September Salon previews

Sheila Bristow

"The Finding" and "Leap into Love", for mezzo-soprano, cello, and piano

Two songs from a cycle-in-progress, using poems about ecstatic dance from many cultures. "The Finding" is a contemporary Canadian poet's vision of a Sufi dance experience; "Leap into Love" is from the writings of 13th century mystic, Mechthild of Magdebourg. Performed by composer/pianist Sheila Bristow, mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann, cellist Nathan Whittaker.

sheilagailbristow.com

Carson Farley

Contrasts for piano, violin, flute, and cello

carsonicsproductions.com

Jessi Harvey

"Pieces of the Puzzle" is the second movement of my piano work, Eden Untamed, inspired by a speech about the issues faced and burdens borne by the 20th century composer and dedicated to Scott Muller. Continuing on from the first movement, "Themes Amuck", one of the original themes is warped and split into multiple pieces, recombined, and put back together.

soundcloud.com/masterjgeorge

Ian McKnight

Airship Pirates!

I composed my newest piece as if it were the score to a movie set in the steampunk universe. Steampunk is a recent fantasy and alternate history genre that imagines what would have happened if technology had progressed faster during the Victorian era. It is characterized by crazy inventions and flying contraptions usually powered by steam.

This piece imagines a flying pirate airship. The piece starts quietly at the dock as the pirates prepare the ship. The sounds of machinery and workers become louder as the ship becomes ready to take flight. When the ship finally breaks above the clouds there is a moment of peace as the airship floats through the air. The pirates come upon another unsuspecting airship. The music becomes increasingly intense as they approach the other ship and attack. At the end, the pirates celebrate their victory with a drunken dance.

ianmcknight.bandcamp.com

Composers' Salon | Friday, September 2, 2016

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

  • Sheila Bristow
  • Carson Farley
  • Jessi Harvey
  • Ian McKnight

Friday, September 2, 2016, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 4th Floor
$5–15 suggested donation

July Salon Previews

Susan Maughlin Wood

Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Parallel Plaid
I. Stim
II. Transist
III. Off Script

Spectratta
"We are all on the spectrum."

The inner world is complete unto itself, but invites understanding. I am adding a video element to my new sonatina Parallel Plaid to highlight ways in which people* anywhere on the ASD and so-called ADHD spectrums (i.e. everyone) both identify with, and to some extent are, ourselves, wind-up toys going about our lives single-mindedly. Focus is absolute, but fleeting in its direction. Intensity is laser-sharp, but short-lived and not easily controlled.

*the complexity of people defies labeling, but insofar as labels exist, the spectrum model (think prismatic solid circle as opposed to single line) most closely represents our differences within a given shared aspect of humanity. For every aspect, the spectrum model is inclusive and shows that everyone shares certain traits and only differ in the degree to which they possess those traits and the degree to which their particular combination of traits aids and/or hinders them in their everyday lives.

For the most part, piano is parent, violin is child.

Stim

violin establishes footing solo on the tonic
pizzicato is the inner world “stimming," arco is outside interaction
dissonant, percussive movement
violin repeatedly reaching out and immediately returning to tonic
piano has perfect fifths but shifting key center up and down 1/2 steps
    trying to help violin get bearings… takes brief melodic stroll
first interval is augmented 4th then overreaches to M6th, then m6
    and finally finds the fifth representing normality
arco section = willing to engage,
brief extroversion then runs out of words so
retreats back into pizz inner world
very brief movement

Transist

= transformation, resistance, movement, growth
single minded in pursuit of goal
going about the day
wind picks up, holding onto flower
dramatic upset at trivial change in routine
parent checks in on child occasionally

Off Script

= gaining independence
high energy tango feel
but too quirky to dance to
near end: brief return to original pizzicato motif as comfort (stim)
    before coda dives into high, inverted, loud version of
    main statement and riffing, fragmenting, punctuating
    right up until the emphatic end

punchbeam.com

 

Jeremiah Lawson

Studies in Harmonics 7-12

From 1998 to 2016, I composed 12 studies for solo guitar exploring what was compositionally possible if I restricted myself to only the notes that can be played as harmonics. Studies 1-6 are original compositions while studies 7-12 are arrangements of traditional Christian hymns, suitable not only as etudes but as interludes in liturgical settings.

youtube.com/JeremiahLawson

 

Jay Hamilton

The title is a surprise to be revealed after the performance but I will give you the subtitle:

For Houdini who did not believe but wanted to Cello solo suite in a bunch of sections (7?)

soundand.com

 

S. Eric Scribner

There will be two short musique-concrète works. The first piece is called Phase Canon no. 1, the second, Eco Slab Gong.

Both of these are "remixes" of material done by friends of mine originally. The Phase Canon is not a Star Trek weapon, but a treatment of a flute improvisation by Ginny Landgraf—made into a canon that goes through "phasing" as in repetitive minimalism, though there is a twist. This could probably be notated and performed live, though it would take extremely precise micro-timing and micro-tuning. Eco Slab Gong is acoustically processed: a hailstorm recorded by Jonathon Storm, projected by loudspeakers onto the slab gong. The resonances from the gong were recorded and multi-tracked in a similar manner to the Phase Canon.

soundcloud.com/s-eric-scribner

soundcloud.com/steve-scribner

Composers' Salon | Friday, July 8, 2016

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

  • Jay Hamilton
  • Jeremiah Lawson
  • Susan Maughlin Wood
  • S. Eric Scribner

Friday, July 8, 2016, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 4th Floor
$5–15 suggested donation

May Salon previews

Clement Reid

Theater Piece #1, for cello is much like a person thinking aloud, although with music rather than with words. The beginning somewhat lyrical theme gives way to an introspective-sounding series of gestures including harmonics and quiet pizzicato. A middle section becomes more energized but with syncopated attacks. The ending should give the feeling of a kind of fragmentary reminiscence of the earlier material, concluding with high harmonics and a suggestion of interaction of different musical points of view, and a sense of wonder or questioning. Carson Farley will be the featured cellist.”

Steve Escoffery

Transcendental Object, for computer-realized sound

“The title, Transcendental Object, refers to an idea of Immanuel Kant. Kant’s idea, the transcendental object, is that of the fundamental nature of reality being beyond the ability of the brain, or the senses, to detect/understand — that everything our senses can detect is a simplified representation of what’s really there.

It seems like a bit of a looming elephant in the room (and hopefully not too clichéd) that we experience ourselves as being here, but none of us knows why or how; what here is, who we are, etc. So, I’m trying to represent that which is beyond our capacity to know — using computer programming to create patterns which are too complex for our brains to follow.”

Read more on steveescoffery.com »

Composers' Salon | Friday, May 6, 2016

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

  • Sheila Bristow
  • Steve Escoffery
  • Clement Reid
  • Jake Svendsen

Friday, May 6, 2016, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 4th Floor
$5–15 suggested donation