Asurvey of performers imported by Carlsbad's artist-in-residence program brings to mind that jaunty Rogers and Hammerstein song, "Everything's Up-to-Date in Kansas City." Over the past several seasons, an opera singer, a mime, a trio of modern dancers and a Japanese actress have displayed their talent and shared their performance secrets with the culturally inquisitive denizens of North County.
With the residency of computer music composer and stage-wise Macintosh manipulator Carl Stone, no doubt a few traditionalists are intoning the song's refrain, "They've gone about as far as they can go." The savvy Los Angeles composer-performer, who likes to name his electro-acoustical compositions after his favorite Oriental restaurants, will spend May 24-25 with students at Carlsbad High School and Valley Junior High School. On Friday evening, he will give a concert of his recent compositions at the Carlsbad Community Cultural Arts Center.
"I've found that the high school students are a bit more receptive to this music than the average adult is. I was nervous the first time I went out to a high school, since I was accustomed to college and university audiences. I was afraid I'd run into an MTV mentality, but they were surprisingly open," said Stone from his music studio in Los Angeles.
Stone brought his solo act to downtown San Diego's Sushi Gallery two years ago. For audiences used to watching a performer traverse the keyboard of a grand piano or even strum a high-decibel electric guitar, seeing Stone calmly seated in front of his computer, twisting dials and blithely changing floppy discs between movements, significantly redefines the term live performance.
Stone has not built his performance career commuting to gigs in San Diego County, however. He has played in many festivals in Europe and Asia, and he was one of the composers commissioned to write a work for the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival.
Last year, the Asian Cultural Council awarded him a six-month residency in Japan, where he appeared on radio and television, as well as in concert. That sojourn may explain why his answering machine has messages in both English and Japanese.
Many of Stone's computer compositions are based on the technique of sampling, which he likes to demonstrate to his student audiences. Sampling is an electronic process that manipulates recorded natural sounds as well as recorded music and electronic sounds. Stone has described his work "Hop Ken" as a disassembly and reconstruction of small segments of Mussorgsky's composition "Pictures at an Exhibition."
Nearly everything Stone has composed has been written for his solo performance, but he has also written a work for piano and electronics, as well as a piece with no electronic components at all.
Several years ago, he composed for a polka ensemble as a favor for a friend on the East Coast, Guy Kluceusec, whose sole claim to fame was commissioning a slew of new music for his polka band.
South of the border. In a rare expression of cooperation between \o7 alta\f7 and Baja California, the International Orchestra of USIU and the Pro Musica Ensenada Choir will present a joint concert at the College Avenue Baptist Church on Friday. The two ensembles will perform Vivaldi's "Gloria," and the International Orchestra will complement that festive work with Vivaldi's "Four Seasons," featuring violinist Otto Feld as soloist. On Saturday, the International Orchestra will return the favor to the Pro Musica Ensenada, playing both the works in Ensenada's Civic Center.
Going out in a blaze of glory. UC San Diego's contemporary performance ensemble, SONOR, promises a high-powered program as its seasonal swan song at La Jolla's Sherwood Hall on Thursday. Robert Erickson's "Fives," scored for piano quartet, will receive its world premiere, and Brian Ferneyhough's instrumental septet, "The Fall of Icarus," will enjoy its North American premiere.
Ferneyhough, a British composer who was lured to UCSD in 1987 from a comfortable niche in the West German musical avant-garde, had "The Fall of Icarus" premiered at last fall's Strasbourg (France) Festival. A compact disc recording of the work, along with other recent Ferneyhough compositions, will be released next month on the Etcetera label. For those who wish further illumination about Ferneyhough's piece, the composer will give a pre-concert lecture in the Museum of Contemporary Art's Coast Room at 6:30 p.m.
The remainder of SONOR's program includes Olivier Messiaen's "Exotic Birds," with Ruth Neville as piano soloist, and American minimalist Steve Reich's "Eight Lines."
A rose by any other name. San Diego State University's resident ensemble, the Stauffer Wind Quintet, has changed its name to the Arioso Wind Quintet. So, what's in a name, we asked Marian Liebowitz, the quintet's leader. "Not a damn thing," she replied with total equanimity.