Listen: "Habanero" and "Dogjam" by John Adams
Opening a week of performances and conversations from La Jolla SummerFest 2004, NPR's Fred Child welcomes a quartet featuring violinist and SummerFest Artistic Director Cho-Liang (Jimmy) Lin to the stage. The ensemble performs and discusses two movements from "Alleged Dances," written by American composer John Adams in 1999.
Lin is joined by violinist Leila Josefowicz, violist Paul Neubauer and cellist Haie-Ye Ni. The musicians talk with Child about the curious sense of humor that permeates Adams' work. "Alleged Dances" was written for a quartet and a "prepared" piano.
Invented by John Cage in the 1960s, a prepared piano is one that has foreign objects placed inside to allow for the creation of unique rhythmic constructions. The quartet at La Jolla used a pre-recorded track of the prepared piano part for its performance of "Habanera" and Dogjam."