Concert of Chamber Music a Success - Music by Chip Michael

I am very please to say last night's concert of my music went VERY well.

Here are a few of the pieces from it:

    Bamboo Suite
      Caitlin Conklin – Oboe, Danielle Smoot - English Horn, Adam Lusk - Bassoon
      Bamboo Suite is a piece written for a trio of double reeds. In four movements, the piece covers a great deal of territory concerning 20th century music. The opening, First Sprouts - Simplicity, explores interval based music. The piece is written taking a root note with notes one semi-tone up, two semi-tones up and 5 semi-tones up. A pitch class of four notes was chosen to cross beyond the three instruments – require more than one note per player to complete the set. Scherzo – The Great Grass, takes the motive of the first movement and plays with the rhythm obscuring the pulse again and again in a playful manner. The Choral – Delicate Blossoms explores the tonal color of the various instruments utilizing alternate fingerings as well. Finale – Versatility is a “neo-romantic” piece taking elements of the other movements and weaving them together to show a commonality and versatility to each, throwing in some jazz “riffs” for fun.
      Simplicity
      Scherzo
      Chorale
      Finale
    L'Infinito
      Erica Hogalund - Mezzo-Soprano, Ani Gyulamiryan - Piano
      L’Infinito is an exploration of both writing in Italian and hexads, chords comprising six of the twelve notes. I don’t speak Italian but adore the sound of it; it lends itself beautifully to music. The key to Hexads is to use six of the twelve notes and then follow with the remaining six notes. So shifting between harmonies encompasses all twelve notes. Luigi Dallapiccola was more rigid in this technique, but even loosely applied it can produce some wonderfully ethereal sounds, which is what the poem is all about.
      L'Infinito
    País Más Allá
      Zach Manger - Guitar, Lucien Daigle – Tenor
      País Más Allá is a wonderful poem by David Rosenmann-Taub and a chance for me to explore writing in Spanish (another language I don’t speak). Because of the South American roots of the poet I chose to use a guitar with many of the flourishes we expect in Spanish classical music.
      País Más Allá
    Piano Preludes 3, 4, 8, 9 & 10
      Ani Gyulamiryan – Piano
      These were written to explore the relationship of bi-tonality, two keys playing simultaneously. The first Prelude starts with both hands in the key of C, but as they progress one hand moves up the circle of fifths, the other down. So, for example, in Prelude 3 one hand is playing in the key of D, while the other is playing in B-flat. While the pieces were originally conceived this way, for ease of performance they have been re-written with accidentals, rather than key signatures, but the two keys remain in the lines of the music.
      Prelude 3
      Prelude 4
      Prelude 8
      Prelude 9
      Prelude 10
    Easy on the Tonic
      Reggie Berg - Piano
      Easy on the Tonic is a solo jazz piano work. Much of my music is jazz influenced so I felt it was important to include something on the program that is completely devoted to that side of my musical taste.
      Easy on the Tonic

Comments

Aric Clark said…
Thoroughly enjoyed the concert. The comments of a musical philistine:

The Bamboo Suite was fascinating. There was a lot of depth and warmth the way the 3 instruments layered on each other. It was a delight to listen to - almost trance music. I couldn't tell where it was going, and I couldn't really tell you where it had been, though. That is, I didn't discern any melody which could be hummed.

L'Infinito - Erica said she had a cold. I don't believe it.

Pais Mas Alla - this was my 2nd favorite piece of the night. The guitar was fantastic throughout. The Tenor sang well, but seemed like he might not have the range for the song. Also, your music puts the stress at the wrong place for Spanish at several points resulting in a "forced" feel. Even so, it was beautiful. You captured this style in my opinion.

I've heard your preludes before, but this was a way better rendition of them.

Easy on the Tonic was my favorite piece. Reggie is clearly an amazing jazz pianist and he embellished it well, though as is often the case with really good pianists, I sometimes felt like he was doing too much. Very singable. Even danceable. I loved this.

The 3rd movement of your violin concerto interestingly was my least favorite piece. I thought the piano accompaniment was solid and rhythmically interesting, but I couldn't hear any melody or rhythm in the violin part. it seemed.. random. About the only part I really felt the violin and piano worked together on was the very last drawn out note which was haunting, but it left me wondering how I was supposed to get there from the jumble that came before it.

Overall, very enjoyable hour of music.
Chip Michael said…
Thanks for the comments!

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