Peter Garland

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Peter Garland (1952), a student of Harold Budd and James Tenney, is a musicologist who has lived in Mexico to conduct research on Hispanic music, and whose compositions are influenced by Native-American music. Influenced by Harry Partch, Garland composed mainly for percussion instruments, distancing himself from European instruments. Then he fell under the spell of Lou Harrison and adopted a compromise: Dreaming of Immortality in a Thatched Cottage (1977) mixes a harpsichord and Balinese bamboo percussion.

Border Music (OO, 1992) contains the three-movement Cantares de la Frontera (1986) and Three Strange Angels.

Walk In Beauty (New Albion, 1992) contains two pieces for solo piano (the six-movement Walk In Beauty and Jornada del Muerto) and one for piano, violin, vibes and percussion.

Nana + Victorio (Avant, 1993) contains two compositions dating from the 1980s: the extended six-part solo percussion piece Nana + Victorio, and the brief Penasco Blanco (1984), for piano and vibes.

The Days Run Away (Tzadik, 2000) collects solo piano vignettes (mostly from the 1970s) that echo Erik Satie.

Another Sunrise (Mode, 2002) collects a 14-minute version of Dreaming of Immortality in a Thatched Cottage (1977), the 25-minute Another Sunrise (1995) for two pianists and four percussionists (rattles, steel drum, vibraphone, marimbula, and bass marimba), and the 16-minute I Have Had to Learn the Simplest Things Last (1993), a tribute to John Cage for piano and three percussionists.

Love Songs (Tzadik, 2005) contains the 13-minute Love Songs for piano and violin, the 14-minute Coyote's Bones also for piano and violin, and the six brief Matachin Dances for violin.

String Quartets 1 & 2 (2009) collects the first string quartet of 1986, influenced by minimalist repetition (and praised by Lou Harrison but a bit overrated), and the second string quartet of 1994.

Waves Breaking on Rocks (Elegy for All of Us), (New World, 2011) collects a 35-minute six-movement piano sonata composed in 2003 for pianist Aki Takahashi and the five-minute Roque Dalton Songs performed by the Santa Fe New Music Orchestra.

String Quartet No. 4 was composed in 2014.

Birthday Party (2017) contains the vibrant and euphoric (by his standards) seven-movement 20-minute piano sonata Amulet (2010), that at times seem to deconstruct renaissance and baroque court music (or, quite simply, the birthday singalongs), and possibly his piano masterpiece; the 15-minute piano sonata Blessingway (2012); and the four-movement, 28-minute, pensive and ethereal piano sonata The Birthday Party (2014).

Moon Viewing Music (2018) contains the six-movement Moon Viewing Music for three large knobbed gongs and one large tam-tam.

The Landscape Scrolls (Starkland, 2018) contains the 50-minute five-movement The Landscape Scrolls (2011), which is in theory a tour de force for percussion (Chinese and Native-American drums, rice bowls, triangles, glockenspiel and tubular bells). Each movement is mono-chromatic, i.e. performed by only one type of instrument. The first four movements are childish and indulgent, but the 20-minute fifth movement, Early Morning, played on tubular bells, achieves the soulful intensity of some jazz improvisation.

Three Dawns And Bush Radio Calling (august 2019) contains two compositions for solo piano performed by Ron Squibbs: Three Dawns (1982) and Bush Radio Calling (1992).

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