Transcend: Movement Meets Music – CF2 and Emotions Dance at Timucua Arts Foundation, October 27

Sunday, October 27 at the Timucua White House
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
Doors: 7pm. Concert: 7:30.
VIP Tickets are $30, other seating by donation.

The Central Florida Composers Forum (CF2) is excited to present its first collaborative event with Emotions Dance. The performance will feature music by local composers Daniel Crozier (Symphony No. 1, Fairytale), Troy Gifford (Milonga Abandonada), Charlie Griffin (Between Islands), ChanJi Kim (Jong; Ta), Christopher Marshall (Hikurangi Sunrise; Transcending), and Bob Walker (Silent Scream; Music on the Water). Bob Walker and Benoit Glazer will perform live.

Emotions Dance are: Amparo Padilla, Chloe Haslett, CJ Sheffield, Veronica Ramirez, Katie Masterson, Brooke Shoultz, Autumn Goetting, Raleigh Shelton, Emily Nunez, Jacquelyn Cheffer, Lauren Theriault, and Larissa Humiston.

Emotions Dance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2007 by Artistic Director and Choreographer Larissa Humiston. Emotions Dance consists of a professional contemporary dance company that focuses on social and environmental awareness through the art of dance, dance education training at the organization’s state of the art dance studio, and programs that enrich the local community. The organization emphasizes strong technical training and education combined with passionate artistry. Through inspiring performances, arts-education programs, and active community outreach the company touches thousands of people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds.

Wind Talkers: Music for Woodwinds by Mark Piszczek at Timucua Arts Foundation, October 12

Central Florida Composers Forum is proud to support a concert featuring music by one of Orlando’s musical treasures, Mark Piszczek, performed by some of Orlando’s best musicians: flutist Nora Lee Garcia, pianist Richard Drexler, and Alterity Chamber Orchestra founders Beatriz Ramirez-Belt and Natalie Grata, along with other members of Alterity.

Sunday, October 12 at the Timucua White House
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
Doors: 2pm. Concert: 2:30pm.

“This concert features four world premieres! The compositions include a trio, quartet, two quintets and a sonata for flute and piano.
It’s a sort of musical travelogue depicting many of the beautiful and historic locations that I was privileged to call home over the last twenty five years, including Seattle, Southwest Wisconsin, Maine, Peterborough NH, Columbus OH Winston Salem NC and Winter Park FL. Two of these compositions includes movements dedicated to the late, Sam Rivers and composer Elliott Schwartz who was a dear friend and mentor.” – Mark Piszczek

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras announce Composer-in-residence partnership with CF2

ORLANDO, FL – In partnership with Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras (FSYO), the Central Florida Composers Forum invited current members to apply for one of five composer residencies with ensembles within the FSYO organization. Residencies will take place during FSYOs 63rd concert season with the unifying theme for all residences being PULSE. Each composer was left to interpret that theme in any meaningful and appropriate way.

Overture Strings will premiere a commissioned piece by composer Ryan McQuinn during the POPs in the Garden concert on Sunday, February 9, 2020, at The Grove at Mead Botanical Garden. “My piece for the young children in Overture Strings embraces unity while celebrating diversity,” says McQuinn. “It’s wonderful to witness the youngest musicians learning to walk. I hope that my piece helps them feel more sure-footed and inspires confidence that bolsters their journey.”

The Prelude Orchestra will premiere a commissioned piece by Timothy Stulman during the Spring Classics concert on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at Edgewater High School. “It’s an honor to have the chance to work with such talented young musicians,” says Stulman. “Young players are often times even more creative and receptive than seasoned professionals, since the world is newer for them.” Also premiering a piece during the Spring Classics alongside the Philharmonia Orchestra is composer Alex Burtzos. Burtzos notes, “My piece for the Philharmonia Orchestra addresses the word PULSE according to its musical, biological, and historical meanings; it’s an emotional work that will demand a virtuosic response from these talented young performers.”

