arrow-right cart chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close menu minus play plus search share user email pinterest facebook instagram snapchat tumblr twitter vimeo youtube subscribe dogecoin dwolla forbrugsforeningen litecoin amazon_payments american_express bitcoin cirrus discover fancy interac jcb master paypal stripe visa diners_club dankort maestro trash

"Blue" Gene Tyranny - Degrees of Freedom Found



TRACK ONE

 

A LETTER FROM HOME, The Basic Chords, ImprovisationFor One Pianist

Live at Roulette, New York. December 1, 2004.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano

DAVID WEINSTEIN, Recordist

 

Based on a simple progression of six chords, the harmonics of those chordsare presented as roots of new chords making unexpected new chord combinations. This is unlike the procedure used for example by Ravel’sBoléro, which simply adds the harmonics to unchanging chords but creates a process whereby completely unexpected and surprising harmonies result. The chords are used both as a basis for improvisation by a solo performer and also form the basis for an extended composition titled “A Letter from Home” (1976) that can be heard in its entirety on Out of the Blue. There is a degree of freedom in the initial composition phase as well as the performance.

 

TRACK TWO

 

SPIRIT FOR PIANO, Natural And Artificial Harmonics

Live at Roulette, New York. December 1, 2004.


 

This box set is dedicated to my friend, Jonathan Doff, who has kept me thoughtful and light–hearted all these years.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano

DAVID WEINSTEIN, Recordist

TOM HAMILTON, Computer Editing

 

In Henry Cowell’s 1930 book New Musical Resources he describes how to create natural and artificial harmonics on the piano. Natural harmonics of course, areproduced by soundlessly depressing keys in the right hand and playing and then releasing the same audible chord only an octave lower producing a ringing of those harmonics another octave higher. For artificial harmonics, however, the chord that is actually struck is an octave lower and a half step higher than thesoundless chord in the right hand. This produces a very strange and


 

 


unexpected series of tones that has an ethereal quality that is rarely used in composition. It’s difficult to project to an audience but is easily heard by the pianist. To create “Spirit”,both of these harmonics were recorded and then the artificial one was edited by computer to remove the loud striking of the left hand and only the otherworldly harmonics are left. These often sound as if they are electronically produced but in fact it is all made from this process. The progression of chords is followed by normal piano playing in various modes or scales inlive performance while a recording of the harmonics is played at the same time. The title “Spirit” is a poetic reference to Cowell’s composition, “Banshee,” which is the name of a spirit–like figure in Irish mythology. The prepared sounds are placed at large intervals to give the live concert pianist the opportunity to improvise piano lines based on those chords. Thesound is often surprising.

 

TRACK THREE

 

THE 36 CHORDS FROM THE DRIVER’S SON, Improvisation For One Pianist

Live at Roulette, New York. December 1, 2004.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano

DAVID WEINSTEIN, Recordist

 

For The Driver’s Son, 36 Chords were associated with 36 subjects found in the written text. This created surprising new combinations of harmonies that went beyond the traditionalmodulations (diatonic, inharmonic, chromatic). This degree of freedom exists both for the moments of composition and performance. These chords are heard in their entirety in the fivescenes of the audio storyboard, The Driver’s Son in this box set.

 

TRACK FOUR

 

THE INVENTION OF MEMORY, Piano Introduction

Live at Roulette, New York. December 1, 2004.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano

 

DAVID WEINSTEIN, Recordist

 

While I was reading The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers by Daniel Schacter, it suddenly occurred to me that the author was also describing forms of musicalcomposition. So, I wrote a chamber work for string quintet, piano, and guitar with text and vocal part. In those various forms correlating the type of memory with specific musical forms.Each musical form was also written in traditional Gregorian modes. The string part was completely written out. The piano was introduced as an additional timbre and the guitarpart was written in an improvisatory style. “Inventions” is a traditional musical term employed by JS Bach and others for several millennia to describe one of the freer forms (such asdivertimento, fantasy, etc), and here has a double meaning referring both to music and psychology. When this introductory part for piano is performed as a solo, the performer canfreely skip from measure to a distant measure at will and insert improvisations within the mode. This is the original written introduction without any improvisations.

