Sunday, October 23, 2011

Collab Notes >7< :: GHC

The Glass House Concerto has quickly become one of those truly exciting collaborations where the actual interaction and upward motion of it is inspiration enough.  I have seen the first draft and reduction on the second movement of the concerto, and will be video recording it for YouTube in hopes to gather more interest in ensembles premiering the work in 2012-2013.  The world premiere will be April 27, 2012 with the ISU Wind Ensemble, and then we have possible engagements in the planning stages with other wind ensembles in Iowa, Pacific US, and Canada.

An updated soloist instrumentation list is here:

+Glass gongs
+Glass xylophone
+Stone xylophone
+Bottle-phone (1-octave tuned bottles)
+Wood blocks/temple blocks/log drums
+4 Hi hats of graduated sizes
+Glass Wind Chimes

I have included the pros that I wrote about the collaboration in April 2011 here:
"I had the fortune of meeting Andrew and becoming familiar with his work as an artist when hearing the premiere of his composition *Some Assembly Required in November 2010 with the Iowa State University Symphony Orchestra, Jacob Harrison, conductor.  The piece immediately struck me in several exciting ways in that he was extremely clever with the use of all the elements of the modern orchestra (now incorporating numerous percussion instruments and players), the modern techniques of pseudo programmatic works (meter, ostinato, syncopation, pacing, harmony, etc.), and a masterful way of elevating a young orchestra to a resonating and fiery level.

I have had a passionate interest for some time in utilizing glass as a percussion instrument, as well as assembling many sounds from one material, whether found or manufactured, to stand along side the effect you get from a marimba or vibraphone (collections of 10+ woodblocks, 10 temple blocks, and metal objects that don’t exhibit any of the traditional timbre we associate with finely tempered percussion instruments [ie. gas cans from the 1950’s and cracked cymbals]).  I also am quite passionate about zithers, and have collected a 4-octave chromatic dulcimer, a 4.5 octave chromatic Hungarian concert cimbalom, and a 4-octave chromatic bowed psaltery. 

The main impetus for this concerto, which had been forming in my mind for some time, was the collection of glass instruments I was working on acquiring for collaborations with dance (ie. glass xylophone, tuned bottle-phone, glass gongs, wind chimes, glass bells, bowls, vases, and other items made by glass blowers).  Upon hearing Andrew’s work performed by the ISUSO, it immediately resonated with me that this was a composer that would thrive with the request I was about to present.  And the concerto was presented mainly to see what he could do using his choices from all the instruments I have mentioned.

Fatefully, it seems that it was meant to be, and I have to say that the whole connection with Philip Johnson’s Glass House and the coincidence of the events has made the project even more awesomely real, serendipitous, and pertinent to my artistic beliefs. 

The elemental main forces of this concerto will be the uniqueness of timbres presented by the soloist from the glass xylophone, stone xylophone, wood and metal percussion consorts, and other glass instruments added.  Assisting these elements will be an incendiary combination of the connection to the architectural, design, and aesthetics of the Glass House, Andrew’s compositional energy, my passion for the odder things we can make ‘percussion’, and the drive of a wind ensemble sound."

No comments:

Post a Comment