The Jazz 1 Orchestra will premiere a commissioned piece by composer Scott Dickinson during the Jazz at Blue Bamboo concert on Sunday, April 19, 2020 at Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts. “I’m thrilled to get the chance to compose for the gifted young musicians that comprise the FSYO Jazz Orchestra,” says Dicksinon. “There are few experiences that can invigorate a future composer like performing a new piece written specifically for you! I’ll be creating a piece that’s both tailored to the strengths of the musicians, and also inspired by our shared theme of PULSE.”

The Symphonic Orchestra, led by Music Director Hanrich Claassen, will premiere a commissioned piece by composer Brandon Martin during FSYO’s 63rd Season Finale concert on Sunday, May 3, 2020 at Calvary Orlando. “I seek to write a piece that addresses the Pulse Shooting: not only exploring the grief and sadness in its aftermath, but also the healing, the affirmation of self, and the celebration of being alive,” says Martin. “I am excited to work with an organization such as FSYO that is passionate about educating the next generation of musicians.”

Tickets for each of the concerts may be purchased online at www.fsyo.org with special pricing for children, student, senior, and military. Florida academic and private teachers receive free admission to all FSYO season subscription concerts with proof of I.D.

About the Composers:

  • Ryan McQuinn – Ryan has worked on various video games and podcasts such as Interstellar Space: Genesis, Lotia, Dungeons & Doritos, Call of Cthulu Mystery Program, Liberty: Vigilance, and Dark Dice. He is currently creating sfx for Axe Cop, scoring and doing sound design for the Lightning Dogs short film, and writing orchestral versions of Johnny Cash music for Cash & Friends.
  • Timothy Stulmam – Timothy has received numerous honors and awards at both national and international levels. As the winner of the First Music Commission, he was commissioned to compose an orchestral piece for the New York Youth Symphony that was premiered in Carnegie Hall on March 7, 2010. His music has been selected for performance by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Toledo Youth Orchestra, the International Tribuna Sax-Ensemble in Madrid, and the BGSU Philharmonia. He was a featured composer at University of Central Missouri’s New Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, the 1st Annual Huntsville New Music Festival, and Juventas New Music Ensemble’s Murmurs from Limbo concert series.
  • Alex Burtzos – Alex is an American composer and conductor based in New York City and Orlando, FL. His work has been performed across four continents, and released on New Amsterdam and Sono Luminus record labels. Alex has collaborated with some of the world’s foremost contemporary musicians and ensembles, including JACK Quartet, Yarn/Wire, Contemporaneous, ETHEL, loadbang, Jenny Lin, RighteousGIRLS, and many others. He is the founder and artistic director of ICEBERG New Music, a New York-based composers’ collective, and the conductor of the hip-hop/classical chamber orchestra ShoutHouse.
  • Scott Dickinson – Scott has won multiple awards for big band arrangement and professional and collegiate jazz ensembles across the country have played his compositions and arrangements. He was recognized as the honorable mention in the Doc Severinsen International Orchestral Composition Contest. He has been commissioned to write for jazz ensembles, choir, and orchestra. Scott is the Course Director for Musical Arrangement in the Music Production Department at Full Sail University and is a member of the Dr. Phillips Jazz Orchestra.
  • Brandon Martin – Brandon is a performer/vocalist, choral clinician/conductor, composer, and former music educator. He currently sings with The Voices of Liberty at Walt Disney World Resort. He also sings with the Tampa Spiritual Ensemble and serves on the Board of Directors for the Orlando Gay Chorus. He was commissioned by the Association of Anglican Musicians for their 2015 Annual Conference, and has written orchestrations for St. Pete Opera.

About FSYO: Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras exists to encourage children and young adults, through the practice and performance of orchestral music, to become passionate leaders, thinkers, and contributors in their local community and beyond. In its 63rd Concert Season. Today, FSYO serves almost 300 students and is comprised of seven ensembles – three symphony orchestras, one string-training orchestra, a chamber orchestra, two jazz orchestras – and two supplementary programs – Stringmania Summer Camp and Sing-Song, String-Along.

