photo by Steve Bridger

Tuesday Night New Music is a student-run, faculty-supervised concert series that offers the opportunity to hear music by the next generation of composers: current NEC composition students. The series is directed by Katherine Balch '14 Tufts/NEC and Sonnet Swire ’16, under the supervision of composition chair Michael Gandolfi.

The notes on these works were written by the respective composers.

Stephanie Boyd Beltaine Fire Rites
string orchestra conducted by Lina Gonzalez

Named for the festival my Scottish ancestors observed, Beltaine marked the beginning of summer and was centered between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Massive bonfires were built, yellow flowers were set in doorways and on windows, and holy wells were visited. This piece speaks to those rituals.

Borey Shin s. m. m. d. d.
Borey Shin, electronics

Mollie Budiansky Music to Keep Bears Away
Justin Kohan, Alia Kuhnert, trumpet

“What should I do with my life?”
“You should be a forest ranger.”
“Oh, is that your plan? Scare the bears away with your trumpet playing?”
“Sweet. Well you can commission me: Music to Keep Bears Away.”
“That sounds like a good name actually. You should do that.”
“Only if you promise to play it at Tuesday Night New Music.”
“OH YEAH. Make it a trumpet duet.”

And that’s why this piece exists.

Luis Ruelas Romo Imágenes de Guanajuato
Introducción - Túneles - Anochecer - Mariachi - Callejoneada - Fulgor Español
Taeguk Mun, cello
Fiel Sahir, guitar

Imágenes de Guanajuato is a cello and guitar suite that in six movements recollects personal mental images, or memories, from the historic city of Guanajuato, Mexico.

The first movement “Introducción” (Introduction) unveils some of the material that will be used throughout the piece while keeping its own distinct character.

“Túneles” (Tunnels) imitates the sounds one hears when traveling through the mysterious old underground streets of this city.

“Anochecer” (Nightfall) is a calm, short, soft movement that through warm chords tries to imitate the experience of watching nightfall descend on the city.

“Mariachi,” as its name suggests, was inspired by mariachi stylistic elements, particularly from the “huapango” dance form. These elements are presented overall in a more abstract manner.

“Callejoneada” (roughly "Night Street Parade") tries to reflect the humor of the "callejoneadas," a parade done on this city’s streets at night and in which music students dressed as troubadours do jokes and play folk music for the audience’s entertainment.

Finally the last movement, “Fulgor Español” (Spanish Flare), through flamenco stylistic elements reflects the strong Spanish heritage from the colonial era that is still very well embedded and alive in this city.

Sonnet Swire Night Songs: A Tumblr song cycle
Throwing Lamps at People - What if… - Chemistry - Date a Boy
Alexander Sheerin, tenor
Ari Sussman, piano

Tumblr is a social networking website that's mainly used for blogging and is largely anonymous. Frequented mostly by teenagers and young adults, it's most active at night when today's Millennials suddenly turn into philosophers, comedians, and advice gurus. The text for this song cycle was taken from comment threads and blog posts that both Alex (the tenor) and I found humorous, and the usernames of the tumblr users are listed in the order that they posted.

Special thanks to our friend, Emily Nastelin, who helped us find the perfect Tumblr posts for this song cycle.

Ethan D’Ver Waltz from Three Miniatures for Toy Piano
Julian Korzeniowsky, toy piano

Chuchu Wen Girl in Brown
Kanae Kimura, flute
Wan-Tzu Chen, horn
Chua-Hui Lin, piano

Girl in Brown is a trio for flute, horn, and piano. It is written for the composer’s friend, a young horn player Wan-Tzu Chen, for her master’s recital program. This is a through-composed and single-movement work, which includes three parts (Adagio, Andante, and Adagio). In this work, the composer expresses characteristics of her dear friend Wan-Tzu Chen who is full of passion, sensibility, and wisdom in her musical journey and life. In the Andante section, a strong horn solo will bring you into Wan-Tzu’s brave and firm world.

Dana Kaufman On the Move (I Rörelse)
Alexandra Gilliam, voice
Connie Kim-Sheng, piano

Robert Burdick Piano Sonata
David Horton, piano

Ari Sussman The Choir Invisible
Adrienne Arditti, soprano
Katherine Miller, piano

I met Adrienne Arditti for the first time while I was a chorus member as a freshman in New England Conservatory’s performance of Arthur Honegger’s King David (in which Adrienne sang the solos of the Angel). We quickly became strong acquaintances and close friends. After some time, we mutually agreed that I would compose a piece for her and that she would have full freedom to decide on the text. I was thrilled to see that she chose George Eliot’s Oh, May I Join The Choir Invisible. As I did some research, I found that described this work best:

“…that the only afterlife one can have comes from participation in the growing group of men and women who make the world a better place to live—better in human terms, individually and collectively. The piece demonstrates Eliot’s unconventional thinking in a highly orthodox Christian society.”

This is very much ahead of the times. Eliot’s text is indicative of the development of Reform Judaism, in which a modernized approach to Judaism was slowly making its way into American Judaism. Reform Judaism began allowing egalitarian seating, female participation in services, and the inclusion of English in services. This general idea of gender equality began growing throughout religions and politics as the years went on.

My approach to composing this piece was to experiment with the balance of the pianist’s part vs. the singer’s part. Although the singer is at the forefront, the pianist has many melodic lines as well. I chose to do this to portray Eliot’s idea of equality. However, I used music to portray her ideas. The piece was challenging but ultimately rewarding to compose.

Jeremiah Klarman Waiting for Spring
Sofia Basile, Kate Arndt, violin
Jonah Ellsworth, cello
Jeremiah Klarman, piano

Waiting For Spring was written in late February when it felt like we were stuck in the grips of a long, dark, endless winter. The music is a tribute to the eager anticipation of the nearing change of season as well as the happy memories of longer days and warmer weather. The underlying mood, however, is one of melancholia and yearning, as the realization sets in that spring is not yet here. There are also moments of deception, particularly when the main theme comes back, where it appears that hints of spring arrive, but soon after unpredictable weather sets back in. Spring, however, is not limited to just the weather; it can also serve as a metaphor for happier times and carefree living, making the piece relevant regardless of season.

Orchestra for Beltaine Fire Rites

First Violin
Linnaea Brophy
Letitia Jap

Second Violin
Jooyeon Lee
Lisa Fujita

First Viola
Allie Simpson
Ariel Chapman
Heejin Chang

Second Viola
Ting-Ru Lai
Erica Schwartz
Jia Guo
Emily Brandenburg

Zi Wang
Sonia Mantell

Date: April 1, 2014 - 8:00:PM
Price: Free
Location: Williams Hall

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