Program Book 2000-2001 page 16
Concert II: Dance! Program Notes, continued

Foresight is based on this legend and was written in 1987 for the Rova saxophone quartet.

"The Tuning Path and The Pipes of Medb represent the deep night on the fields where the armies of Queen Medb are gathered, where the only sound is the wind blowing through giant organ-like pipes to signal time's static passage. The opening ends with Medb's Blues, which is in the form of a six-bar 10/4 blues tune."

"Song Announcing Dawn's Combat" concerns the story's main adversaries, Cuchulainn and Ferdia, who are foster brothers. The intricate 7/8 rhythms and pulsing drones within hindustani scales tip my intention to link this Irish epic with that of its more famous brother, the Bhagavad Gita, a similar tale of war and moral duty. In a moving plea, Cuchulainn tries to convince Ferdia that he has been tricked by Medb into fighting him and that it is certain he will be killed. Ferdia ignores the warning. The hand to hand battle lasts several days with both warriors retiring each night to lick their wounds before resuming the next dawn's battle. Cuchulainn, after many days of fighting with various weapons, finally slays Ferdia with his secret weapon, the gae bolga."

"The gift of prophecy is enacted as the Light of Foresight in a scene where the hero Cuchulainn has completed his warrior and shamanistic training under his guru, Scathach. She chants to him his future through the light of foresight. The chant is composed in sets of repeating phrases that couple 8/8 and 7/8 measures that undergo continual variation towards more impassioned and frantic statements before ending much as it begins."

"Ferdia's Death Chant is the lament of Cúchulainn as he removes the gae bolga from Ferdia's lifeless body. It is performed in the same tuning as the Pipes of Medb and is in simple four-part chorale form." -Terry Riley

ASTOR PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) was a composer and bandoneón player who revolutionized tango music. In 1924 Piazzolla's family moved from Buenos Aires to New York City-Astor was only three years old. They stayed there, with a brief interlude, until 1936. He listened to Cab Calloway in Harlem. Later, again in Buenos Aires, he played traditional tango on his bandoneón

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Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book program notes