FSYO programs are carefully structured to encourage student growth with FSYO throughout their primary and secondary years. Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras full range of ensembles gives each student a place to excel with peers at a similar level, and an opportunity to collaborate with seasoned music professionals on local, national, and international levels. During summers, Symphonic Orchestra students participate in life-changing experiences of organized tours, alternating between international & national travel every other year.

Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Orlando Utilities Commission; The City of Orlando, Mayor’s Matching Grant; and United Arts of Central Florida. We thank these groups for their generous support.

7th Annual Composer DIY Salon Concert

Central Florida Composers Forum – 7th Annual Composers DIY Salon Concert
Sunday, September 29 at the Timucua White House
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
Doors: 7pm. Concert: 7:30.
VIP Tickets are $30, other seating by donation.

For seven years, Central Florida Composers Forum (CF2) has been offering its members a first-come, first-on, get-er-done yerself opportunity to present work to the Orlando/Central Florida public. The composers themselves perform or arrange for the performers. That always means a wider variety of sonic possibilities than a more typical, curated CF2 concert featuring a unified instrumentation.

This program features Rebekah Todia’s Crossing The Bar, for piano and voice; Melody Cook’s For Two Voices, No. 2, for clarinet and piano; Holly Cordero’s Personified Bliss, for string quartet, Bob Jr.’s Conjure the Storm, for piano, guitar, bass, and drums; Paul Austin Sanders’ electronic compositions Danze Africanne, Spirit of the East, and Bop Latinesque; ChanJi Kim’s Imaginary Lines for clarinet and audio; and premieres of Alex Burtzos’ X Codes, for violin, clarinet, and piano, and also his Perforation, for solo piano.

Venus & the Radio – August 8 @ Timucua

Venus & the Radio
Thursday, August 8 at the Timucua White House
2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806.
Doors: 7pm. Concert: 7:30.
Tickets are $10.

While Orlando has begun to gain recognition for its arts community, not much has been said about the lines and boundaries drawn between artistic disciplines. When it comes to music and literature, The Central Florida Composers Forum, in collaboration with local literary publisher Burrow Press, aim to blur those boundaries and inspire future collaborations with their upcoming event, “Venus & the Radio.”

This one-of-a-kind event will feature two prominent Florida authors reading excerpts from their newest books (published by Burrow Press) in collaboration with four Orlando-based members of the Central Florida Composers Forum.

Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley will perform Florida-inspired work from her collection Venus in Retrograde with accompaniment from composers Mark Piszczek and Timothy Stulman. Piszczek’s interactive approach will incorporate Lilley reading live with Piszczek on soprano saxophone and pre-recorded audio electronically manipulated by sound artist Jared Silvia. Stulman will do real-time audio processing of Lilley’s performance, combined with a pre-recorded audioscape.

Shane Hinton will perform excerpts from Radio Dark, a surreal post-apocalyptic novel set in Florida. Composers Holly Cordero and Charlie Griffin will provide an underscore in the manner of classic radio plays.

“This event is a great opportunity to not only illustrate the variety of talent in Orlando,” says Burrow Press publisher Ryan Rivas, “but also to acknowledge that art isn’t created in a vacuum. And especially to show how one art form can and does inspire others.”

A Q&A and book signing will follow the performance.  

5 composers to be selected for residencies with the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras in 2019-20 – June 30 application deadline

Call for Applications

Overview

In partnership with Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras (FSYO), Central Florida Composers Forum invites current composer members (if you would like to join CF2, please indicate so at the end of the form you will fill out, linked below) to apply for one of five possible composer residencies with ensembles within the FSYO organization.

Residencies will take place during 2019-2020 concert season. Composers may apply for more than one residency, but will not be granted more than one. Each applicant composer agrees to at least three interactions with their ensemble (two preliminary sessions and one rehearsal) in addition to attending the premiere of the work they write. Rehearsals take place on Sundays, starting August 18th. Each composer will receive a small stipend for their residency, and each residency will have its own timeline.

Theme

The unifying theme for all the residencies is PULSE. We leave it to the composer to interpret that theme in any meaningful and appropriate way (musically, biologically, culturally, etc.).

