Album Notes


Four Compositions

ROSCOE MITCHELL, through his participation in the establishment of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and as a founding member of the world-renowned Art Ensemble of Chicago, was instrumental in creating the body of musical literature that ushered in the post-Coltrane period. Mr. Mitchell  has received numerous awards and grants including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Wisconsin Arts Board (WAB), Vilas Foundation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a research grant from Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustic Musique (IRCAM) in Paris, France. He founded the “Creative Arts Collective” (CAC) of East Lansing, Michigan and he is the founder/leader of the Sound Ensemble and a co-founder of the trio, Space.

Roscoe Mitchell’s innovations as a solo performer, his role in the resurrection of long-neglected woodwind instruments of extreme register, and his reassertion of the composer into what has traditionally been an improvisational form, have placed him at the forefront of contemporary music for over twenty years.

GLENN BOWEN earned a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music, and has played principal clarinet with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Arkansas State Orchestra and the Ballet Theater Orchestra. Now a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he has also performed with the New York Woodwind Quintet and taught at North Dakota State University, Concordia University, Northwestern University and Lawrence University.

TOM BUCKNER has performed with Roscoe Mitchell throughout the United States and Europe since 1979 as a member of the trio Space. He founded the 22-piece Arch Ensemble for experimental music in Berkeley, CA in 1975, performing and recording works of established twentieth-century masters such as Luigi Dallapiccola and premiering many works of American composers, including Roscoe Mitchell, Robert Ericson and Robert Ashley. Most recently he has been touring with Ashley’s Atalanta (Acts of God), performing as guest soloist with new music ensembles in New York and at music festivals around the country, and giving solo recitals. His singing of both early music and twentieth-century music has been recorded on the 1750 Arch, Musical Heritage, Black Saint and Lovely Music labels.

ROBERT COLE, flutist, was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Wingra Woodwind Quintet and the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet, with whom he recorded extensively (Columbia Records), and toured throughout the USA and Europe. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with William Kincaid. Cole is also widely respected as teacher, clinician, and flute collector/historian. He is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

KAREN GIFFORD received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California, a Master of Music from Northwestern University, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has performed as a member of the USC Woodwind Quartet as well as the USC Symphony and Opera Orchestra.

RICHARD LOTTRIDGE played for seven years with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and earned an Artist’s Diploma from the Curtis Institute, a Bachelor of Music from Yale University and a Master of Music from the American Conservatory in Chicago. Currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he has been awarded two fellowships to the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood and can be heard in a solo recital on Golden Crest Records.

VARTAN MANOOGIAN, soloist, ensemble musician, and concert master, has performed on five continents. In New York and at  the Library of congress in Washington DC, he has premiered the works of such living composers as Milton Babbitt and Christobal Halffer. He graduated from the Paris conservatory and the Juilliard School. After Juilliard, his career took him to Switzerland, where he was the Associate Concert Master of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and later became concert master of the famed Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Ernest Ansermet and Paul Kaletzky, with which he toured Japan. In addition, he has recorded for Vox and Musical Heritage. Recently, as conductor and violinist, he videotaped the “Guide to Orchestral Bowing through Musical Styles.” Mr. Manoogian is a faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

GERALD OSHITA was born in Waverly, Iowa and now resides in San Francisco. He is an accomplished player of woodwind instruments including the Conn-o-sax and the contrabass sarrusophone, for which he is composing an ongoing cycle of pieces called New Compositions for Extinct Woodwinds. He has performed with Roscoe Mitchell throughout the United States and Europe since 1979 as a member of the trio Space. Mr. Oshita has collaborated with visual artists, dancers and poets, most notably a tour with Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Anne Sexton. He has composed, performed and recorded with pianist Yosuke Yamashita and with the Diarakuda Kan Dance Company of Tokyo. Through his study of shakuhachi with Kodo Araki V, Mr. Oshita developed a series of solo forms for woodwind instruments. His composition Cycle Textures for Chamber Orchestra was performed by the Arch Ensemble for Experimental Music in New York City and Berkeley, CA. He continues his work in the fields of sound engineering, textural/timbral experimentation and multiphonics.

BRIAN W. SMITH, composer/multi-bassist, was born in Chicago, IL. Initially self-taught, Brian studied extensively with Joseph Guastefest (principal bassist with the Chicago Symphony) while a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra. Later, as the first recipient of the prestigious Charles Clark Memorial Scholarship, Mr. Smith continued his studies and became a member of the Florida Symphony Orchestra’s bass section. He then studied composition and conducting under Ralph Shapey at the University of Chicago.

While in Chicago, Smith performed with Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, and the legendary Von Freeman. Arriving in New York City in 1976, Brian performed with many musicians including Philly Joe Jones, Anthony Braxton, David Murray, Dewey Redman and Lionel Hampton. Additionally, he composes for and performs in his own ensembles. In 1979, he founded and became musical director of the World Bass Violin Ensemble. The WBVE has performed in Canada, the United States and is planning a European tour.

JOAN WILDMAN, performer and composer, is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who teaches Music Theory, Jazz Improvisation, and synthesizer performance. A native of Nebraska, she received her DMA from the University of Oregon in 1977 and has taught at Central Michigan University and the University of Maine. Both as a solo pianist and with her trio, she performs throughout the mid-west and the east coast. In 1987, she received the chancellor’s creative arts award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in recognition of her work in performance and composition.

Produced by Thomas Buckner for 1750 Arch, Inc.
Recorded at Mills Hall, the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the Mark Levinson Master Recording System by Gerald Oshita.
Prelude was recorded at the Center for Education and Arts, New Haven, CT on the Mark Levinson Master Recording System by Dean Roumanis.
Partial Funding for the recording of Prelude was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

With special thanks to Marty Cann.

Cover photograph, “Untitled—Lansing, Michigan,” by Jim Colando.
Interior photograph by Lauren Deutsch.
Design: By Design.

Art Ensemble of Chicago Publishing/AMRA

1. NONAAH trio version for flute bassoon & piano (11:58)
Robert Cole, flute; Richard Lottridge, bassoon; Joan Wildman, piano

2. Duet for Wind & String for violin and alto saxophone (7:17)
Vartan Manoogian, violin; Roscoe Mitchell, alto saxophone

3. Cutouts for wind quintet (9:34)
Wingra Woodwind Quintet: Karen Gifford, flute; Glen Bowen, clarinet; Marc Fink, oboe; Richard Lottridge, bassoon; Douglas Hill, horn

4. Prelude quartet for voice, bass saxophone, contrabass sarrusophone,  and triple contrabass viol (10:08)
Tom Buckner, voice; Roscoe Mitchell, bass saxophone; Gerald Oshita, contrabass sarrusophone; Brian Smith, triple contrabass viol