I have always loved the music of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. In celebration of his 150th birthday, I wrote a new piece called "Bells", which is inspired by the grand melody in his fifth symphony.
Distill and Melencolia
7 June 2017 at 2:30 pm
Stacie Mickens, horn; Brian Kiser, tuba, James Wilding and Caroline Oltmanns, piano
International Women's Brass Conference
Glassboro, New Jersey
2 July 2017 at 3:45 pm
American Guild of Organists Great Lakes Regional Convention
David Jonies on the Casavant Freres 1988 III/45 pipe organ
Christ Episcopal Church, Warren, Ohio
New Work for String Quartet
16 September 2017
Tuesday Musical Association "Prelude" concert, celebrating 130 years!
Escher String Quartet
E J Thomas Hall, Akron, Ohio
Distill is a large-canvas version of my small sketch, “The Distillery,” which is one of the short scenes in Moving Pictures for piano and film. That short piece seemed to contain more possibilities than could be realized on piano alone, and so, with the addition of a horn, and some re-composing, I ended up with this larger work. The calm, lyrical opening, with its gentle watery accompaniment, is gradually transformed into more and more tumultuous ideas, opening up extended vistas before unimagined. When the lyrical melody returns, it is more serene than before, with the formerly flowing accompaniment distilled to the occasional spacious chord. The piece was written for Stacie Mickens, and I'm performing it with her here.
This is the second of my seven etudes, explorations of pianistic and compositional technique. I recorded it at Steinway Hall in Cleveland on a beautiful model D.