Recording Rigler.

IMG_3984First off, I’m back on the New World Symphony semifinal sub-list!  Huzzah!

UNCSA’s Master of Music program is very practical; hence, graduate students are required to take a recording class–a class which proved to be one of my favorites at the school.  The craft of the music technician always mystified me, with their mixers and bouncing and Toast.  Needless to say, it was exciting to get to work with software such as Digital Performer!

My recording of Jane Rigler‘s Two Seaming is the result.  I first heard the piece in my junior year as an undergrad.  The dynamic between the two flute parts really struck me; in a live performance, who is playing what becomes ambiguous.  My first performance of the work took place at SoundSCAPE in Maccagno, Italy, with my rivetingly musical teacher Lisa Cella.

In planning the project, I decided to record both parts of the duo myself.  Then came a good many hours of EQing and editing.  You can listen to the finished product here.

 

 

 

The Voice of the Whale.

Krisztina Dér, “electric” flute
Emily Grissing, “electric” cello
Richard Auvil, “electric” piano

Vox Balaenae for three masked players (1971), by George Crumb (b. 1929)
Vocalise (…for the beginning of time)
Variations on Sea-Theme
~ Sea Theme
~ Archeozoic [Var. I]
~ Proterozoic [Var. II]
~ Paleozoic [Var. III]
~ Mesozoic [Var. IV]
~ Cenozoic [Var. V]
Sea-Nocturne (…for the end of time)

January 18, 2014.

20140118_130608“Exuberant, uninterrupted rivers of sound”–these are the words zoologist Robert Searle Payne used to describe the musical sounds produced by humpback whales, which he discovered in 1969.  Payne’s recording of the whale song was given to George Crumb by the New York Camerata, commissioning a work inspired by the voice of the whale (or, Vox Balaenae, in latin).

Vox Balaenae is a synergy of theatrics, extended techniques, musical quotations, and a submarine-sound environment, with the use of amplification (hence the “electric” instruments).  Both the masks worn by the musicians and the deep-blue light in which they perform symbolize (according to the score) “the powerful impersonal forces of nature” by “effacing a sense of human projection.”  The variations are named after geological periods which describe the formation of the world.  The Archeozoic period was defined by volcanic activity and heat, while the Proterozoic period transitioned our planet to the oxygenated (and, thereby, complex-life friendly) atmosphere of the Paleozoic period.  The Mesozoic period is called the “Age of Reptiles” in contrast to the Cenozoic period, the “Age of Mammals.”    Technicalities aside, Vox Balaenae is a work of captivating, mysterious, timeless beauty–very much like a whale itself.

This performance took place on my second Master’s recital: January 18, 2014, in Watson Hall at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  Richard Auvil (piano) and Emily Grissing (cello) were both gracious enough to help me make my cetaceous dreams come true!

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