July 27 | 7:30pm Historic Saranac Lake Laboratory
Okukoowoola Kw'Ekkondeere Horn Call by Justinian Tamusuza
Duets for Two Violins by Béla Bartók
Songs for Modern Times by John Winn
Suite for French Horn and String Quartet by Corrado Maria Saglietti
Debra Sherrill-Ward, horn Susanna Klein and Sonya Stith Williams, violins Catherine Beeson, viola Heidi Hoffman, cello
Justinian Tamusuza (1951- )
Justinian Tamusuza was born in Kibisi, Unganda in East Africa. His early musical training was in Kigandan traditional music: singing, playing drums and tube-fiddle. He studied with the Reverend Anthony Okelo and with Kevin Volans at Queens University in Belfast, Ireland and received his doctorate in composition at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Tamusuza blends western classical and Ugandan traditional styles, and has caught the ears of musicians, composers, and listeners all over the world. Recognized as one of the leading contemporary African composers, he has composed a number of works for Western classically trained musicians incorporating traditional African folk elements, minimalist techniques and poly-rhythms. His music is a bubbling, earthy romp through African-European cultural distinctions. It compares to America's minimalist composers (notably Steve Reich and John Adams) but close inspection reveals a more complex structure. African poly-rhythms dazzle the ear with misleading accents, tripping up the happy and complex weave of simple pentatonic melodies. Justinian's music relies on the imitation of Ugandan instruments such as the tube-fiddle and the lyre. Western players have to re-think their techniques and approach toward their instruments. The drumming of intricate rhythms on the body of instruments is also common in Tamusuza's works.
Okukoowoola Kw'Ekkondeere (which translates loosely to "horn call from far away") was composed in 2006 to be premiered at the International Horn Symposium that year in Cape Town. Several extended techniques are used to imitate traditional Kigandan drumming rhythms and vocal melodies including quarter tones, hand bends, and stopped horn. In the end the player removes several tuning slides and plays through the open tubes creating a percussive effect along with tapping on the instrument.
Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
Béla Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology. In his search for new forms of tonality, Bartók turned to collecting Magyar peasant melodies, as well as to other folk music of the Carpathian Basin and even of Algeria and Turkey. In so doing he became influential in that stream of modernism which used indigenous music and techniques, following a trend that began with Mikhail Glinka and Antonin Dvorak.
4 Duets for Two Violins are a short set taken from a collection of 44 folk tunes which Bartók collected and arranged. About this process he writes: "The question is, what are the ways in which peasant music is taken over and becomes transmuted into modern music? We may, for instance, take over a peasant melody unchanged or only slightly varied, write an accompaniment to it and possibly some opening and concluding phrases. This kind of work would show a certain analogy with Bach's treatment of chorales. Another method is the following: the composer does not make use of a real peasant melody but invents his own imitation of such melodies. There is no true difference between this method and the one described above. There is yet a third way. Neither peasant melodies nor imitations of peasant melodies can be found in his music, but it is pervaded by the atmosphere of peasant music. In this case we may say, he has completely absorbed the idiom of peasant music which has become his musical mother tongue.
John Winn (1971-)
John Winn's entry into the music biz was when he sat in at his father's gigs at age 8 and started booking his own engagements by age 16. John's lush vocal timbre has been compared to those of Chet Baker and Harry Connick, Jr., and his scat singing follows the traditions of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Mel Torme.His repertoire spans from Frank Sinatra to Sting. As a saxophonist and clarinetist, John has appeared on stage with luminaries such as Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Arturo Sandoval, Lou Rawls, Steve Lawrence and Edy Gourmet, Ben Vereen, Chita Rivera, Dianne Schuur, John Pizzarelli, Jon Faddis, Milt Hinton, Jimmy Heath, Doc Severinson, Christian McBride, and Branford Marsalis. John has been a guest artist at festivals in Sacramento and Mammoth Lakes, CA; Banff, Canada; Laramie, WY; and Loon Lake, NY.His band Neighborliness has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington and completed a tour of South Korea, Cambodia, Russia, and Mexico. After their grand reception in Russia, Neighborliness was invited back as the opening band at the first ever Vladivostok International Jazz Festival. John currently serves on the Jazz and Popular Music faculty at both the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. He can be heard on the recordings of the Great American Music Ensemble, Modern Groove Syndicate, Fighting Gravity, Your Father's Mustache Band, Junk Food Buddha, and One Ring Zero.
Songs for Modern Times Busy Deep In Your Rosy Glow You Really Never Know Silent Mode What You Eat A Tree That Leans
Originally a set of 5, Songs for Modern Times was composed in 2003. You can find this original set on the "Around the Campfire" recording we made in the great room of Balsam on Loon Lake Terrace one miraculously overcast chilly weekend. If you listen closely you can hear a lone motorboat out on the lake at the tail end of one of the songs. We got lucky. Loon Lake is a vibrant active community and the only sound proofing we had was the inclement weather! Photos from the session are below. We were all much younger then but John is still creating and we are still performing and you are still witnessing, and so it goes! The 6th song added to this set, "Deep In Your Rosy Glow", was written just last month, a mere 19 years later. So much has happened to change the way we look at our world in these two decades but the thematic core of these songs remains relevant.
Corrado Maria Saglietti (1957-)
Corrado Maria Saglietti was born in Costigliole d'Asti, Italy. He studied horn with G. Zoppi and since 1977 has been performing with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra of Turin, becoming principal horn in 1990. In 1986 he received his degree in composition from the Turin Conservatory where he studied with professors Santo Tresca and Gilberto Bosco. Corrado Saglietti's works have been awarded several international composition prizes and are played worldwide by renowned soloists and ensembles.
Suite Tango Canzone Speedy
Suite is written for french horn and string quartet. On a characteristic tango atmosphere, a melancholic and sensual melody opens the risst piece. A simple and vibrant chant comes next, in a frame that's sometimes rarefied, sometimes passionate. The final piece is rhythmic and enthralling, with bright colors, curious effects and a slightly jazzed-flavor. A cocktail of passion, nostalgia, and virtuosity that captures and amuses both the performers and the audience.
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