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Lingua II: Maledetto/Antiphony VIII
"The work and thought of the American composer Kenneth Gaburo (1926-1993) exhibited many striking changes during his lifetime. In fact, while the world of commercial endeavor still insists that artists develop a recognizable personal 'style,' Gaburo's life-work can be seen as one of continual change and exploration, rather than one of codification and promotion. Some of these changes are beautifully illustrated by the two works on this CD, 'Maledetto,' for seven speaking voices, from 1967-1968, and Antiphony VIII (Revolution), for percussionist and electronic tape, from 1982-1983. Both are intricate and powerful works, both take their inspiration from 'non-musical' materials, and both require virtuosity of a most uncommon order. However, beyond that, the two works could not be more different. 'Maledetto' is a wild choral piece, a great complex cry, a work that, while reveling in a surface texture of innuendo, word play, and pseudo- and real- history, spoken/shouted/sung by 7 amazing speakers, contains within itself a deep and profound celebration of the body, the physical, the sexual. It is one of the earliest of Gaburo's works where his concern for holistic thinking and art-making comes to the fore. Speaking voices also figure in 'Antiphony VIII,' but here they are the voices of people giving their heartfelt reactions to the notion that nuclear war has made their lives expendable. This work was created at least 15 years after 'Maledetto,' and the boisterous energy of the Sexual Revolution, one of the earliest counter-cultural movements of the mid-1960s, has given place to the grim organizational determination of the various anti-nuclear movements of the 1980s."