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Ostertag with the Kronos String Quartet
notes by Bob Ostertag:
the Rage was developed from a recording I made of a riot in San
Francisco in October 1991, which followed California Governor Pete
Wilson's veto of a bill designed to protect gays and lesbians from
I sifted through the recording and isolated those sections that
to my ear suggested music. Some of these involved screaming, whistles,
or windows being smashed. Two were based on slogans chanted by the
crowd ("We're Not Going Back" and "Queers Fight Back"). Two more
were based on individual voices (one shouting "Go For It," and several
people yelling "Burn it" as the California State Office Building
caught fire). I then developed these fragments into full musical
structures through various digital editing techniques, and added
the text by Sara Miles.
parts were developed directly from the recorded material. In some
cases, this took the form of a minutely detailed transcription of
the pitch inflections of the recorded sounds. In other sections,
the process from tape to string parts was more complex, and the
relationship between the two less obvious.
of the peculiar sound of this music comes from the whistles that
many queers carry as a basic self-defense tool, and which emerged
from peoples' pockets by the hundreds during the riot. The whistles
used in performance by the Kronos Quartet are provided by Community
United Against Violence, a San-Francisco-based organization which
assists victims of queer-bashings."
the Rage received it's world premier at the Lincoln Center in NYC,
performed by the Kronos Quartet.
Ostertag's "All the Rage" turned the evening on its head with a
devastating roar of gay anger. Of recent concert pieces having to
do with AIDS, "All the Rage" seems by far the most powerful example.
Mr. Ostertag's stern, purifying gaze has swept away the sentimentality
and melodrama that have compromised more famous compositions in
-- The New York Times
believe "All the Rage" will become an anthem for our time."
-- John Killacky, Walker Art Center