Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Three Ways to Cook a Fish

My friend Philip reveals that his suite "Three Ways to Cook a Fish" was performed recently at the San Francisco Composers Orchestra opening season gala. You can listen to it at their web site.

From the program notes:
Three Ways to Cook a Fish is a suite of three dances originally written for oboe and "electronic gamelan." The "Three Ways" are not so much about particular recipes, but about modern approaches to cooking. Much in this work must be credited to the collaboration with dancer/choreographer Cheryl Koehler, and her dancers Marguerite Fishman and Ann DiFruscia. This piece makes use of 6-note (not quite pentatonic) scales, sonorous cluster chords to evoke bell-like effects, various "extended" oboe techniques (e.g., overblowing and multiphonics) and rhythmic ostinatos of various cultural derivations. Two interludes were added to give the pianist relief from ostinato duties.

Philip Freihofner began playing oboe in 7th grade, but quit in his senior year, due to chronic neck strains. During the layoff, he tried his hand at various musical endeavors, including sound design (He is particularly proud of some highly praised work at the Zellerbach Playhouse) and composing modern dance settings, culminating in a collaboration with Cheryl Koehler: "The Fish and the Fire" which played at the Julia Morgan and Cowell Theaters in 1993 and '94. While working on this project, he began playing oboe once again, and has mostly been writing music for oboe since. Phil composed an accompaniment for the 1920 silent German horror film, "The Golem," that is being toured by the ensemble "WiZARDS!" and he is now working on a commission for the 2006 SF Silent Film Festival: a Russian comedy titled "The Girl with the Hatbox."

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Blogger Julia said...

Very nice - I forgot how much I like the sound of an oboe. And somehow his music reminds me of spring.

February 24, 2006 11:15 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

I'm also very partial to the score for Golem, which I believe is for woodwind octet. I don't know if it has been recorded, though. As far as I know, it's always performed live accompanying a screening of the movie.

February 24, 2006 11:45 AM  

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