For his Roulette TV performance Michael Gordon presents three newly composed untitled works for three violinists and sound samples triggered from a keyboard. In the first piece, the violinists play lilting jig-type dance patterns in an echo-ing (time delay) relationship underscored by a simple tango rhythm. The next piece is an ethereal minimalist lullaby with a gentle pulse and chord progression on the keyboard and a long sustained melody played by the violin trio. The piece has a more aggressive dance nature with constant patterns assigned to the violins and offbeat rhythmic stabs on the keyboard. In his interview, Gordon discusses his early musical training and how it affects his life today, the philosophy of the Bang on a Can Festival, his attraction to string instruments, his collaborative comic-book-opera with David Lang and Julia Wolf entitled “The Carbon Copy Building”, and he explicates his notion of “musical thought”.
Episode release date: 05/08/2010
Host: Phoebe Legere
Raised in Nicaraqua in an Eastern European community, Michael Gordon’s music has the vitality and directness of much of world music. Educated at Yale University, Gordon’s music nevertheless grows from intuitive procedures which embrace minimalism with flavors of folk styles. His recent work includes a large scale symphony with projections entitled “Descasia” premiered by the Basel Symfonietta. He continues to develop the new form called video opera, and to work with the “Bang on a Can” Festival of which he was a co-founder.