Joe Murphy, saxophones Matt Slotkin, guitar
Produced and edited by Andrew Munsey and Matt Slotkin Mixed and mastered by Andrew Munsey
Aasai Neelaavey and Sakka Blue Valentine recorded 2014 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Bloomsburg, PA, engineered by Victoria Hummer
48km north-west of Kokstad and Tauhara recorded 2015 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Bloomsburg, PA, engineered by Andrew Munsey
Conversations and Coda, Filigree, meander, The Mentioning of Love and The Witch’s Kiss recorded 2017 at Mitrani Hall, Haas Center for the Arts, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, engineered by Brandon Shoop
Cover art and design by Matt Leece
Funding for this project was provided by Faculty Enhancement grants from the Bloomsburg University College of Liberal Arts
David Crowell is a Brooklyn-based composer, instrumentalist and producer He brings a “singular vision that transcends genre” (Exclaim) to diverse forms of composed and improvisational music, and has been praised for compositional work that is “notable for its crystalline sonic beauty” (Boston Globe). David’s band, Empyrean Atlas, has released two albums. TimeOutNY says “writing for this new outfit combines Minimalist drive and Afropop shimmer – a bright infectious mix.” Empyrean Atlas has been featured numerous times on WNYC’s New Sounds program, including a live performance/interview with John Schaefer.
As a woodwinds performer, David has toured internationally as a member of the Philip Glass Ensemble (2007-16) and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Steve Reich, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Signal Ensemble, and the Asphalt Orchestra. David has recorded with the Philip Glass Ensemble, New York Philharmonic, Signal Ensemble, and Shakira/Wyclef Jean, among others. As an educator, David has worked with Found Sound Nation to produce music with kids enrolled in the Social Justice Leadership Academy, a program of the Kite’s Nest in Hudson, NY. In October 2016, he collaborated with Omnibus Ensemble (Uzbekistan) and young Central Asian musicians to create an hour-long program that toured all five Central Asian Countries, organized by CEC ArtsLink and sponsored by the U.S. State Department. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, David has also studied composition with Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Paul Caputo and Jonathan Dawe; woodwinds with Andrew Sterman; and improvisation with Ralph Alessi, Don Byron, Peter Epstein, Steve Coleman and Ravi Coltrane through New York’s School for Improvisational Music.
Conversations & Coda was written as a playful exchange between the two instruments. I enjoyed writing for this unusual combination of instruments especially because it was with Joe and Matt in mind, such dedicated and talented performers.
Beata Moon was born in North Dakota and raised in Indiana, making her solo piano debut at age 8 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She trained as a pianist at the Juilliard School with Adele Marcus, and was self-taught as a composer. She released Earthshine and Saros on BiBimBop Records, and Perigee & Apogee on the Albany label. In 2007, Naxos Records added a CD of her works for solo piano, performed by Moon herself, to their catalog of important 21st century composers. Her work has been acclaimed by Kyle Gann, Gramophone and Allmusic.
The Mentioning of Love was originally written for alto flute and guitar. The piece has something to do with Javanese gamelan music (as does much of my music). The title makes reference to a particular mode or patet found in Javanese music. Its meaning is obscure…
Ingram Marshall is a professor at the Yale School of Music. Though he uses the term “expressivist” to describe his music, he is often associated with post-minimalism. His music often reflects an interest in world music, particularly Balinese gamelan tradition, as well as influence from the American minimalism trends of the 1960s (the composer often acknowledges the work of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and John Adams). He first gained recognition for his electroacoustic pieces, often performed by the composer himself on synthesizer, tape looping, gambuh (a traditional Balinese flute), and voice (Fragility Cycles  is one of his best-known works using this method of solo performance). His acoustic music frequently incorporates tape delay, and
later, digital delay (such as Soe Pa for solo classical guitar, and Hymnodic Delays for the Theatre of Voices). Some of his works were produced in coordination with the assistance of noted Norwegian photographer, James Bengston of Studio Nord in Oslo.
Aasai Neelaavey means “lovely moon” in Tamil. While living in Chennai (a.k.a. Madras) India in 1999, I decided to try my hand at setting some Tamil lyrics to music. The original poem is by Mr. S. Vaidheeswaran and mournfully ponders a lost love. After returning to the U.S. I was unsuccessful in finding a Karnatik singer who could sing the melody in Tamil and read Western notation. I set the project aside for a few years but the melody stayed with me. I then revised and rewrote the song for alto saxophone and guitar. Nevertheless, the piece retains its songlike character and the rhythms of Tamil give the melodic line a quality it would not have otherwise.
