I Had One Grunch
"...Meaning found at Noon Concert!"
Spiro T. Agnew Songs
"This was a program where messages of today's concerns hit home, sometimes with a broadside crash, elsewhere in vivid abstract... Walker's Spiro T. Agnew Songs taken from the notable public outcries of the Vice President, were an audacious delight. Paul Machlin's close-mike declamation of texts aped the blissful mediocrity of a Rudy Vallee style. Walker's piano accompaniment, an Ivesian framework of patriotic tunes and several tapes spewing out the obvious background of political trivia, gave the songs sting and bite..."
Duet for Two Pianos
"You can't say that when you have heard one performance of a Don Walker composition you have heard them all... But he doesn't relinquish the role of the composer to the performer. He supplies the tapes, the notations and the creative drive for the music. However, it is arranged in blocks and in time segments so that it may be played in different relationships, and perhaps necessarily, require more intensive rehearsing."
Business Music; Sixth Piano Sonata
"One composer who has worked successfully within such limitations, however, is Don Walker. Walker establishes ascending and descending Fibonacci sets, such as those shown in ex. 10... the largest interval between adjacent pitches is 13... so there are bound to be some pc duplications; also, in every case but one, there are pc omissions. Thus, by choosing Fn and (where appropriate) Fj the composer can regulate the amount of pc redundancy. This is particularly helpful in pieces, such as many by Walker, in which different style systems are used within the same composition."
"...shortly after James Lewis, the Ensemble's conductor, began to lead his musicians in the piece, it became obvious that this was one work that could be enjoyed by those relatively unschooled in music. Kosmos is a lovely, atmospheric piece that casts a quiet spell over its listeners, whether or not they understand its use of continuous invariant pulses."
"The Vocal Music of Charles Ives" Parnassus, Sp 1975
"Thoughtful critical survey of Ives' choral and song output. Walker discusses the compositional implications of Ives's 'harmonist orientation' and offers an enlightening overview of the special textural procedures and structural types in Ives's choral music."
Third String Quartet
"There's a saying that 'a prophet is never honored in his own country.' In the music business there are undoubtedly a number of composers deserving of more exposure who could easily paraphrase it to fit their own situation. This month, KUOP is going to change all that by featuring a work by local composer, Donald B. Walker... You're especially invited to tune in on Monday morning, June 10th at 10 AM to hear the Kronos Quartet performing Walker's String Quartet #3 ["American Gothic"], as well as an interview with the composer. His catalog of compositions numbers well over a hundred... These compositions range through all the various styles and idioms common in the 20th century -- electronic, avant garde, Expressionist, serial, chromatic, and music tinged with Eastern and Latin influences... KUOP is pleased to cooperate in bringing our listeners this special performance, and we wish all the best to Donald B. Walker as he continues writing music and gaining an audience for it."
Symphony #3, "The Peaceable Kingdom"
"The highpoint of the concert... came with the performance of the second work, Symphony #3 by Donald Walker. Walker, a Stockton musician, was hearing his symphony performed for the first time. As he listened to this first public playing of any of his symphonies, he was calm and attentive... How did it sound, I wondered, to the composer? What did he learn?... (Walker) spoke easily about his craft and about this work in particular... Since the orchestra had just four hours of rehearsal time, they had to work rapidly. Walker had composed the work with such problems in mind. He is a practical musician, and in this case, he conceived a work that players and listeners could grasp without overcoming great barriers... Walker has given his symphony a distinctly American sound through the weaving of hymn tunes into each of the four movements. He does this in a subtle way, through brief statement of the theme, followed by disguised but recognizable variations... I especially like the dance-like working together of Stand By Me and Amazing Grace in the third movement."
Prelude Spiritual and Fugue for String Orchestra
"Donald Walker's Prelude, Spiritual and Fugue received its first performance in the Bay Area. Drawing on the hymnody of American Protestantism, the familiar strains were subjected to a euphonious, sincere and often witty treatment, especially in the Fugue... the work was attractively packaged, idiomatically presented, and was well-received by the audience."
The Dave Brubeck Collection
"This year... Don Walker was assigned as the Project Archivist for the Dave Brubeck Collection LSTA Grant Project... Don developed an organizational plan for the collection, began processing materials, participated in the hiring of support staff, and trained staffﾉHis knowledge of the collection and growing understanding of Brubeck's career is already becoming an important asset to the Library... Don has done an exceptional job in moving through the collection and this project."
What the Doctor Ordered
"This is really exciting new music, and for many this CD can become an interesting introduction to a world that is too little known. A large part of this music is immediately accessible, but at the same time satisfies the hearer's desire for more modernistic elements."
"This brilliantly scored postcard from Mexico is quite attractive."
"Dear Don, I am very impressed with your compositions. I am also very embarrassed that you took so much time straightening out my archives, taking away your time as a composer. It amazes me that you have written so much in so many different styles and with approaches that are uniquely your own. The world is better off that you are no longer in the basement at the University of the Pacific Library, but a practicing full-time composer."