I've been tagged by my dear friend and colleague Molly Sheridan (of NewMusicBox, Mind the Gap and other worthy endeavors) for the latest blog meme making the rounds. Here are the rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
Erickson is not as well-known as he deserves; during the time when he was recreating the whole concept of college-level music education, ransacking the environment for new sounds for his own musical use, and turning them into music with instruments and gadgets of his own invention, he didn't bother much with playing the establishment game. Now, when he has more time on his hands, he has neither the strength nor the stomach to send out press releases or give TV interviews. Someone needs to rebuild his revolutionary instruments -- which were damaged when the university's music department moved into new quarters -- so as to revive the whole repertory of cool fantasy that they were designed to play.
From So I've Heard: Notes of a Migratory Music Critic by Alan Rich (Amadeus Press, 2006). The excerpt comes from "Erickson: Local Sounds," an LA Weekly column from March 1996.
The "Erickson" in question is Robert Erickson, a composer about whose music I know embarrassingly little. The university Rich mentions is the University of California at San Diego, where Erickson taught. He also exerted a tremendous influence as the music director of KPFA-FM, a free-form radio station operated by the Pacifica Foundation. When Rich wrote this in 1996, Erickson had been bedridden for most of a decade due to lupus; he died just a little more than a year after the column appeared. Compelled by Rich, I've just ordered a copy of Thinking Sound Music, a biography by Charles Shere.
Judas Priest - Unleashed in the East (Columbia)
Steve Reich - Daniel Variations - Los Angeles Master Chorale/Grant Gershon; Variations for Vibes, Pianos & Strings - London Sinfonietta/Alan Pierson (Nonesuch)
Németh - Film (Mosz)
Robert Erickson - Recent Impressions; Two Songs; High Flyer; Summer Music - Continuum (Naxos)