 

TRACK FIVE

 

TIME TRANSPOSING PIANIST

Live at Roulette, New York. March 27, 1992.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano

JEFF BERMAN, MIDI Vibraphone BILL RUYLE, Marimba

DAVID WEINSTEIN, Recordist

 

AKA A Letter from Home (Vertical Version). The “time transposition” of the title refers to changing linear elements into vertical elements thus changing successive progressions intomomentary sounds. This is the same sensation when a composer says, “I heard or felt the whole symphony in a moment and then wrote the whole thing out in time.” Here the pianistimprovises upon vertical chords that were created by collapsing horizontal lines. The two percussionists on vibraphone and marimba provide the rhythmic pulse and are free to vary the meter and pulse as they wish.


 

 


TRACK SIX

 

LEROY JENKINS

ON THE ROAD TO BLOUNTSTOWN (A TRUE STORY)

Live at Roulette, New York. May 3, 2001.

 

LEROY JENKINS, Viola; “BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano

MARY GRIFFIN, Lyrics; DAVID WEINSTEIN, Recordist

 

Leroy Jenkins and several singers and I had finished a concert and there were still ten or so minutes to go but we had no prepared material. Leroy leaned over to me and said, “Justfollow what I’m doing”. What came next was an instance of purely spontaneous improvisation. I had never heard before what Leroy was going to play but what resulted seemed as if ithad been scored. Leroy began with this recollection of an incident from his early years and touring in the South and one evening encountering a sheriff who perhaps imagined he had a clever sense of humor. I learned later that this story had been written up by Mary Griffin intended to be used and sung in a later composition by Leroy, although he was often reluctant tosing in public.

 

TRACK ONE

 

DREAMTIME: IN THE PAST

Recorded at Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA. 1980.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Synth and Recordist

 

“Dreamtime” refers to the indigenous Australian expression. The Dreaming is used to represent the concepts of “time out of time” or “everywhen”, during which the land was inhabited byancestral figures, often of heroic proportions or with supernatural abilities. This simple piece of music has been used for several different theatrical productions by the Otrabandacompany and the Talking Band. This shows that music and text can be fluid in their relationship to each other.

 

TRACK TWO

 

DREAMTIME: IN THE OUTBACK

Recorded at Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA. 1980.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Synth and Recordist

 

The use of the didgeridoo recalls the indigenous Australians’ remarkable discovery on how to survive for centuries in the so–called wasteland. This music has also been employed inseveral theatrical productions using various contextual references.

 

TRACK THREE

 

DREAMTIME: BLUE MOON RYE

1986

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Synth and Recordist

 

This fantasy combines the names of three composers: “Blue” referring to the nickname I’m often called by my friends, “Moon” refers to Moondog’s wonderful music many pieces of which began with street improvisations and were later recorded by ensembles on major labels, and “Rye” refers to Terry Riley who invented what I call pattern music. A celestial atmosphere pervades the music here and also refers to a Blue Moon, which is usually the second full moon in a month.

 

TRACK FOUR

 

PETER GORDON & LOVE OF LIFE ORCHESTRA

TANGO FOR BAND

Recorded at Butler Street, Brooklyn, NY. December 1985.

THE LOVE OF LIFE ORCHESTRA

Conducted by PETER GORDON


 

 


“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano; JON GIBSON, Saxophone;

RICHARD LANDRY, Saxophone; LENNY PICKETT, Saxophone;

NELSON BOGART, Trumpet; PETER ZUMMO, Trombone; NED SUBLETTE, Guitar LARRY SALTZMAN, Guitar; RANDY GUN, Guitar; TONY GARNIER, Bass

MUSTAFA AHMED, Congas; DAVID VAN TIEGHEM, Drums, Percussion ERIC LILJESTRAND, Recordist

 

To Carla Bley, with fond appreciation

 

Originally written for piano, this piece was orchestrated for Peter Gordon’s wonderful Love of Life Orchestra with whom I had the joy to play and tour with for several years. When afellow musician heard this recording she said she remarked that the musicians must have improvised their parts and I said that no, in fact most everything had been notated except forsome graphics to indicate special effects, although all of these musicians were very fluent in spontaneous improvisation. Sometimes for the listener it is a mystery to solve which methodwas employed to impromptu sounding music.

 

TRACK FIVE

 

ANY FINE AFTERNOON

Recorded at Music Annex, Menlo Park, CA. May 28, 1983.

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Pianos

KENN BECKMANN, Recordist

While I was working in Palo Alto as an audio technician I created many soundtracks for in–house videos, mostly concerning new computer mathematics and inventions. This piece, the editor Kenn Beckmann and I realized that the basic rhythmic track could use additional piano so we went to a San Francisco recording studio on a “fine afternoon” and wound up recording a three piano piece spontaneously over the rhythm track that created a joyous rhythmic complexity as a piece on its own.

