Rhonda Taylor & Ron Stabinsky | Interstice

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Classical: Postmodern Avant Garde: Free Improvisation Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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by Rhonda Taylor & Ron Stabinsky

World premiere recordings of saxophone works by Ben Leeds Carson, Justin Rubin, Avi Tchamni, and Ben Grosser, as well as a free improvisation with Ron Stabinsky.
Genre: Classical: Postmodern
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Anonyme
Rhonda Taylor
7:43 album only
2. Lyrical Incantations: I. Slow; with rubato
Rhonda Taylor & Ron Stabinsky
1:16 album only
3. Lyrical Incantations: II. Wistful-tempo moderato con molto rubato
Rhonda Taylor & Ron Stabinsky
1:45 album only
4. Lyrical Incantations: III. With motion
Rhonda Taylor & Ron Stabinsky
1:13 album only
5. Lyrical Incantations: IV. With exuberance
Rhonda Taylor & Ron Stabinsky
1:48 album only
6. Lyrical Incantations: V. Adagio con molto rubato; tempo di passacaglia
Rhonda Taylor & Ron Stabinsky
2:23 album only
7. Interstice
Rhonda Taylor
9:20 album only
8. Not Pitch
Rhonda Taylor
3:21 album only
9. Free Improvisation
Rhonda Taylor & Ron Stabinsky
15:12 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
about the music (notes by the composers)

Anonyme* is part of Lesser Myths, a collection of sketches for a comedy on the theme of hard-to-
define attitudes and expressions. The term “Lesser Myths” is probably an oxymoron, since a myth is
supposed to consist of grand or symbolic gestures and narratives, through which we express much
more than a story. Oxymoron is also the crux of Anonyme, the tale of a Neptune worshipper whose
impressive sacrifices exceed all expectations, but who frustrates the sea god by making the offerings
secretly. Seeking out the source of his own veneration, Neptune gets increasingly irritated, demonstrat-
ing that his call to worship is at least partially an exchange of vanities. When he finally manages to
catch her in the devotional act, he turns the poor girl into a sea anenome. Thereafter, as the story
goes, whenever offerings of charity or deference are given without hope of recognition, the donors are
said to keep their “anenome-ity.” —B.L.C.

Lyrical Incantations*: Up until the early part of this century I was very concerned with my ‘place’ in
music history – not that I would be ‘remembered’ as such, but with which line of aesthetic activity I
could comfortably connect myself since there were so many to choose from (and indeed I liked to be
a part of so many both as creator and performer). In the past decade I have strived to bring together
into one language these disparate vocabularies; in the late 1990’s, when I was still in my twenties and
experimenting (when else?) I was attracted to the idea of having multi-movement pieces in which
each movement was governed by its own aesthetic, regardless of what came before it or after. I still
engage in this inexplicable practice from time to time, trying to evoke a lyrical tone from whichever
style I dip my compositional pen. —J.R.

Interstice**(composed in 1998 and revised in 2008 for baritone saxophone) merges two pitch systems:
the overtone series and the Arab maqam. Rhythmically, it is constructed from ten phrases, with the
following features: (1) the three main tempi employed are: 48, 72, 96 in a 2:3:4 ratio relationship. The
ternary tempo in this ratio, 72, is also used as a binary one, yielding the tempo 54; (2) each of the
phrases comprises several cells that can be ordered freely within it; (3) cells stand as an independent
unit and can be augmented or diminished, thus changing the tempi ratio, while preserving the
durational proportion within the cell; (4) phrases can be cut and attached to other phrases. The formal
concept of the piece moves from differentiation between the phrases to complete integration. The
measure, as a closed time-space, preserves the identity of the cells and the phrases at the beginning,
and is gradually violated by insertions of different cells. —A.T.

Not Pitch was written for Taimur Sullivan in 1995. Looking back on this piece from the present, I see
similar themes with my current practice. For example, I’m interested in the issue of agency. Who has it?
Who doesn’t? Applying this question to a performance of Not Pitch: is the tape running the show, or is
Rhonda? When I composed the work, who had more power then? The compositional system I setup to
generate material, or myself as an operator of that system? And when it came time to produce the
tape, how much control did my synthesis software hold over the process? I have my suppositions about
these questions. You will have your own. —B.G.

The Free Improvisation between Ron Stabinsky and Rhonda Taylor was recorded live in performance on
January 15, 2011.

