ArpaViva (S001); April 10, 2017
Performer(s): Victoria Jordanova, harp
Work(s): Athrium filix-femina: Lady Fern
This year, music educator conventions will bring us to Florida, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Minneapolis. Look for our exhibit booths and be sure to catch these clinics presented by our Editor in Chief, Larry Clark, and our Choral/Vocal Music Editor, Denise Eaton.
Booth visitors will have the opportunity to enter to win a $100 gift card by joining our mailing list. Each convention that we attend will have one winner per day!
October 21st, 2016 marks the 90th birthday of Carl Fischer Music composer Marga Richter. A daughter of American soprano Inez Chandler and granddaughter of German composer/conductor Richard Richter, Marga Richter was born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin in 1926. In 1943, the family moved to New York so that she could enroll at the Juilliard School where she majored in composition with William Bergsma and Vincent Persichetti, and studied piano with Rosalyn Tureck, receiving a Master’s Degree in 1951. While still in her twenties, a series of pieces commissioned by MGM Records brought national recognition.
Today she is living in Long Island and is still passionate for composing. Marga considers music, in her own words, as “both a compulsion and a joy.” It is a consistent passion in her life. Marga says “Every day, whether or not I actually spend time composing a new piece, revising or re-editing or resurrecting an old piece, I am thinking about doing so. It sometimes takes hours and hours to find exactly the right solution.”
Here is a video including her works “Out of Shadows and Solitude,” “Quantum Quarks of a Quick Quaint Quark,” and “Spectral Chimes: Enshrouded Hills.”
Recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Paul Lansky has long been regarded as a revolutionary American composer in the medium of computer-generated sound. Beyond being a widely respected composer, Lansky was also a pioneer in using a technique developed for phone transmission, Linear Predictive Coding, for musical purposes. He also developed a language specifically for creating computer music called Cmix. The bulk of Lansky’s later work has centered more around instrumental music, with a frequent focus on music for percussion and for guitar, and we are proud to include a number of these masterful works in our catalog.
Lansky’s newest commissions include The Long and Short of it (premiered Oct. 24, 2015), a wind quintet co-commissioned by the Library of Congress and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Springs (premiered September 16th, 2016), a percussion quartet commissioned for Sō Percussion by Chamber Music America.
For Lansky, “Success means creating new ways of listening and hearing.” With his varied and uniquely experimental career, Lansky has reached a wide audience of listeners from all walks of life and has invited us all to pause, and listen intently to the world around us. You can hear performances of his works below.
You can read his full bio and see a list of recordings on his composer page. His personal website also contains some electronic and instrumental samples along with some of the composer’s writing.
Paul Lansky has written for the two-piano team Quattro Mani who recorded his piece It All Adds Up and premiered his concerto Shapeshifters with the Alabama Symphony in 2008.
Commissioned for the Meehan/Perkins Duo, Travel Diary is, in the composer’s words, “…a kind of meditation on travel, particularly for those who don’t do it that much.” The piece is mildly programmatic with the third movement, “Lost in Philly,” drawing inspiration from Lansky’s personal experience after a wrong turn on a family road trip from Princeton, NJ to Los Angeles, CA.
Featured on “Notes to Self,” Partita, Suite for Guitar and Percussion is further evidence of Lansky’s flair for experimentation. Hannis Brown of Q2 Music for WQXR writes that the piece, “…tours moments of flamenco, minimalism and even Zappa-esque jazz fusion.”
Lansky’s trio for horn, violin and piano, Etudes and Parodies, written for William Purvis, was the winner of the 2005 International Horn Society Competition.
Of Horizons, Lansky has said that along with the other pieces featured on his recorded album, Notes to Self, the music came, “…from a different toolkit in my composer’s workshop.” As he shifted away from electronic music, Lansky explored and upended many techniques he had learned, practiced, developed, and pioneered over the course of his unique career. Horizons, composed for piano, cello and percussion features compositional elements from both electronic music and acoustic traditions.
Since the mid-1990s, Lansky has unplugged and focused primarily on instrumental composition for live performers including Nancy Zeltsman, David Starobin, and many others. His percussion quartet, Threads, written for the So Percussion ensemble has been widely performed by that group and others as well as by numerous college and university ensembles.
Lansky’s recent instrumental music eschews attempts to “break new ground,” relying instead on a fresh approach toward tonality and harmony that references musical traditions of various kinds, from Machaut to Stravinsky. His string quartet, Ricercare Plus, is based on concepts of counterpoint and part-writing from early Baroque and Renaissance music.
Premiered by the TTU Percussion Studio (Tennessee Technological University), Patterns, features four percussionists, each using 3 metals and 3 woods. The result is an engrossing, shimmering palette of sound.
In Textures, Lansky instructs the players to find metals that have different decays, skins that are not too “boomy” or with a “twang”, wood blocks, and keyboard instruments – creating a world of sound displaying the diverse palette of timbres that these instruments are capable of.