It’s Academic

by Gerald Carpenter

BACK TO THE BOOKS: It looks as if, for the next month or so, the university has become our major provider of classical music. Certainly for the next week, just about every musical event either happens at UCSB or under its sponsorship.

There is the conclusion of UCSB’s Primavera! Festival, which began last Monday and ends this Saturday. There are two significant concerts as a kind of festival coda: the CREATE (Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology) concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 21, in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, and then the California EAR Unit concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, also in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall.

CREATE (JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, director, Curtis Roads, associate director) will present a concert that features new electro-acoustic and multimedia works. The object is to bring to our attention the works of student composers from California digital media centers at Stanford, UC San Diego, Mills College, California Institute for the Arts, and UCSB. The sounds will be projected on the Creatophone, a multi-channel, pluri-phonic sound projection system. Admission to this concert is free.

Now, to tell the truth — and I hope I can call myself a friend to new music — I am completely unfamiliar with the California EAR Unit, so I will just pass along the information that I have received:

“The six-member California EAR Unit is a chamber ensemble dedicated to the creation, performance, and promotion of new music. For 18 seasons, EAR Unit was the Ensemble-in-Residence in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and is currently in residence at CalArts.”

This concert, a program of new works featuring electronic and acoustic instruments, with video and text by composers Morton Subotnik, Eve Belgarian, Shaun Naidoo, Anne LeBaron, and EAR Unit’s Amy Knoles, will conclude with the group’s acclaimed version of James Sellars’s Go, “a densely textured 10-minute, non-stop vertigo trip.” There will be a 7 p.m. pre-performance demonstration of EAR Unit’s electronic techniques with Knoles, and a meet-the-artist discussion after the show.

Tickets to this concert can be purchased from UCSB Arts & Lectures, 893-3535.

Now, in between the CREATE concert and the EAR Unit concert — that is to say, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 — oboist Cammy Yuen will play a UCSB bachelor of music junior recital in Karl Geiringer Hall. Ms. Yuen’s assisting artists will be John Ballerino, piano, Cecilia Shim, cello, Jeff Lum, baritone, Ramon Fermin, guitar, and Kristin Park, flute; they will perform works by Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. This event is not connected to the Primavera! Festival. Admission is free.

Now, for a lusciously romantic change of pace, with the new music folks having finished up the night before, the UCSB faculty’s great violist Helen Callus will team up with pianist Robert Koenig, with the assured and exquisite assistance of flautist Jill Felber to perform a program they call Chiaroscuro — Music of The Heart at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, at the Lobero Theatre. For once, the modest viola steps forward to make its own mellow case for stardom in a charming, seductive program of works, including Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite, Maurice Duruflé’s Recitative and Variations, Henri Vieuxtemps’s Elegy, Rebecca Clarke’s Lullaby, Frank Bridge’s Miniatures: Romanze and Appassionata, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Romanze, and the “Scherzo” from the FAE Sonata of Johannes Brahms.

I shall be particularly glad to hear the Frank Bridge pieces, for everything I have heard of his has been delightful — so much nicer than the droning of his student Benjamin Britten.

Tickets to this concert are $15 general and $10 students; call the Lobero at 963-0761.

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