Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, Polling, Bavaria, Germany




La Monte Young    Marian Zazeela




The Just Alap Raga Ensemble


Video Installation World Premiere



 Charles Curtis    Naren Budhkar    Da'ud Constant    La Monte Young    Jung Hee Choi    Marian Zazeela


La Monte Young,  "05 II 05 PM NYC" Raga Sundara,

ektal vilampit khayal set in Raga Yaman Kalyan


Marian Zazeela, Imagic Light


Opening video screening Saturday, April 30, 2005, 5 pm

Continuing Saturdays 3 - 6  pm through October, 2005




The Well-Tuned Piano in The Magenta Lights DVD Installation

Reopening DVD screening Sunday, May 1, 2005, 1 pm

Continuing Sundays 1 - pm through October, 2005




La Monte Young

Trio for Strings (1958)

Just Intonation Version (1984-2001) Avant-Premiere


The Theatre of Eternal Music String Ensemble

Led by Charles Curtis


Live Concert

Saturday, July 23, 2005 - 8 pm


In celebration of La Monte Young's 70th Year, Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, Polling, Bavaria, Germany is presenting the video installation world premiere of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela with The Just Alap Raga Ensemble performing a new composition by La Monte Young, Raga Sundara, an ektal vilampit khayal set in the Northern Indian classical Raga Yaman Kalyan, opening Saturday, April 30, 2005, at 5 pm, continuing every Saturday at 3 pm through October 2005.  This Evening Raga Concert in the contemporary Kirana Style of North Indian Classical Music was recorded live in the MELA Foundation Church Street Dream House on February 5, 2005 in a memorial tribute honoring Pandit Pran Nath's Guru, Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan Sahib, the greatest master of the Kirana gharana during his lifetime. 

  The DVD installation of The Well-Tuned Piano in The Magenta Lights (87 V 10 6:43:00 PM - 87 V 11 01:07:45 AM NYC) by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela continues for the fifth year at Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, on Sundays from 1 - 8 pm from May 1 through October 2005. 

  On Saturday, July 23, 2005 at 8 pm, Kunst im Regenbogenstadl will present the avant-premiere concert of the Just Intonation Version (1984-2001) of La Monte Young's Trio for Strings (1958) performed by The Theatre of Eternal Music String Ensemble led by Charles Curtis, cello, with Reynard Rott, cello, Gascia Ouzounian and Eric Ulman, violins and violas. 

  The two video installations at Regenbogenstadl are set in a site-specific light environment, Magenta Day / Magenta Night, created by Zazeela.  The exhibition also includes two sculptures from Zazeela's Still Light series, her neon sculpture, Dream House Variation III, and a work for video projection, S symmetry V. 1 from Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals.  The installations will continue on Saturday from 3 - 6 pm, and on Sunday from 1 - 8 pm, through October 2005, and by special appointment at Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, Georg-Rueckert-Strasse 1, 82398 Polling bei Weilheim, Germany, Telephone +49 881 417 718, Fax +49 881 417 719; www.regenbogenstadl.de; email: mail@regenbogenstadl.de. 

Raga Sundara was composed by La Monte Young under a commission from the Individual Artists Program of the New York State Council on the Arts.  The Just Alap Raga Ensemble includes La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, voices, accompanied by Jung Hee Choi and Da'ud Constant, voices, Charles Curtis, cello, Naren Budhkar, tabla, and The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath performed by La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela on the pre-recorded Just Dreams CD. 

Pandit Pran Nath has said, "Alap is the essence of Raga.  When the drut [faster tempo] begins, the Raga is finished."  With the Just Alap ensemble, La Monte Young applies his own compositional approach to traditional raga performance, form and technique: a pranam (bow) of gratitude in reciprocation for the influence on his music, since the mid-fifties, of the unique, slow, unmetered timeless alap, and for one of the most ancient and evolved vocal traditions extant today.  Featuring extended alap sections and sustained vocal drones in just intonation over tamburas, Young and Zazeela premiered this ensemble on August 22, 2002 in a memorial tribute to the late sarangi master, Ustad Hafizullah Khan, Khalifa of the Kirana Gharana and son of Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan Sahib. 

Over the succeeding years of The Just Alap Raga Ensemble concerts, Young introduced vocal and instrumental drones in two-, three-, four-, and five-part harmony, and even counterpoint, over the tambura drones in the pre-composition part of the alap.  However, in Raga Sundara, Young introduced two-part harmony into his composition.  This is the first time two-part harmony has been used in the genre of pre-composed Indian classical composition.  The Ensemble introduces the harmony part in the mukra (pick up) to sam (the first beat of the rhythmic cycle) after they have introduced Pa (Sol) above opening middle Sa (Do) in the 'Sthayi (first) section of the composition.  After they introduce the Antara (second) section of the composition, they return to the 'Sthayi with two-part harmony through the entire composition.  When the Antara is presented a second time, it is also presented in two-part harmony.  

Yaman Kalyan is an evening raga to be sung shortly after the sun has set.  Raga Yaman is the auspicious raga for opening a concert or a concert series.  It is a very important didactic raga and one of the first ragas that every student learns. 