David Claman received a B.A. in the music of South India from Wesleyan in 1982. He then began studying composition with John McDonald at the Longy School in Cambridge. He received an M.M. in theory and composition from The University of Colorado in 1993, and a Ph.D. in composition from Princeton University in 2001. His principal teachers at Princeton were Steve Mackey and Paul Lansky.
He is an Assistant Professor at Lehman College-CUNY, where he teaches music theory and electronic music. Recordings of his music are available on the Albany, Innova, Capstone, Bridge, White Pine, and Vox Novus labels. In 1998 he received a fellowship from The American Institute of Indian Studies. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy. He has received commissions from The American Composers Forum, Tara Helen O’Connor, The Cygnus Ensemble, Christopher Creviston and Oren Fader, The Da Capo Chamber Players, Tufts University, The Zephyrus Duo, and The Cadillac Moon Ensemble. In 2012 he received a Fromm Foundation Commissioning Grant from Harvard University. www.davidclaman.com
Tauhara is a striking mountain located in the center of the North Island of New Zealand. Rising above Lake Taupo, Tauhara is rich in associations, mythology and stories, some of them fantastical. The complementary relationship of Tauhara, the mountain, and adjacent Lake Taupo inspired the two-movement form of the music. The movements can be thought of in the same way that yin and yang are complementary – not opposite – elements in Chinese philosophy. In traditional Māori cosmology a similar principle is found in the manifestations of Hani, the original seeker, and Puna, the primeval well-spring, whose joining eventually gave rise to all things.
The first movement is called “Lake” and has a calm, steadily flowing character. It was written using Tone Clock techniques and is fairly tightly controlled. In contrast, the second movement, “Mountain,” is more rhythmically mobile and freely inventive, owing something to late twentieth century popular music.
Martin Lodge is a New Zealand composer who works across a number of styles and genres, including solo and chamber music, symphonic music and multimedia. Three main sources of inspiration and influence have been identified converging in his music: the sounds of nature,
canonic works from the Western classical music repertoire and some popular music from the twentieth century. Recently he has been integrating elements of traditional Māori music and discoveries in science, especially medicine, in his compositions as well. Lodge is Professor of Music and head of composition at the University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music in Hamilton, New Zealand.
48 km north-west of Kokstad is the small town of Cedarville in the heart of the East Griqualand farming district of KwaZulu-Natal. One of the most powerful images of this area is the long dust farm roads, not only used by farm traffic such as tractors and trucks but also as routes for people without transport walking to railway stations, church meetings or nearby towns. This work takes its inspiration from this landscape and traditional Zulu walking songs, a style of guitar playing and singing. It is not indigenous to East Griqualand, but is evocative of walking these long roads through the undulating foothills of the Drakensberg, the sounds shifting with a passing breeze, disappearing and emerging as the road rises and falls.
Clare Loveday is a Johannesburg-based composer. Striving to convey through music the complications of life in a post-colonial society, her works have been described by critics in turn as “obstinate and fierce, big-boned and raw,” “subtle” and “elusive.” She is best known for her ‘straight’ saxophone compositions and interdisciplinary collaborations and has worked with a number of award-winning artists including Gerhard Marx and Nandipha Mntambo. Her works have been performed on four continents, including at the ISCM World New Music Days, Juilliard, the Royal College of Music in London and Festival d’Automne à Paris. She lectured music theory and composition for many years at Wits University and was awarded a Doctorate of Music in 2009. For more information, see www.clareloveday.co.za
The Witch’s Kiss
In 1817, the Bell family of Adams, TN became haunted by a female ghost named Kate; she spoke, sang hymns, quoted scripture, and stated her ultimate goal was to kill the family patriarch, John. She became known throughout the entire Red River Settlement as the Bell Witch.
