Friday, April 01, 2016

Composers Concert: Program and Composers' Notes

Descriptions of each piece is by its composer.

Variations on a Theme by the Wu-Tang Clan by  Kyle McInnis
I – Tiger Style
II – Shaolin Style
 III – Wu-Tang Style

Performed by symphonic band

"The inspiration for this piece comes from a multitude of musical influences both old and new. The form upon which the piece is constructed is hundreds of years old, but the thematic material is far more modern. It all started as a crazy idea back in October, when I was searching for a new large ensemble composition to start. I had quickly settled on a Symphonic Band instrumentation, and knew that I wanted to create something in the same style as Variations on a Korean Folk Song by John Barnes Chance, but with more accessible source material. After racking my brain for a while, I realized that I had all the source material I needed in my hip hop records. Months of frenzied transcribing, sketching, and orchestrating has all culminated in this set of continuous variations."

 Confluence by the Lake of the Moon by K.C. Bozanich

Performed by orchestra conducted by Rachel Samet

"The title of the piece was inspired by a Native American Studies course that I'm currently enrolled in. In the opening chapters of assigned reading, the book: American Holocaust, David E. Stannard describes the beauty of what once was the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán:

"It's gone now, drained and desiccated in the aftermath of the Spanish conquest, but once there was an interconnected complex of lakes high up in the valley of Mexico that was as long and as wide as the city of London is today. Surrounding these waters, known collectively as the Lake of the Moon, were scores of towns and cities whose population, combined with that of the outlying communities of central Mexico, totaled about 25,000,000 men, women, and children. Tenochititlán overflowed with gorgeous gardens, arboretums, and aviaries. On any given day as many as 200,000 small boats moved back and forth on the Lake of the Moon, pursuing the interests of commerce, political intrigue, and simple pleasure...” 

 With that in mind, imagine yourself as an outsider for the first time laying eyes upon the majestic city of Tenochtitlán. Perhaps on the hillside somewhere by the Lake of the Moon, overlooking the boats of commerce travel from one side to the other. This is a spectacle that the human eye can no longer see. It is now a place that can only be constructed by music and the human imagination." 

Nowhere Rock by Sabrina Fisher 
Performed by Kenneth Bozanich, Guitar
 Sabrina Fisher, Guitar

 "Nowhere Rock" was inspired by a series of films I watched last December. It is intended to elaborate on the feeling of an unfamiliar new world, while presenting familiar ideas in contrasting ways. It represents the cycle of feelings experienced when settling in a new place: hesitancy, excitement, fear and acceptance."

Small Feeling by Aidan Sanborn-Petterson
Performed by Jonathan Hernandez, Guitar
Evan Dowdakin, Guitar
Sador Rangel, Guitar

"A vacation cannot always be taken when a vacation is needed. Small Feeling was written with this statement in mind, and served as the best compromise I could surmise. At times a shift from the dense, and intellectual to the visceral is all that is needed to embody the very spirit of this so needed vacation. This piece is exactly that; deceptively simple, and thoroughly relaxing. It is a break from complexity and the burden of thought, a dream destination in a few minutes of music."

Verisimilitude by  Charlie McClung
Performed by  Adrien Bouissou, Guitar I
 Hawk SilverDragon, Guitar II
 Andrew Heavelin, Guitar III

"Verisimilitude: the quality of seaming real; or a fancy way of saying legit. When I was told that we needed to write a piece featuring guitar, I was a little hesitant because I knew nothing of guitar, and I wasn’t sure how to even start writing a piece for one. So I wrote a piece for three guitars. The idea for this piece came from a minimalist piece for piano called Piano Phase by Steve Reich. I really liked his approach so I used it as a building block. I took an Amaj7 #11 chord flipped it upside down, and just phased that arpeggio in the guitars, with the second guitar playing a simple single line melody over top the oscillating sixteenths."

Requiem for a Lost Forest by Charlie McClung 
Performed by Michael Donovan, Violin
 Thomas Starkey-Owens, Violin
Hanah Rolf, Viola
 Gabrielle Wood, Cello

"In 2013 a wildfire tore through my hometown and decimated over 300,000 acres of the Stanislaus National Forest. The fire destroyed several groves that I have grown up hiking through and camping in. This piece is for all of the lost memories caused by that fire. The way that I wrote it was inspired by the music of Penderecki, and his Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. Requiem for a Lost Forest is comprised of three sections, the Sunrise in the Mountains, the Conquest, and Threnody. Each representing a stage of the fire with each section featuring some interpretive graphic notation, giving the performers the freedom to play what they feel is right for the moment."

Untitled by Sandee Castaneda 
Performed by Santiago-Cello

"The stylistic techniques used were inspired by Bright Sheng’s "Seven tunes heard in China". In this piece I tried to avoid tonality, by simply not thinking about what key I was in and what pitches I could or couldn't use. I listened to Bach's cello suites and tried to emulate some of the intervallic movement that Bach so perfectly used. This piece is my attempt to begin understanding cello and how to compose for the instrument."

The Paper King by Sabrina Fisher
Performed by Michael Fabian, Marimba

 "The Paper King was composed as a score to the beginning of a cute animated short film. It reflects the film's overall whimsical and light humor, while subtle dissonant chords represent occasional conflict. It is centered around a brief ascending theme that relates to one of the main characters in the short film. The unmetered section in the middle of the piece outlines the confusion felt by the character, but resolves back to familiarity with the restatement of the theme."

Everyday Pondering Song Suite by Aidan Sanborn-Petterson
Song of Sky and Cosmos
Song of Ground
Song of Higher Ground
Song of Home

Performed by Skyler McCormick, Alto
John Chernoff, Piano

"This piece says it all in the name. The lyrics are about the simple things that I do in my life, in regards to the people and the world around me. A 12 tone row is used in every song (most clearly stated at the very beginning of the first song), sometimes sparingly and sometimes heavily, yet playing a massively different role in each. This row in a sense symbolizes myself; a constant. No matter what happens, or how I feel, I cannot escape being Aidan. However being oneself does not always feel the same day by day. The music itself embodies this change in emotion, and the way we perceive almost anything. The Lyrics on the other hand represent the flipside. Despite these drastic revolutions of mind and soul, we still go about many of the same things we would have before. We still eat the things we eat, enjoy the things we enjoy, carry the weight we carry, and love the people we love. Down to it’s very core the E.P. Suite is about being human."

Home on the Range-The Short and Tragic Tale of #E445 by Michael Barrett Donovan 
Performed by Alberto Rodrigues, Tenor - #E445
and other performers

"Tonight the audience shall witness a reduced arrangement of a short piece for jazz orchestra, tenor, and stage (In a complete performance, Alberto will be in character and interact with props) - prepare yourself for mild morbid humor and a severely ruined appetite."

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