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Kalvos & Damian Ought-One Festival

August 25-26, 2001

Review, Festival Women


Festival Women

By Canary Burton

The Ought-One new music Festival in Montpelier, VT, billed as the Woodstock of NonPop, was a success no matter which way you count it. Put on by DENNIS BATHORY-KITSZ and DAVID GUNN with lots of encouragement from PHIL KLINE, this Festival was a bit like a convention, a bit communal, a bit unkemp and always fun. Everyone pitching in to load and set up equipment, learn each others pieces and talk, talk, talk. Comfortable and exhausting. Stevie Balch gathered food from local merchants and with a team of women, prepared, served and cleaned up after the 60 or 70 concertiers for 3 days dinners in a meeting room and the kitchen of Bethany Church. The composers and performers and volunteers had lunches together, staying in homes and motels around Montpelier. Jamming into the night in varous parts of Vermont valleys that carry sound like an echo stream. There were almost continuous concerts in four Churches all within a block or two in Montplier's charming downtown for two days and evenings. If you want to read the afternotes as they are posted, go to: http://ought-one.com

There were many women involved in this festival, both as composers and performers as well as staff working the Ticket/CD table in City Center, a commercial building in the center of the small town, the capitol dome shining golden a short distance away. Many were taking tickets on the porches of the individual churches. I saw no discrimination, no exclusion. Some concerts had many in the audience from composers to out-of-towners on holiday to townspeople that are totally immersed in the arts and their counterparts, the new and curious. Some concerts were sparce. I think, more due to the hour than anything else. Others were filled to the rafters and lobby. In another place I will review the men who attended and worked their butts off helping all other composers.

My partner, SUE DOHERTY and our friend, MARYSUE FULLER got 12 concerts out of 38 on two JVC digital camera's (other concerts were being audio taped) while I worked the streets, poking my head into concerts, sampling as I went. This included the Dream Room, a darkened echo-acoustic room in the old part of Bethany Church with continuous recorded electro-acoustic music playing on eight speakers set in a circle. It was amazing to stand and turn my head this way and that to hear different sounds depending on which speaker created that particular sound mix.

The Dream Room in Bethany Church had several women electronic composers including SARAH PEEBLES pretaped electro-acoustic piece Church called 08:Walking through Tokyo at the turn of the century. I heard this and ANNA RUBIN and LAURIE HOLLANDER's Family Stories when I went in for one of my many stops on my way to somewhere else. Not only was it sound perfect, but the story was well told and seemed to me to be not only musical but historical and political. I am glad she gave me a copy to play on WOMR in Provincetown, now on the internet I would have been happy to just stay in that room for the whole two days. PEGGY MADDEN'S Blaming Marsmallows, for two channel playback, ERIKA JURGEN (a long-standing pseudonym used by the two guys of NN und Ahnliche Elemente, from Germany). Holiday Cottages-The Boys Jenja and Yannic-Scientific Reports-A Bunch of Keys-The Young Lady in a Bergmann-And Brazen Lies plus Go Round (Dizzy Turn Rhapsody). MAGGI PAYNE'S Apparent Horizon video/electroacoustic composition was heard. ANNA RUBIN and LAURIE HOLLANDER had Family Stories for playback and stage setting. Luckily I did get to hear ANNA AND LAURIE'S music while on a stopover from my outside work. Not only was it sound perfect, but the story was well told and seemed to me to be not only musical but historical and political. I am glad she gave me a copy to play on WOMR in Provincetown, now on the internet at: http://www.womr.org/listen.html

On Saturday

ELAINE THOMAZI FRETAS produced Reflect, an amazing interative electronic piece including a dancer, CHRISTINA TOWLE. She also had a piece a falta que ele me faz. I didn't get but bits and pieces as I was taking tickets and giving directions outside Christ Church. I had to leave after the second concert at Christ Church, but got a glimpse of BRENDA HUTCHINSON making interesting sounds through "long tubes" (aluminum, her own design), including electronics. There was ALOT going on for those two days.

MAJA CERAR performed on her vioin on two pieces composed by DOUGLAS GEERS at Bethany Church, actually the first two pieces played in the festival at large. She played Enkidu for violin and proccessing and Turnstile for violin and processing.

JIN HI KIM, along with her partner JOSEPH CELLI of O.O..Discs fame performed "compositions for double reeds and komungo" at Christ Church but I was off taking tickets at Bethany Church. I understand that most of these concerts were either audio taped or videotaped. They will appear on the web in streaming audio in time on the Ought-one.com site: http://ought-one.com

CANARY BURTON'S composition was first on a 4pm concert at Bethany Church, The Promise for soprano and piano which kicked off a whole concert performed by VCX which stands for Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble EXTENDED, including other performers.

MARY JANE LEACH'S Lake Eden for six parts in open instrumentation was performed much to the delight of her audience. And the music lingers.

ANNEA LOCKWOOD contributed EAR-WALKING WOMAN for amplified prepared piano at Bethany Church. JENNIFER HYMER of Ensemble Wireworks played the piece and her husband controlled the electronics. You can guess this was well taken by the audience and a bit of fun to boot.

ANNE DECKER conducted STEVE GRYC'S Two Portraits for Bass Drum, 9 hands and ERIC LYON'S (the complete wild man at the piano) Slumber Party Massacre for pinao and 4 percussionists. This almost brought the audience to their feet, all though there were no standing ovations during this festival. Everyone was SO different, the audience simply wanted to listen. Besides, composers are at odds with the seemingly mandantory standing ovations at ANY concert.

