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Mass

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Mass

MASS (2012)

soprano and percussion
(tuned metals & tam-tam)
duration 13:30

Mass, for soprano and percussionist, combines fragments of the mass ordinary with fragments of poetry by Forugh Farrokhzad, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rumi, and Sonia Sanchez.

Percussionist Jon Hess suggested a small, portable percussion setup: a palette of metal percussion featuring tuned bowls and pot lids. These found metal instruments form the center of the sound, giving this work a resonant and beautiful sound world that suggests timelessness and ritual.

The choice and shape of texts used was a result of a fruitful collaboration between the composer and singer Sonja Tengblad. Sonja imagined a unique work that would fuse poetry and liturgy into an intimate and personal religious statement that could be performed in both concert and worship settings.

PERFORMANCES

commissioned by Jonathan Hess and Sonja Tengblad

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January

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January

JANUARY (2016)

vln vla vc
duration 5:00

acknowledgment

For Sara

With thanks to David Vayo for his advocacy of new music.

January was commissioned by Illinois Wesleyan University for premiere March 10 2016, Bloomington, Illinois. 

note from composer

I am enamored by winter. Not least, viewing the clarity and contrasts of its frozen world. As the famous conservationist Aldo Leopold wrote in his Sand County Almanac, "The months of the year, from January up to June, are a geometric progression in the abundance of distractions... January observation can be almost as simple and peaceful as snow and almost as continuous as cold."

Where I live on Lovö, the long January nights see the forest in stark relief, the pines and birches silhouetted black against a white canvas of moonlit snow. Thick ice covers the nearby lake. At dawn and dusk, mist blurs the horizon between the frozen lake and the sky.

January is winter music for string trio. Each instrument plays an independent lyric solo, a clear line suspended over a blurred accompaniment of uncoordinated swells.

-Matthew Peterson, 2/2/2016

PERUSAL SCORE

PERFORMANCES

commissioned by Illinois Wesleyan University
premiere: Presser Hall, March 10 2016 (Bloomington, IL)

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 Badlands

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Badlands

BADLANDS (2013)

string quartet
duration 13:00

Badlands (2013) is a set of musical landscapes for string quartet, commissioned by Freya String Quartet.

Badlands was inspired by the landscapes of western North Dakota. The badlands are an ancient geological wonder undergoing drastic changes. A heavily eroded and barren region, marked by intricate erosional sculpturing and breathtaking vistas, the badlands are threatened by a rampant 21st century oil and gas boom.

The two movements are landscapes for string quartet. "November (pas de deux)" draws inspiration from the endless horizon and sky of the prairie, a sea of grass dancing in the wind, drifting clouds. "Red roads, white skies" is a winter badlands landscape; white snow and sky against the red of the scoria roads and buttes.

PERFORMANCES

commissioned by Freya String Quartet
premiere: Freya String Quartet (Pittsburgh, PA), February 21 2014
additional performances: Freya String Quartet, March 2014

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