program notes

variation 2:

ROSE OF BEANS is a fast sinking curve ball in E flat, the kind my father dreamed he would throw all his life. It is de facto a double trio just like those in Schtyx and in Why is this Night Different - playing together as if Elliott Carter's theory of Metric Modulation was invented in Ghana and realized by Chopin and Fats Waller in Corsica on two Pleyel toy pianos. Throw in a walkman-tuba and a Lady of Spain accordion and you've got the idea...i.e two opposing groups, - one post house, the other pre-jungle, a poor-man's Momente, one group, 2 groups a triple duo, Elliotts double concerto for piano and harpsichord conducted in Berlin by the beloved Bruno Maderna dead drunk; six different tempi going like two hearts in "drei-viertel" time and converging in an absurd Blues Brother's car pile-up leading to a unison getaway conducted by two Balinese scarecrows. Need I get myself into more hot water? Too bad Beethoven never lived to hear Cecil Taylor hear Clara Schumann play Brahms, che ne dice?...................what are Brahms anyway???

variation 1:

Rose... was written back to back with Pittura Fresca in l997. So this strange force field led me to compose two pieces of instrumental music one after the other... perhaps some of the former spilled into the latter no doubt; but the actual composing begun in september of '97 was aimed at a performance in the spring of '98. And in spite of the pressure, the music somehow composed itself, as they say, drawing as I do on old notebooks full of sketches, concepts, poetic phrases and telephone numbers without names I found an old chorale waiting to be orchestrated, a childlike two part invention, a corny Rhumba written for a Polish theater group directed by an italian in Holland; some bring in da' Macedonian Funk chords i've always organized my chaos around and Susan Levenstein's beautiful rendering of the Chopin Nocturne opus 55 n.2 which just wrote itself into the piece like a beautiful stolen apple, plus an empty blackboard waiting to be read by six of the best musicians in California, what more...? Too bad Beethoven never lived to hear Cecil Taylor.

Alvin Curran

Rose Of Beans (1997), for accordion, tuba, violin, piano, viola and percussion. First performance The San Francisco Chamber Players; April 1999

home | upcoming | biography | writings | works | discography | installations | solo performance | scores | listen | search