MONIEK DARGE did a soundscape composition for voice and violin called Turning Wheel. Another that I missed and that is sad. There was just too much going on all the time for anyone to catch every concert. So many people were rushing out of one concert to perform in another. At first, on Saturday, the performers were trying to make it so that people only entered or left inbetween pieces, but this proved impossible so by the second day people were left to wander in and out. It was like a continual work in progress.

KAIJA SAARIAHO sent her score of Noa Noa for cello and electronics. It was performed by Ha-Yang Kim from the ensemble Odd Appetite, at Bethany Church. This I know is videotaped because I was out in front of the Church taking tickets.

MARGARET LANCASTER had her own concert where she played PAUL STEENHUISEN'S pomme de terre for piccolo, KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN'S Zungenspitzentanz for piccolo, PAUL STEENHUISEN'S cette obscure clarte que tombe des etoiles for flute and tape. Also, JON APPLETON'S Stop Time for tap-dancing flutist, PAUL RELLER'S In Praise of Buddy Hackett for flute and tape, ROB CONSTABLE'S Once-a-thon for flute and tape and ERIC LYON's Once-a-thon 2: the Kiss of Constable for flute, tape and live-proccessed electronis (with Eric Lyon). I was there for this concert and was delighted and impressed with Margaret's playing AND dancing. Our helper, Marysue Fuller had never seen nor heard such music before and went away from the festival with her ears full and happy.

BETH GRIFFITH perfomed JOHN McGUIRE'S A Cappella for voice and tape and MAURICIO KAGEL'S Phonophonie. I, sadly, heard this concert may have not been audio taped.

There was supposed to be a composers and performers jam after these concerts but my crew was exhausted and we went home to a great Vermont extended farm house. We were hosted by Barbara Buckley a member of the Onion River Arts Council. Barabra also volunteered to work the street and City Center. I did hear, that night, a jam session of about 4 people echoing down our particular valley and assume there were more jams out of my earshot.

On Sunday

MARY JANE LEACH on tape and STEVE KLIMOWSKI on bass clarinet, played an altered version of her 4BC for four bass clarinets at the Unitarian Church. Her concert mates were PEGGY MADDEN'S Echoes of the MistWalker for bass clarinet and playback. MARY LOU NEWMARK's pieces, Prayer & Meditation on violin with electronics and 3 on the Green, for violin and electronics.

BETH ANDERSON had a GREAT performance at the Unitarian Church where>she was unable to get performers for one piece, but went forward with her "vocables" based on hers and others poetry. Her pieces were If I Were a Poet, Yes Sir Ree, The People Rumble Louder, I Can't Stand it (fabulous) and Ocean Motion Mildew Mind. I would have liked to hear more from her, but I was grateful to receive a CD from her with many pieces on it that I do not have in my collection. BETH also had a new string piece performed at Bethany Church by a string quartet who were bent of surprizing BETH at her concert, but it didn't work logistically so BETH had to go perform with them, her text-sound at Bethany Church. Pleasure was the word of the day.

MARTIN ALEJANDO FUMAROLA curated a concert of LatinAmerican Electroacoustic Music at Trinity Church, including ADINA IZARRA (Venezuela) Vojm and FRANCESCA ANCAROLA (Chile) Arena.

During everything, CD's, tickets, T shirts and posters were being sold at a good rate to composers and non composers alike. People tended to hear a concert and then run to buy the CD.

NANCY BLOOMER DEUSSEN was at 1:30 PM on Sunday at Bethany with herself on piano and HEATHER HILTSLEY on violin. Her first piece Julia's Song won The Burton Award for 2000. Her second piece was Jubilate also with HEATHER on violin.

ELODIE LAUTEN'S piece Tronic Involutions (complete) was performed at Trinity Church. This church is one that I never even got to peek in the door at.

MATTHEW FIELD'S composition Rooster's Court Ball was played by JACKIE MARTELLE on flute.

MARTHA MOOKE had her own concert at the Unitarian Church using electronic viola. Not only was the music lovely, but her physical performance and fabulous viola were a sight to see. Look for her in your music store. In fact, look in your music store for all of these stars.

EVE BEGLARIAN although playing in near darkness with a voice mic mix that couldn't be heard above the recorded sound track still has the music coming across on video, especially as she danced and moved her arms and body in a marvoulous way around the stage and her instruments. MARGARET LANCASTER lent her flute playing and PHIL KLINE his voice plus ELEANOR SANDRESKY doing something I forgot (but I remember seeing her) for Songs from the Bilitis Project. EVE performed solo on Songs from the Book of Days including "movies" from various artists behind her on a screen. This really was a hit with the audience, even when the computer was being cranky. All in all a great performance.

NURIT TILLES performed her piece, The Kitchen Table her hommage to ragtime composer Donald Ashwander. She also played her first ever composition, Raw Silk. She performed Maurice Ravel's Menuet sur le nom de Haydn; Alexandre Tansman's Hommage a Ravel, Arthur Honegger's Hommage a Ravel; Tom Pierson's Piano Sonata; Paul Paccione's Stations - To Morton Feldman and Charles Ives, Three movements from Sonata No. 1.

ELEANOR SANDRESKY had her own seperate concert at the Unitarian Church. I did not see this performance, A Sleepers Notebook for choreographic piano, but wish I had. Choreographic Piano? This must be something to see!

As time goes on and I get sound CD's of these concerts I will play them on THE LATEST SCORE on WOMR FM in Provincetown.



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