- Sarah Bassingthwaighte
- Gavin Borchert
- Brooke Richey
- S. Eric Scribner
Friday, March 2, 2018, 8 pm
Chapel Performance Space
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, 4th Floor
$5–15 suggested donation
Film Music, for piano, cello, and flute
Film Music was composed for a commercial video project for sculptor R. Carlson. Originally scored for piano, string quartet, and synthesizer, this version has been arranged for piano, cello, and flute. Though I am usually a structural composer, this piece was written quickly and entirely from a visual perspective to conform to the visual content of the video project. It has a very simple surface texture with themes, transitions, and modulations from section to section.
Music for Wallace, for piano
While living in Somerville, MA for a couple years, we adopted an old, neglected spinet piano. We named the piano Wallace. I wrote an album of short, mostly simple pieces for Wallace, a few of which will be played at the Salon.
The Trees Awaken, for alto flute, cello, and piano
This tone poem describes a sleeping forest that comes to life with dancing tree folk before returning to its slumber. I used a mostly traditional tonality with an emphasis on open 5ths and 6ths and a folk tune like melody in the middle. The low open double stops in the cello help to evoke the breathtaking size of the forest while the alto flute plays a mysterious sounding melody. The tremolo in the piano describes the restlessness of the trees as they come to life. The middle section of the piece is labeled “Heavy Footed Dance”. The loud, low, and heavy repeated rhythm describes the impact of their heavy roots/feet. The piece winds down with quieter repetitions of the dance theme before returning to the peaceful theme from the beginning.
Morning Stroll (revised), for clarinet quartet
Programmatically this piece depicts a person with a very short attention span going for a walk. He intends to get exercise but is distracted by everything he encounters.
Musically tries to be traditional in both sound and form but immediately gets lost and never finds its way again. This is a lighthearted work that never takes itself seriously. The listener should not, either.
Realizations for Horn and Piano
I had written “Realizations” for a friend’s son, Carlin Krause, and it began with the notion of seeing a particular circumstance a certain way when young, and arriving at a different point of view after the passage of time. I had tried a technique of adding attacks, one after another for subsequent phrases, starting with three, and eventually arriving at twenty five.
Colloquies: Moon, Rain, Sun, Wind, for solo guitar
This is a work in progress to discover a serious conversation with a subject and guitar. I do this to create a tension between what I present and how it will become or relate to a subject such as the moon and then I go from there while playing my guitar to listen to what is there.
Here is a link to a video of me playing in the Seattle Guitar Orchestra, an excerpt of Elegy for a church in Seattle in 2017: http://youtu.be/9J4RcJPLMac
Ghost Story, for piano four hands
The germ for my piece happened one morning when I found myself in Capitol Hill with a free hour. I ventured into Quest Bookshop. After browsing for a while, I settled on a book about ghosts by author and medium James Van Praagh. Upon reading it I became fascinated with his accounts of ghosts haunting people’s houses. Van Praagh claims he is able to communicate with the haunting spirits and convince them to leave their earthly haunts and journey to the spirit world. This led to me imagining how this scenario could be illustrated with music.
My composition, Ghost Story, is a programmatic piece about a ghost trying and eventually communicating a message to living human beings before it continues its journey to the spirit world. Ghost Story is the most scripted work I have written and I am really interested to hear what people’s experiences are listening to it!
Kyrie eleison from the God Helmet; for guitar, soprano, and flute
I wrote this a piece a while back. The premise of the text is that a woman, a reporter doing a story on a device that gives you the sense of talking to God. As a skeptic, she is offered a chance to experience it. She doesn’t believe in God and is curious about this, tries it and in fact has a profound experience and is able to give other a people a sense of calm, peace and a sense of the divine. However for all of the good that comes from this ends as she starts to get seizures and is going to die, due to the increased neural activity and her inability to process it. So this song is her singing to this new found God saying that she is not ready to leave this realm, earth. This God must wait. She is a new mother and must attend to earthly matters, God must wait.
Transit Maps, fixed media with projection
The series of pieces are called Transit Maps Basically I’m collecting transit maps from around the world and converting them into some form or another of parameters for the music, mostly form and instrumentation.
The two pieces presented on the salon will be “San Francisco BART” and “Copenhagen S-Train”.
Diler, for strings
One of my favorite ways to produce variation in live performance is through orchestrated failure: providing the musicians with a clearly-defined objective, and then making it as difficult as possible to reach that objective. The music that I personally want to hear lies in the struggle to find, even if the objective is never met. Diler is the latest in my exploration of this concept. A group of violinists and violists is fed a series of wide-ranging pitches through headphones. Each chooses a single string on their instrument and is tasked with matching the reference-pitches, as they hear them, using only that string. Thus all are chasing the same goal, but the odds that they will get there the same way (or at all) are stacked against them. In the process, however, a wide array of chords can be generated. The result is different every time.
Sonata for Piano
This is a piece for piano consisting of a recently written “Expression of 2nds and 4ths” followed by Bagatelles 4 & 5. As with my earlier Bagatelles, this is a somewhat tonal work relying on nonstandard harmonic techniques to establish and maintain a tonal coherency.