Winding up its three-day festival at Cal State Northridge on Sunday, the International Congress on Women in Music featured no fewer than eight composers in a concert at the Campus Theatre. Under any circumstances, the listener would have difficulty sorting out the individualities of each work; Sunday, the task seemed well-nigh impossible.
In the first place, only two of the compositions, at best, could claim particular distinction. Nearly all were competently written, accessible works, but notably lacking in originality. Second, the preponderance of meandering, insipid adagios gave this listener a feeling of ennui. There were successes. Tera de Marez Oyens' skillfully scored "Modus I" for small orchestra, though slow and elegiac, had a fine sense of flow and a logical, concise structure. Hagar Kadima's "Clusters" for piano, percussion and strings develops a limited vocabulary of motivic units gradually, and the piece unwinds at a slow, measured pace. Exhibiting no dramatic mood changes, it nonetheless proved rich in variety.