World of Alan Hovhaness: Ode to gravity, KPFA-FM (Radio program)

More Details Cite This Item

View this item elsewhere:

World of Alan Hovhaness: Ode to gravity, KPFA-FM (Radio program)
Additional title: Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection
Additional title: Ode to gravity (Radio program)
Merce Cunningham Dance Company (Associated name)
Amirkhanian, Charles (Interviewer)
Amirkhanian, Charles (Host)
Amirkhanian, Charles (Radio producer)
Hovhaness, Alan, 1911-2000 (Interviewee)
Cage, John (Instrumentalist)
Hovhaness, Alan, 1911-2000 (Instrumentalist)
KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.) (Broadcaster)
MGM Chamber Orchestra (Performer)

Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation Collection. Audio materials

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1975
Date Issued: 1976-01-28
Date Created: 1981-10-22
Library locations
Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound
Shelf locator: *LDC-A 411
Hovhaness, Alan, 1911-2000
Chamber orchestra music
Percussion and piano music
Radio programs
Statement of responsibility: produced and hosted by Charles Amirkhanian; with interviewee, Alan Hovhaness.
Content: Title provided by cataloger based on the photocopied insert of the original reel container included with the audio disc and audition.
Content: Photocopied insert of the original reel container, side 1: "Pacifica KPFA FM 94.1, KPFB FM 89.3 ; Ode to Gravity ; The World of Alan Hovhaness ; American composer Alan Hovhaness (b. 1911, Somerville, Mass.) has successfully combined Eastern and Western music to produce unique works both exotic and immediately accessible. Incorporating music reflecting his Armenian heritage with procedures common in Medieval and pre-Baroque Western music, Hovhaness has produced an enormous catalogue of works after destroying his first thousand pieces which he regarded as learning pieces. This program, including an interview with the composer by Charles Amirkhanian recorded in late 1975, introduces both early and late compositions: Mihr, for two pianos, Invocations to Vahaken IV and V (piano and percussion), Komitas: Yerangi, And God Created Great Whales (tape and orchestra), October Mountain, percussion ensemble, Khaldis Concerto for 4 Trumpets, Piano and Percussion (1st mvmt), Symphony no. 15, "Silver Pilgrimmage", Anahid. chamber orchestra ; Broadcast: 28 Jan 1976 Wednesday, 22 Nov 1981 Thursday 9:00am". Photocopied insert of the original reel container, side 2: "Pacifica KPFA FM 94.1, KPFB FM 89.3 ; Ode to Gravity ; The World of Alan Hovhaness ; Reel two of two ; Originally broadcast 1/28/76 on KPFA. Also available in archives of Pacifica Program Service AZ 0021 a/b.".
Venue: Originally recorded on a reel to reel in an unidentified location.
Venue: Dubbed to audio disc from the original reel at Other Minds Archive, San Franciso, California, [probably 1990's?].
Acquisition: Gift; Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, 2011-2012.
Physical Description
Audio disc
Extent: 1 audio disc (51 minutes) : digital, 4 3/4 in., stereo
Sound quality is good.
Begins abruptly with an unidentified excerpt of music; program host Charles Amirkhanian describes the musical influences that Alan Hovhaness incorporates into his compositions; Amirkhanian gives a brief biography of Hovhaness in his early years and introduces his 1975 interview with Hovhaness; [interview begins ca. 3:43] Amirkhanian recalls the pivotal childhood experience of listening to the recording, Piano compositions, by Alan Hovhaness and John Cage, and expresses his admiration of Hovhaness; Hovhaness speaks briefly about the record, now out of print; Hovhaness speaks about his earliest experiments in the 1940s with the Armenian instrument, Qānūn, and the resulting composition "Invocation to Vahaken" (1945); [excerpt of "Invocation to Vahaken" from Piano compositions by Alan Hovhaness and John Cage]; Hovhaness briefly describes his other works with similar instrumentation; Hovhaness describes the first performance and composition of "Nagooran", South Indian orchestra (1960); Hovhaness speaks about his early musical influences while growing up in Massachusetts, and beginning to compose at 7 years old; briefly, operas that he composed in junior and senior high school; his admiration of works by the composer, Jean Sibelius; Hovhaness speaks about why he threw away his earliest compositions in the 1930s and 1940s; Hovhaness speaks about his original last name and why he changed it; he describes the style and composition of Symphony no. 26 [on the occasion of its world premiere in San Jose, 1975]; Hovhaness speaks about inspiration from nature and Eastern religions; [excerpt of Anahid (1944-45), played by the MGM Chamber Orchestra]; [interview continues, ca. 38:18]; Hovhaness speaks about his interest in inventing musical instruments that play microtones; electronic music, his brief experimentation with it and his distaste of its sound; Hovhaness speaks about his publishers throughout the years, including MGM records and music producer Ed Cole; Hovhaness speaks briefly about conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in recording his work for Poseidon Society Records; Hovhaness speaks about forthcoming records and recording projects; [excerpt from Symphony no. 26].
Type of Resource
Sound recording
RLIN/OCLC: 909422568
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20625379
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 45917270-b8c3-0133-c26f-60f81dd2b63c
Rights Statement
This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Item timeline of events

  • 1975: Created
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. "World of Alan Hovhaness" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1975.

Chicago/Turabian Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. "World of Alan Hovhaness" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 25, 2024.

APA Format

Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, The New York Public Library. (1975). World of Alan Hovhaness Retrieved from

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url= | title= (sound recording) World of Alan Hovhaness, (1975)|author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=July 25, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

World of Alan Hovhaness