Ensemble information

1. Symphonic Orchestra – (A new work 9-12+ minutes duration) $500 stipend. Season Finale Concert premiere on May 3rd, 2020; final parts and score deadline March 11th. This is their premiere orchestra. They play difficult music at a high level.

2. Philharmonia Orchestra – (A new work 4-10+ minutes duration) $500 stipend. Spring Concert premiere on March 8th, 2020; final parts and score deadline January 8th. This group is comprised of younger, less experienced players than the Symphonic Orchestra, but is still capable of rendering complex repertoire.

3. Jazz 1 Orchestra (17-20 players) – (A new work 4-6+ minutes duration) $500 stipend. Premiere TBD. Highly capable jazz band.

4. Prelude Orchestra – (A new work 4-6 minutes duration) $400 stipend. Spring Concert premiere on March 8th, 2020; final parts and score deadline January 8th. This is a beginner full orchestra (light on brass) that typically plays early classical repertoire, for example.

5. Overture Strings –  (A new work 3-4 minutes duration) $300 stipend. Season Opener Concert premiere on October 20th, 2019; final parts and score deadline September 13th. This is their entry level string group. Think of Suzuki book 2. You may consider a story telling component or involving one or two professional level adult musicians.

For more information on the ensembles, please visit: https://www.fsyo.org/programs/orchestras.html

Application Process

The entire application can be accomplished by following this link.

There, you will be asked the following questions:

  • Which ensemble are you applying to work with (First, Second, Third Choice)?
  • What does the residency ideally look like to you, and what role will you as the composer ideally play? If you have more than one choice for ensemble, would your answer change for each ensemble? If so, how?
  • How do you envision incorporating the theme of PULSE into the residency? If you have more than one choice for ensemble, would your answer change for each ensemble? If so, how?
  • If you envision involving a third-party local artist or organization, who would it be and why? (leave blank if N/A)

You will also be asked to supply a single MP3 (can be excerpts, up to 10MB*), a single PDF of a score sample, and a 100-200 word biography.

The deadline for the application to be submitted is June 30, 2019.

If you have any questions, please email cfcomposers@gmail.com or text me at 407.619.6715.

Incomplete submissions will be rejected. *If the file size of the submission exceeds 10MB, please email a Dropbox/Google Drive or equivalent link.

Guitarist Robert Phillips commissioned, recorded, and now presents 3 CF2 composers on May 17, 2019

Internationally noted classical guitarist Robert Phillips will be giving a concert of new music at the Timucua Arts Foundation White House on May 17 at 7:30 PM. The centerpiece of the concert will be a set of six dances written for Robert by Central Florida based composers. Those composers include Jorge Morel, CF2 members Benoit Glazer, Charles Griffin, and Troy Gifford, as well as Howard Buss, and Rex Willis. In addition, Phillips will play a set of Nocturnes composed for him by British composer John W. Powell.

Phillips recently recorded the pieces that comprise this program. The works are in dance rhythms ranging from waltzes to rumbas and incorporating elements of Afro-Cuban music, Flamenco, and Brazilian dance rhythms. They are to be performed as a set along with a prelude by Robert under the title of The Orange Blossom Dances. These important new works will be released by MSR Classics.

Robert has brought his brilliant interpretations to a diverse range of venues – from traditional concert halls including New York’s prestigious Town Hall, and Lincoln Center to jazz nightclubs. His performance at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was sold out. In addition to the standard repertory, Robert performs his own compositions, and has premiered works by three-time Pulitzer nominee, Frank Brazinski, Eric Ross, Alfred Giusto, and Meyer Kupferman, as well as a concerto written for him by three-time Grammy winner, Michael Colina. The works by Kupferman and Colina were written for him.

Robert’s recordings include Guitarre Nouveau on TPL records and Lo Mestre, the Music of Miguel Llobet on Centaur records, as well as his self-re-released two volume set, Great Themes and Variations for Classic Guitar (originally released by Mel Bay as a companion to his anthology.) Robert also recently recorded several Spanish songs with Chinese coloratura soprano Shudong Braamse on her Global Music Awards Gold Medal winning album, Sueños De España (Navona Records).

