Lonely Lake was commissioned by Hank and Mary Doll and is inspired by their “camp”. On Lonely Lake in Canada and accessible only by boat, this small settlement of cabins has been in the family for over 100 years. Picture Hank walking through the woods to the lake in the first light of dawn. Everything is quiet and still with just an occasional birdcall. The music begins with instrumental renditions of these birdcalls – the sandhill crane, the belted kingfisher, the wood thrush, and the song sparrow. Then Lonely Lake goes on to reflect Hank’s early morning swim – gradual sounds of the swishing water at the beginning of the swim that gain momentum into a steady breast stroke and then the beauty and brilliance of the rising sun glinting on the water and in the eyes. Lonely Lake progresses through musical development of the birdcalls and swimming motifs into busy daytime activities, and ends with the sounds of loons at dusk.
The work opens with a 9-note row, which becomes an important element. There are two contrasting yet related sound worlds in Shattered Glass. A soft but brittle atmosphere with sharp stabs of piercing sound that sometimes builds to wild cacophonous moments is contrasted with soft, blurred, mysterious sections that still have tiny intrusions of bright, pointed stabs of sound. The brittle and blurred timbres eventually mix and overlap becoming sometimes rhythmic, sometimes raucous, and sometimes mysterious and melodic. There are solos for each instrumentalist throughout the work culminating in short, rhapsodic, cadenza-like flourishes for each.
World Premiere performance of Margaret Brouwer’s Inner Voices
at Symphony Space NYC on the Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival, 2014
Scored for flute, female voice, violin, cello, trombone, and piano, Inner Voices is a personal piece exploring inner emotions through musical expression. Inner Voices also explores sounds and colors in which the voice is used as an instrument in the ensemble instead of as a leading solo part. Each instrument, including the voice has solo moments and melodies. But at times, the voice blends with the other instruments to become part of a supporting sonority. Sometimes special attention is given to the colors of the female voice mixed with the trombone, and sometimes to interesting ways that trombone or voice can relate to flute, strings and piano. Through this medium, the first movement portrays inner feelings of anger, desperation and sadness. The second movement reflects deep memories of the ancient Greek city of Delphi shrouded in thick layers of mist.
Emma Shook – violin, Robert Nicholson – cello, Luke Rinderknecht – percussion
I. Before Dawn
II. Morning in Appalachia
III. Playing Outdoors
IV. Dark Clouds Over the Coalfields
V. Saturday Night