Picture of the Day – July 6, 2012

Sheri Brown on alto saxophone giving an amazing performance of Joan Tower’s Wings (1981) at December’s benefit concert. A virtuosic (and at times frenetic) piece, the composer writes:

Wings was written for my friend and colleague Laura Flax, who premiered the piece at her recital in Merkin Hall (New York City) on December 14, 1981. The image behind the piece is one of a large bird—perhaps a falcon—at times flying very high gliding along the thermal currents, barely moving. At other moments, the bird goes into elaborate flight patterns that loop around, diving downwards, gaining tremendous speeds.

Photo courtesy Mary Scripko.

Picture of the Day – July 5, 2012

Anne Berry, Ryan Caparella, and Windsor Johnson – members of The Living Room Players, a regional chamber music ensemble – speaking to the audience at December’s benefit concert. The trio performed two movements of Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio in G minor, op. 17. Schumann’s piano trio is considered, “probably her greatest achievement. Written in 1846, at a time of great stress, it has an autumnal, melancholy quality, and demonstrates a mastery of sonata form and polyphonic techniques” (Nancy Reich, Grove Music Online).

Photo courtesy Mary Scripko.

Picture of the Day – July 3, 2012

Elisabeth Tomczyk warming up in preparation for last December’s benefit concert. In addition to Elisabeth, the evening featured performances by Anne Berry, Sheri Brown, Ryan Caparella, Patrice Fitzgerald, Windsor Johnson, Richard Leslie, and Grace Smith. The 2011 benefit concert featured music, drink, and food, with dozens in attendance to support the March festival.

Photo courtesy Mary Scripko.

Picture of the Day – July 2, 2012

Kathryn Denney and Lisa Hadley perform Anita Kupriss’s Soul Tea at Capital Community College, where this year’s Electro-acoustic Concert was held on March 8, 2012. Written for vocalists and a fixed electronics track, the piece features sound samples of a tea kettle.  The composer writes:

“In the mornings I often sing along with my whistling tea kettle (doesn’t everyone?) and decided that I just had to write a piece for two (or three) female voices with a pre-recorded tea kettle background track. The pitch of the tea kettle, which undulates between an A and a Bb, sounds the pedal tone for the entire piece, while the click of the electronic starter generates a recurring rhythmic motive. The text, a series of vowels, gives the singers the freedom to create bursts of canonic melodies and modal harmonies. The singers employ glides and onomatopoeic sounds (tsik) as effects and sing descending and ascending quarter steps with the tea kettle, in order to heighten the harmonic tension. At first I thought that this would be a humorous piece, but as I composed it the mood became more melancholy which ultimately inspired me to name this song Soul Tea.”


Kathryn Denney, Lisa Hadley