Friday, November 13, 2009

Leedy: The Leaves Be Green, again

Here's a recording of Douglas Leedy's The Leaves Be Green, for solo harpsichord, played by Margret Gries on an instrument made by Owen Daly.  The performance is a bit ponderous for my taste, but it's still great to have it available.   In case you're not familiar with Leedy's work, Brett Campbell of The Eugene Weekly recently wrote:

Oregon teems with artists of national significance who should be better known than they are but are content to maintain a low-key existence here in paradise. One is Douglas Leedy, the Portland-born composer who was right there at the inception of minimalism with his University of California classmates LaMonte Young and Terry Riley in the early 1960s. Like Riley, he also studied Indian music and went onto found the electronic music studio at UCLA and make some of the earliest major synthesizer recordings. Following the example of fellow Portland native Lou Harrison, Leedy made important contributions to the study of musical tuning and was a pioneer in the early music revival, founding one of the West’s finest ensembles, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, still going stronger than ever a quarter century on. In recent decades, he’s studied the music and culture of classical Greece, crafting compositions and tuning systems that attempt to recreate its lost arts. As composer, scholar and performer, then, Leedy has been a pioneer in the 20th century’s most salubrious musical developments — minimalism, the return of beautiful natural tunings (instead of the compromised 12-tone equal temperament that, alas, still dominates most Western music), world music, electronic music and early music. Yet this trail blazing West Coast musical figure lives quietly in Western Oregon, lacking (as far as I know) even that imprimatur of modern artistic existence, a web page or MySpace.  

2 comments:

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