The Music Connoisseur - Volume 4, Number 2 - by B.L.C. (with P.K.)
"Except for Mr. Mattila (b. 1927), all of the
composers here are middle generation, well trained, already accomplished
and, typically, doing their thing, albeit with many of the currently
popular tools of composition. C.P. First ( l960), a teacher at Northwestern
University, found inspiration in the extraordinary virtuosityof
mandolinist Djmitris Marinos. He has composed a multiphonic work using
tapedmandolin samples against which the performer plays an
incessant 32nd-note rhythm and relentless tremolo articulation."
This is furious music all right, and the playing is impressive.
Mr. Paccione (b. 1952) relied on two prerecorded and overdubbed flutes
with tape to produce a minimalist piece in a very broad tempo. The
clashing of live flute overtones with electronics often generates
a fuzzy veil which envelopes the simple sonority and adds a mystical
element to the whole. The piece has some subtle development. Nonetheless,
12 minutes may be just too long to tell us that spring has sprung.
Paccione is a professor at Western Illinois University.
Both Cox and Veeneman shun electronic manipulation in their compositions,
though they both create unusual effects with the piano soundboard.
(The former actually assigns a player exclusively to the soundboard.)
Ms. Cox's studies are for piano and percussion (she and Kay
Stonefelt), and are framed by an identical prologue and epilogue.
The percussionist's part sometimes calls for "rock and roll"
improvisation, and Stonefelt responds with an electrifying performance.
The musical content is always interesting and occasionally reminiscent
of Bartok's rhythmically harsh and complex early efforts. Cox is an
Assistant Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Stonefelt
is now a Fulbright Scholar Researcher in Ghana.
Mr. Veeneman's opus calls for 13 players, with some often grotesque
instrumental sounds (for example, piano strings played with a bow).
At one time or another all of the instrumentalists become percussionists.
The musical content is maximally serial and thus highly mathematical,
with a scheme based on a prime intervalic series (1-11-3-7-5). Despite
the often adventurous sonority, this offering is unfortunately steeped
in the halls of academe. But Veeneman is a composer with ideas, and
we read that he has worked hard for new music by organizing a concert
series at the University of the Pacific at Stockton, CA -- called
"Pacific Market." Our curiosity about his other work is
That leaves the relatively venerable Mr. Mattila's work for computer-generated
tape, and it turns out to be the most enthralling selection on the
disc. The composer's very keen and selective ear has led to careful
choosing and ordering of sonics with a lot of murkiness. Conjuring
up a sense of evolving nature. Mattila has the advantage of hindsight
over his younger colleagues, and so is able to assess all of the good
and bad experiences of so-called musique concrete. He is currently
Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Kansas
where he also directs the Electronic Music Studio. He has produced
a program in that town for a number of years now broadcast over National
Once again, Capstone has turned out a CD which, if not consistently
high in inspiration, shows the label now is fully committed
to interesting new music, well recorded."