Mother Mallard marks 50
The Department of Music and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece Company with two concerts, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in Barnes Hall Auditorium and Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Johnson Museum.
The concerts are free and open to the public. The ensemble will perform pieces from founder David Borden’s “The Continuing Story of Counterpoint” – called “the Goldberg Variations of minimalism” – on vintage instruments including original Moog, Minimoog and Juno synthesizers, and a Fender Rhodes electric piano.
The world’s first live synthesizer ensemble, Mother Mallard formed with the support of inventor Robert Moog, Ph.D. ’64. Its debut in Barnes Hall in May 1969 preceded Wendy Carlos’ “Switched-On Bach” and The Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” both featuring Moog instruments.
Borden is among the first minimalist composers; he worked at Moog’s Trumansburg studio, composed music for “The Exorcist” (1973) and other films, and established Cornell’s Digital Music Program (now the Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center).
The performances are a rare opportunity to hear the group, which will consist of Borden, David Yearsley, Blaise Bryski, Gabriel Borden ’98, Richard Valittuto, Louise Mygatt, Tom Killian, Annette Richards, Roger Moseley and Xak Bjerken. Yearsley recently wrote about the anniversary for Counterpunch magazine.
Bakers will compete for glory, a grand prize and a people’s choice award for their edible apple creations at Cornell Orchards’ second annual Apple Bake-off, Saturday, Nov. 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cornell Orchards Store, 709 Dryden Road, Ithaca.
The public is welcome and winners will be determined by tasters’ votes. The event is a fundraiser for the United Way of Tompkins County