utorak, 22. listopada 2013.

Daniel Lentz - On The Leopard Altar (1984)

Avangardno-klasičarski "minimalizam" koji zvuči kao rakija napravljena od maslaca od kikiriki-popa.


One doesn't listen but rather surrenders to the seductive pull of Lentz's magnificent On the Leopard Altar. The languorous adagio of crystalline tones that he conjures in “Lascaux” from sixteen rubbed and struck wineglasses is remarkable, while the album's most affecting work is its central title piece, a rapturous lullaby featuring a glorious vocal performance by Jessica Karraker. - textura.org

"When it comes to attempts at musical seduction, Daniel Lentz’s music is way out in front."-VILLAGE VOICE

Wildly vibrant, entrancing, colorful music scored for the unusual grouping of wineglasses, voices and multiple keyboards. Unusual musical structures are built via complex additive and subtractive processes. A first-time-on-CD reissue of 1984’s beautifully recorded, successful vinyl release.
"By intriguing his listeners at the same time he wreathes them in smiles, Lentz always comes up with something listenable and worthwhile." -GRAMOPHONE

"Daniel Lentz’s work, with its…glossy, Pop Art-Southern California palette of colors… seems to reveal new facets with each encounter." -DUSTED

Out of print for more than two decades, Daniel Lentz’s 1984 album On the Leopard Altar was, until its recent reissue on the Cold Blue label, a lost gem of the high minimalist era in American art music. On Leopard Altar, Lentz mostly worked with the usual tools of the minimalist composer – a gamelan-influenced phased and staggered repetition of rhythmic and melodic materials; metallic, mallet instrument-derived keyboard tonalities – but his music almost always sounded different from that of others working within the genre. While earlier works of Riley, Glass and Reich explored various aspects of trance-inducing and non-western extended forms, and the more contemporaneous compositions of John Adams brought minimalist ideas to western classical structures, Lentz was unique in the way he applied a similar vocabulary of pulse and timbre to an aesthetic that seemed rooted in the sensuous, seductive values of post-1950s popular song.
“Is it Love?” opens with Glass-like synth throb and short sung syllables; but soon the piece begins to cycle through changing tonalities with a very un-minimalist chromatacism. And the vocal quartet sings with a burnished, close-voiced allure that hints more at vintage AM radio jingle than it does classical choir.
“On The Leopard Altar” points to the unique place the female voice can occupy in Lentz’s work. Over sparse, slow, and dreamy keyboard textures, Jessica Karraker’s intimate vocals intone a haunting, enigmatic song-poem. The mood is arresting and hypnotic, at once intellectual and seductive, perhaps even a bit redolent of beatnik-era jazz. Karraker is also at the center of “Requiem,” where, bathed in deep cathedral reverb and surrounded by tolling, chiming keyboards, her husky, warm-toned voice sings an eerie, slightly dissonant nocturne, creating a slightly gothic, sacred, noir-ish mood – something like a soundtrack theme in search of a David Lynch film.
Lentz brings a very different palette of tonal colors to “Lascaux,” a slow-moving piece for tuned wine-glasses, rubbed and struck . Resonant and spacious, the piece is simply beautiful: a meditation on the amazing ringing and sustained tones that can be unlocked from vibrating crystal.
“Wolf is Dead” is the album’s tour-de-force. With keyboard ensemble and vocal quartet in full minimalist interlock and pulse mode, Lentz presents a kaleidoscopic shifting and cycling of melodic and lyrical material in which musical and verbal meaning are eventually focused and dove-tailed with a wit and imagination reminiscent of Renaissance madrigal.
Like much of On the Leopard Altar, “Wolf Is Dead” offers elements not often found in art music: catchy melodic hooks; a pop music-influenced attention to mood, mix and detail, to the sensuous aspects of vocal timbre. Indeed, the whole album is paced like a good pop record, with peaks and valleys and a satisfying sense of dynamics. Perhaps that explains, at least in part, why it retains a decidedly non-academic freshness and immediacy – maybe even a timelessness – all these years after the minimalist tide has receded. - Kevin Macneil Brown
Picture of Missa Umbrarum

