As you can see from the date of the visit, I’m more than a little behind in posting these . . .
Lembit Beecher has a new opera project, To Hide in a Tree of Sound. As described on Beecher’s website about the project, “[t]he opera focuses on the imaginary landscape of childhood, and in particular, the way children use their imaginations to deal with trauma. At the center of the work is a modular, music-generating sculpture, which will function both as a musical instrument and as a character in the drama, a surreal creature or confidante imagined by the child.” Beecher recently posted a “sculpture demo” from the project. Beecher and cellist Karen Ouzounian, who joined hands in marriage just last week, perform in the video.
Another powerhouse musical couple, Shawn Jaeger and Lucy Dhegrae, feature in the first video below. I’ve sung the praises of Shawn Jaeger’s The Cold Pane before. Now there is a video performance of the piece available, with Lucy Dhegrae as vocalist (singing without a score, please note), accompanied by members of Contemporaneous Josh Henderson (violin), Colin Davin (mandolin), Vicente Alexim (clarinet), and Pat Swoboda (bass), conducted by David Bloom. Program Notes for The Cold Pane may be found here, and the score may be found here.
From the same concert, Shawn Jaeger in residence at Roulette, here are two more selections:
The first is excerpts from The Carolina Lady, for solo saxophone, featuring Ryan Muncy on sax. More information on The Carolina Lady may be found here, and the score may be found here.
The second is an excerpt from Jaeger’s work-in-progress, Wilderness of Woe. Contemporaneous performs, with David Bloom conducting. The piece, as described on Jaeger’s website, is “based on remixed audio from recordings of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.” Written for large ensemble, it is orchestrated for “16 players: flute, oboe, clarinet in Bb, alto saxophone, bassoon, horn, trumpet in Bb, trombone, 2 percussion, piano, violin I, violin II, viola, cello, double bass.”
Credits: The sources for the quotations are as indicated in the post. The photographs, as always on the blog unless otherwise indicated, are mine.
Oh my, the glorious swallowtail! We never see them in the UK.
Must look at these YouTube clips at more leisure, but just to let you know that the first volume of the Jaan Kross epic translated by Lembit’s mother just arrived. It’s published by a great champion of European literature in translation whom Jeremy knows well. Christopher MacLehose. I look forward to reading this fictional life of a character along the lines of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell – high promise indeed.
David: I didn’t realize no swallowtails in the UK. It was amazing to see two different sorts supping on the same buttonbush. Love J’s connecting point to the publisher of Merike’s book. I’m looking forward to getting my own copy very soon, so we may be reading in tandem (although you are much faster than I, for sure).
I especially like the photo with the pair of poplars. All of your photos are lovely, of course — and what fun to find we share the buttonbush and the swallowtail. It does occur to me that I might have lovelier landscape and garden photos if I spent some time in gardens, rather than out in the middle of WhereEver. On the other hand, I had a brush with a local garden club, and I can guarantee you I don’t belong there.
I’m not sure how I feel about remixed audio of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. I suddenly felt a stirring of purist impulses. I’ll have a listen, now, and see what how they’ve approached it.
Speaking of oddities, I saw the film “Phyllis Foster Jenkins” yesterday, and completely enjoyed it. I’d read an excellent piece about her some months ago, so the story was familiar in its outlines. I think she would have appreciated the young musicians you write about so engagingly.