Robert spent the summer of 2017 in Spain participating as a teacher, ensemble coach, and performer in the Chamber Art Madrid music festival. Phillips performed some of the newly commissioned works at this festival. He will be at the festival again in the summer of 2019.
The Timucua Arts Foundation is located at 2000 S Summerlin Ave. Orlando, Florida 32806. The concert begins at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online here.

ReBlog: Orlando Philharmonic string quartet performs at Timucua White House

ESTEBAN MENESES, www.examiner.com

The best of Central Florida’s contemporary classical music was highlighted on Sunday evening with passion and style. The location: Benoit Glazer’s downtown Orlando home, also known as ‘Timucua White House,’ where leading avant-garde, jazz and contemporary classical music acts from around the country perform almost every weekend to small, though dedicated circles of followers who have helped turned the Glazer home auditorium into a shrine of sorts for this rather esoteric kind of performing arts scene.

But it need not always be that way, since the audience for new classical music in Orlando is on the rise — virtually every seat in the house was taken — and organizations that promote and foster this kind of music in the area certainly exist. The concert was presented by the Central Florida Composers Forum, and performed by the string quartet from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. With a program made solely of pieces by eight local composers, all in attendance, and the talented quartet from Orlando’s premier orchestra, this was truly a celebration of local talent unlike anything else done before.

Glazer’s piece The Eve of Evil — a dark, yet deeply touching foreboding of the war with the Middle East that followed the September 11 attacks — had the Cirque du Soleil musician join the quartet on trumpet. The augmented ensemble also featured his children Camille and Jean-Marie, on cello and viola, respectively, and wife Élaine Corriveau on piano. The composition includes dissonant passages intermingled with touching triadic bliss. The structure consists of repetition of the main segments, underlining the contrast between them. The composer employs jazz elements, fugal passages and a clear homage to Le Sacre du printemps, toward the end.

“There’s a bit of rock and roll, a bit of Bartók and a lot of chickens,” said Danny McIntyre of his Dance of the Fearless Chickens. The piece was an inviting change of mood, with clucking and rolling from a quartet that seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the audience.

Full Sail’s Keith Lay presented the still unborn about the dead, for soprano, piano and quartet. Lay’s composition finds beauty in a somber mood and succeeds exceedingly at that. Soprano Julie Batman helped to beat the time while carefully belting the words by Nichita Stanescu, with piano accompaniment by Jamila Tekalli.

Also from Full Sail, composer Tim Stulman introduced his piece Two Tigers, Two Mice and a Strawberry, a saxophone arrangement of which was performed a week prior by the all-saxophone h2 quartet. With his programmatic Tracks of the North Woods, Eric Brook sought to paint a musical picture of an outdoor scene, with thrills along the way.

One of the best pieces featured was Karen Van Duyne’s For Four Strings. The functional simplicity of the title belies the scope of the music and imagination of the lone female composer of the event. The exciting piece, influence by Elliot Carter, strays from conventional harmony and finds peace, order and beauty in an unusual sound world. Each of the four strings has a clearly defined line and plays a role along the piece, with the viola representing a kind of longing or searching for something elusive. It is frequently interrupted by the other instruments, though, and struggles to find serenity until the composition comes to a close.

Thad Anderson’s piece for quartet and electronics Through-Line provided another interesting change of pace. Anderson, from the University of Central Florida, started the pre-recorded track, to which the strings played for the duration of the piece. Flutist Nora Lee Garcia had a difficult part to fulfill, playing over the often loud and dense atmosphere of unison strings and the electronics track. The composer succeeds with this piece in coordinating dynamics and phrasing, to create a flowing soundscape between the acoustic instruments and the waxing and waning track that pulsates beneath them.

The closing piece, titled set fire to have light, brought out the naked acoustic force of the string quartet. As with most of the pieces of the evening, first violinist Rimma Bergeron-Langlois played the main melody line, supported by second violinist Alexander Stevens. Furtive glances from Stevens at the Orlando Philharmonic concertmaster kept the group in sync and tight throughout. On the low register, viola player Mauricio Céspedes and cellist David Bjella rounded off this excellent ensemble. Charles Griffin’s closing piece had them play forte unisons toward the end, closing the concert with an air of triumph.

