the ariadne project

       >>> I've been working on a big Ariadne project, Ariadne of Knossos, for some years now. About ten years ago it took a radical turn. Until that time I was using the standard Greek myth version of the story of Ariadne. But then information came to my attention that made me completely change my approach to it, indeed to all of Greek mythology.

       >>> The original impetus for the piece was purely musical -- I loved Monteverdi's madrigal Lamento d'Arianna, its close harmonies and the tension in them. I wrote four pieces using the madrigal as a source for pitch and syllables (Green Mountain Madrigal, Mountain Echoes, Ariadne's Lament, and Song of Sorrows). After finishing the third piece, a friend suggested that I think about the opera that Monteverdi wrote (and that has not been found to date), that I should try to recreate it. He had written an opera based upon the Ariadne myth, but Lamento d'Arianna is the only surviving scene from it. He also wrote a four-part madrigal based on this aria, which is in existence (and which I have used as my original source). I began to research the story of Ariadne, and it began to interest me.

       the multiples project

       >>> In the spring of 1999, I was asked to teach a course at the California Institute of the Arts with the generic title of "Special Topics in Instrumental Composition." I decided that a good way to teach about instruments, as well as to become really familiar with the particular sound of an instrument, was to work with compositions that were written for multiples: four or more of one instrument (i.e. forty cellos) and/or families of like instruments treated as one instrument.

       >>> When I started the project, I was only familiar with compositions that focused on sound in an experimental vein such as works by Phill Niblock, David First, Lois V Vierk, and myself. I quickly became aware, though, that there are a lot of pieces for multiples, written in all kinds of styles.

       >>> This is a list of pieces that I've compiled to date. It's the kudzu of lists, expanding almost exponentially the longer it's in existence. It is also highly opinionated, at times arbitrary, and makes no pretense of being comprehensive. Additions, corrections, and suggestions will be highly appreciated.

Continue the Ariadne Project >>> Check out the Multiples list. >>>
 the search for julius eastman's lost work
 The work of one of new music's most important composers almost disappeared. Click here to read about my seven year search (so far) to find his music.
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