21049-2 CD, $14.00
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Noah Creshevsky / If,Bwana
"Creshevsky's music is cosmopolitan and streetwise post-modern expression.
I do not exaggerate when I say that I have never heard anything like Creshevsky's
music before. If you're up for an aural adventure, here's your ticket." (Josh
Mailman, American Record Guide)
"If, Bwana is some sort of evil genius working with raw materials which
are never adapted to a genre or a context, because they create one in that very
moment. Those sources are radically altered up to an utterly unrecognizable
state, anarchic manifestations moving in compact determination." (Massimo
Ricci, Touching Extremes)
A split cd of works by Noah Creshevsky (4 tracks) and If, Bwana (3 tracks).
While on the face of it this may seem a somewhat odd pairing, the pieces recorded
here comment on and highlight each other. And as the above quotes suggest, an
aural adventure is indeed in the offing.
Trained in composition by Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Luciano Berio at Juilliard,
Noah Creshevsky has taught at Juilliard, Princeton University, and Brooklyn
College. He was director of the Center for Computer Music (1994-2000) and is
currently Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn College of the City University of New
York. His musical vocabulary consists largely of familiar bits of words, songs,
and instrumental music that are edited but rarely subjected to electronic processing.
The result is a music that obscures the boundaries of real and imaginary ensembles
though the fusion of opposites: music and noise, comprehensible and incomprehensible
vocal sources, human and superhuman vocal and instrumental capacities. Creshevsky's
most recent hyperrealist compositions explore the fragmentation and reconstruction
of pre-existing music in combination with original synthetic and acoustic materials.
Moments suggest musical environments of indeterminate ethnicity--simultaneously
Western and non-Western, ancient and modern, familiar and unfamiliar.
Hyperrealism is an electroacoustic musical language constructed from sounds
that are recognizable parts of our shared environment ("realism"),
handled in ways that are exaggerated or excessive ("hyper"). Hyperrealist
music exists in two basic genres. The first uses the sounds of traditional instruments
that are pushed beyond the capacities of human performers in order to create
superperformers--hypothetical virtuosos who transcend the limitations of individual
performance capabilities (e.g., Mari Kimura Redux, Intrada, Favorite Encores).
Hyperrealism of the second genre aims to integrate vast and diverse sonic elements
to produce an expressive and versatile musical language. Its vocabulary is an
inclusive, limitless sonic compendium, free of ethnic and national particularity
(e.g., Shadow of a Doubt). Hyperrealism celebrates bounty, either by the extravagant
treatment of limited sound palettes or by the assembling and manipulating of
substantially extended palettes.
Al Margolis has been working under the musical pseudonym If, Bwana since New
Year's Day 1984. There are often collaborators in this projectboth knowingly
and unknowingly. Both are represented on this recording. Xyloxings was a concept-based
work that in the end had the concept discarded for compositional considerations.
Lisa Barnard's vocals were recorded with her direct knowledge. Scraping Scrafide
uses a portion of Tony Scafide's piano part from a prior work of mine3
Out of 4 Ain't Badand processes it. Cicada #4: Barnard Mix is part of
my "discipline" seriesan open set of worksand uses Barnard's
vocals from other sessions to create one of many possible versions of this work.