 

TRACK SIX

 

MEDITATION FOR TRIO AND CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Two Performances Mixed Together (1963, 1993)

 

ONCE Festival Ann Arbor Community Center, Ann Arbor, MI. February 17, 1963

 

BOB JAMES, conductor ONCE Festival ensemble

GEORGE CACIOPPO, Recordist

 

Cooler in the Shade Summer Festival, Lotus Music and Dance Studios, New York, NY. July 28, 1993.

 

JEFF BERMAN, Vibraphone BILL RUYLE, Marimba

BOB BIELECKI, Recordist

 

This piece is heard here as two combined realizations of my first graphic piece performed live with acoustic instruments on two concert dates separated by several decades but realizedfrom the same initial source. This shows that in truly new music we may play the same piece but at the next performance it may sound completely different. To say it another way,as composers we design the car but we don’t tell you where to drive it. That metaphor occurred to me spontaneously as my friend Robert Ashley was being interviewed by a German TVcrew several years ago in NYC. I believe Robert liked that comment.

 

TRACK SEVEN

 

SLEEPING BEAUTY IN CAMOUFLAGE

1992

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Synth and Recordist


 

 


The “sleeping beauty” of the title is a metaphor for the brain that awakens spontaneously producing an idea, an inspiration, an image, etc. In the interim the mind is quiet or “camouflaged” by relative quiet or other activity. Although originally written for acoustic instruments (piano, vibraphone, marimba) and performed that way, the unison “walking bass line” which alsoplays the part of a melody led to rhythmic complications following the selective omission of notes based on coinciding cycles of the sun, anomalistic moon (between perigees = 27.555 days), and the growth proportions of the Saquaro cactus (30:24:15). So a more rhythmically precise version for a slightly larger ensemble was electronically generated here and alsomade way for spontaneous instrumental “remarks” by these additional instruments. This led to a compositionally unexpected breaking up of the continuous melodic line. This issimilar to arithmetically counting forwards and backwards at the same time. Our “sleeping beauty” emerges.

 

THE DRIVER’S SON

For five performers: vocal, piano, synthesizer, percussion. 1989.

 

“My father’s name was William, Bill or Ben. He drove a taxi, the only one in town.

That’s why I’m called the driver’s son.”

 

This is the whole piece rather than just the chords from the piece from the third track of the first volume of this box set. The 36 subjects can be combined to make many stories and thispiece is just one possible combination. These chords are heard descending from above.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano; NURIT TILLES, Electric keyboard JONATHAN HART MAKWAIA, Vocals; JEFF BERMAN, Percussion;

BILL RUYLE, Percussion; DAVID WEINSTEIN, Recordist

 

TRACK ONE: THE DRIVER’S SON, Intro

Live at Roulette, New York. May 7, 1999.

 

TRACK TWO: THE DRIVER’S SON, Scene I: Tim Disappears, John Follows the Clues

Live at Roulette, New York. May 7, 1999.

 

TRACK THREE: THE DRIVER’S SON,Scene II: The Happy Landing

Live at Roulette, New York. May 7, 1999.

 

TRACK FOUR: THE DRIVER’S SON, Scene III: Trooper Ralph

Live at Roulette, New York. May 7, 1999.

 

TRACK FIVE: THE DRIVER’S SON, Scene IV: The Center of my Universe

Live at Roulette, New York. May 7, 1999.

 

TRACK ONE

 

THE DRIVER’S SON, Scene V: The Desert

Live at Roulette, New York. May 7, 1999.

 

The chords ascend again to the heavens.

 

TRACK TWO

 

THE DRIVER’S SON, Interlude

Live in Philadelphia. November 15, 1990. TRACK THREE

THE DRIVER’S SON, Scene V

Live in Philadelphia. November 15, 1990.

 

TOM BUCKNER, vocalist; EDMUND NIEMANN,piano; “BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, piano;

JEFF BERMAN, midi-vibraphone; BILL RUYLE, percussion; PAUL SHORR, electronics


 

 


The following pieces are a list of possibilities for what was discovered in the desert.

 

TRACK FOUR

 

HE WAS HERE

1998

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Synth and Recordist

 

This piece was made from electronically processed natural sounds imagined by clues on the road seen by John as he is searching for Tim who disappeared in the night. This piece is dedicated to Jim Horton.

