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March 2018 Previews

Sarah Bassingthwaighte

H20, for soprano, flute, and guitar

My piece is called H2O and will be performed by the Ecco Chamber Ensemble: Sarah Bassingthwaighte, flute; Stacey Mastrian, soprano; Mark Hilliard Wilson, guitar. The piece is written in graphic notation in the shape of a circle and the players rotate the circle as they go through 6 different forms of water: Snow, Droplets, Rain, Storm, Frost, and Ice. There is a lot of guided improvisation used by all of the players. It will be performed on April 21st at SOMA Towers as part of KING-FM’s Resonance Series.

Gavin Borchert

Three songs

  • Sagrada noche (4’)
  • Cuando en el sol (4’)
  • Una vez (7’)

Gavin Borchert, piano; Michael Monnikendam, baritone

Some time ago I discovered the song “Nacht und traume” by Schubert, which is now my favorite of all of his. Researching it I stumbled on a beautiful (anonymous) Spanish translation of Matthaus von Collin’s original German text, which itself seemed to beg to be set. To go with it I chose Spanish translations of the words of two other songs I love: “Beau soir” (Debussy/Paul Bourget) and “Mondnacht” (Schumann/Joseph von Eichendorff). All three, obviously, address the subject of night.

Brooke Richey

Nocturne no. 1 and no. 2, for piano; Paradox for String Quartet

I write most of my music with white space. I don’t determine a key, time signature, let alone form, until I have a few phrases of melody transcribed. Nocturne No. 1, “Melodie” was written with a free hand. I wrote this piece, solely based off the tones and colors I wanted to hear. When I realized that the work was done was when I categorized it as a nocturne. And like the night, the music in "Melodie" is lead by itself, crawling through the dark until it finds sparks of light from the ground it encompasses. Just as the music comes to a close, night has found its way, and reached its end.

Nocturne No. 2 was written with the same design techniques as No. 1. Building from its first motif of triplets, the grace-notes serve as a foreshadowing for the abrupt bass line that will carry the second melody. Emphasized in this nocturne is the driving darkness quality of night as well as the peaceful quiet that comes with sleeping souls. Ultimately, the bass and "grace-note" theme take over to create a comically ironic ending. For those who work an 8–5, maybe you can understand why.

Paradox is the first piece for strings I’ve ever written. It was created during a time of my life where my only focus was to better my skill at composing. Created from a tone-row that was written freely, the piece was given its name to be a testament of individuals overcoming differences to work together. You can hear that the start of the piece begins with each instrument playing in a different octave, free-bowing and a little jaded with time. By the end of the piece the music is very close. Intervals and rhythm bring the voices together, bringing about a paradox of an experience, given with where they first started.

S. Eric Scribner


The piece is electronic, with no “live” performers. It is two realizations of a modal score without meter, played on the piano, and then multi-tracked with the second version starting at different time intervals. The time intervals grow closer together, so the piece gradually “converges”. There is also an interlude, made from multi-multi-tracking of the same score (originally played by Neal Kosaly-Meyer, guitar). Hundreds of separate multi-trackings are possible; at the Salon, I will play four of them plus the interlude.

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