Minimalist Pieces from the mid-1970s

I composed the seven pieces presented below between Fall 1975 and Spring 1978; that is, approximately between the founding of Other Music and the debut of the group’s American gamelan. Most of these pieces were performed by Other Music during this period, but were never recorded professionally. These recordings were created using various virtual instruments in conjunction with MOTU’s Digital Performer program. I have attempted, in most cases, to recreate the instrumentation we used at the time. The exception is Prolation Canon, which I set for a string ensemble, just because I think it sounds better that way.

My work during this period was strongly influenced by Steve Reich, and by my first encounter with Lou Harrison’s American gamelan. Each of these pieces is based on a procedure which determines both the overall form and the note-to-note details. The Cycles of Five involve pentatonic scales, five players, and a sequence of five transpositions and/or rhythmic transformations. The other selections involve similar structures. Having listened to these pieces again for the first time in nearly 40 years, I think they still have musical merit, beyond their mere historic interest, so I offer them here for anyone who may be interested.

Cycle of 5, #1

Cycle of 5, #2

Cycle of 5, #3


Mixed Consort #1

Prolation Canon

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