solo cello, flute and alto flute, zoomoozophone, Yamaha DX7II microtuneable synthesizer, diamond marimba, and surrogate kithara

Newband: Theodore Mook, solo cello; Stefani Starin, flute and alto flute; Dean Drummond, zoomoozophone; Dominic Donato, diamond marimba and zoomoozophone; Elizabeth Rodgers, synthesizer, surrogate kithara; Michael Lipsey, zoomoozophone, surrogate kithara;

duration: 12:11

program note

Archipelago is scored for solo cello, flute and alto flute, zoomoozophone (a 31-note per octave mallet instrument), Yamaha DX7II microtuneable synthesizer, and two of Harry Partch’s original microtonal instruments, diamond marimba and surrogate kithara. Each instrument is distinct in timbre and playing technique; the piece seeks to create an underlying architecture allowing them to speak together, as islands in an archipelago are part of the same underlying land mass. The instruments’ microtonal possibilities allow heightened consonant harmonies as well as very subtle, gradual modulations, which evoke geological transformations evolving by small increments over great stretches of time.

Archipelago was commissioned by Newband, whose Instrumentarium includes Partch’s collection of instruments. Newband performed the premiere in 1990 in NYC at Miller Theater’s NewWorksOctober. Since the piece was revised in 1992, it has been performed at The IJsBreker in Amsterdam, the US Arts Festival in Berlin, the Library of Congress (with a subsequent NPR broadcast), the University of Richmond, and the Alternative Museum in NYC. It is included on Newband: Dance of the Seven Veils, Music & Arts CD 931.