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Music for The Double Life of Amphibians

Music for The Double Life of Amphibians

Landmark Recordings


Joan La Barbara: soprano / Juilliard Sting Quartet / Joel Krosnick: sello / Calarts Twentieth Century Players / Erika Duke: cello / Dane Little: cello / Morton Subotnick: electronics / Stephen L. Mosko: conductor


  • Edition: CD
  • Year: 2016
  • Order No.: WER 73122
€18.50  *
Incl. VAT and excl. shipping Weight: 0.11 kg

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Description
Morton Subotnick is a living legend in the development of electronic music. A leading innovator in works involving instruments and other media, he used many of the important technological breakthroughs of his time in his work as a composer. Many of his compositions contain electronic or computer-generated parts. The works compiled on this CD form part of the larger work "Music for The Double Life of Amphibians", conceived as a symphonic poem, the title of which can be understood as a metaphor: "The metaphor suggests that the ‘doubleness’ of the amphibians, needing its past-present environment (the water) while reaching for a new present-future world (the air), is our ‘doubleness’ – the past-present and present-future – that beast-spirit and angel-spirit in us all." (Subotnick)

"Axolotl" is a Mexican salamander with two filigree wing-like appendages, extending from either side of the body. These are its lungs for the future transition from water onto land, but the axolotl never goes through the final stage of its potential development – it never reaches air – it remains forever in water.

"Ascent Into Air" starts with section 1 as a dark and intense musical environment without articulation of rhythmic or melodic material. This is followed by more dance-like materials in section 2. The third section is a playful interaction between the pianos, percussion and computer sounds which flows into the fourth section which is more emotional and forceful – even violent. The last section transforms into an ethereal, flowing chorale-like material.

"The Last Dream of the Beast" is a theatrical work, an electronic media drama in which both music and images will be emotional, clearly articulated, forceful and at times violent. "The Beast" means a creature caught between man and beast.

"A Fluttering of Wings" is in four parts played without pause. The opening is fast music of continuous semiquavers. The dance is also quick and continuous. In the third section, the music pauses for the first time. Here individual plucked notes and chords are altered by frequency changes produced by the electronics which help to create a halo-like sound. The final song hovers quietly while the landscape gradually evolves into its ultimate ecstatic form.
Details
Content text: Axolotl for cello solo and an electronic ghost score (1980)
Ascent into Air for two cellos, clarinet, bass clarinet, trombone, bass trombone, 
two pianos, two percussion players and two computer generated sounds (1980-81)
The Last Dream of the Beast for soprano, two cellos, computer generated sounds 
and electronic ghost score (1979, rev. 1982/84)
A Fluttering of Wings for string quartet and an electronic ghost score (1981)
EAN: 4010228731224
Performance duration: 75'53"
Publisher: Wergo
Morton Subotnick is a living legend in the development of electronic music. A leading innovator in works involving instruments and other media, he used many of the important technological breakthroughs of his time in his work as a composer. Many of his compositions contain electronic or computer-generated parts. The works compiled on this CD form part of the larger work "Music for The Double Life of Amphibians", conceived as a symphonic poem, the title of which can be understood as a metaphor: "The metaphor suggests that the ‘doubleness’ of the amphibians, needing its past-present environment (the water) while reaching for a new present-future world (the air), is our ‘doubleness’ – the past-present and present-future – that beast-spirit and angel-spirit in us all." (Subotnick)

"Axolotl" is a Mexican salamander with two filigree wing-like appendages, extending from either side of the body. These are its lungs for the future transition from water onto land, but the axolotl never goes through the final stage of its potential development – it never reaches air – it remains forever in water.

"Ascent Into Air" starts with section 1 as a dark and intense musical environment without articulation of rhythmic or melodic material. This is followed by more dance-like materials in section 2. The third section is a playful interaction between the pianos, percussion and computer sounds which flows into the fourth section which is more emotional and forceful – even violent. The last section transforms into an ethereal, flowing chorale-like material.

"The Last Dream of the Beast" is a theatrical work, an electronic media drama in which both music and images will be emotional, clearly articulated, forceful and at times violent. "The Beast" means a creature caught between man and beast.

"A Fluttering of Wings" is in four parts played without pause. The opening is fast music of continuous semiquavers. The dance is also quick and continuous. In the third section, the music pauses for the first time. Here individual plucked notes and chords are altered by frequency changes produced by the electronics which help to create a halo-like sound. The final song hovers quietly while the landscape gradually evolves into its ultimate ecstatic form.
Content text: Axolotl for cello solo and an electronic ghost score (1980)
Ascent into Air for two cellos, clarinet, bass clarinet, trombone, bass trombone, 
two pianos, two percussion players and two computer generated sounds (1980-81)
The Last Dream of the Beast for soprano, two cellos, computer generated sounds 
and electronic ghost score (1979, rev. 1982/84)
A Fluttering of Wings for string quartet and an electronic ghost score (1981)
EAN: 4010228731224
Performance duration: 75'53"
Publisher: Wergo