mystery Laboratory in Canada. More information about his current activities can be found at www.pfony.com. Oswald composed three string quartets commissioned by Kronos in the early 1990s: Spectre (for 1001 string quartet reflections), preLieu (after Beethoven), and Mach (for string and heavy metal quartets), followed by a 4th quartet, entitled Fore. In Spectre, Oswald interweaves Kronos playing in concert with multiple overdubs of his recordings of Kronos. In this sense, Spectre is written for a thousand-member string orchestra with all instruments played by Kronos. It was the composer's first composition for live musicians in 15 years. About Spectre, Oswald writes: The camera's shutter blinks and a moment of the visual

  • world is frozen on film. Still, there is no audible equivalent to the snapshot in the time it takes to sound. Sound takes time. Recordings of Kronos fill Spectre. Successive moments happen often at once. In concert the musicians add a final overdub to a string orchestra of a thousand and one reflections. This wall of sound of veils of vibration of ghosts of events of past and future continuously present is a virtually extended moment. An occasional freeze marks a moment's gesture. John Oswalds Spectre was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by the Wexner Center, Canada Council and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and appears on Kronos' Nonesuch recording Short Stories.

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