 

TRACK FIVE

 

THE DE–CERTIFIED HIGHWAY OF DREAMS

Live in Missoula, MT. October 10, 1992.

 

DOUBLE EDGE, Piano Duo NURIT TILLES

EDMUND NIEMANN

 

Route 66 no longer appears on new maps but once stretched across cornfields, deserts, cities to shores from Chicago to Santa Monica, and was the “Gateway to the West” from itsbirth in 1928 until a last patch of it near Williams, Arizona was “de–certified” (to use Federal Government cant) in 1984. The highway inspired art and legend about the community ofthousands who both traveled it and provided services on the way. This composition, based on winding melodies created for an early version of the audio–storyboard “The Driver’sSon”, describes a search, where intuition jogs back and forth with intention.

 

Several techniques generate the rhythmic and harmonic structures — the call–and– response, telegraphic introduction (the “tune–up”) employs a steady rhythmic shifting

 

(a “mobile”) in simple 4/4 meter; hocketing rhythms create a stereo bouncing effect (“something in the air”); and modified serial techniques gradually modulate the primary harmoniesinto rich dissonances, and modify the rhythms from smooth linear progressions to severe angularities (“potholes”, “stalled in traffic”, “pulled over by the trooper”). Timbre contrasts help to evoke changing imagery (“roadside attractions” etc., the specifics provided as always by the listener), while long streams of melody (“joyrides”) stretch out into the vast distance.

 

TRACK SIX

 

THE GREAT SEAL

Live in New York. April 30, 1990.

 

DOUBLE EDGE, Piano Duo NURIT TILLES

EDMUND NIEMANN

 

The five sections of this piece, commissioned by the piano duo Double Edge, are musically– encoded situations, each with a particular emotional expression. Each section is somecombination of rhythms derived, using Morse code, from the three thirteen letter mottos imprinted on the obverse and reverse sides of The Great Seal of the United States, with pitchesgathered from a ballad composed originally for the dance “Proximology” by Timothy Buckley. This is descriptive of John searching for Tim.

 

TRACK ONE

 

BARN FEVER

Live at Jacob’s Pillow. July 14, 1984.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano and Synth

DANCERS: Timothy Buckley, Thom Fogarty, Rocky Bornstein, Karen Pearlman


 

 


This is version two of the piece that originally premiered at the Kitchen performance space in New York on December 23rd, 1983.

 

TRACK TWO

 

TANGO FOR TWO

1984

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano and Electronic Orchestra

 

AKA “The More He Sings, The More He Cries, The Better He Feels… Tango”

 

This emotional piece about an emotional gesture was originally written for The International Tango Collection (Quadrivium Music Press) as a solo piano piece. It has also been realized in an orchestration (1985) for vocal (wordless), trumpet, two tenor saxes, trombone, baritone sax, electric guitar, mandolin, electric bass, piano, synthesizer, and drum set and as a liverecording at the Steirischen Herbst Festival, Graz Austria, October 2, 1985, was released as on Tellus audio cassette magazine #16 in 1986.

 

All the parts (harmonic, melodic, rhythmic) of this composition are designed to illustrate one central dynamic gesture: the gradual modulation (elasticity) of tension to extremes of large andsmall duration and pitch intervals, and the de–modulation back to an equilibrium. This modulation is not a metaphor, but a physical imitation of what happens when a certain kind oftension, described by the title, is generated.

 

To realize this process, the melody is modulated in pitch and rhythm, the tango bass line is modulated in pitch only, and its counter–rhythm is modulated in rhythm only. Within these general progressions, there are many microvariations that subtly increase and decrease tension. The harmonies become increasingly varied in psychological modality and in timbre as the rootsmodulate chromatically, stretching downward.

 

At the conclusion of the orchestrated version, a coda summarizes the essence of the

 

composition: the trumpeter plays a slow glissando that stretches up and then rebounds downward in pitch as he simultaneously tongues (freely) faster to a sustained tone and then gradually tongues slower. The other instrument perform similar stretches of pitch and rhythm.

 

TRACK THREE

 

WE ALL WATCH THE SUN AND THE MOON (FOR A MOMENT OF INSIGHT)

Live at Cooper Union, New York. May 8, 1992.