The Timucua White House is a place like no other in the Central Florida area, and for local aficionados of contemporary art music, it is the place to be. The last few concerts have been captured on video, along with post-event interviews, for an upcoming documentary on Benoit Glazer’s legacy to the music community of Orlando, made possible by dedicated organizations like the Central Florida Composers Forum, The Civic Minded Five and the Accidental Music Festival.

It is unfortunate that this could only be a one-off event, given the potential that this amazing program had and the evident success, at least in terms of attendance and support for local talent. My hope is that this event will not go unnoticed by the well-established classical music organizations in Orlando, as well as by emerging ones; the way to the future is in the music of the present.

 

Sketch Art of CF2 White House Concert by Thomas Thorspecken

Thomas Thorspecken is an illustrator and journalist working in and around Orlando, and his blog has become an ongoing chronicle that really speaks to the character of the city amongst the non-tourists and natives. We were fortunate enough for him to sketch our concert at the White House, and here is the result. Do support this Orlando institution by visiting his website and considering buying a sketch. Many thanks, Thor!

CF2 premieres at the Orlando White House, April 29

Come hear a mixture of new music that runs the gamut from Big-band style jazz, contemporary art song, soaring solo piano music to a cutting edge electroacoustic post-minimal exploration of new science.

The Central Florida Composers Forum will premiere two new works on its April 29 concert at the White House in Orlando: local arts luminary and musical director of  La Nouba (Cirque du Soleil) Benoit Glazer‘s Suite Circassienne #6 for brass quintet and percussion quintet and Full Sail University’s Rebekah Todia‘s The Solitary for soprano and piano.

Also on the concert will be Rollins College professor of composition Daniel Crozier‘s Winter Aubade, for piano solo and Full Sail University’s Charles Griffin‘s Emergence, for flute quartet, prerecorded audio and video projection.

The composers will all be present and are joined by an impressive body of performers: Benoit Glazer & Mike Avila, trumpets; Kathy Thomas, horn; Jeff Thomas, trombone; Bob Carpenter, tuba; Jeff Moore, Matt Roberts, Wesley Strasser, Thad Anderson & Garth Steger, percussion; Julie Batman, Soprano; Heidi Louise Williams & Rebekah Todia, piano; Elsa Kate Nichols, Nicholas Buonanni, Adriane Hill, Anielka Silva, flutes; and you (Griffin’s piece includes the audience as performers).

The concert starts at 7PM. Admission is free, but it is the custom at the White House that attendees bring a beverage or snack to share before, during and after the concert. You are also highly encouraged to donate to the Central Florida Composers Forum via the Paypal Donate button in the right-hand column of this website.

The Program:
Daniel Crozier – Winter Aubade
Piano solo (2009), ca. 11’30”

Benoit Glazer – Suite Circassienne #6
Brass Quintet and Percussion Quintet (2011), ca 30’
In 8 movements:
I. The Town Square, Before the Show
II. Jambette
III. Flea Trapeze
IV. Le BarbierV. Circus Fanfarus
VI. Mara Tan Val
VII. Circa Circus
VIII. Yaygosstov

Charles Griffin – Emergence
Flute quartet, prerecorded audio and video projection (2010), ca. 28′
In 4 movements:
I. Swarms
II. The Brain
III. Artificial Intelligence
IV. Crowds

Rebekah Todia – The Solitary
Soprano and piano (2012)
Text by Madison Julius Cawein (1865 – 1914)

Program Notes:

