Cosmos / Culture Program & Notes
Cosmos / Culture


Wednesday April 13, 2005  7:00 
Zeitgeist Gallery  Cambridge, Massachusetts


Contemporary American Music by John Holland

1. Galaxies  for Piano Solo (with Projected Images)  (2004)
John Holland, Piano

2. A Natural Life for Accordion Solo  (2005)
Luke Wyland, Accordion

3. Three Influences on Four Players  for Piano, Viola,
Accordion, Latin Percussion  (2003)

John Holland, Piano
Heidi Kayser, Viola
Luke Wyland, Accordion
Abraham Gomez-Delgado, Latin Percussion



Latin American Music by Abraham Gomez-Delgado


Abraham Gomez-Delgado, Latin Percussion
Heidi Kayser, Viola
Timo Shanko, Baritone Saxophone
Luke Wyland, Accordion

Program Notes

The score of Galaxies for Piano Solo is divided into twelve movements, each containing a series of integers. The music is accompanied by digital images of galaxies that are projected on the raised inside lid of the piano.

The integers used in the score were drawn from twelve different galaxies, six from the Messier catalog of galaxies, five from the NGC catalog, and our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

The integers in each movement are determined by the letters in the alphabet which spell-out the name of each galaxy. The letter 'a' corresponds to the number 1, the letter 'b' to 2, and so on. Each integer represents the number of sounds to be played. The texture of the music, including pitch, dynamics, and rhythm, is determined by the player. Images of the galaxies function both as inspiration and musical direction for the player, and as visual enhancement to the music.

Originally for Piano Solo, A Natural Life was adapted for accordion for Luke Wyland in 2005.

Similar to Galaxies, the score for A Natural Life consists of integers that represent the number of sounds to be played. The integers used in the score were drawn from the names of various naturalists that have had a significant impact on human culture. The naturalists constitute a short list ranging chronologically from Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) to Edward O. Wilson (1929-  ). The group includes such luminaries as Carolus Linnaeus, John J. Audubon, Charles Darwin, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Rachel Carson. Each of the naturalists acts as a title for that section of the music, as well as a musical inspiration.

A ‘hidden’ audio CD consisting of nature sounds accompanies the 'live' playing.

Three Influences on Four Players was written for Abraham Gomez-Delgado, Heidi Kayser, Luke Wyland, and myself in 2003.

The music contains twelve sections or movements, each consisting of a set of integers, the name of a composer or musician, and a musical expression(s).

I asked each player for whom this work was written to submit three names of composers or musicians who have significantly influenced their musical development. I substituted my own set of influences to fill out the score. Composers range from Bach and Mozart to Bartok , Ives, Cage, LaVoe, and Reich. The integers used in the score were drawn from the surnames of these influences. The integers are determined by the letters in the alphabet which spell-out the name of each musician. Within a single movement (rectangle), all players read the same integers, but in a different order. The musical expressions correspond to different expressive styles of the various composers and musicians.