Missa Umbrarum (2009):

A setting of the ordinary of the Mass, with an interlude and a postlude, for singers, who also play wine glasses (except in the Kyrie). Each section of the Mass has a distinct character, each emphasizing, in effect, an alternative region of the continuum between song and speech. The individual sections of the Mass share a pattern of gradual composition from layers — "shadows", hence the name Umbrarum — which accumulate, via a tape-delayed recording system, until a final, vertically and horizontally complete, statement of each section. Further, the Mass, as a sequence of the sections, accumulates, with first some layers of the Kyrie, then the Kyrie and the Gloria, and the Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei each, in turn, woven into the linear sequence.
While the gradual quality of this music (in which the gradations are not a measure or two, as in roughly contemporaneous work by Steve Reich, but rather movement-long periods), Lentz's pioneering delay techniques (which continue to be technical challenges, even with contemporary digital technologies), certain discrete theatrical elements, and his exquisitely drawn scores were the elements that first drew me to the Missa Umbrarum (as well as other works by the composer), the element that has drawn me back most, and at times, urgently, is his harmony and voice leading. Lentz's harmonic practice is clearly more intuitive than systematic — an important point of contrast to the discipline at the formal level of the work — but the luxurious and sensual immediacy of the harmony appears guided by some constants, among which are the use of chords which are tonally ambiguous and balanced on the edge of consonance and a contrast between melodically smooth voice leading and a Lentz innovation which might be described as "register leading": motion between registers — frequently a drop from treble to bass — as opposed to that along individual melodic lines. In New Mexico this year, Lentz himself identified Gregorian chant and Debussy as sources for his tonal practice, and it is not difficult to recognize that he has drawn much from Debussy's strategic use of both smooth transitions and abrupt juxtapositions.      
Aside from being a landmark work of experimental music, the Missa Umbrarum may also the most substantial (relatively) recent setting of the ordinary, and it is perhaps useful, given the interval in time since its composition, to consider its significance, if any, as a Mass. Written at the height of Vatican II's turn to the vernacular and requiring some unconventional musical and technical resources, is this setting of the Latin ordinary necessarily a concert work or might it not also have liturgical potential? The cool and rational (shall we say Jesuitical?) analysis into layers and sections and its recomposition into a whole contrasts with the sensual, experiential quality of the tonal materials; the added theatrical elements suggest the ritual use of minor sacramentals; and the gradual delay process, in which the music is perpetually "becoming" rather than "being" would appear to be quite in keeping with Catholic intellectual, aesthetic, and mystical perspectives. - Daniel Wolf    




A collection of dynamic vocal works including A Tiger In The Garden, Talk Radio, Abalone, & Temple of Lament
Performances by Harold Budd, Brad Ellis Hall, Megumi Hashiramoto, Jessica Karraker Lowe, Gene Bowen
Genre: Avant Garde: Classical Avant-Garde
Release Date: 2000

 Wolf Mass

Buy An Autographed Copy From Daniel Lentz, $30 »
A very contemporary rendition of the traditional latin mass, mixing environmental issues with those imbedded in the mass

"...a truly astounding work.... It lasts an hour and is exhilarating all the way." Los Angeles Examiner.

"...a wonderful mixture of technology and wild nature.....this music, although generally experimental, sounds gorgeous." Japan Times

 Huit ou Neuf

Dinner music for the musical gourmand, based on 9 dishes the composer enjoyed at some of the best restaurants in Paris. Many of the sounds used are digital samples of those one finds in a fine restaurant: fine wine glasses and flatware, dishes, voices, et al.