Daniel Crozier – Winter Aubade

Winter Aubade was conceived with the special gifts of the pianist Heidi Louise Williams in mind.  It was an absolute joy to return to writing music for my most favorite instrument with the confidence that virtually anything that the music demanded would be possible. Winter Aubade continues to explore some of the principal concerns expressed in the orchestral works that immediately preceded it, namely the narrative power inherent in music itself apart from any concrete literary references or explicit programmatic ideas. These orchestral works might be described as “fairy-tale” music in a general sense, and that designation suits Winter Aubade as well. Like those pieces this work tells a story, of a “fantastic” sort, in the context of a variety of widely contrasted emotional states; however, unlike them, which all rely on several well-delineated themes that interact over the course of the pieces, this work achieves its dramatic arc through the musical examination of a single complex of ideas stated in turn at the very outset. These appear in a wide variety of juxtapositions and transformations that fashion the drama, or “plot,” of the piece. “Aubade” means “morning music” or in this case, perhaps more appropriately, “dawn music.”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CEvg94_2Co

Benoit Glazer – Suite Circassienne #6

The Town Square, Before the Show – The first movement is instruction based, and is meant to put you at the scene, before the show at the big top in the town square. It includes the musicians warming up, tuning up, and then try to reproduce the bustling feeling of anticipation in the streets surrounding the tent in the minutes before the spectacle commences.

Jambette – Jambette is the second movement. It is my response to the parade of characters at the top of the show, when you get to see some of the outlandish costumes and make-up that bring you into a world of wonder and magic. Jambette (croc-en-jambe in France) is an expression that means to trip someone. I have opened the show at La Nouba playing the trumpet in a parade, and I wear a mask for it that restricts my peripheral vision, and ten times a week I have this vision that a mischievous kid will extend his leg and trip me while I am playing this treacherous melody filled with octave jumps.

My melody is built on sixths, and the movement starts with percussion, to have the theme bounced between the trumpets and the trombone. Short and sweet, just like the parade it is supposed to portray.

Flea Trapeze – This is the most difficult movement for the percussion section, which holds the theme for most of the movement. Brisk and choppy at times, it settles into a fast two step feel eventually. Originally written with Bob Becker (of Nexus fame) in mind. Since Mr. Becker has the reputation of being the best xylophone player in the world, the xylophone part, as well as the other tuned percussion parts, is most challenging indeed.

Le Barbier – My first effort in writing an Adagio, I tried to orchestrate the piece in a way that would make the tuba part so that every note he plays is important, and adds weight to the sound. After the first exposition, the bowed gongs come in one at a time, and once all in, the brass come back in to recap the theme, with this new element to it, lending it a disturbing, hopefully very unsettling effect.

Circus Fanfarus – A good old fanfare and march. Here I tried to see if I could modulate a semitone below (and then back up), without the audience noticing it. Can you spot the modulation? The foreign element is carried by the percussion, in their feature about half way through.

Mara Tan Val – Originally written in 1999 for a demo where I played all the instruments, it is orchestrated for a very different ensemble here. Here is a mix of rhythm from North Africa, a waltz and a tango (all at the same time). Yet, it feels quite natural and has a simple song form, with a vibes solo in the middle. It is in 5/4 time, and so could probably not be danced as a tango, but it has the flavor and the longing of a tango, somehow.

Circa Circus – My tip of the hat to Nino Rotta and his work with Fellini. A very ironic sounding song, originally done for that aforementioned 1999 demo as an accordion piece. You will hear it very soon in an upcoming Banks Helfrich movie in version that is close to the original orchestration. It is the funeral theme in this somewhat Fellini inspired “death centered romantic comedy feeling” movie about a woman and the seven people who die in the story. Jambette also figures in that movie…

Yaygosstov – As a trumpet player, I am naturally drawn to certain orchestral repertoire, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is part of that. The finale movement was an exercise in writing these long, tonal phrases that still contain harmonic movement, with rich orchestration and this particular voice leading that makes Pictures, as well as many works from Copeland, Holst, and others, so appealing. A call and response piece, where many people get to be the caller.

The title is a completely misspelled Québecois slang expression that came to mind because I wanted to honor the predecessor to our present high wire artist at work. You see, Valery almost never misses his salto on the wire, but his predecessor did so… quite often. And in most cases, he would land, well, let’s just say that siring children may be impossible for him now.  Yet, he would stand up, turn around, and do it again, all with a grace and dignity that honored his classy costume, his proud Russian heritage, and his profession.

