Thursday, November 20, 2008

I like the New Music Circle

See below for the article I wrote about the NMC for St. Louis Magazine.
See the website for an up-to-date calendar:
This is their latest missive about the upcoming Morton Subotnick show!!!

To New Music Circle Friends and Patrons:

We were thrilled by the turnout at Sunday's Circle-Cinema 22 event
featuring S.A.N.E. Thanks again to everyone who attended, and to
Cinema St. Louis and St. Louis Art Museum for welcoming New Music
Circle into their world again.

As our 50th season rolls on, we have another very special concert
coming up this Saturday, Nov. 22 featuring analog synth pioneer Morton
Subotnick. More than 40 years ago, New Music Circle presented a
concert of one of Subotnick's first credited compositions, "Serenade
No. 1."

Today, Subotnick is known internationally for his contribution to the
development of electronic music. Don't miss the opportunity to see
him live in St. Louis! For more info, visit,

Morton Subotnick
"Until Spring Revisited"
Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 – 7:30 p.m.
Co-sponsored by Forest Park Community College
Mildred Bastian Theater
5600 Oakland Ave.
Tickets: $15, $7 for students

The internationally acclaimed Morton Subotnick is an undisputed
pioneer in the development of electronic music and an innovator in
works involving instruments and other media. Subotnick’s work "Silver
Apples of the Moon," commissioned by Nonesuch Records in 1967 and
performed on a Buchla modular synthesizer (which had been designed in
part based on Subotnick’s suggestions), became an American best-seller
in the classical music category; extremely unusual for an electronic

A highly decorated talent, Subotnick has received multiple Rockefeller
Grants, the Guggenheim Grant, the Meet the Composer award, and ASCAP’s
John Cage Award among many others.

Subotnick will perform his work "Until Spring Revisited," a remaking
of an electronic music/video composition created for solo synthesizer
in 1975. Originally, “changes in settings which Subotnick made in
real time on the synthesizer were stored as control voltages on a
separate tape, enabling him to duplicate any of his performance
controls, and to subsequently modify them if he felt the desire to do
so. While the use of control voltages was nothing new, it suggested to
Subotnick a means to gain exact control over real-time electronic
processing equipment” (

Co-sponsored by Forest Park Community College, Morton Subotnick makes
a rare St. Louis visit as part of New Music Circle’s landmark 50th


We also wanted to make you aware of a percussion concert sponsored by
our friends at UMSL coming up this Thursday, Nov. 20...

UMSL University Percussion Ensemble and Afro-Cuban Ensemble
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008 - 7:30 p.m.
Touhill Performing Arts Center - Lee Theatre
Admission: Free

Please join UMSL for a night of percussion music from Africa, Cuba,
Japan and the United States. The concert is free and open to the
public. Adam Rugo will be our very special guest performer on Bata.

Touhill Performing Arts Center-Lee Theater

...and here is my piece for St. Louis Magazine which is not online, but you can check out the publication at:

Occasionally, amidst the ho-hum seconds counting down on our digital doohickys or apparent moments of nothingness, there appear glimpses of imagination and creation. A glimmer of light pierces our consciousness.

The New Music Circle knows about such light and creation and has been furthering its standing as the longest-running organization of its kind by bringing innovative purveyors of “new music” and other spontaneous and improvised expression to St. Louis audiences since 1959. Now, the group presents a 50th season as they continue to welcome accomplished, out-of-town artists combined with a fresh initiative introduced last year, “Collaborating Artists Manifest Adventure” or CAMA, centering on an effort to fund the performance of local artists and composers in varying performance media.

The season kicked off in September with a 27-piece ensemble of national and local musicians led by the acclaimed composer, performer and bandleader, Vinny Golia. It continued in October with a multimedia CAMA event and collaboration between longtime NMC member, composer and performer, Rich O’Donnell, poet Anna Lum and other artists. Another accomplished local composer and CAMA member, James Hegarty, will display his talents in digital electronic music with two performances on November 7th at the Three Sinks Gallery in Webster Groves.

NMC and Cinema St. Louis continue their partnership with its 22nd Circle/Cinema, another live accompaniment of a silent film, during the St. Louis Film Festival on November 21st.

The legendary electronic composer Morton Subotnick appears on November 22nd. A pioneer in the analog synth field and founder of the San Francisco Tape Center who is most famous for his 1967 best-selling composition-for-recording Silver Apples of the Moon (named from a line in a W.B. Yeats poem “The Song of Wandering Aengus”), is not only remarkable for his innovative works and performances, but for his reach into the minds and tastes of those not appreciative of electronic music. He will be performing Until Spring Revisited, initially composed in 1975 for solo synthesizer on record instead of public performance. His current performances are carried out with the use of multiple laptop computers and his own software that interprets the movements, speed and “gestural quality” of the mouse movements and are accompanied by video projection.

Another San Francisco artist brings his work to an NMC stage in March in the form of percussionist and composer Gino Robair’s opera, “I, Norton”, based on the life of Joshua Norton, who on September 17, 1859 proclaimed, “at the request of the citizens of these United States, I…declare myself Emperor.”

“The opera consists of improvisational cues, graphic scores, game pieces and traditional notation,” Robair commented.

“All of the text is from Emporor Norton’s own proclamations, as well as false decrees that were published during his lifetime by newspapers trying to cash in on his fame. For me, a successful performance is one where several layers of music and text are happening simultaneously and things begin to make sense.”

The rest of the season is highlighted by performances, compositions, installations and productions of Hegarty, O’Donnell and the other three CAMA artists Tom Hamilton, Van McElwee and Kelsey LaPoint.

Call 314-567-5384 or visit for more information and a complete and updated schedule of New Music Circle events.

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