notation + documentation
Saturday April 29, 2023 - 7:30pm
St James Cathedral
65 E Huron St | Chicago
made in chicago is partially supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Elegiac Gestures for string orchestra
Elegiac Gestures (2022) was originally written for the Black Oak Trio and then arranged for string orchestra. This work features a series of triads that frequently alternate quality. The voice leading between the harmonic triads often features linear half steps. This gesture of a linear descending half step is a hallmark of elegies and was, thus, the inspiration for the title. Except for the climax of the work, the notes of the string parts are often in close proximity to each other. I used a homophonic texture to convey a solemn and reverent mood throughout the piece.
- Martha Callison Horst
In a World of One Color...the Sound of Wind
In a World of One Color…the Sound of Wind is a reflection on a 17th century Haiku by Matsuo Basho:
in a world of one color
the sound of wind.
Also on my mind were qualities in Japanese aesthetic practice known as Shibui: simplicity, implicitness, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, imperfection.
Scored for 7 or more unspecified instruments, the piece is intended more as a sound installation than a traditional composition and there is no development or particular sense of form. The performers inhabit a space, acting like a natural, resonating organism within. The 11 different soundscapes possible are modular and can transpire in any order and for any duration, determined in the performance by a conductor (or conductors) walking among the performers, indicating how to shape the piece. As they unfold, the soundscapes may or may not be in sync at any given moment, resulting in multiple experiences of tempo, volume, and tonal color. The final duration of the work is indeterminate.
The audience is encouraged to experience the piece in a variety of ways: walking in the space, coming in and out of the space, engaging single sound sources, or finding the “meta” sound from a particular vantage point. The sounds are simply there, happening in space and time and the audience member decides how he or she wants to listen. In this way the experience of In a World of One Color . . . the Sound of Wind is akin to walking among plants in a conservatory or garden.
Imitation being a form of flattery, I would be remiss in not acknowledging two important influences on this work beyond Basho’s poem. The first is the music and thought of John Luther Adams, particularly the essays in his numinous book Winter Music. The second influence comes through Chicago composer, cellist, and improviser Fred Lonberg-Holm, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with for over ten years. Fred’s 2007 sound installation at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, photo-sound-esis I, was very much in my mind as I worked on In a World of One Color . . . the Sound of Wind.
- James Falzone
Cold Damp Orange 41
Cold Damp Orange 41 begins with a short vibraphone loop. It's orchestrated and spread throughout the ensemble. These orchestrated phrases form new loops that take on their own trajectories and begin to separate from the original source. The development of the entire piece is based on this single principle. A short repeated phrase bursts forward with its own energy with implications for the rest of the musical material. Over time these phrases truncate, expand, or become replaced with new but related phrases. The agency of each phrase shapes the outcome of the piece.
- Sam Scranton
Mathew Arrellin | Dalia Chin, flute
Overpainted Photographs for flute & orchestra
Overpainted Photographs (2022-23) for flute and orchestra was written for and in close collaboration with Chicago-based flutist Dalia Chin. The piece was inspired by the series of artworks of the same name by Gerhard Richter, who took photographs and smeared them with leftover paint after a day’s work in the studio. This was initially done in a very improvised way, so the results were not too controlled, almost like chance. I became fascinated with this idea, of memories being distorted by superimposing textures and masses. The problems faced in a musical context are quite different than in the visual arts. How can you create completely abstract, non-representational memories in a piece of instrumental music? In other words, not of a person, a place (at least not a physical one), or a thing… If you succeed in creating this kind of memory, how do you superimpose a mass of colors to distort, transform, or enhance the experience of it? These are some of the questions I tried to answer in this piece.
- Mathew Arrellin
About the Soloist:
Born and raised in Costa Rica, currently calling Chicago home. Dalia is a sound explorer. Often using flutes as a basis for explorations, but also no stranger to using voice and the sounds of the world around her. Dalia strives to intuitively create music as a performer, improviser, and collaborator.
She believes in forging deep connections between her, collaborators, and audience which allows to communicate the essence of a work at the highest level of excellence and whenever possible invite community participation in the creation of works.
Collaboration and aesthetic variety are at the center of her work as a soloist and chamber musician. It is through collaboration and work with composers such as Mesias Maiguashca, Julio Estrada, Fernanda Aoki Navarro, Darlene Castro, Tiffany Skidmore, James Dillon, Bethany Younge, Stratis Minakakis, Ivan Sparrow Ayub, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Pablo Santiago Chin, that her work as a soloist and creator of sounds has grown. Dalia’s work with ensembles, such as Fonema Consort where she is a founding member, and as a guest flutist with Eighth Blackbird, Fulcrum Point, Fifth House, Unsupervised, and Chicago Composers Orchestra, offer an active platform for chamber music collaborations.
Dalia received her music degrees from University of Costa Rica, Florida State University, and DePaul University studying with Maria Luisa Meneses, Eva Amsler, and Mary Stolper.
Our Next Concert:
Saturday April 29, 2023 at 7:30pm
notation + documentation - St James Cathedral
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