Watch for the ending, where I went a little outside of the normal French horn range (If anyone can do it, Kathy can), and where my youth participation in DCI drum corps creeps up at the finale.

Charles GriffinEmergence

“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” – Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 1859

 For the past 15 years, my reading of scientific literature has affected my worldview, brought me solace, and sparked my imagination. The job of science, as I see it, has always been twofold: to rationally peer behind the veil of reality and discover what is there, and also to imagine future possibilities. I find it fascinating how fantastical reality can actually be, and that so many connections exist amongst ourselves and with our world once we actually look.

The science of Emergence is the study of how complexity emerges from essentially simple component parts.

King Solomon urged us to look to the ants, “consider her ways and be wise; which having no guide, overseer or ruler, provides her meat in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest.” Scientists and businesses now use Ant Colony Optimization algorithms and other Swarm Intelligence methods for problem solving. Bees, birds, fish and locusts follow essentially three simple rules of movement in groups, and it turns out, humans follow the same rules when walking in a crowded urban environment. The first movement is a structured improvisation for the flute quartet where they use swarming rules to create their music.

httpv://youtu.be/CgWMz7NASOo

The human brain, with its modular structure weaved together by roughly 30 billion neurons electrically firing chemicals across synapses in synchronous waves that produce measurable electronic current up to 12 Hz, is the ultimate example of complexity. Understanding our brains is yet another way of understanding our own evolution as a species: at the deepest level is the emotionless reptilian brain stem, controlling our metabolic system and incapable of anything we would call thought; then comes the limbic system, from which comes our primary emotions and which we share with most other mammals, enabling us to form powerful bonds with each other and with them; stacked on top are the two hemispheres of the neocortex, from which we get abstract and analytical thought, language, and of course, art. As Steven Johnson says in his book Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life, “ The more you learn about the brain, the more you understand how exquisitely crafted it is to record the unique contours of your own life in those unthinkably interconnected neurons and their firing patterns.”

For this movement I sampled a recording of a symphony by the Baroque composer William Boyce, which was used in an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) study of how the brain organizes segmented events. The flute quartet part is largely based on rhythms borrowed from gamelan music, where multiple players create a complex interlocking structure based on simpler rhythmic units.

httpv://youtu.be/UfOE6-P_fOs

Researchers into artificial intelligence are using the human brain as a model of learning. While estimates vary of exactly when a completely new form of life will be created by us, inorganic but self-aware, I have no doubt that it is inevitable. And that will naturally force us to question the nature of existence and sentience, and given enough time, might even become a new pathway for human evolution. You can decide for yourself the moral or ethical implications. For this movement, I sampled/quoted two orchestral pieces: Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question, in which the trumpet part asks “The Perennial Question of Existence,” and the Hymn section of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, “Veni Creator Spiritus.”

httpv://youtu.be/bxiz7Z4tBgY

I decided to go a less serious route with the fourth movement, and create a piece that is somewhat spontaneously created by the flute quartet and the audience. I learned how to use Adobe After Effects to create an animated graphic score, where shapes or graphics of four colors, red, blue, green and yellow are each interpreted by a different flutist, and text or symbol cues are given to the audience to shout, sing or speak. After about a minute, an electronic score enters underneath, comprised mostly of prerecorded human speech and sounds.

httpv://youtu.be/sHmU9-lNHhM

Rebekah Todia – The Solitary

Upon the mossed rock by the spring
She sits, forgetful of her pail,
Lost in remote remembering
Of that which may no more avail.

Her thin, pale hair is dimly dressed
Above a brow lined deep with care,
The color of a leaf long pressed,
A faded leaf that once was fair.

You may not know her from the stone
So still she sits who does not stir,
Thinking of this one thing alone–
The love that never came to her.

The Solitary encompasses a women’s life whose love has never been discovered. Her unique perspective through self-reflection is expressed with pivotal moments, overwhelmed by contrasting feelings of rage and adoration. The Solitary integrates moods and emotions of considerable affection, agitation, and moments of despair. The Solitary is a dramatic art song that carries you off to the cloistered life of a women’s life that love has never found.