Thursday, May 12, 2011

If You're in Unalaska on Friday the 13th - Come Hear My Music

Tomorrow, the Chugach Brass, with pianist Dean Epperson, will perform in Unalaska. They are the guests of the school district there, hopefully inspiring young people there and in Dutch Harbor, to perform or enjoy music themselves.

Among other works, they will give the premiere of my new work, Aleutian Sketches, commissioned by the chamber group for this concert. The regular members of the group are Linn Weeda, trumpet; Cheryl Pierce, French horn; and Christopher Sweeney, trombone. The Chugach Brass is the resident brass group at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where the players teach.

Here is the music of Aleutian Sketches, as rendered by my computer's sampled sounds:

Aleutian Sketches
Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone

Op. 91 (2010-2011)
for Linn Weeda

Philip Munger

Program Notes

Aleutian Sketches was commissioned by the Chugach Brass, resident brass trio at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It is my second work for them, the first being Westchester Suite (for brass and organ), Op. 82, from 2006.

This work is dedicated to Linn Weeda, in recognition of the 26 years over which we have created and shared music together.

I. A Yankee Whaler Enters Iliuliuk Bay: I imagine a 19th century whaling vessel, coming into the small bay near Unalaska, seeking shelter to make repairs before it exits the Bering Sea after a successful voyage. It opens and closes with a theme meant to convey a wooden ship under sail. The center section features two iterations of the sea chantey, Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her.

Upload MP3s using free MP3 hosting from Tindeck.

II. A Deadly Catch is a series of tricky rounds.

Upload MP3s using free MP3 hosting from Tindeck.

III. Blessing the Fleets is a chorale paraphrase based upon the early 20th century composer Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov’s setting of Psalm 120, Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Ghospoda, in his Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. A short interlude pines at fragments from two Russian sea chanties, As We Lay on an Afternoon and Let Us Pull Away Together, Boys.

Upload MP3s using free MP3 hosting from Tindeck.
IV. Volcano Woman II: This is my second setting of this Aleut creation myth. The first was in my 1992-93 work, Robot Gagaku, Op. 28. This second version is directly inspired by Alaska Native artist John Hoover’s monumental sculpture, Volcano Woman. The rondo form of this movement depicts the circular structure of the sculpture, with peopled island figures at the outside, the cormorants in the middle and the Volcano Woman herself at the center, dispensing both her power and fertility.

Upload MP3s using free MP3 hosting from Tindeck.

Volcano Woman - by John Hoover

No comments: