Murmuring in Comala to be performed at 43rd annual Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico by pianist Ana Cervantes, October 15, 2015

980-anacervantespianoOn October 15 at 5PM in the Salón del Consejo Universitario in the principal building of the University of Guanajuato, pianist Ana Cervantes will perform a program titled Exposición/ReExposición (in English, Exposition/Recapitulation): a kind of retrospective consisting of pieces she’s interpreted over the course of her 15 years studying, working and living in Mexico. This program is a Recapitulation –necessarily brief— of some of the music which she has commissioned or premiered, including music of Georgina Derbez, Gabriela Ortiz, Jack Fortner, Alex Shapiro, Mario Lavista, Stephen McNeff, and Tomás Marco, among others. My contribution to the program will be a solo piano work entitled Murmuring in Comala, originally commissioned by Ana as part of a multi-composer project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Pedro Paramo, an important proto-magical-realist novel by Mexican author Juan Rulfo. She premiered at the 34th Festival Internacional Cervantino in October 2006 and subsequestly recorded the work on compact disc.

Rulfo’s striking sonic palette (groaning wheels, rattling windows, falling rain and murmuring ghosts), echoes the complex narrative unfolding, where we rarely know whose voice we are hearing initially. Just as sounds imply someone making them, we recognize the voices peripherally, like registering a ghost image. We discover whose voice it was rather than whose voice it is. We must resist the temptation to steamroll through these difficult passages because these veiled voices are so crucial to our understanding. Equally striking is the novel’s non-linear conception of time. It flowers slowly in multiple directions. This is a lovely analog to music, which is surprisingly multidirectional: we listen ahead and backward simultaneously, constantly reinterpreting each new musical gesture by placing it in its previous context and anticipating its direction.

Zero Crossings – April 6, 2015, Friends and family

Today’s show featured an eclectic mix of great music by 11 composers, most of whom I know personally. I was joined in the studio by my 8 year-old son who was out sick from school, snickered in the background from time to time, and chose and announced the final track for the afternoon.

The music aired during the program included:
Frank Felice – 3 Pieces from Banff: 1. Patent Nonsense; 2 Winter’s Gloaming; 3. Impromptu, from Boyd, Kate: Music for the End of Winter
Theodore Wiprud – El Jaleo. from Love and Longing
Gene Pritzker – Piano Trio, Op. 239, from Trio Panta Rhei
Charles Coleman – Streetscape, from American Portraits
Carl Schimmel – Into Xylonia: I. Gleaming teak parquet, boundless, oceanic; II. Bubinga buttons and ash pegs bubble in clumps; III. Newelposts and dominoes jostle with alphablocks, caepitose and shrubby; IV. Ligneous tendrils bear fattening spindle tips, shooting about dowelsprout; V. Pyrgoidal Peppermills and Peglegs – Mammoth Axehandles – Titanic Biedermeier Bedstands; VI. From the barbicans flutter deckle and chads, tickertape and timbersplinters, crepe paper billowing like henin cloth, from Into Xylonia
Christopher Gable – Beat That Clock, from Zeitgesit: Here and Now
Alex Shapiro – Slipping, from Notes from the Kelp
Robert Raines – The Return of Odysseus: Athena Visits Ithaca; The Sirens; The Kingdom of the Dead; The Return of Odysseus; The Rooted Bed, from The Return of Odysseus (MSR Classics)
Dosia McKay – A Whisperer in the Land of Shouters, from Lacrimosa
William Susman – Moving in to an Empty Space No. 1 Hot Time; No. 2 Begging the Night for Change; No.3 Moving in to an Empty Space, from Scatter My Ashes
“Weird Al” Yankovic – Fat

Listen to the show here:

      Zero Crossings – April 6, 2015 – A Mixed Bag