*Written for and world-premiered by Rhonda Taylor.
**Version for baritone saxophone world-premiered by Rhonda Taylor.

about the musicians

The compositions of Ben Leeds Carson explore traditional tonalities, complex rhythm, and small-scale
conflicts in the perception of voice and pulse. His music has been featured at Cologne’s Gerngeseh-
en, Sydney Conservatory’s “Music/Social Justice” conference, and at a wide range of international
festivals. Carson also performs periodically with a loose band of artists including Dr. Taylor, Berlin’s
Christopher Williams, Colorado’s Glen Whitehead, and members of New York’s “Yarn/Wire,” who share
a devotion to creative ensemble practices. Carson’s writing appears in ECHO, Open Space, the
American Journal of Psychology, the Journal of New Music Research, publications by the Institute for
Advanced Feminist Studies, and in a new book collection by Search: Journal of New Music and
Culture. Collections of his music are distributed by the Albany and Centaur record labels. Carson is an
Associate Professor of Music at UC Santa Cruz.

Justin Rubin is Professor of Music and Chair of the Composition Program at the University of Minnesota
Duluth. He has released two CDs of his works: Nostalgia (2009), featuring chamber works for the
bassoon on the Innova label, and Constellations (2011) focusing on string music on MSR Classics. In
2009 he was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and honored with the Morse-Alum-
ni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education that represents the highest
recognition by the University of its most distinguished scholar-teachers. A graduate of the Manhattan
School of Music, Purchase College, and the University of Arizona, Dr. Rubin is active as a performer on
both organ and piano. His diverse concert repertoire (ranging from Baroque, to Schubert, to Xenakis)
has informed an eclectic compositional style. A renewed interest in traditional tonal structures
propelled through a prism of contemporary techniques has led to his mature approach to writing.

Avi Tchamni‘s work in recent years has been in the field of algorithmic composition and real-time
performer-computer interaction. His music can be characterized by multi-layered textures, which
oftentimes undergo reformative processes of expansion, compression, and re-organization. The result
is a multifaceted web where implications, hints, and exaggerated or overstated versions of the source
material unfold, creating a sound landscape, which can be thought of as one that is simultaneously
distanced and close to the listener. Tchamni’s music and multimedia collaborative projects have
been featured in festivals around the world, on radio, and DVDs. His grants and awards include
Akademie Schloss Solitude, IRCAM stage, and Royaumont, among others.

Ben Grosser, an artist and a composer, is pursuing an MFA in New Media at the University of Illinois.
Previously he earned degrees in music composition from Illinois before moving to the Beckman
Institute, where he directed the Imaging Technology Group. Grosser’s art installations have been
covered widely in the online press, including articles on Boing Boing, the Make Blog, Engadget, Fast
Company, and Discovery News. The Huffington Post said of his Interactive Robotic Painting Machine
that “Grosser may have unknowingly birthed the apocalypse.” His works have been curated into the
Rhizome ArtBase, on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and supported by an
Illinois Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship. Grosser’s music, which has been called “very loud and
ugly” by the St. Louis Riverfront Times, often uses the computer, whether as a collaborative composer
or as a method for sound generation. His sound synthesis research was funded by the Illinois Campus
Research Board and received an Arnold O. Beckman Award. His scientific visualizations and research
have been honored by the National Science Foundation, received an award from NASA, and have
been covered by the New York Times and National Public Radio.

Ron Stabinsky is currently focused on the process of improvising music on the piano, while continuing
to be inspired and informed by studying and performing music of various past traditions as part of
this process. Since 2000, Ron has studied the Taubman Approach to piano playing with Edna
Golandsky, while acquiring additional knowledge from concert pianist Ilya Itin, jazz educator Charlie
Banacos and improvisers Bill Dixon and Joel Futterman. Each summer, Ron presents a series of
workshops for jazz pianists at the Golandsky Institute, a summer symposium held at Princeton
University. He maintains an active schedule performing throughout the U.S. and Europe in many
diverse musical contexts, including recent projects with Rhonda Taylor, Relâche Ensemble, Greg
Giannascoli, Sophie Till, Jack Wright, Bryan Eubanks, David Liebman, Tony Marino, Kevin Shea, Peter
Evans and Mostly Other People Do the Killing.

Rhonda Taylor is dedicated to the creation and performance of meaningful sonic art of our time. In
addition to commissioning and premiering works from both established and emerging composers of
today, she has released recordings of new music by Rick Burkhardt, Chris Arrell, and Jeffrey Mumford.
Her recent activities include lecture recitals on Gérard Grisey’s Anubis et Nout in the U.S. and
abroad, as well as performances at NASA Biennials, World Saxophone Congresses, and at new music
festivals throughout the United States. Her primary mentors were John Sampen at Bowling Green
State University and Kelland Thomas at the University of Arizona. Dr. Taylor has been on faculty at
New Mexico State University since 2003, where she is the College Assistant Professor of Saxophone
and Music Theory. Rhonda Taylor is a Conn-Selmer artist and plays on Selmer Paris saxophones



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