If you've been to a student recital before, you probably expect to hear something like a traditional concert by a touring artist.
Recitals by doctoral students are a somewhat different affair. In the course of completing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at New England Conservatory, performance majors present not just one, but three full-length recitals, for which they also write program notes. Composers present a recital of their chamber music, then complete a large-scale original work. In both cases, it's an opportunity to observe multiple facets of an emerging artist.
Percussionist Jeremy Barnett is a Contemporary Improvisation major who studies with Bert Seager and Ted Reichman. For the last of his three D.M.A. recitals he performs solo and is joined by violinist Natalie Calma and fellow percussionists Brian Calhoon, Jonathon Hess, and Matt Sharrock.
Graeme Leak/Frankie Lee I Love Jazz
Jeremy Barnett, marimba, voice
Jeremy Barnett Wires
Jeremy Barnett, electronics
Jeremy Barnett (white noise machine)
Jeremy Barnett, percussion
Jeremy Barnett, marimba
Jeremy Barnett The Waiting Game
Jeremy Barnett, percussion and electronics
Improvisation performed by
Jeremy Barnett, marimba
Natalie Calma, violin
Jeremy Barnett My Own Small Discoveries
Magnetism - Gravity - Grace
Jeremy Barnett, Brian Calhoon, Jonathon Hess, Matt Sharrock, percussion
Jeremy Barnett Improvisation/Country Ahead, Country Behind
Jeremy Barnett, marimba
Barnett has provided the following program notes.
Graeme Leak is one of Australia’s most innovative and original percussionists. He has worked with many of the country’s leading orchestras and contemporary music groups, and is highly sought after as a soloist, composer, educator, and music director. During the 1970s and '80s Graeme was a member of several Sydney funk bands, some of which were managed by Frankie Lee. Much of the text is actual quoted conversation overheard in Sydney nightclubs from around this time.
Wires and (white noise machine) sprang from my love/hate relationship with the snare drum. It is an instrument that I am yet to fully come to terms with as a solo voice, and so I have employed electronics as means to find a way in. Wires uses a small amount of pre-recorded drumming as the source material for all that you hear. (white noise machine) utilises the live drum with real-time effects processing and is a "composed improvisation"—I have decided upon the shape of the piece and the order and character of each event, but the actual nitty gritty of what I play is improvised.
Many years ago I walked into a Sydney record store and happened upon a CD by the Madagascan guitarist D’Gary. An obvious virtuoso with a style and technique that are completely unique, D’Gary has however only
enjoyed limited success in the West. Most recently he was a part of Bela Fleck’s "Throw Down Your Heart" tour which featured many top African musicians. This is my own adaptation of a track from his album Akata Meso (2002), and seeks to recreate many of the intricate techniques and effects that are a feature of D’Gary’s playing.
Recently I have been waiting a lot. Waiting for other people to make decisions that will have a huge impact on my life. It’s been really annoying. So to distract myself, I wrote The Waiting Game. The main building block of the electronics is created by a randomizing granular synthesis technique that ended up sounding a lot like ticking clocks. And the initial audio sample I used is my fiancée reading an answering machine message in Spanish. Irony!
The three movements of My Own Small Discoveries each explore a single phenomenon or state of being. These might be observed in nature or within a human relationship, they might be of our choosing or be completely out of our control, we might see them in others or wonder if others see them within us. The title is borrowed from a passage in the novel Black Dogs by Ian McEwan.
Country Ahead, Country Behind is an important piece for me as it is the first piece of my own that I ever performed. In 2007 I presented a series of solo recitals, and around this time a number of my close friends were going through tough times—family illness, death of loved ones—which affected me deeply. One day during practice I improvised for about twenty minutes and out came this piece, very simple, only two chords and a single idea, but it was an honest outpouring of emotion like I had never experienced before. I determined to honour my friends by recreating this improvised piece in my recital; more than anything else I played during those concerts in 2007, it had by far the greatest impact with my audience. It gave me the confidence to believe in the worth of my own music. The title, added later, is inspired by the similarly named book of short stories by David Guterson, and for this performance I will start with a free improvisation that will lead into the piece.
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