By Greg Vandy, Daniel Person
In 1941, Woody Guthrie wrote 26 songs in 30 days—including classics like “Roll On Columbia” and “Pastures of Plenty”—when he was once employed via the Bonneville energy management to advertise some great benefits of reasonable hydroelectric energy, irrigation, and the Grand Coulee Dam. Timed to have fun the seventy fifth anniversary of this undertaking, KEXP DJ Greg Vandytakes readers contained in the strange partnership among one in every of America’s nice folks artists and the government, and indicates how the yank folks revival was once a reaction to challenging times.
26 Songs In 30 Days plunges deeply into the historic context of the time and the innovative politics that embraced Social Democracy in the course of an period within which the U.S. were critically struggling with the nice melancholy. And notwithstanding this can be a musical background of a colourful American musical icon and a particular a part of the rustic, it couldn’t be a greater reminder of ways undying and expansive such issues are in today’s political discourse.
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Additional info for 26 Songs in 30 Days: Woody Guthrie's Columbia River Songs and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest
It’s the basic visual design, you might say, in Art Deco. The points of repose throughout the piece, that is, places where one gets the feeling of closure, where forward motion partially stops, remind me of the Fibonacci (Italian mathematician, b. 1170) series, a number system that describes the way certain things in nature grow. Each spiral of a seashell, for example, grows in the form of the Fibonacci series, in which you simply add the two previous numbers to get the next, for example, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and so forth.
But it is spaced out over a range of four octaves. The chorus by itself encompasses more than two octaves. Between the bass, tenor, alto, and soprano are symmetrical intervals of a minor ninth; the tenor and alto parts are compressed into a three-note cluster, which covers only a minor third. Such a lovely symmetry. By starting with a neutral five-tone cluster, Feldman expresses the color of each instrument, as well as the simultaneities, free of functionality. Feldman loved the music of the Austrian composer, Anton Webern.
Satb means soprano, alto, tenor, and bass singing voices. The orchestra consists of flute, oboe, E‑flat clarinet (a smaller version of the clarinet that you may know), B-flat clarinet (which is the normal one), bass 38 : m u s i c 1 0 9 clarinet, bassoon, French horn, B-flat trumpet, trombone, tuba, piano, harp, amplified guitar, and two percussionists. One percussionist plays a glockenspiel (that high little bell instrument that you often see in a marching band, only this is laid out flat), marimba (a large, wooden xylophone instrument), and timpani or kettledrums.