The most exciting experiences I have as a composer are the chances to collaborate with and write for a particular performer. Each performer brings their own unique style and influence into the composition process leading to a piece that represents the overlap between the composer’s and performer’s aesthetics and musical language.
This month, I’ve tried to exhibit these collaborations with a series of solo works or works that feature soloists. Most notably, the six cello pieces that open the playlist highlight this variety. From Sarah Hopkin’s Reclaiming the Spirit,to Mary Finsterer’s Tract, to Harry Sdraulig’s Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda for the inimitable Yo-Yo Ma– each work shows have versatile these collaborations can be.
Cellos aren’t our only featured soloists however, we have music featuring flute, violin, clarinets, shakuhachi, saxophone, marimba, piano, harpsichord and even toy piano (Erik Griswold’s Chooks!). We also have a quartet of vocal pieces by Roger Smalley, Larry Sitsky, Kevin March and Lisa Illean each showcasing very different take of text setting (and...