In 1981 Beth Anderson wrote, "The idea that beauty is revolutionary is a revelation to me...I've discovered the part of my brain that can't decode anything, can't add, can't work from verbalized concepts, but that does make melodies with pitch and rhythm...beauty is enough." That same year she wrote a piece demonstrating these ideas called Revelation, and in 1984 Barney Childs and the University of Redlands commissioned a shortened version that was called Revel. It is made up of five themes: (1) a six-note scale that turns around on itself until it becomes a b-minor melody, (2) a "dueling trumpets" sequence, (3) a Tune in F sharp related to the first theme, (4) a spanish gypsy-Ben Hur Brassy theme, and (5) a brass chorale that summarizes all the themes.
Beth Anderson was born in Kentucky and studied there, in California and in New York and John Cage, Terry Riley, Robert Ashley and Larry Austin. She has written an opera (Queen Christian), an oratorio (Joan), numerous works for soloists and tape, and two off-broadway shows. She has received commissions from the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Staten Island Symphony, the San Francisco Conservatory; her awards have come from BMI, the NEA, National Public Radio, and others.
Ms. Anderson says, "My own mystic bent leads me to believe that musical variations, collage, reiteration and process, or evolution, are beautiful. Life is worth living and beauty is worth making."
Revel has been recorded by the Richmond Symphony conducted by Jacques Houtmann. It is still available on vinyl disc from Opus One (#100) ~ Philip Krumm