Young and Zazeela helped bring renowned master vocalist Pandit Pran Nath to the U.S. in 1970 and became his first Western disciples, studying with him for twenty-six years in the traditional gurukula manner of living with and serving the guru.  They have taught the Kirana style and performed with Pandit Pran in hundreds of concerts in India, Iran, Europe and the United States.  Young and Zazeela have continued to perform, culminating in the concerts with their Just Alap Raga Ensemble.  In June 2002, Young was conferred the title of Khan Sahib by Ustad Hafizullah Khan Sahib. 

The Well-Tuned Piano has been acclaimed as "one of the great monuments of modern culture" (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 1987) and "the most important piano music composed by an American since the Concord Sonata" (Chicago Reader, 1987) and "the king of all just-intonation piano recordings" (Pulse!, 2001). Art Forum (1981) described The Magenta Lights as "an environmental piece in every sense of the word. What Zazeela has represented is the subtle relationship between precision and spirituality. [She] transforms material into pure and intense color sensations, and makes a perceptual encounter a spiritual experience." 

The six-and-one-half hour continuous performance of the Young and Zazeela collaborative masterwork was videotaped on May 10, 1987 during the La Monte Young 30-Year Retrospective presented by MELA Foundation in New York City.  It was first encoded to a single DVD-9 for its world premiere showing at La Beaute international exposition in Avignon as part of the French celebration of the Year 2000.  This DVD installation at Avignon's St. Joseph Church, shown daily and visited by more than 200,000 people during the four-month exhibition, was headlined by L'Express: "La Monte Young: Le Son du Siecle.From March 10 to April 7, 2002, the Berliner Festspiele MaerzMusik presented an installation created in a site-specific light environment by Zazeela at the monumental landmark Staatsbank, with two full screenings of the DVD daily.  From July through September 2003, the Italian premiere of the DVD installation The Well-Tuned Piano in The Magenta Lights (87 V 10 6:43:00 PM - 87 V 11 01:07:45 AM NYC) in a site-specific light environment of Zazeela's Magenta Day / Magenta Night took place daily in the extraordinary 14th century medieval Castel Sant'Elmo, Naples, as part of the Morra Foundation 30-Year Retrospective Festival exhibition celebrating the Living Theatre / Labyrinths of the Imaginary.

In 1964, Young began to compose his magnum opus, The Well-Tuned Piano (1964-73-81-87-present) and recorded four different realizations of the work on magnetic tape, some of which he presented in concert.  The 1974 live world premiere of The Well-Tuned Piano at Galleria L'Attico in Rome was celebrated by a commission for him to sign the Bosendorfer piano, which remains permanently in the special tuning.  The work subsequently became a major focus of Young's compositional activity and he continued to develop new sections and sub-sections that had not appeared in previous performances.  As a result, each performance consists of a unique, spontaneous, independent composition, separately titled according to the date, time and city of the concert.  Through improvisation, Young juxtaposes and interweaves the pre-established materials into a unified realization with beginning and end, complete in itself, but also a subset of the greater whole, The Well-Tuned Piano.  Over the years, Young performed the work live in Germany, Italy and New York 65 times.  The May 10, 1987 New York City performa nce, which is the subject of the DVD documentary, was the last live performance to date. 

The 55 original Betacam and 3/4-inch source tapes from the two cameras that recorded the performance in 1987 were transferred to digiBeta and combined with the original stereo digital audio under the artists' supervision. In a technological triumph, the digiBeta masters were then encoded to a single DVD-9 master, utilizing a process that had only become possible in the year 2000.

In Luister Magazine, The Netherlands, September 2001, Rene Seghers wrote of the DVD and Regenbogenstadl installation: "At will, La Monte Young's music can feel like raining, a rainbow or a sunbeam, but behind mystically charged titles like The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys, The Magic Harmonic Rainforest Chord, etc., there is always a human face.  ...The Well-Tuned Piano reflects the healthy mysticism of everyday life and is -as far as I am concerned- one of the most impressive piano works of the twentieth century.

Kunst im Regenbogenstadl, founded in 1998 by Uli Schaegger and Heike Friedrich in a large, beautifully renovated barn, has been the site of several long-term exhibitions. In 2000, a major exhibition of Marian Zazeela Drawings was accompanied by the publication of a comprehensive catalog of her work.  A mural of a rainbow was found on the facade of the barn before the renovation, inspiring the name Regenbogenstadl, which translates as "Rainbow Barn.Legends tell that a pot of gold is buried at the end of the rainbow and Celtic gold coins were actually found buried in the vicinity of Polling.  The monastery of Polling (one hour south of Munich) is 1250 years old and noted for its historic church and annual classical music concert series in the restored Bibliotekssaal. 

