Composer’s Salon | Friday, July 10, 2015

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

  • Keith Eisenbrey
  • Kam Morrill
  • Nadya Kadrevis
  • S. Eric Scribner

Friday, July 10, 2015, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 4th Floor
$5–15 donation

Salon preview: Matthew James Briggs

Krzeminski's Star, for violin, marimba, and electronics
Centaurus X-3 (4U 1118-60) is an X-ray pulsar with a period of 4.84 seconds. It was the first X-ray pulsar to be discovered, and the third X-ray source to be discovered in the constellation Centaurus. The system consists of a neutron star orbiting a massive, O-type supergiant star dubbed Krzeminski’s star after its discoverer. Matter is being accreted from the star onto the neutron star, resulting in X-ray emission. (Wikipedia)

The idea that a gigantic star can exist out there, otherwise invisible to us except for a regular burst of X-ray radiation every 4.84 seconds, is truly spectacular. This piece attempts to characterize the sense of wonder and mystery of being such a small creature in such a large universe.

The piece has three internal movements in the form: slow-fast-slow. There is no silence between movements as the electronics make a sonic transition from one to the next.

The first movement sets up the mysterious mood. In the electronics, a wave of sound pulses every 4.84 seconds. NASA transmissions (from STS-31) are used to complete the space theme. The second movement retains a mysterious character but becomes a bit more playful with rhythmic hemiolas and unison melodic lines. The third movement returns to the character of the first as we again ponder the deep.

Matthew James Briggs received his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University where his mentor was Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström and his percussion teacher was Anthony Cirone. matthewjamesbriggs.com

Candice Chin received a BA in music and economics from the University of Washington, where she studied violin with Steven Staryk. She also earned an MBA/MA from the University of Cincinnati. Candice has played with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Octava Chamber Orchestra, and Seattle Modern Orchestra. She was a prizewinner in the chamber music category of the Seattle 2011 Russian Piano Festival. She is a member of Philharmonia Northwest, and a student of Martin Friedmann.

Salon preview: Ian McKnight

Reborn in Flame, The Death and Rebirth of a Phoenix, for flute, alto flute and cello

I wrote this piece as a tone poem depicting the life cycle of a phoenix. The piece opens with the old, dying phoenix struggling to hold on to life. This struggle is represented by the opening theme first stated by the cello. The piece relaxes between increasingly dramatic statements of this line as the bird drifts in and out of consciousness, the mysterious dreams expressed by the augmented chords in the cello, and a slower, drifting variation of the opening theme in the flutes.

After the final struggle, the music dies away as the phoenix burns to ash. The music builds into a lament for the dead bird in the form a Gregorian chant. This chant dies away and the dream theme returns in the flute as the ashes are blown away revealing an egg. The excitement brews with the augmented chords starting in the alto flute and joined by the flute and cello. This breaks into trills in the flutes and pizzicato in the cello as the new, baby phoenix hatches from its egg.

The trills in the flute die down as the new, young phoenix theme is stated for the first time by the alto flute. This theme builds as the phoenix soars through the air, its youth represented by the ornaments in the flutes, the pizzicato in the cello, and the new major tonality. The content, youthful phoenix settles to the ground with the final cadence.

Ian McKnight graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in flute performance in 2012, where he started composing during his senior year. He premiered his first composition, a flute quintet, at the Seattle Flute Festival in 2013. Ian repairs musical instruments at Ted Brown Music in Tacoma, plays piccolo for the Seattle Festival Orchestra, and regularly performs with various chamber ensembles. During his free time he enjoys playing bluegrass, old time, and Celtic folk music on the mandolin and Irish flute. His love of folk music has had a continuing influence on his compositions.

Salon preview: Jessi Harvey

I will be presenting Toad Song, a small irreverent piece for cello and alto voice, written in honor of a large toad. Feasting, sitting, croaking, and singing abound. Musical tribute is paid. Lyrics by Vanessa Emily.

Jessi Harvey is a composer and teacher living in Seattle. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2009 and from the University of New Mexico with a Master’s of Music Theory and Composition in 2012. She writes music that often features stutters, sound masses, appropriately placed dominant chords, random lyricism, and sometimes, none of the above. She finds inspiration in the everyday, both the small and silly and the large and difficult.

Composers’ Salon | Friday, May 8, 2015

An evening of music and discussion with Seattle composers:

  • Michael Owcharuk
  • Matthew James Briggs
  • Jessi Harvey
  • Ian McKnight

Friday, May 8, 2015, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 4th Floor
$5–15 donation

March 6 Salon previews

Clement Reid

"Dreams, Improvisations for Piano, combines sections from an earlier piece, Explorations. These selected movements are examples of reordering of musical material from the earlier piece, that give a kind of floating dream-like impression, in a similar manner as actual dreams seem to reorder and juxtapose experiences and events from reality in a new or unusual way, but with a different image or message. Dreams, Improvisations comprises six movements: Project, Dream 1, Dream 2, Improvisation, Dream 4, Dream 5."

Ann Cummings

"How can I not own my own composition? When music is fundamentally motion, what keeps everything separate? Is there a continuity to brokenness?" Ann explores these questions with her etude Three of a Kind for String Bass, Banjo, and Piano.

Nadya Kadrevis and Jeremy Shaskus

Nadya and Jeremy will present a selection from Trinity, a work in three parts: creation, destruction, and redemption. Part one will be performed on the March 6 salon.

From Nadya: "I was inspired by the parallels between Hinduism and Christianity when I was in India in 2013 shooting my documentary. The inspiration took form when I met Jeremy and we decided to collaborate on the music; staying true to the mythology developing in my mind, we created part one. The cello represents Brahmin the eternal pulse of life, the piano represents Shiva the creator/destroyer, and the soprano saxophone represents Vishnu the redeemer."

Hear these works and join the discussion at the March 6, 2015 Salon.