02 May 2018

Avian Adventure

While not an absolutely novelty, the showcasing of other composers in a concert of “my band” had become a great rarity over the years.  It was a signal pleasure, not only to prepare and perform these pieces by my colleagues & friends, but that the concluding work on the 17 April program should be a “guest” work.

Just when (and upon what occasion) I first met Pam Marshall is a detail which eludes me at present.  And almost immediately, I am sure, I wanted to recruit her to play horn in a piece I was fixing to write.  Pam has fulfilled commissions for many local ensembles, managing to work quite steadily, and always (to my ear) producing engaging, mellifluous music.  And it was our great pleasure for Triad to sing her poignant anthem to dementia, Deepest Shade, on our November 2016 concerts.

For our piece this spring, Pam combined two longstanding musical passions of hers, improvisation, and electronics.  There is a fixed media component;  and the live instrumental complement was notated, but with a fluid interplay.  Pam writes:

We’ll play from score. The score is divided into parts, each for a major section of the audio soundtrack. Each section is free and rather improvisatory. Only Part 1 is measured. 
In the birdsong sections, musical gestures should be like birds, and should answer back and forth, sometimes overlapping. The notation tries to show this overlapping alignment, but it is freer than the notation implies. Improvising on the suggested songs is welcome. Birds do it too, or at least from bird to bird, the species song can be quite various.

1 comment:

Pamela J. Marshall said...

Dear Karl,
It's been a pleasure playing in the Henning Ensemble over these several years! I love doing our concerts, and the willingness of all to experiment with notation options and improv is loads of fun.
-- Pam