The First Limited Edition of the video of The Well-Tuned Piano in The Magenta Lights in DVD-9 format has been released on the Just Dreams label.  For those who know the out-of-print Gramavision 5-hour, 5-CD release of the 1981 performance of The Well-Tuned Piano, the Just Dreams 401-minute DVD of the entire 1987 performance is the inevitable complement.  The continually expanding composition now includes more musical material than even La Monte Young can play in one setting.  Together, the 1981 release and the 1987 video provide a much more comprehensive perspective of the scope and complexity of the work.  Produced with no region coding restriction, this DVD may be played on any machine in the world.  Young has said, "This DVD captures the most important aspect of my work in composition and performance that I have succeeded in recording to date. It is the yardstick against which all of my other work must be compared.WIRE Magazine wrote in May 2003, "Another important aspect which makes this DVD superior to the original CD, is that Marian Zazeela's Magenta Lights installation can be viewed in all its subtly changing glory.  Rather than being an accompaniment to the music, Zazeela's work becomes an integral part of The Well-Tuned Piano, a solar powered light show that provides a sense of time passing as the shadows lengthen from early evening into night.  Young continues to expand The Well-Tuned Piano, but this DVD acts as the definitive version of this remarkable musical and visual achievement."     

La Monte Young pioneered the concept of extended time durations for over 47 years, contributed extensively to the development of just intonation and rational number based tuning systems in his performance works and the periodic composite sound waveform environments of the Dream House collaborations with Marian Zazeela, and has had a wide-ranging influence on contemporary music, art and philosophy. "For the past quarter of a century he has been the most influential composer in America. Maybe in the world." (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 1985). "As the acknowledged father of minimalism and guru emeritus to the British art-rock school, his influence is pervasive" (Musician magazine, 1986). "Young is now widely recognized as the originator of the most influential classical music style of the final third of the twentieth century." (Strickland, Minimalism:Origins, 1993).

In L.A. in the '50s, Young played jazz saxophone, leading a group with Billy Higgins, Dennis Budimir and Don Cherry.  He also played with Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Terry Jennings, Don Friedman and Tiger Echols.  At Yoko Ono's studio in 1960 he was director of the first New York loft concert series.  He was the editor of An Anthology (NY 1963), which with his Compositions 1960 became a primary influence on concept art and the Fluxus movement.  In 1962 Young founded his group, The Theatre of Eternal Music, and embarked on The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys (1964-  ), a large work involving improvisation within strict predetermined guidelines.  Young played sopranino saxophone and sang with the group.  Dennis Johnson, Terry Riley, Angus MacLise, Marian Zazeela, Tony Conrad, John Cale, Jon Gibson, David Rosenboom, Jon Hassell, and Lee Konitz are among those who worked in this group under Young's direction. 

Marian Zazeela is one of the first contemporary artists to use light as a medium of expression. Over four decades Zazeela has exhibited a unique iconographic vision in media encompassing painting, calligraphic drawing, graphics, film, light projection, sculpture and environment. Expanding the traditional concepts of painting and sculpture while incorporating elements of both disciplines, she developed a new visual language in the medium of light by combining colored light mixtures with sculptural forms to create seemingly three-dimensional colored shadows in radiant vibrational fields. Light and scale are manipulated in such a way that the colored shadows, in their apparent corporeality, become indistinguishable from the sculptural forms, enveloping the viewer in the continual interplay of reality and illusion. Her work has taken the direction of performance in Ornamental Lightyears Tracery, sculpture in the series Still Light and neon works, environment in Dusk / Dawn Adaptation, Magenta Day / Magenta Night and her major work Light, and projection in Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals. 

Imagic Light and The Magenta Lights are realizations of Light in which the inherent properties of colored light mixtures are used as a medium for the transfer of information concerning the position and relation of objects in space.  Installations of Light consist of precisely positioned pairs of colored lights focused on symmetrically arrayed pairs of white aluminum mobile sculptures in different patterns created according to the structural properties of each environment, causing the projection of colored shadows on the ceiling or walls of a room.  Each mobile reflects the color of that portion of the spectrum represented by the light source focused directly on it, while the colors of the shadows cast by each mobile appear as the complement of the projected color mixed with the color of the paired light source focused on the adjacent mobile, all tempered by the eye's adaptation to the overall color field. 

As the mobiles turn in space, reacting to movement and temperature changes in the environment, their shadows continuously display the resultant forms created by the angles and the distances of the light sources to the mobiles.  The overall pattern of shadows gradually shifts through many transformations, including, at times, the perfectly symmetrical alliance of all the component parts. 

As artistic director of The Theatre of Eternal Music, Zazeela creates the visual components of Dream House, a sound and light work in which she collaborates with La Monte Young.  Zazeela and Young have presented Dream Houses, light installations, performances and exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, including La Beaute Avignon, MAC Lyon, Pompidou Center, Paris; Ruine der Kunste, Berlin; 44th Venice Biennale; Galerie Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf; Dia Art Foundation, New York City; MELA Foundation's "La Monte Young 30-Year Retrospective," New York City; Koln Kunstverein; Documenta 5 Kassel; Galerie Heiner Friedrich Koln and Munchen.  On view in New York, the continuous environment Dream House: Seven+Eight Years of Sound and Light, maintained by MELA at its 275 Church Street exhibition space, is open to the public Thursdays and Saturdays, 2 pm - midnight, annually from Fall Equinox through Summer Solstice.