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Phil Kline: Around the World in a Daze

Mary Rowell
Ralph Ferris
Dorothy Lawson
Todd Reynolds


Bringing the string quartet into the 21st century, Ethel is part chamber ensemble and part rock group, playing avant-garde classical music with healthy doses of jazz and rock-influenced material, electronics, and improvisation.

The Juilliard-trained, all-star foursome has collaborated with some of todays most exciting artists. They have recorded with pop musicians Joe Jackson, Todd Rundgren, and Rickie Lee Jones, experimental artists Dick Connette and Blue Gene Tyranny, and on film scores by Don Byron and Benny Wallace. Ethel premiered Phil Kline's The Blue Room and Other Stories in 2003.



One of today's preeminent new music fiddlers, Todd Reynolds has appeared and/or recorded with such artists as Anthony Braxton, John Cale, Yo-Yo Ma, Graham Nash, Steve Reich, Marcus Roberts, and Todd Rundgren. Reynolds has commissioned and premiered countless numbers of new works by such composers as John King, Michael Gordon, Neil Rolnick, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Evan Ziporyn, and Randall Wolff. Reynolds was a founder of Ethel, with whom he toured internationally for its first seven years. For Todd, Phil Kline has written a series of pieces for violin and electronic environments, of which the Grand Etude for the Elevation is the latest.


Kamala Sankaram


Kamala Sankaram is a singer, songwriter, and accordionista, who currently leads her own band, Squeezebox. With a repertoire ranging from the Queen of the Night to indie rock, she performed in the song cycle The Story of B, a collaboration between Kline and composer Eve Beglarian.


John Schaefer


John Schaefer hosts WNYC's innovative music/talk show Soundcheck, and has produced the radio series New Sounds since 1982 ("The #1 radio show for the Global Village" - Billboard). He has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listeners Guide to New Music.


Tom Steenland

Thomas Steenland owns the alternative classical label Starkland. For over 25 years, he has produced premiere recordings of works from a wide variety of contemporary composers, including: John Luther Adams, Phillip Bimstein, Tod Dockstader, Paul Dresher, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Guy Klucevsek, Merzbow, Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveros, Vincent Persichetti, George Rochberg, Morton Subotnick, Somei Satoh, Carl Stone, Iannis Xenakis, Pamela Z, and John Zorn. Steenland's releases have been praised for their music content, sound quality, graphic design, and informative liner notes. The influential Sequenza21 website writes, "Props to our amigo Tom Steenland who has been producing great avant-garde recordings on his Starkland label from Boulder for many years now."

Around the World in a Daze is one of Steenland's most ambitious projects. He mastered all the music (except one section), edited the 34-minute Phil Kline video interview, created all the graphics, and developed the custom packaging.


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The Housatonic at Henry Street
For Ives the river of life, running right by my window.
Electronica and tape orchestra. Field recording: Henry Street at Rutgers, evening in July.

Svarga Yatra
An uphill climb. It might mean Stairway to Heaven in Sanskrit.
Performed by Ethel (Todd Reynolds and Mary Rowell, violins, Ralph Farris, viola, Dorothy Lawson, cello) with tape choir.

The Maryland Sample
A madrigal about love and science, bitterness and bees.
Performed by Kamala Sankaram (vocals) and Phil Kline (vocals, strings and percussion). Field recording: bug zappers on Nicola Teslas porch

Pennies from Heaven
The trickle down theory. Everything is falling. Every time it rains it rains.
Tape orchestra

On the Waterfront
This is not a recording, but something happening right now in Istanbul.
Luv U 2 Death
Death hastened by technology. And our love become a funeral pyre.
Wagner Liebestod
The Wailing Wall
The pull of the moon. A blind man tries to describe it.
Vocals by Phil Kline
Grand Etude for the Elevation
The importance of height: I can see my house from here.
Violinistics by Todd Reynolds
Departing, the end begins.
Bach Prelude in B flat minor. Field recording: Tuesday morning, Zurich station.

The Housatonic at Dzanga
The mystery of red mercury, observed by a million gray parrots.
Electronica and tape choir. Field recording: the watering hole at Dzanga, Central African Republic (Louis Sarno)

DVD One Total Time: 65:17 | Introduction: John Schaefer


MEDITATION (run as fast as you can)
music video by Phil Kline

Interview with John Schaefer

Production Photos

Total Content: 110 min.
NTSC All Region

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