Picture of the Day – July 18, 2012

An annual tradition for the festival, the Local Composers Concert displays the wide variety of musical styles and ideas present in just the tri-state area (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York). The following picture features Janet Jacobson and Han-Wei Lu performing the intricately microtonal “Five Vignettes” by Julia Werntz. A process of dividing the traditional Western scale, Julia describes her use of microtonality:

My method was just to seize the “new” pitches from in-between the “old” pitches of 12-note equal-temperament—60 new pitches in total—and to sing the intervals again and again until I had internalized a new microtonal, equal-tempered chromatic scale consisting of 72 pitches. Then I began developing a melodic technique, relying on certain aspects of my traditional musical training, while at the same time looking out for the peculiar new demands of the new intervals themselves, such as rhythm.

More info on Julia Werntz and her music can be found here.

Janet Jacobson and Han-Wei Lu

Picture of the Day – July 16, 2012

Though many of the pictures posted so far have shown the great music-making that takes place at the Festival each year, our events also serve as an important opportunity for composers to interact with each other and with audience members.  Most of the living composers programmed on the Festival attend, and we always look forward to meeting the women featured each year.

Two composers chat at the 2010 Local Composers Concert

In the photo above, composers Kate Swanson-Ellis (left) and Gale Gardiner (right) chat at the 2010 Local Composers Concert.

Picture of the Day – July 1, 2012

Another shot of Owen Weaver performing Lisa Coons’s Percussion Sculpture No. 1, because it was just so cool!  The metal sculpture was amplified, but no other electronics were added.  The lights were dimmed for the piece, and Weaver was illuminated by lamp shown on the left.  Toward the end of the piece, serendipity showed its face: the lamp began to flicker in time to the music (perhaps as a result of the vibrations from the sculpture), creating an unplanned but entirely appropriate addition to the atmosphere of the piece.

Percussion Sculpture No. 1

Picture of the Day – June 27, 2012

We’ll be uploading pictures from the 2012 Festival over the next couple of weeks, so check here for the Picture of the Day.

Our first picture features Owen Weaver as he performs Lisa Coons’s Percussion Sculpture No. 1.

The composer writes the following about her piece:

Percussion Sculpture No. 1 was my first completed percussion sculpture. It was originally meant to be a realization of my frustration with our disposable nation. I imagined it to be an object of twisted scrap metal that moaned and screamed. The problem came when I started to make the sculpture…

I’m afraid that all of my anger and politics disappeared while spending the summer walking through the junkyard, hitting anything I could find to test the resonance and pitch, and dragging it back to the barn to weld. I ended up enjoying process more than ever before, while my dad patiently (and bravely) helped me re-learn the equipment of his shop. The whole experience became about the beautiful sounds we heard in the metal and the process of building something that sang. I have to thank my little sister for all the times I asked for her to listen, my dad for many, many hours spent helping me put this thing (and the several before it) together, and my mom for all of her aesthetic input and her first-aid knowledge (it healed nicely).”


Percussion Scultpure


More pictures (and video) from 2012 coming soon!

For more about Lisa Coons, visit www.lisarcoons.com/.