Last Living Sounds student composers concert of the semester takes place March 28

The final Living Sounds concert of the 2012-13 season takes place at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 28, in Steve and Judy Turner Recital Hall. Living Sounds is a showcase for the Blair School’s student composers, with their works performed by Blair student and faculty musicians.

Here’s the program, with comments from the composers:

Glass Darkly, by Shelby Flowers

Shelby Flowers, piano; Jerry Kimbrough, guitar

Glass Darkly is a painterly exercise in harmonic and melodic wandering, taking unexpected turns while maintaining a moody ambivalence. Always reaching, never truly arriving; enjoying the process without progressing. It’s not jazz in a strict sense, but the sections of improvisation challenge the performers to reshape the material without leaving the scene, without losing faith.

Piano Sonata, by Amy Thompson

Amy Thompson, piano

I wrote my Piano Sonata in fall 2011 after a summer of listening to Scriabin’s piano sonatas and doing a detailed analysis of No. 5. Like No. 5, my sonata does not follow a traditional sonata form, but grows organically and freely from the interactions of a few distinct ideas.

“Me” (Text by Rena Duddy), by Jack Coen

Katie Arata, soprano; Jack Coen, piano

Nature Cycle: A collection of five contemplative Emily Dickinson poems, by Alex Commanday

I. Reverie
II. Reflection
V. Resolution
Erin Aurednik, soprano; Alex Commanday, piano

This collection of poems chronicles a curious, introspective narrator in her ruminations on nature and the shifting of seasons. While each song is set to a different poem, each written at various times in Dickinson’s life, the musical themes carry throughout the work as the narrator continuously develops her thoughts on the cycles of her life and the natural world.

Music for Winds and Percussion, by Elena Avalos-Bock

I. Solemnly
II. Mischievously
III. Furiously
Chrysa Kovach, flute; Andrew Logan, clarinet; Caitlyn Falco, bassoon; Jackson Crossley, trumpet; Eric Osborn, trombone; Evan Saddler, percussion; Keehun Nam, conductor

Core, by Sean William Calhoun

Claire Evans, violin; Jasper Brey, violoncello; Sean William Calhoun, piano

Core was composed over winter break once I knew Claire, Jasper, and I were going to be in a trio. It plays with canons and other imitative textures, particularly between the violin and the ‘cello.

Seven Meditations on Poems of Richard Brautigan, by Jasper Brey

IV: Haiku Ambulance
V: Oranges
Ben Kahan, baritone; Michael Zuch, oboe; Claire Evans, violin; Jasper Brey, violoncello; Sean William Calhoun, piano

The Meditations are my first serious foray into theatrical or ariatic composition, as well as an exploration of the idea of adapting apparently un-musical poetry. Aesthetically, I found myself influenced as much by popular artists such as Björk and Placebo as I was by the likes of Copland, Britten and Sondheim. The set originally began, in piano reduction, with “Star Hole,” as an Introduction to Composition project; however, I found Brautigan’s work too inspiring not to develop into a complete cycle. His style is on the surface very plaintive and detached, but underneath lies a deep poignancy that I sought to frame in this series.

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