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April 20
1874 - First train out of L.A. to reach new town of San Fernando; Newhall 2 years later [story]


The 57th Annual Grammy Award nominations were announced on Dec. 5. Among the nominees are CalArtians John Luther Adams (Music BFA 73) and the LA-based percussion ensemble, Partch.

Named for the 20th-century microtonal composer Harry Partch, the ensemble received two nominations for its album Plectra & Percussion Dances, which was released on Aug. 12. Partch is up for both Best Classical Compendium and Best Chamber Music / Small Ensemble Performance. The group’s recording features the first complete performance of composer Partch’s three-part cycle of the same name.

harrypartchThe group utilizes sets of microtonal instruments invented by the composer between 1930 and 1972. Partch musician Alex Wand (Music MFA 12) posted photos of the Harmonic Canon (44 string zither), the Adapted Guitar (Hawaiian lap guitar) and the massive Marimba Eroica on his blog last year.

Performers in the ensemble include CalArts faculty David Johnson, Ulrich Krieger and Paul Berkolds as well as CalArts alumni Erin Barnes (Music BFA 97), Matt Cook (Music MFA 10), Yumi Lee (Music BFA 10), Derek Stein (Music MFA 10), Nick Terry (Music MFA 04), T. J. Troy (Music MFA 01) and Wand. The CD was recorded by CalArts recording engineer John Baffa at REDCAT, where Partch performs every June.

Alaskan composer Adams made waves this year with his multimedia orchestral work, Become Ocean—netting the Pulitzer Prize, among an outpouring of other accolades. His work was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category. Additionally, The Seattle Symphony’s recording of Become Ocean was nominated for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Watch a preview of the piece from The Seattle Symphony below.

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony broadcasts on Feb. 8, 2015, on CBS.

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