Congrats to David First for the article in the New York Times.
The best quote from the article:
“Both the electronic drones and the “live” instrumentalists use just intonation tuning, keeping with Mr. First’s ongoing experiments with microtonal music, or music that explores the intervals between adjacent keys on a piano.” – Seth Coller Walls
David received a Harvestworks residency in 1992. His band the Notekillers performed with vocalist Shelley Hirsch in our 2009 anniversary benefit and in 2017 we presented Drone Procedures and Auditory Driving: Unlocking the Deep Mind with Kate Henderson an experiential meditation.
In our studios, we supported the recording of his Ritual Opera The Manhattan Book of the Dead performed live at LaMama Theater Annex May 1995.
“The Manhattan Book of the Dead was my response to the ongoing AIDS crisis that was plaguing NYC (and elsewhere in the late 80s-mid 90s). I just felt like I needed to do something more concrete than merely going about my business. Putting my own particular talents to use seemed like a good way to go about it, and it was cathartic for me as well. It explored many sides of my musical personality—including the first “songs” I’d written in many years. But it also had some of the most advanced just intonation drone pieces and corresponding rhythmic structures I’d ever done. Also, the root/fifth drones heard throughout much of it was two elbows on the piano—I believe the first time that had been done…” from David First: Data Dump
The cast is all listed in the opening credits of Act 1. Featuring our friends the great baritone Thomas Buckner and Lisa Karrer, one of the angels in chorus.