Liner notes by Bob Ostertag:
All the Rage was developed from a recording I made of a riot in San Francisco in October 1991, which followed California Governor Pete Wilson's veto of a bill designed to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.
First, I sifted through the recording and isolated those sections that to my ear suggested music. Some of these involved screaming, whistles, or windows being smashed. Two were based on slogans chanted by the crowd ("We're Not Going Back" and "Queers Fight Back"). Two more were based on individual voices (one shouting "Go For It," and several people yelling "Burn it" as the California State Office Building caught fire). I then developed these fragments into full musical structures through various digital editing techniques, and added the text by Sara Miles.
Kronos parts were developed directly from the recorded material. In some cases, this took the form of a minutely detailed transcription of the pitch inflections of the recorded sounds. In other sections, the process from tape to string parts was more complex, and the relationship between the two less obvious.
Much of the peculiar sound of this music comes from the whistles that many queers carry as a basic self-defense tool, and which emerged from peoples' pockets by the hundreds during the riot. The whistles used in performance by the Kronos Quartet are provided by Community United Against Violence, a San-Francisco-based organization which assists victims of queer-bashings."
All the Rage received it's world premier at the Lincoln Center in NYC, performed by the Kronos Quartet.
"Bob Ostertag's "All the Rage" turned the evening on its head with a devastating roar of gay anger. Of recent concert pieces having to do with AIDS, "All the Rage" seems by far the most powerful example. Mr. Ostertag's stern, purifying gaze has swept away the sentimentality and melodrama that have compromised more famous compositions in the genre."
-- The New York Times
"I believe "All the Rage" will become an anthem for our time."
-- John Killacky, Walker Art Center