The Synth in some Choral Works
Some additional chances came as I made some accompaniments to some
moderately avant-garde choral works by Monte Mason, performed with his Twin
Cities men's choir, the Gregorian Singers. One of them was especially
successful, and appears on the "Pipedreams
Premieres" CD from Minnesota Public Radio: "Psalm 139" by Monte Mason,
with organ, synthesizer, and men's choir. Originally written for an Orff
instrument ensemble and influenced by the sound of the Javanese gamelan,
the synth and its sequencer created a wonderful plucked / tuned percussion
ensemble for this evocative work. Note that the CD booklet does not
credit James Frazier as organist! I just "ran" the synth -- in this
case, starting and stopping the onboard sequencer and managing tempo
In April 1993, I collaborated with Frank Winkels (now deceased), and Larry
Reynolds in the first "Dueling Keyboards" program at Annunciation. The
VFX-SD was supplemented by some of Frank's instruments: a Proteus/2
orchestral module and an Ensoniq SQ-80 (mostly used as a "second manual").
This was a populist program, with excerpts from Carnival of the Animals and
such. The real fun work was Ravel's "Mother Goose" suite. Piano duet or
2-piano works are easy to "register" with just a little imagination and
marking up of the original score -- no complex transcription necessary!
The Ravel was aired regionally on Minnesota Public Radio's "Artists in
Concert" about 2 years later.
Here are two later programs with other collaborators:
Dueling Keyboards II (1994)
Dueling Keyboards III (1995)
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Last updated 3/8/97