Monday, December 10, 2012

C.C festival 2 ("evolution") Part 5 @ The Dimenna Center

This months cover by K.K.W.
Central Park, Fuji-film 400
Composers Concordance Festival 2 ("Evolution"). Part 5 - 'Legends' @ The Dimenna Center. Article & photos by K.K.W 
From left to right: Thomas Carlo Bo (conductor), Gene Pritsker,
Milica Paranosic & Dan Cooper
As I made my way downstairs to the concert hall most of the seats were taken, and orchestra was going through the last tune-up, waiting for the conductor to signal the beginning...of 'Legends'. Last of the 5 part Composers Concordance festival 2, and 'legend' ended it with a bang.

The theme of this last part is devoted to honoring elements and the influences of the timeless melodies of Antonin Dvorak (who spoke of the influence of Native American and African American music on his symphonies & who urged American composers to focus attention on what "must" be the future of music in this country).   
Mrs Luening (wife of Otto Luening)
23 musicians (20 making up the orchestra) taking part in performing 12 pieces (7 of which were premieres), with 4 solos and Thomas Carlo Bo conducting the orchestra. "Traditional/John Sarantos, Zuni Morning call/Kum Bah Yah" was certainly interesting, with great momentum and arrangements that made for a terrific opening. Sarantos' solos (via Native American flute)were a thing of joy. His command the instrument not unlike a swami charming a snake. The sound was almost to soothing.

"Akep (Thank you in West African Ewe language)II" by Milica Paranosic struck deep with its notes and elegance, causing the audience to open up to it like a flower would to the sun. Its energy surged through the hall and invigorated everyone.   
LeeAnet Noble (African Percussion & Dancer)
LeeAnet Nobles "Drum Progression" was powerful in its sound, flow, and placement amongst the other pieces. In a way it was a shock and yet it was the perfect change-up, to reaffirm its place as being every bit as relevant & needed in American music.

Joseph Pehrson's "Inde" moved with a grace and style of contemporary American music that seeks to include themes, from its various Non-European ethnic groups. In this case "Native America"- Three songs of Memberton, Kayowajinet and Yuma Lullaby. His use of additional arpeggiation in the string & wind parts made for a unique sound.

Gene Pritsker's "Songs So Wild and Wayward" was one of the best of the evening. The main source of the concerto (opening & closing it) is from a track for a solo male singer from the Iroquois tribe. While the "...groove-oriented.."(1) middle section of the concerto coming from a rhythmic Cree call and response chant. He named the piece after part of the poem "The Song Of Hiawatha" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

"Blue D" by David Taylor, an unaccompanied bass trombone homage to Dovark's Humoresques, was very moving with its intricate balance and moments of exuberance.       
Valerie Coleman during the solo for her piece,
"Red Clay & Mississippi Delta".
"Red Clay & Mississippi Delta" by Valerie Coleman was extremely memorable in its sound. A strong, tender feel of music in smokey joints where the liquor was cool and the instruments were too damn hot. Classical in its approach and composition with subtle rhythm/Blues feel.     
Valerie Coleman 

Lara St John & conductor Thomas Carlo Bo
When the concert began I hardly noticed Lara St John sitting quietly to left of the orchestra, waiting for her solo. And of the three solos hers was the best. As the bow touched the strings of her violin the air became warm, and the crowd held captivated as the music radiated from her passion. She rocked, swayed, moved as if controlled by one of the nine muses, her solo rolling gently into rest of the piece with the orchestra. She was amazing.
Lara St John & conductor Thomas Carlo Bo

Lara St John

Lara St John

When it comes to the orchestra, they were passionate, precise, and powerful. Bechtold, Takeda, Maneein, Stillwell, Sielaff, Ting, Gotay, Edens, Fieldes, Coleman, Wilson, Suzuki, Primis, Clark, Hackl, Taylor, Jarvis, Garcia, Kigawa and Cano gave it their all and played as one, the collective sound filling the hall with "A kind of Magic" (2).  
John Sarantos


At the end the crowd stood up & them their due & proper.

Composers Concordance is arguably one of the most engaging organizations for contemporary music in New York City, striving to present music interesting and innovative ways. Having gotten to know them, others affiliated with them over the last year, its been informative and a lot of fun. 

If you would like to know more, go to:www.composersconcordance.com, (1) Gene Pritsker, (2) Title of the song by Queen from the movie "Highlander".   

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay, we get it....."writing" favorable things about your Facebook friends' concerts and appearances. Posting pictures of your friends and making it seem like they are famous, or something. Hardly objective. Please....

Studio Phoenix Blog-spot said...

I don't make it seem like anyone is famous, "...or something..." I post photos about what I think is good or otherwise. And I don't just write favorable things, I am critical you prick (I was critical of Composers Concordance festival this year), in case you didn't get that. Although you had the "balls" to comment, you should have left your real name. Only a shallow person would look at it in terms of being famous or not.