Tuesday, March 3, 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

STEM-Tastic Sunday highlights summer opportunities

By Chloe Lessard | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
County: Baby Justice was on Social Services’ radar

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Budget standoff leaves California college hopefuls in limbo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Nominees sought for city’s human rights awards

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Pedal power: It’s a different kind of March Madness

By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
House to vote on Homeland bill without conditions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

State to supply just 20 percent of water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Rampant crime on the streets of Davis

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Appeals court upholds protection for threatened seabird

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘Pearls Before Swine’ joins daily comics lineup

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Winter market wraps up Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Public broadband, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Alcoholic liver disease strikes Hispanics years earlier

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Embroiderers will discuss needlework tools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Tuleyome needs volunteers for work party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Holmes’ talent showcased

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Bingo games Sunday will benefit DHS Madrigals’ trip

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Go all in for fun at Texas Hold ‘Em tournament

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
DCC Nursery School hosts open house

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Join a fitness party at Zumba class

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Logos Books hosts conversation groups, poetry readings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Get a taste of Middle Earth at library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Sure and begorrah!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Overeaters get support at meetings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

Cycle de Mayo kicks off Bike Month

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Klein’s book featured at Authors on the Move

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
City says it did not OK Ygrene mailers

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A6

.

Forum

The kids aren’t interested

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
One more family insult

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

End the use of this word

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Thanks for act of kindness

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

 
Cannery CFD creates unequal taxation patchwork

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Climate changes are inevitable

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Act for our children’s future

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

UCD alums will want to stay

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Dream run ends for Davis’ master wrestlers

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devil boys net an easy tennis victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

In the Clubhouse: Summerhays Jr. talks about new post at El Macero CC

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lady Blue Devils in semis Tuesday night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggie men host two big ones this week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Newly acquired Smith scores in Sharks’ victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Aggie lacrosse team takes home opener

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Blue Devil girls look for revenge in the pool

By Kellen Browning | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
DHS boys aim to repeat as section swim champs

By Kellen Browning | From Page: B10

.

Features

Name Droppers: Dunn graduates from Marine Corps basic training

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Songs of the Civil War to be performed by Anonymous 4

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Davis Chorale starts year with demanding music

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Thursday Live! features Keith Cary, Wyatt Hesemeyer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Dieter W. Gruenwedel

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Otto Vasak

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7