Dark and Quiet for solo cello by Daniel Strong Godfrey
Daniel S. Godfrey (b. 1949) received his graduate degrees in composition from Yale University and the University of Iowa. He is Professor of Composition at Syracuse University's Setnor School of Music, and has also held visiting faculty appointments at the Eastman School of Music and the Indiana University School of Music.
Godfrey has earned awards and commissions from the J. S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Music Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, among many others. His music has been performed by distinguished soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is founder and co-director of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music (on the Maine coast) and is co-author of Music Since 1945, published by Schirmer Books.
Godfrey's works are recorded on Albany, CRI, GM, Innova, Klavier, Koch, UK Light and Mark compact discs. His music is available through publishers Carl Fischer and G. Schirmer.
Daniel writes of the piece:
Dark and Quiet was written for and is dedicated to cellist Caroline Stinson. It is played with an ebony mute throughout. Outwardly a slow, contemplative monologue for one player, the music is really more akin to an internal dialogue between two sides of a personality, one brooding and uncertain, the other more hopeful, though bittersweet. This dichotomy, however, is one of contrast, not of conflict; the dialogue seeks a modus vivendi, not a resolution, though ultimately the music finds its way back to the same more shadowed space from which it first emerged.
Maia for cello and piano by David Glaser
David Glaser was born in New York in 1952. He remembers at a very early age asking his parents to play some of the records they owned, especially Mozart's Jupiter Symphony, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, and Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps. Although he played French horn in his junior high school band and studied classical guitar in high school it wasn't until he heard Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire in college that he decided to pursue a career in music.
He studied at Hunter College (BA), Queens College (MA) and Columbia University (DMA). His teachers included Mario Davidovsky, George Edwards, Martin Boykan, Jacques-Louis Monod and Jack Beeson. He has been the recipient of a CAP Grant and a Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Grant from the American Music Center, the Dr. Boris and Eda Rapoport Prize in Composition from Columbia University and Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Wellesley Composer's Conference. He received a 2007 Fromm Foundation commission to compose a work for Parthenia viol consort. In 2005 he received the Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters which described his work as "...subtly potent..."
David writes of the piece:
Only infrequently do I find the impetus for a piece from an extramusical source. In this work it was the idea of gravity and motion. The small melodic fragments that start the piece are tenuously connected at first. They are static and isolated but as coalesce, collide, dissolve and echo develop more forward momentum and they build into the longer lines that dominate the second half of the piece. The title Maia comes from the name of the star in the constellation Taurus. It is the third work in a series of pieces that are named for stars and share a sonic profile featuring widely spaced chords and contrasts of register.
Folds and Overlays for cello & electronics by Branic Howard
Branic Howard (b. 1983, Vancouver, WA) is a composer and sound artist working in Brooklyn, NY. He is inspired by sounds that we encounter daily in public and private spheres – stemming from observations of the affinities between the generic and intimate. His work attempts to creatively incorporate technology into live electro-acoustic music and improvisation. Recent projects have involved exploring family histories, concepts of place/space, and the recording of natural/domestic sounds. Howard's compositions have been performed at Symphony Space, Penn State University, with musicians at Portland's Creative Music Guild, as well as, in collaboration with The Space We Make performers collective, among others. Howard received his MM from Syracuse University in 2011. Currently he is working toward a PhD in composition at SUNY Stony Brook.
Branic writes of the piece:
Jorge Luis Borges' short story, On Exactitude in Science, imagines the art of cartography taken to its limitâ€”a map is created, so detailed and expansive, it "coincides point for point" with the empire it superimposes. The map is rendered useless over time, as the inhabitants of the empire no longer find geography fashionable. They rid of the map by allowing it to deteriorate in the weather. In time, animals and beggars inhabit the threadbare particles of the map; they take shelter in the detritus of this cartographic overlay. Folds and Overlays hopes to capture this idea of the hyperreal by literally laying a map of timbral processing over the celloâ€”except the map changes through time. The cellist navigates through these subtly shifting sound wolds, where our proximity to the natural cello and the hyperreal one are in continual play.
listen to live performance of Folds and Overlays
Ancestral Drones for cello & audio by T. Patrick Carrabré
On March 3, 2011, Caroline premiered Ancestral Drones, a new work by T. Patrick Carrabré for cello and audio,
commissioned for New Works Calgary, a series at the University of Calgary,
Alberta, that presents new music with an emphasis on Southern Alberta composers and artists.
Caroline reflects upon the work: "It was a great honor to have this piece written for me and to have Pat at the performance, which included a
pre-concert talk with Pat hosted by Laurie Radford, Artistic Director of New Works Calgary."
Before Caroline received the piece, she had decided to pair it with Hebrew Melodies, an early work by George Perle,
with whom Patrick studied for many years. It turns out that there is a rather serendipitous relationship
between these two works, each representing some form of ritual chant.
Pat writes of the piece:
"I spent the first part of my life as a composer writing music in a complex harmonic system – still working
with the concept of prolonging tonal centres that was recognizable to a post-romantic audience. Then, at
some point my brain just didn't hear things that way anymore and I began trying to slow down the harmonic
motion of my music - to enjoy the dissonances over much slower harmonic drones. The break came in pieces
like Inuit Games and Creation Stories - when I started working with musicians from other cultures.
Ancestral Drones, premiering tonight, tries to place the virtuosity of our western tradition into the context
of a more primordial music making, where the cry of the soul sings through those notes that lean into the
drone and call us to float with them."
listen to excerpt from Ancestral Drones
A work for cello & electronics by John Link
Caroline is commissioning John Link, the esteemed Carter specialist,
to write a piece for cello and "tape". The two spent an afternoon in the studio of Ryan Streber in Yonkers back in January, recording
all possible cello sounds for John to use in making up the "tape" part for the work. Here is a tickle that John sent via email,
at the end of that day.
listen to Cello Sketch
Concerto for Cello & Wind Ensemble |
Commission Proposal 2010-2011 download pdf
Cellist Caroline Stinson and composer Steven Bryant present a
commission-collaboration for a Concerto for cello and wind ensemble with Cynthia Johnston Turner of Cornell
University at its head. Through a hybrid commission consortium of both symphony orchestras and wind ensembles,
the collaboration aims to include both university and professional ensembles.
Beyond creating an exciting work for the rare combination of cello and wind ensemble, the goal of this
commission is to bridge the world of the wind ensemble with that of the symphony orchestra and to expand the
sound possibilities for wind ensemble, something Bryant is becoming known for, most notably in his most
recent work Ecstatic Waters, presented at the 2009 CBDNA National conference. The instrumentation of the
work (see below) will allow for a shared performance life between these large ensembles, and given their
experience and accolade, both Steven and Caroline are the strongest of ambassadors for a project of this ambition.
Listen to the live recording of the première.
This concerto was premiered on March 25th, 2011 with the Ridgewood Concert Band and on
April 30th, 2011 with the Cornell Wind Ensemble.
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