 

NURIT TILLES, Piano

 

Ritual adoration or simple belief in the spiritual qualities of the moon guided early Paleolithic, ice age hunter–gatherer societies until approximately 5000–6000 BCE when the numbers of game animals began to die out. Attention then shifted to the sun’s yearly growing cycles with the beginning of permanent settlements, more complex social interaction,agriculture, and architecture. Many monuments throughout the world, such as Stonehenge built about 3000 BCE, as well as implements (e.g., Magi hats of gold embossed withprecise lunar and solar schedules) were constructed to record both the moon and sun cycles and their representative deities, thus stabilizing the difficult transition between periods for the respective cultures. Several contemporary cultures, such as the Tibetan, still actively employ the moon calendar.

All of the events (notes) in this composition are based on the rhythmic interference of cycles of the sun, anomalistic moon, as in “Sleeping Beauty in Camouflage.”

 

Listeners may experience a performance of this piece as a song being newly constructed in the present, or as a song written long ago (and camouflaged by forgetfulness) that is slowlyunfolding as it is remembered or revealed in bits and flashes. At each of 17 cadence points, progressively greater light shines. The completely realized song is presented at point 18,and followed by a gradually fading resonance (coda).

 

The original piano piece (1992) was commissioned and premiered by the extraordinary


 

 


pianist Nurit Tilles. At its premiere, Nurit explained to the audience that this music was “like watching the grass grow.”

 

TRACK FOUR

 

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

1980s

 

“BLUE’ GENE TYRANNY, Piano

 

A spontaneous improvisation on a well–known tune about baseball that got completely transfigured in the playing. But the results of the playing are somewhat typical of the way my many improvisations turned out at that time. Again, there is no way to describe any passing intention that would from moment to moment guide the notes that came after the piece began so if there is a program or method of doing this, it is buried deep in my consciousness.

 

TRACK FIVE

 

DRIVING MUSIC

1991

From the dance piece “Black Box” by Stefa Zawerucha performed at Dance Theater Workshop, New York, 1991

 

This is one section of a piece that was filled astonishing illusion by dance movement and lighting effects produced by David Fritz. In this particular scene, dancer Stefa Zawerucha seemed to be gradually descending into a world filled with animal noises of all kinds (not heard here) over this electronic piece. All of the dances that Stefa and David produced contained illusions of many kinds and I was always amazed at how they realized their imaginative places combined with the unusual, original movements.

 

TRACK ONE

 

THE NED SUBLETTE BAND

LEADING A DOUBLE LIFE

Recorded at RPM Studios, New York. 1986.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano TIM SCHELLENBAUM, Guitar

LLOYD MAINES, Steel Guitar JIMMY DANIEL, Drums

JEFF MYERS, Bass

LENNY PICKETT, Tenor Saxophone STEVE ELSON, Baritone Sax

STAN HARRISON, Alto Saxes NED SUBLETTE, Vocals

DAVID STONE, Engineer

 

This song was one of several written for the 1976 show “Trust in Rock” at the University of California Art Museum in Berkeley, CA. Since then it has appeared in four other settings orarrangements including two by composer–vocalist Ned Sublette and two by “Blue” Gene Tyranny, each with a different “flavor”. It is heard here with a 12/8 beat similar to a gospel tune, although Ned remembers this as Texas triplets, “which are probably really New Orleans triplets but dried out a little bit.” This song was also used in separate dances by TimothyBuckley and Thom Fogarty.


 

 


TRACK TWO

 

CONFESSION

Live at Roulette, New York. April 15, 2010.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano CONRAD HARRIS, Violin

 

To Anna Ekmark

 

TRACK THREE

 

ARCHAEOACOUSTICS #1 (The Shining Net)

Recorded at the Center for Contemporary Music. 1977.

 

This electro–acoustic procedure was originally a design, entitled Archaeo–acoustics (Harmonic Fields of Unknown Peoples), for ringing and processing the “standing waves” in ancient, relatively enclosed spaces (such as menhirs, root cellars, decorated caves, etc.) which were created by little–known or unknown cultures. Processed recordings of this procedure createharmonic and melodic “portraits” unique to each space or field site. The microphones are moved precisely at various angles and velocities, and recordings are made until allthe nodal points are covered. The sound at this point is of pure waves of various pitches which occasionally shake and create small melodies as waves cross acoustically. The recordedwaveforms are then cross–modulated through electronic gates

— channel A modulates channel B, and vice–versa. Bell–like sounds occur which emphasize the nodal crossing points, and when all the tracks are presented in a multi–channel mix, a“shining net” of sound architecture in motion appears. The tonalities inherent in the space are brought out, and may suggest a psychological modality, perhaps one that would affect people within the space. For example, some people, including this composer, have a tendency to talk at the resonant factor(s) of a room. This realization of the piece was recorded in an asymmetrically constructed room at the Center for Contemporary Music in Oakland, California.