MY ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS are of various sizes and shapes and are scored for a variety of ensembles, from solos to full orchestra and chorus. I have used, and continue to use only the highest quality cast acrylics and paints in these works. All of the Illuminated Manuscripts appear as abstractions, as a musical score itself appears.... symbols floating in space, but carrying a sonic message that, when performed, becomes Music.
A unique aspect of the Illuminated Manuscripts is that, when one purchases an original 3-dimensional manuscript, one also owns the exclusive rights to the music, and one of only two digital recordings of the score; the second "copy" is saved for my archives.
Traditional illuminated manuscripts are vehicles of the collective memory of western European culture. Most of the surviving manuscripts were created in the 700 years between the 9th and 16th centuries. My Illuminated Manuscripts, while influenced and inspired by these much earlier works (The Book of Kells in Dublin especially, but also the manuscripts made by Native Americans which I first encountered at the Santa Barbara Mission in the early 1970s), differ greatly from them in that the imagery is purely musical. And instead of inks on parchment I use modern UV-treated acrylic paints on transparent cast acrylic sheets, tubes, and spheres. - Daniel Lentz

Daniel Lentz was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and began studying music (piano and trumpet) at the age of six. He completed high school at the age of sixteen and entered Saint Vincent College, graduating four years later in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. Lentz received a fellowship to attend Ohio University and graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Music Theory/Composition and Musicology in 1965. That same year he entered Brandeis University, receiving a National Defense Education Act Fellowship as well as a full Scholarship from Brandeis. Daniel became a composition fellow at Tanglewood in 1966. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship (in Electronic Music) to Sweden in 1967, completing research and composition at the Electronic Music Studio of Swedish Radio in Stockholm in 1968.
In 1968, Lentz accepted a visiting lectureship at the University of California at Santa Barbara, teaching classes in Music Theory, Music Composition, and Electronic Music.
In 1970, he began devoting significant time to composition and performance, founding and directing the California Time Machine (CTM), a “conceptual music” ensemble based in Santa Barbara. The CTM made tours of the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe.
Lentz founded and directed the San Andreas Fault in 1973, an ensemble comprised of voices, keyboards and real-time electronics. This ensemble made several tours of the U.S., Great Britain, Scandinavia and Western Europe. The San Adreas Fault also recorded for European radio companies in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France from 1974 to 1980.
In Los Angeles, during 1982, Lentz founded and directed the Daniel Lentz Group. The Group made many tours of the U.S., Eastern and Western Europe and Asia. 
The ensemble has played a principle role in many commercial CD recordings and several TV features including BBC-TV, PBS, NOS-TV/Netherlands, NHK-TV/Japan and Czech Television. Its instrumentation has varied over the twenty years of its existence, from as few as four performers to as many as eighteen. The Daniel Lentz Group was especially prominent for its revolutionary use of “live multi-track recording” in its performances in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Daniel Lentz won the First Prize in the 1972 International Composers Competition (Stichting Gaudeamus) in Holland. In 1979, he received a DAAD Artists in Residence grant to live and compose in Berlin, Germany. In 2010 he received a composition grant from the Opus Archives and Research Center from Pacifica Institute. Most recently, in 2012, he received a composer’s grant from the Rockefeller Foundation with a residency at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center in Italy.
Lentz has been the recipient of numerous other awards, grants, and commissions during his career, including six National Endowment for the Arts grants (the first being in 1973, the last in 1994), the Peter Reed Memorial Fund Prize (1996), three Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Fund Commissioning grants (with Meet The Composer, 1990, 1992, 1995), the Samuel Wechsler Music Award (Brandeis University, 1966),the Creative Arts Institute Award from U.C. Berkeley (1969), the Howard Foundation Award (Brown University, 1974), the California Arts Council composer grant (1990), two Arizona Commission on the Arts composer grants (1997, 2001), two grants from the Institute for Studies in the Arts (Tempe, AZ, 1995, 1997), three Seed Fund grants (NYC, 1975, 1976, 1978), three Sunflower Foundation grants (NYC, 1977, 1979, 1981), and six yearly grants from the Laucks Foundation (The Cooperators, 1971-1977).
Daniel has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Interlink Festival (Japan), Xebec Corporation (Japan), Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Meet-The-Composer/Readers Digest/Lila Wallace Fund, Zeitgeist Ensemble, Present Music Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, West German Radio (WDR), San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble, Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, Cold Blue Records, Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society, Mobius (Boston), Montagnana Trio, Institute for Studies in the Arts (Tempe, AZ) as well as many individuals (e.g., Betty Freeman) and individual performers.

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