Franz Kamin


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The two works on this vinyl recording work, both scored for narrator, chorus, and instrumental ensembles, have the interesting, unusual combination of a linear, poetic text wedded to (rather than "set to") instrumental music that has a structured openness (an indeterminant interaction of well-defined events). Rugugmool delivers an impressionist description of a boatsman piloting a woman to meet lovers and friends, with words and phrases recurring magically, a "one-to-one code language" with everything becoming one. There are also instrumental "dances" based on charts from the composer's Book of Animal Models, "which give them abstract musical charms" (Kamin). These dances are : Overture of Traces, Bear Fugue, Song of the Owl, Frog Dance, Dance of the Rats, Wolf Song, Transforms, and Dance for Butterflies, Chordal. Concerning the fantastical text, the composer explains "The poem is a myth-like narrative concerning the passage of the moon through a temporary possession by each of seven animals ... The order of occurrence of the animals (other than the spider) in successive verses is altered in accordance with the pattern of medieval sestina. The 'spider lines' travel thru the verses in a manner peculiar to the spider himself".

In "Behavioral Drift II," (which includes an unusual percussion section of "odd devices", toy winds, wind chimes, bells, small drums, bass drum, snare drum, and wood block) elements of a constant complex of sounds are traded from instrument to instrument, the whole always being present, and the performers are guided by four light panel controllers. "What changes then is the spatial relation, the pitch relation, and the tone colors of the sound events; in short, the entire behavior drifts. It is kind of like being in the midst of a deep woods wherein one may be attracted first to some animal sound and then to the song of a bird, and later on you may hear the same bird coming from a different direction, or perhaps it is a different bird singing the same song, and yet be only subliminally aware that all the animals and birds are present all the time" (Kamin). The text for this piece is from the composer's book Ann Margaret Loves You and Other Psychotopological Diversions. Kamin's earlier works include 7 Dog W for seven supra-audible dog whistles, and A Concert of Door, a composition for doors in the woods.