John and his youngest daughter, Betsy, got most of the witch’s abuse. Betsy was pinched, scratched, and beaten, often leaving hand prints and welts. The witch also relentlessly taunted Betsy and her fiancé, eventually forcing them to break off the engagement to stop the witch’s harassment. John had begun to experience facial twitching and difficulty swallowing. By the fall of 1820, he was too weak to leave the house. On December 20, 1820, John Bell died. A vial of poison was found close by. Within months of killing John Bell, the witch left the Bell house, and the hauntings ceased. There are many theories as to what really happened, as John Bell was not necessarily a model citizen, but there is no proof of anything. John is still and will probably remain the only person in history whose death was officially attributed to a spirit.
I’ve always been interested in human behavior and especially how people treat each other. Although presented as a haunting, this is really a story of human interaction. I found this a most appropriate inspiration as I had never written for guitar before and was terrified to do so. I used disconnected episodes of the story to explore different styles and force myself to employ various performance techniques. As such, the piece does not tell the chronological story of the Bell Witch
and certainly the listener need not know the story, or even the specific vignettes that acted as inspiration.
Girard Kratz was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a coal town along the Susquehanna River at the base of the Pocono Mountains in the beautiful Wyoming Valley. He has earned degrees from Wilkes, Bowling Green State, and Temple Universities where his interests included writing for chamber ensembles and electronic music. He founded Temple University’s first Student Composer Organization, now called Contemplum. His pieces are often influenced by literature, explore his anti-war sentiments and love of nature, or whimsically interpret non-musical elements of life, history and philosophy. His music has been performed throughout the United States and Canada and has been called “beguiling” and “pregnant with meaning” by the Philadelphia Enquirer. His piece for choir with harp and vibraphone, There Will Come Soft Rains, was likened to “sweet spring in time of dissonant war” by Sequenza21 and was recognized by The Carlton Savage Endowment for International Relations and Peace. He shares his musical explorations with his wife and two daughters (all pianists).
Filigree (Paris 2015)
This work, commissioned by Duo Montagnard and composed in Paris in 2015, was written at a point when most of my new works were characterized with slow moving textures and attempts to imbue the music with as much color and flexibility of line as possible. Filigree, then, combines this aesthetic with sections that exhibit a more motor-driven approach, harking back to earlier works for sax and guitar such as Pluck Blow. These sections with a single discernable pulse alternate with the more rhapsodic sections. The faster sections climb gradually in pitch with phrases that are distinctly jazz-like, reflecting an even earlier influence in my output.
The Irish composer Greg Caffrey studied composition under Piers Hellawell and James Clarke at Queen’s University Belfast (PhD in 2002). His compositions are performed worldwide and he has won a number of international awards including first prize at the Concorso Counterpoint, Italy as well as prestigious awards in Ireland, USA and Belgium. His music has been represented at major festivals which include Musica Nova Fesitval in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Zwischen den Horizonten, Germany, Forfest Festival, Czech Republic and the 45th Parallele, Valence, France, to name a few. Greg is the artistic director of Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble, Northern Ireland’s only professional ensemble entirely devoted to contemporary and 20th Century repertoire. Greg is represented by the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland and is a member of the Association of Irish Composers.
www .gregcaffrey .com www.hardrainensemble.com
Sakka Blue Valentine
Titles are difficult. After finishing this work, I was having a major block concerning a title. My wife and I were visiting our youngest daughter, Kallen, and were out to dinner with her and three of her friends, so I posed the question: “How do you name a piece, and what does it signify?” As they started to mock my working titles and suggestions, I mentioned an album that I admired by Carl Stone, who named the pieces on a CD after restaurants in Los Angeles. My daughter couldn’t stop laughing, but when she finally caught her breath she said, “Name it after
this restaurant (Sakka Blue)!” About that time our bald, heavily pierced and tattooed waitress brought me my sushi: tuna, salmon and two types of fish roe. This piece is, I am sure, the best piece named after an entree in a sushi restaurant. Like my order it is colorful, a little funky, and full of tasty surprises while avoiding being too heavy. Enjoy!
Peter Terry (b. 1957) is an award-winning composer, conductor and educator. His compositions have been performed and broadcast worldwide and appear on numerous contest and festival required music lists. With over 40 works published by Carl Fischer, BRS Music and Music for Percussion, Inc., Dr. Terry is sought out for commissions by numerous chamber groups, choirs, concert bands and orchestras. He is accomplished at every level of ensemble writing from beginner to middle school, high school and advanced ensembles.