Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 4:00 PM
First Unitarian Universalist Church
SUGGESTED DONATION - $15.00
(Seniors) - $10.00
(Students) - $5.00
~ Program ~
William James Ross
Music for Marimba, Bells, and Piano 2007 (World Premiere)
Sherry Rubins, percussion; William James Ross, piano
Juan Luis de Pablo Enriquez Rohen
Seis preludios a la flor encendida (2007) (World Premiere)
Geoffrey Waite, piano
Passages (Sea Songs) (2007) (World Premiere)
Sherry Rubins, percussion
1. Sunrise for an Open Ocean
3. Sea Song
5. Waiting for You
Etude Fantasy (on a Theme for Madame Durufle) (1995)
Geoffrey Waite, organ
A Little Suite of Thoughts (2007) (World Premiere)
Geoffrey Waite, organ; Mark Twehues, oboe/English horn
1. Precious Are Thy Thoughts
2. The Mermaid Commentaries
3. For Those Who Love Thy Beloved’s Name
Confrontation (2007) (World Premiere)
Graeme Francis, percussion; S. Beth May, piano
Music for Marimba, Bells, and Piano
The technique of composition used here is serial in procedure, nonetheless, each of this preludes appear rooted on a fundamental note which functions as a gravitational center. The first two preludes are based harmonically on the proposed serie. The third prelude is based on the sum of the extremes of the serie (which adds each fourteen). The last three preludes are based each on the three notes that do not appear in the serie; Plato identified these as the three Fates. The ancient pre-hispanic cultures thought of these as the three corner-stones of time.
Passages (Sea Songs)
This music draws from memories of the sea. When I was a teenager, I spent about a month on a sailboat in the Bahamas. I remember especially sleeping on the deck of the boat and waking up one morning to a feeling of great peace caused by the open sea, the sound of the waves, the sun on the horizon, and the open sky at dawn. Then there were the nights with the symphony of stars more numerous and bright than I ever knew they could be. At one point we stopped on some obscure island where I wandered around and found an old cemetery that was on the beach. The grave stones were slowly being buried by the encroaching sand. These are some of the memories that inspire the music.
Seis preludios a la flor encendida
These collection of preludes are all based on a number sequence that to this day I find fascinating. The thematic material I use is a row of numbers that resemble in order the serie of planets in our solar system and the seven spectral-type-stars. My research on the concept of the ‘music of the spheres’ started many years ago when I was introduced to a riddle exposed by Plato in his tenth book of the ‘Republic’. In awe I have seen my research flourish onto many coincidences that have inspired most of my works. For instance, this sequence equals, in number, all doors at the ancient Maya city of Uxmal. Interestingly enough, when added together, all the numbers in the sequence add up to 365. As an artist, I have been told that the most important thing is the end-result of a musical work and that the material from which this music derives is only secondary in importance, however, it is still fascinating being able to use both sides of the brain in this matter.
Based on a short theme composed for organist Madame Durufle who visited the Trinity University campus on the Parker Chapel Organ Recital Series in 1993. The theme was the basis for her improvisation which closed her recital. Trinity University Organist David Heller then commissioned Etude Fantasy the following year (1995) and premiered the piece in Milwaukee at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in April of 1996. About eight minutes in duration, the work explores the various motivic and melodic relationships inherent in the theme through a variety of moods and textures.
A Little Suite of Thoughts
This suite consists of three movements for organ and oboe or English horn. Each movement could be titled simply: Thought One, Thought Two, and Thought Three. This would be appropriate if the music were atonal, but alas these are unashamedly tonal, and so titles and program notes may help to interest the listener.
1. Precious Are Thy Thoughts - This composition calls forth thoughts of beautiful places of nature, places that bring joy and peace to the soul of the beloved. Perhaps a view of gardens within a valley when such a view inspires thoughts of peaceful pleasure. It is in three sections. The first is constructed from a simple diatonic melody that is carried mostly by the oboe. The organ provides one, sometimes two counter melodies. The harmonies reach into modal realms. The thoughts invoked are essentially peaceful and harmonious. The second section has the organ singing simple two voice counterpoint while the oboe comments on the thoughts tumbling from the organ. Again the thoughts are not troubling. The third section lovingly recalls the thoughts of the first section and somehow accommodates the new jumble of happy thoughts from the first section.
2. The Mermaid Commentaries - This piece was inspired by the W.B.Yeats poem, ”The Mermaid.” There are several meanings of love exposed in this poem. This movement gives voice to the thoughts of the beautiful mermaid who accidentally falls for a young lad swimming in the ocean. He returns the feelings. How can it be otherwise, it seems. All is bliss until the mermaid takes her new love home to meet the family. Alas!
3. For Those Who Love Thy Beloved’s Name - The name of your beloved makes the happy creature think of peacefully beautiful excursions taken together. One scene comes to mind, that of the expansive Genessee Valley in the fall season. The grapes are ready for harvest. The day is not to be forgotten.
This work, written in 2007, consists of two contrasting sections by two percussionists. The piano, instrument of all the instruments, combines elements of two traditional procedures of confrontation, loud voice and persistent bluntness. The percussion instruments are to be played with some pianistic approach in order to have harmonizing relationship with the pianist. Thereafter, two players seek for a continuing conversation rather than a confrontation, as the world seeks for peace but not succeeding. Who will be the winner?