Disc Man

Rhymes with Silver: Music by Lou Harrison (New Albion) Born in 1917, Lou Harrison was a mere 80 when Rhymes with Silver, a commission for choreographer Mark Morris, was written for Morris' dance company and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Imaginatively scored for cello, piano, vibraphone, violin, and viola, the piece is rich with fascinating Eastern-inspired harmonies and rhythms, takeoffs on classic dance forms, and colorful contrasts of instrumental timbre. Sometimes joyous, sometimes evocatively sad, it is a score with the words "dance, create, and play" resounding in every bar. Rhymes with Silver is in 12 movements; all are new except for Gigue and Musette (1943), which impressed Arnold Schoenberg when Harrison studied with him in Los Angeles. The Allegro and Five-Tone Kit movements use a compositional method that Harrison developed from Henry Cowell in the late 1930s (one which Cowell developed during his San Quentin imprisonment for sexually molesting an underage youth). This form, which Harrison calls a "kit" ("a flexible performance score in which elements can be rearranged at the pleasure of the performer"), then received the Morris treatment. And away we go!

JASON SERINUS

discman@seattleweekly.com

 
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