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Babel: a Composition for Rock Band, Soprano Quartet, and Chamber Ensemble—music and Critical Essay

Description: Babel is a work for rock ‘n’ roll band (two electric guitars, electric bass, drum set), four soprano singers, and a twenty-one instrument mixed chamber ensemble. The 50-minute composition is based on the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11:1-9, and the four-movement structure is derived from the form of this narrative. The first movement, “building rebellion,” establishes man’s intent to build a grand city and tower in a rebellion against God, while the second movement, “seeing/coming down,” describes the all-seeing God’s knowledge of man’s rebellion and God’s descent to the city. Movements three and four, “confusion” and “scatter,” depict the actions of God, confusing humankind’s language and scattering him over the earth. This project fuses rock ‘n’ roll influences with contemporary classical improvisation, creating a work that is sonically and dynamically excessive. One compositional goal was to use small amounts of material as the impetus for directed improvisation, which would be developed to create intricate and evolving textures. Each movement’s score is confined to a single page of music per part, necessitating highly graphic and aleatoric notation. The musical history and musicianship of each player greatly shapes the sonic outcome of Babel. Rigorous structure was mixed with extra-musical associations to create intricate layers of musical and metaphorical meanings. Every decision regarding form, pitch, rhythm, and improvisatory state is linked to a meaningful mathematical, philosophical, or theological idea. Out of the intention to illustrate a multi-layered, Biblical text interpreted in vastly different ways, came a complex work of art that challenges, yet welcomes, performers and listeners of all kinds.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Peringer, Patrick Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries
transcript

Show 5 - Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll: The rock revolution gets underway. [Part 1]

Description: Conceptualized in 1967 after attending the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, John Gilliland’s “The Pop Chronicles” traces the history of popular music from the 1950’s through the 1960’s. Mr. Gilliland wrote, narrated and produced these 55 hours of broadcasting first airing at KRLA Pasadena, CA. in February 1969. The pop music history is told by an interleaving of Mr. Gilliland’s narration, music, and comments from the interviews of the people directly involved in the music scene of the day. The guests are: Little Richard, Fats Domino, Buck Ram, Frank Zappa and others.
Date: unknown
Duration: 55 minutes 11 seconds
Creator: Gilliland, John
Partner: UNT Music Library
transcript

Show 6 - Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll: The rock revolution gets underway. [Part 2]

Description: Conceptualized in 1967 after attending the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, John Gilliland’s “The Pop Chronicles” traces the history of popular music from the 1950’s through the 1960’s. Mr. Gilliland wrote, narrated and produced these 55 hours of broadcasting first airing at KRLA Pasadena, CA. in February 1969. The pop music history is told by an interleaving of Mr. Gilliland’s narration, music, and comments from the interviews of the people directly involved in the music scene of the day. The guests are: Little Richard, Fats Domino, Buck Ram, Frank Zappa and others.
Date: unknown
Duration: 55 minutes 32 seconds
Creator: Gilliland, John
Partner: UNT Music Library

The Past Sure Is Tense: Revisiting Rock History Narratives with the John Gilliland Pop Chronicles Interviews [Presentation Notes]

Description: Notes accompanying a presentation on the interviews present in the John Gilliland Collection, and how they can inform rock music historiography. It was presented at the joint Texas Chapter of the Music Library Association and the Southwest Chapter of the American Musicology Society meeting held on September 24-26, 2020.
Access: Restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: September 26, 2020
Creator: Feustle, Maristella
Partner: UNT Music Library

The Past Sure Is Tense: Revisiting Rock History Narratives with the John Gilliland Pop Chronicles Interviews [Presentation]

Description: Presentation on the interviews present in the John Gilliland Collection, and how they can inform rock music historiography. It was presented at the joint Texas Chapter of the Music Library Association and the Southwest Chapter of the American Musicology Society meeting held on September 24-26, 2020.
Access: Restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: September 26, 2020
Creator: Feustle, Maristella
Partner: UNT Music Library
transcript

Show 12 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. [Part 2]

Description: Conceptualized in 1967 after attending the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, John Gilliland’s “The Pop Chronicles” traces the history of popular music from the 1950’s through the 1960’s. Mr. Gilliland wrote, narrated and produced these 55 hours of broadcasting first airing at KRLA Pasadena, CA. in February 1969. The pop music history is told by an interleaving of Mr. Gilliland’s narration, music, and comments from the interviews of the people directly involved in the music scene of the day. The guests are: Rick Nelson, Dick Clark, Bobby Darin, Leiber and Stoller, Phil Spector and others.
Date: unknown
Duration: 55 minutes 03 seconds
Creator: Gilliland, John
Partner: UNT Music Library
transcript

Show 14 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. [Part 4]

Description: Conceptualized in 1967 after attending the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, John Gilliland’s “The Pop Chronicles” traces the history of popular music from the 1950’s through the 1960’s. Mr. Gilliland wrote, narrated and produced these 55 hours of broadcasting first airing at KRLA Pasadena, CA. in February 1969. The pop music history is told by an interleaving of Mr. Gilliland’s narration, music, and comments from the interviews of the people directly involved in the music scene of the day. The guests are: Rick Nelson, Dick Clark, Bobby Darin, Leiber and Stoller, Phil Spector and others.
Date: unknown
Duration: 55 minutes 21 seconds
Creator: Gilliland, John
Partner: UNT Music Library

Gâteau d'anniversaire

Description: Recording of Roland Cahen's Gâteau d'anniversaire. Described by the composer as a musical joke made for the 25th anniversary of the Experimental Music Group of Bourges, and noted as the composer's only (recent) attempt at a rock song.
Access: Restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: 1995
Duration: 4 minutes 14 seconds
Creator: Cahen, Roland
Partner: UNT Music Library
transcript

Show 13 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. [Part 3]

Description: Conceptualized in 1967 after attending the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, John Gilliland’s “The Pop Chronicles” traces the history of popular music from the 1950’s through the 1960’s. Mr. Gilliland wrote, narrated and produced these 55 hours of broadcasting first airing at KRLA Pasadena, CA. in February 1969. The pop music history is told by an interleaving of Mr. Gilliland’s narration, music, and comments from the interviews of the people directly involved in the music scene of the day. The guests are: Rick Nelson, Dick Clark, Bobby Darin, Leiber and Stoller, Phil Spector and others.
Date: unknown
Duration: 54 minutes 04 seconds
Creator: Gilliland, John
Partner: UNT Music Library
transcript

Show 20 - Forty Miles of Bad Road: Some of the best from rock 'n' roll's dark ages. [Part 1]

Description: Conceptualized in 1967 after attending the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, John Gilliland’s “The Pop Chronicles” traces the history of popular music from the 1950’s through the 1960’s. Mr. Gilliland wrote, narrated and produced these 55 hours of broadcasting first airing at KRLA Pasadena, CA. in February 1969. The pop music history is told by an interleaving of Mr. Gilliland’s narration, music, and comments from the interviews of the people directly involved in the music scene of the day. The guests are: the Beach Boys, Four Seasons, Simon and Garfunkel, Trini Lopez, Bobby Vee and others.
Date: unknown
Duration: 55 minutes 59 seconds
Creator: Gilliland, John
Partner: UNT Music Library
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