E (And Sometimes Why)

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If, Bwana is always Al Margolis.
Trio Scordatura is Elisabeth Smalt, viola d’amore; Alfrun Schmid, voice; Bob Gilmore, keyboard/laptop

CD 1: Gilmore’s Girls; E (and sometimes why); The Tempest, Fuggit; Cicada 4AA

CD 2: All for Alf(run); Ringing (Ano)the(r) Bell; Diapason, maybe

“The new 2 cd magnum opus by If, Bwana (Al Margolis) has been almost 3 years in the making. It is the first time he has composed works (usually with pre-recorded sounds) specifically for another ensemble. Gilmore’s Girls, Ringing (Ano)the(r) Bell, and Diapason, maybe were specifically written for Trio Scordatura. Cicada 4AA was the first piece of If, Bwana’s they played (though not written for them in particular). E (and sometimes why) and All for Alf(run) were both composed after the initial recordings and used materials from those sessions. The Tempest, Fuggit, used some of Trio Scordatura’s sounds and combined them with an absolutely awesome, over-the-top performance/reading of a section of Shakespeare’s The Tempest by Michael Peters (of Poemrocket).

We hope that answers the burning question “Why If, Bwana with/and/by Trio Scordatura?” There may not be a better way to describe their involvement with this recording – they played with If, Bwana and they played If, Bwana and they were played with and by If, Bwana.

trio scordatura is an Amsterdam-based ensemble that specializes in vocal and instrumental music involving microtonal tunings and spanning a broad range of musical styles. The basic sound-world of female voice, viola and keyboard is expanded by other sonorities depending on musical context. Their concerts feature “classics” from the worlds of microtonal and spectral music, together with new commissions from a wide range of contemporary composers and sound artists.

trio scordatura grew initially from a project to perform the works for intoning voice, Adapted Viola and Chromelodeon by the American composer Harry Partch. This music, composed in the early 1930s, involves voice and two instruments – a viola and a harmonium – that were adapted by Partch in order to play music in his elaborate microtonal scale with more than forty unequal divisions of the octave. Besides performing the early works of Partch, trio scordatura has formed close working relationships with a number of leading contemporary composers, among them Phill Niblock, the late Horatiu Radulescu, Alvin Lucier, François-Bernard Mâche and Lasse Thoresen. The trio has performed at the Sonorities Festival, Belfast, UK Microfest 2 in Surrey, the KlankKleur Festival in Amsterdam, Musica Sacra Maastricht, Roulette in New York, the Logos Foundation in Ghent, the Transit Festival in Leuven, and gives regular performances at the Karnatic Lab series in Amsterdam.”