 

TRACK FOUR

 

WOODEN NICKELS

Live at the Canterbury House, Ann Arbor, MI. 1968.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Hammond Organ VIVIAN SHEVITZ, Bass

RICHARD DISHMAN, Drums

DENNIS (CODY SPARKS) O’BRIEN, Guitar

JOHN LITTLEJOHN, Tenor Saxophone STEVE MCKAY, Saxophone

PETE KAHN, Alto Saxophone GEORGE LUCE, Flugelhorn

CARTER (BUZZ) THRELKELD, Trumpet

 

This was my first attempt at writing a jazz piece for small band and unlike the Tango there were several parts where there were occasions for improvised solos. Unfortunately none of those were captured in this live recording. The chord structure was repeated as in any normal song form and also used to create the coda which has the brass playing a cascading figure.The title still makes me smile after all these years but I don’t know why.

 

TRACK FIVE

 

HOW TO SWING A DOG

Live at Dance Theater Workshop, New York. October 3, 1984.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Synth ROGER BABB, Voice

 

The words and music express the feelings of a dog being swung on a rope held between his teeth, something no cat appreciates. An otherworldly boogie seemed to be the onlyappropriate music for this. The boogie is interrupted by a dizzy spell of the dog being


 

 


swung and this gives time for the dog to meditate on his momentary condition. And then the boogie starts again. This is a live improvised performance.

 

TRACK SIX

 

RECOLLECTIONS, SONGS FROM APHASIA: The Word

 

TRACK SEVEN

 

RECOLLECTIONS, SONGS FROM APHASIA: Speech

 

TRACK EIGHT

 

RECOLLECTIONS, SONGS FROM APHASIA: The Road Trip

 

TRACK NINE

 

RECOLLECTIONS, SONGS FROM APHASIA: Orpheus

 

Live at Roulette, Brooklyn. April 13, 2016.

 

MARY GRIFFIN, Lyrics; CHRISTOPHER BERG, Conductor/Music Director; DIANA SOLO- MON GLOVER, Soprano; MAGDA GARTNER, Mezzo; PETER STEWART, Baritone; ERICBARSNESS, Bass; CONRAD HARRIS, Violin; PAULINE KIM, Violin; LEV ZHURBIN, Viola; ALEXANDER WATERMAN, Cello; JAMES ILGENFRITZ, Bass; “BLUE” GENE TYRANNY,

Keyboard Synthesizers; TOM HAMILTON, Post Production Mix

 

Produced by Providence Productions International, Inc. in association with IAM — International Aphasia Movement, Inc. Carlota Schoolman, Director. Special thanks to IAM participants,Jamie Dearing and David Weinstein.

 

These are four songs selected from the recent production that depicts the remarkable

 

improvement created through “melodic intonation” whereby people who have momentarily acquired speech difficulties are able to regain full speech articulation by singing familiartunes. This is another possible use of music as a “cure”. The production of this piece involved four singers, stringed instruments, pre–taped video interviews with people at various stagesof Aphasia and stage effects. Performances were well attended by people at various stages of Aphasia and who I believe appreciated this momentary affliction being understood. The text was drawn from many remarks that people with Aphasia had made. Aphasia does not impede their mental abilities. The music for the introductory tune (one of nine songs) titled “The Word” gradually evolves from a full setting of the biblical quote from the gospel of St. John to fragmentary techniques including rhythmic offsets or sliding of melodic fragments backwardand forward from their initial accents. The text and emotions for “Speech” describe in more detail many feelings that occur because of this condition and is set for both tenor solo and a chorus which replies to this text. “The Road Trip” makes extensive use of what is called heterodyning which is an old practice in music whereby a melodic line is broken up into parts for two or more vocalists or instruments. This technically gives rise to what I call a “phasing” of vocal and instrumental parts in which for example, the second measure of a rhythm (inthis case a version of a tango) is super imposed upon the first measure of that same rhythm. This creates a stereo effect among the voices and also a lively rhythmic interchangeamong the accompanying instruments that sounds as if it has been made by several different rhythms but in fact was generated from a single basic idea. This further illustrates the confusion felt by persons on a road trip not exactly knowing where they are or the names of persons.

