California Composer Terry Riley launched what is now known as the Minimalist movement with his revolutionary classic In C in 1964. This seminal work provided a new concept in musical form based on interlocking repetitive patterns. Its impact was to change the course of 20th Century music and its influence has been heard in the works of prominent composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams and in the music of Rock Groups such as The Who, The Soft Machine, Tangerine Dream, Curved Air and many others. Terry’s hypnotic, multi-layered, polymetric brightly orchestrated eastern-flavored improvisations and compositions set the stage for the prevailing interest in a new tonality. In 1970, Terry became a disciple of the revered north Indian raga vocalist, Pandit Pran Nath and made the first of his numerous trips to India to study with the Master. He appeared frequently in concert with the legendary singer as tampura, tabla and vocal accompanist over the next 26 years until Pran Nath’s passing in 1996. Riley’s innovative first orchestral piece, Jade Palace was commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the Centennial celebration 1990/91. June Buddhas, for Chorus and Orchestra, based on Jack Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues was commissioned by the Koussevitsky Foundation in 1991. Riley has written over 14 string quartets for the famed Kronos Quartet. In addition, Terry Riley was listed in the London Sunday Times as “one of the 1000 makers of the 20th Century.”
Stefano Scodanibbio, contrabass soloist and composer, was born in Macerata, Italy. In the 1980s and 1990s his name was prominently linked to the renaissance of the double bass, playing in the major festivals throughout the world dozens of works written especially for him by such composers as Bussotti, Donatoni, Estrada, Ferneyhough, Frith, Globokar, Sciarrino and Xenakis. He has created new techniques extending the colors and range of the double bass heretofore thought impossible on this instrument. In 1987, in Rome, he performed a four-hour non-stop marathon playing twenty-eight pieces by twenty-five composers. He collaborated extensively with Luigi Nono and with Giacinto Scelsi. He regularly plays in duo with Rohan de Saram and with Markus Stockhausen. Since the 1990’s, Stefano Scodanibbio has taught master classes and seminars at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, Oberlin Conservatory, Musikhochschule Stuttgart, Conservatoire de Paris and Conservatorio di Milano. In 1996 he taught Contrabass at Darmstadt Ferienkurse.
Bharatanatyam. It is the most ancient of the classical dance forms of Southern India and comes from a centuries old tradition of spiritual ritual dance performed in the temples. There are two aspects of the dance, the first purely rhythmical (pure dance) and the second, which tells stories from Hindu mythology and the daily lives of village people (abhinaya.) For hundreds of years these dances were performed as daily temple puja (ceremony) by women called Devadasi (Servants of God). Using abhinaya (a language of gesture) and adavus (complex steps), the dancer surrenders her identity to become the vehicle for the expression of ecstatic grace. Srimati Shyamala is a gurumai of the Balasaraswati lineage of Bharatanatyam. She danced at the age of seven and when she was fourteen began her studies with the legendary T. Balasaraswati. Shyamala is considered to be Bala’s leading disciple and is highly respected for her dedication to the preservation of this extraordinary dance form. She is director of the Koothambalam School of Traditional Bharatanatyam with branches in Chennai, India and Boulder, Colorado. She teaches in India, the U.S. and Europe and performs to acclaim internationally. Her students include Aniruddha Knight, the grandson of Balasaraswati. Shyamala is part of a small group of dance masters who are striving to keep this art alive as ritual offering to the divine. This event was a rare opportunity to experience the dance form in its original purity.
Harupin Ha Butoh Dance Theater – features Koichi and Hiroko Tamano who were both principal dancers in Japan for Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of Ankoku Butoh (dance of darkness.) Koichi Tamano made his United States debut in 1976 at the “Japan Now” exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Hijikata called Koichi Tamano “the bow-legged Nijinsky”, a quote later rendered in English by Alan Ginsberg. Classical Butoh is frequently semi nude, and muscle worshipping Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima considered Koichi Tamano to have the most perfect body among Japanese dancers. Koichi Tamano was declared a national treasure by the Emperor of Japan. Tamano has frequently danced atop a ten-foot tall drum played by Seiichi Tanaka, Grand Master of San Francisco Taiko Dojo at international taiko festivals. Hiroko Tamano is a master performer and teacher who, from a very early age, also worked directly with the founder of the Butoh tradition, Tatsumi Hijikata. Hiroko came to the U.S. from Japan in 1979 and with her husband Koichi Tamano formed the Harupin-Ha Butoh Company. 1750 Arch Concerts first presented them in California. Harupin-Ha has gone on to become highly acclaimed internationally for the depth and imagination of their performances.