August 7 | 7:30pm Historic Saranac Lake Laboratory
Bulgarian Folk Tunes arr. Béla Bartók, arr. Dimitar Bodurov Bulgarian Dance #151, Mikrokosmos Vol. 4 Bulgarian Rhythm #113, Mikrokosmos Vol. 4
Okuyigga N'Ekkondeere by Justinian Tamusuza
Duets for Horn and Trombone by John Sipher On the Tip of a Dandelion Seed Duet for a Time of Isolation Flight Aggression
Glorious Mahalia by Stacy Garrop 1. Hold on 2. Stave in the ground 3. Are you being treated right 4. Sometime I feel like a motherless child 5. This world will make you think
Debra Sherrill, french horn John Sipher, trombone (and maracas!) Sonya Stith Williams and Annie Trépanier, violins Catherine Beeson, viola Jordan Gunn, cello
Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
Dimitar Bodurov (1979- )
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 and continuing on through the work of Silkroad among many others.
Dimitar Bodurov is a Bulgarian jazz pianist and composer whose signature sound is a combination of classical, jazz, folk and electronica. Bodurov has composed mostly chamber works in various settings. He has received commissions from the Gergiev Festival Rotterdam, Sofia Music Weeks, Musique Classique Amiens, LeineRoebana Dance group, Operadagen Rotterdam and Holland Festival. In 2012, Dimitar composed the music of Lilith –a music theatre production by the renowned American soprano Claron McFadden, premièred at the Holland Festival, Amsterdam. He has been based in Amsterdam since 2000, performing throughout the Netherlands and Europe, and releasing numerous recordings for Dutch and Norwegian labels. His 2018 album Solo in Bonn is a live recording of his concert at Beethoven’s house, consisting of a lyrical and virtuosic rendition of free improvisations and original compositions based on folklore themes. His most recent commission, "Inner voice" for trombonist Jörgen van Rijen, string quartet, and electronica, included making arrangements of Bulgarian Dance music collected by Béla Bartók. "Inner voice" and two of these arrangements can be found on the recording Jörgen van Rijen made and released earlier this year called "Mirror In Time".
Bulgarian Dance and Bulgarian Rhythm are two folksongs collected by Béla Bartók and subsequently arranged for inclusion in his multi volume progressive studies for solo piano, Mikrokosmos. Bulgarian composer Dimitar Bodurov has taken those arrangements and scored them for trombone and string quartet. Bulgarian music often includes uneven rhythmic structures that swing a little differently from western European derived music. Beat groupings of 3+2+3 turn an 8 beat count from a march into an off kilter dance, for example. This, combined with the relatively uncomplicated folk style texture of melody plus harmony, makes a great introduction into the sound world of the following music by Ugandan composer Justinian Tamusuza. We have performed the music of Béla Bartók in 2007 and 2022 at Loon Lake Live, including various arrangements of folk tunes he made. This is the first performance of Dimitar Bodurov's music at Loon Lake Live.
Justinian Tamusuza (1951 - )
Justinian Tamusuza (1951 – ) 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. Tamusuza'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 his works.
Okuyigga N'Ekkondeere ("hunting with the horn") is the final movement of a three movement work for french horn and string quartet (with maracas!) composed in 2006 to be premiered at the International Horn Symposium that year in Cape Town. Funding ran low and the string quartet was canceled, leading Tamusuza to arrange portions of the first and second movements for solo horn performance at the symposium. Last summer Debra Sherrill performed this arrangement, Okukoowoola Kw'Ekkondeere, on the Loon Lake Live series. We are pleased to be making the world premiere of the third movement this summer! Several extended techniques are used to imitate traditional Kigandan drumming rhythms and vocal melodies including quarter tones, stopped horn, tapping, and the use of maracas.
John Sipher (1983- )
John Sipher is a trombonist, educator, and composer. He is an active contributor of music to the trombone repertoire, composing and arranging music primarily for trombone ensembles and for trombone and loop pedal, as well as commissioning new works from other composers. Sipher has performed as principal trombonist of the Syracuse, Virginia, Richmond, and New World Symphony Orchestras. He is currently principal trombonist of the Colorado Symphony.
Duets for Horn and Trombone feature a set of 3 short works John has recently composed. Each has its own unique character, from playful to introspective to driven. These three were originally meant for two trombones, but John has arranged them for horn and trombone especially for performance on our series. This is the first time we are featuring John Sipher and his music at Loon Lake Live. Sipher writes:
The material for these three duets comes from a larger duet project that I've been working on since the early days of the pandemic, starting with Duet for a Time of Isolation, one of my pandemic projects in the early days of the lockdown.
On the Tip of a Dandelion takes the players through a perfect spring day, hitching a ride on a dandelion seed through a meadow strewn with wildflowers as a playful wind whirls them back and forth and around. Duet for a Time of Isolation, from the early days of lockdown, finds two players searching for connection. The two players weave in and out of each other, sometimes coming close, finding each other for brief movements before once again being separated by distance. Flight Aggression again takes us on a flying journey, but this time, with fighter jets! The middle section features a heavy metal breakdown from my early days of hanging out at rock shows.
Stacy Garrop (1969- )
Dr. Stacy Garrop (1983– ) is an award-winning, nationally recognized composer and lecturer whose music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling. Her catalog covers a wide range of genres, with works for orchestra, opera, oratorio, wind ensemble, choir, art song, and various sized chamber ensembles. She has received the Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Barlow Prize, three Barlow Endowment commissions, and a Fromm Music Foundation grant. Notable commissions include The Battle for the Ballot for the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Goddess Triptych for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Glorious Mahalia for the Kronos Quartet, The Transformation of Jane Doe for Chicago Opera Theater, Give Me Hunger for Chanticleer, and My Dearest Ruth for voice and piano with text by the husband of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Glorious Mahalia was composed in 2017 at the request of the Kronos Quartet and Carnegie Hall. It is scored for string quartet and audio tracks which feature interview clips between writer, oral historian, and WFMT Chicago radio host Louis "Studs" Terkel and gospel legend Mahalia Jackson as well as Jackson's glorious singing voice.
In Garrop's own words "In researching WFMT’s Studs Terkel Radio Archive, I found several broadcasts when Studs featured Mahalia Jackson and her recordings on his show. Two broadcasts in particular stood out. The first broadcast occurred in 1963, when the pair sat down for a conversation that covered a wide range of topics, including Mahalia’s experiences of working in the South, the continuing hardships she faces being a woman of color, and the civil rights efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Reverend Ralph Abernathy, and many others (including Mahalia, who was a staunch supporter of Dr. King). The second broadcast dates from 1957; it features Mahalia performing a number of gospels and spirituals for a live audience at a hotel in Chicago. In crafting my composition, I decided to highlight many of the salient points of Studs’ and Mahalia’s 1963 discussion, with a musical performance from the 1957 concert featured prominently in the work.
Glorious Mahalia consists of five movements. In movement 1, Mahalia discusses the origin and meaning of the spiritual Hold on. In Stave in the ground(movement 2), she and Studs talk about the work she did when living in the South, and the continuing prejudice she faces. This is followed by a more heated discussion between Studs and Mahalia in Are you being treated right (movement 3). The fourth movement features Mahalia’s soulful performance of the spiritual Sometime I feel like a motherless child. The piece concludes with This world will make you think (movement 5), in which Mahalia speaks of her hope that we can unite as one nation."
This is the first performance of Glorious Mahalia and of Stacy Garrop's music at Loon Lake Live.
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