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Mario Davidovsky

The Arts

Series features tribute to ‘the father of electronic music’

Mario Davidovsky was a regular resident composer at Yellow Barn

“Patio Noise” conversations take place by Zoom, each Tuesday through Oct. 27th from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. The “room” will be open via Yellow Barn’s homepage. Those participating are invited to share insights and questions in advance by sending them in advance, or by using the Zoom “chat” option. For more information, go to or call 802-387-6637.

PUTNEY—On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Yellow Barn Artistic Director Seth Knopp continues his Patio Noise conversations with a look back at last summer’s tribute to Mario Davidovsky.

Joining Knopp will be double bassist Lizzie Burns, clarinetist Yasmina Spiegelberg, cellist Coleman Itzkoff, and violinist Alice Ivy-Pemberton, as well as sound engineer Julian McBrowne. Listeners are invited to join the discussion at from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m.

Last July, Yellow Barn musicians offered a tribute to Mario Davidovsky, the father of electronic music, who died in 2019. Not wanting to wait another year to honor his colleague and mentor, Knopp devoted this year’s composer portrait to Davidovsky, who was a regular resident composer at the annual music festival.

“Whether he was writing with acoustic instruments or electronically influenced tape in the studio, his music always reflected a wonderful human element and something that people connect[ed] to in the deepest ways,” said Knopp in a news release.

While Yellow Barn musicians were able to stream live performances from the Big Barn last summer, the traditional “intermission chatter” between musicians and audience members did not happen.

That missing element is the impetus for Yellow Barn Patio Noise. Said one recent participant, “WOW! That was almost as good as being at YB! Thank you all — performers and listeners. Even though we’re still not together in actual time and place, today brought me once again closer to everyone.”

Born in 1934 in Buenos Aires, Davidovsky was a pioneer in the field of electronic music.

“The best chamber music partners serve as an extension of one’s own arm, constantly finding a balance between acting as a unit and retaining concrete personal identity,” wrote Yellow Barn alumna cellist Annie Jacobs-Perkins for Yellow Barn’s tribute concert. “Davidovsky was the first composer to treat tape as partner, reveling in the new sounds available through technology, while still retaining spontaneity and musicality only possible in live performance.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #579 (Wednesday, September 16, 2020). This story appeared on page B1.

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