 

TRACK TEN

 

HARVEY MILK (PORTRAIT)

1979

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Electronic Processing (Krohn–Hite Hi–Pass Filter) FRANKIE MANN, Recordist

 

This piece is from a speech which Harvey Milk gave in front of the San Francisco Civic


 

 


Center Plaza which was recorded by Frankie Mann on November 4, 1978. The text was then analyzed for its rhythmic and pitch characters electronically.

 

In “Part I — The Action”, we hear Milk’s moving speech opposing the repressive Proposition

6 which had been placed on the California state ballot — this measure would have started a witch hunt to fire public school teachers who spoke of gay lifestyles, or were even rumoredto have homosexual friends, and so on. Ringing filters tuned in micro–intervals were triggered by Milk’s voice creating a bell–like “tracing” or “shadowing” spectrum. The negative–going envelope shadowing the voice shuts down the circuit when the people start to shout and cheer, and then there is a small melodic sweep as the filter momentarily resets In “Part II– The Feeling”, a resonant and constantly changing memory circuit (an open tape loop arrangement in this case) accumulates the bell–like sounds from Part I, re–cycles andintermodulates them in waves butterflying across a stereo field. Because of the tuning of the resonant (Hi–Q, microtunable) filters, a vibrato gradually develops that sounds like the cooing of pigeons and doves. Thus, in Part I, the listener concentrates on the external event with a hint of the emotional response heard, and in Part II the concentration is shifted to (an analog of) the internal, kinetic state of the listener, or, in other words, the feeling of meaning.

 

A year later, on November 27th, 1979, this same city was the scene of a candlelight procession in memory of mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk who had both beenfatally shot by former policeman Dan White who employed the infamous “Twinkie” defense. Immediately, after White’s trial, there followed the so–called “White Night Riot” in downtown San Francisco, which became the subject of another tape piece by me. Soon afterward, White, freed to the custody of his family, committed suicide.

 

TRACK ELEVEN

 

THAT THEN, NOW THIS

Live at Merkin Hall, New York. April 1, 1991.

 

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Piano; LARRY SALTZMAN, Guitar

 

TRACK TWELVE

 

THE FORECASTER HOPES, Synthesized Orchestra and Solo Bass Clarinet

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY, Synthesized Orchestra, 2016

JOHN SACKETT, Bass Clarinet, 2019

 

History can be realized in two directions: toward an imagined future (weather casts, what–if? fiction, etc) or toward a hypothetical past (speculative archaeology, revised chronologies, etc). The Forecaster Hopes follows the first of these time projections. No one can foretell the exact future but many people feel compelled to offer their best guesses and sincere hopes. There is always a myriad of interacting circumstances the outcome of which are unpredictable. As some advertisements say, “past performance is no guarantee of futurebenefits.” However many hopes generate unexpected responses, no matter what the outcome may be in the future.

 

Each member of the orchestra has a specific job and character: the voices vary in two parameters, pitch and rhythm, marking the current and changing intensity (pitch) of the passingmoment, the 16 solo strings present a field of quasi–random rhythms derived from an electronic analysis made in the 1960s of natural, everyday sounds. On a smaller scale, in the brain’s basal ganglia, quasi–random events similarly occur which give rise to musical feeling, intuition, and spontaneous calculation. The gifts of the forecaster. The invariant drumsmark the passing of time–as–pulses. At the opening, the soloist presents the basic pitch, rhythm, and dynamic language by which he or she wants to be told about thepossible outcomes of the future, given current conditions.


 

 

All Compositions, ROBERT SHEFF (BMI),

Except for “On The Road To Blountstown (A True Story)”, Lyrics by MARY GRIFFIN; Music and Vocals: LEROY JENKINS, and “Recollections: Songs From Aphasia”, Lyrics by MARYGRIFFIN. Used by Permission.

 

Notes by “BLUE” GENE TYRANNY

Transcribed by SIME VIDUKA Volume One Production —

“BLUE” GENE TYRANNY and TOM HAMILTON

Volumes Two–Six Production — “BLUE” GENE TYRANNY and PHILIP PERKINS

Production Assistant — SIME VIDUKA Mastering — STEPHAN MATHIEU

Executive Producer — TOMMY MCCUTCHON Photography — PHILIP MAKANNA

Design — D.NORSEN

Shopping Cart