Friday, April 17, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Dresher showcases innovative instruments at Mondavi Center

Double duo — guitarist Paul Dresher, left, violinist Karen Bentley Pollick, pianist Lisa Moore and percussionist Joel Davel – will perform April 6-7 in the Studio Theater. Courtesy photo

By
From page A7 | March 27, 2013 |

Check it out

Who: Paul Dresher and friends

When: 8 p.m. April 6 and 2 p.m. April 7; a post-performance Q&A with the musicians will follow both performances

Where: Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis

Tickets: $38 general, $19 students; www.mondaviarts.org, 530-754-2787

Composer/performer Paul Dresher — known for building new and unusual instruments that he uses in the music he writes — will visit the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre on Saturday, April 6, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m. with a program titled “Double Duo.”

Among the uncommon instruments to be heard will be the quadrachord, a horizontal instrument that is about 15 feet long, and has a total string length of 160 inches, with four strings of differing gauges but of equal length, and an electric bass pick-up next to each of the two bridges.

The instrument can be plucked like a guitar, bowed like cello, played like a slide guitar, prepared like a piano and drummed on like a percussion instrument. Because of the extremely long string length (relative to conventional bowed and plucked instruments), and very low open string/fundamental pitches, the instrument is a remarkable tool for exploring alternative tuning systems based on the harmonic series.

Also featured will be an instrument called the marimba lumina, designed by synthesizer pioneer Don Buchla. The marimba lumina’s playing surface includes a traditionally arrayed set of electronic bars. Each bar is made up of two overlapping antennae that receive proximity information from each of the four mallets. This allows the marimba lumina to respond to new performance variables such as position along the length of each bars. In addition, each mallet is tuned to a unique frequency, which allows one to program different instrumental responses for each mallet.

The performers will be Paul Dresher (quadrachord and electric guitar), Joel Davel (marimba lumina and quadrachord), Karen Bentley Pollick (violin) and Lisa Moore (piano, electronic keyboard). Performing in various combinations of solo, duo, trio and quartet, the “Double Duo” repertory moves from entirely acoustic works such as John Adams’ “Road Movies” or Martin Bresnick’s “Bird As Prophet,” through hybrid electro-acoustic works like Dresher’s “Chorale Times Two”  to the invented instrument duo “Glimpsed From Afar,” which will feature both the quadrachord and the marimba lumina.

“Because the quadrachord is so big, and Joel and I both play the instrument at the same time, ‘Glimpsed from Afar’ has a very important choreographic element” — basically, Dresher and Davel need to move back and forth, playing their respective parts, without tripping each other up.

“I’ve always been reluctant to release the piece as an audio-only recording, because it really should be seen, rather than simply heard,” Dresher told The Enterprise. He added that “there is a nine-minute video excerpt on YouTube (also found on the Mondavi Center website) that is really good,” which can give the curious an idea of what to expect when the piece is done in concert.

Bresnick’s “Bird as Prophet” is a duo for violin and piano. “The ‘bird’ is Charlie Parker,” Dresher explained. “Bresnick’s music doesn’t sound like bebop, but in the melodic material you can hear that kind of fluid line.

“Another piece of Bresnick’s, ‘Willie’s Way,’ is a piece that Martin wrote based on a theme by Willie Dixon, which (the ’60s rock group) Cream recorded, creating their own version. (What we do) is our version that should be called ‘Fantasia on a Theme’ by Willie Dixon, and it is almost Brahms meets Willie Dixon meets Cream, which at one time I would not have imagined possible.”

Elsewhere on the program will be a movement from Dresher’s “Double Ikat,” a piece written in 1988-90 that now ranks as a contemporary classic.

Mondavi Center audiences may recall the percussion-driven theater piece “Schick Machine,” which featured Dresher’s music (as well as some Rube Goldberg-like gadgetry), which was performed at the Mondavi Center in November 2009 over several days.

“Those were the first performances of what became the finished version of the piece,” Dresher said.

“Schick Machine” was launched at a time when many presenting organizations like Mondavi were suffering from recessionary budget cutbacks, but in the last year, “Schick Machine” has been touring widely and drawing enthusiastic audiences.

“We just did it in Urbana, Illinois, and then we took it to Hong Kong — it was great to do it for an international audience,” Dresher said. “We’ll be taking it to UCLA and UC San Diego soon. The piece continues to have a good life.”

Tickets are $38 general, $19 for students, available at www.mondaviarts.org or 530-754-2787. A post-concert Q&A session with the performers will follow both performances.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.

Comments

comments

.

News

Turning a mess into olive oil success

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Psychedelic rock posters recall 1960s concerts

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

UCD study: Crickets not enough to feed the world just yet

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1

 
It’ll be a perfect day for a picnic — and lots more

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Bob Dunning: Chasing criminals and water-wasters

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
UCD expands emergency notification service

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A2

California vaccine bill stalls; will come back next week

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Cities: California water reduction order unrealistic, unfair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Enjoy a chemistry bang on Picnic Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Start your Picnic Day with pancakes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Local students to perform at fundraising concert

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
CA House hosts crepe breakfast

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Doxie Derby crowns the winning wiener

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Fundraiser benefits Ugandan women

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

See pups at Picnic Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Davis poet will read his work at library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Free blood pressure screenings offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

 
Rotary Club hosts whisky tasting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Ribs and Rotary benefits local charities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Dodd plans fundraising barbecue in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Soroptimists set date for golf tourney

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Socks collected for homeless veterans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Council will present environmental awards Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Invention and upcycling to be honored at Square Tomatoes Fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Take a peek at Putah Creek on daylong tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Pence Gallery Garden Tour tickets on sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
UC Davis Circle K Club wins awards at district convention

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Davis authors featured at writing conference in Stockton

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Sign up soon for Davis history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Campus firearms bill passes Senate committee

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Emerson featured at photography program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Portuguese influence in Yolo County detailed

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Concert and dance party celebrate KDRT’s 10 years on the air

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Survival skills to be taught at preserve

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

.

Forum

The new one puts her foot down

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Artists offer heartfelt thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

 
It’s time to fight for California’s jobs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Future leaders give back

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Know where your gift is going

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Pipeline veto a good move

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Sports

DHS boys drop another Delta League match

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie women ready to host (win?) Big West golf tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

New strength coach hopes to stem UCD football injury tide

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Herd has too much for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Les, AD Gould talk about the Aggie coach’s future

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
UCD roundup: Quintet of Aggie gymnasts honored for academics

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
River Cats fall to Las Vegas

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

 
Diamondbacks defeat Giants in 12 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12 | Gallery

.

Features

DSF kicks off 10th anniversary celebration at the carousel

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

 
Many summer enrichment opportunities available for students

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

 
What’s happening

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

.

Arts

‘True Story:’ In their dreams

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
‘Once’ an unforgetable celebration of music, relationships

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Honda shows off new Civic at New York show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Obituaries

Robert Leigh Cordrey

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 17, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B10