In spring 2017, 5HE will premiere a 13-minute work by Stacy Garrop, And All Time, written for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, bass, and piano, and inspired by the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, John Milton, Henry van Dyke, and Walt Whitman.
The premise of the work is to explore perceptions of time through music and narration. The text/musical content is derived from four poems, each of which explores a different perception of time. The musicians will both play and contribute spoken word narration, including rhythmically notated speech and plain text. While much of Stacy’s music engages with narrative, And All Time is her first instrumental work to incorporate the spoken word in this way. Stacy is excited to explore this approach with 5HE, because of the ensemble’s history of cross-media performance and her long-standing relationship with the group.
From the composer:
I devised the idea of a piece on time, when I found several texts all dealing with time from various points-of-view. These four poems work very well together: Poe addresses the delight of the universe spinning in rhythmical time; van Dyke comments on how we experience the slow or swift passage of time based on various states of emotion; Milton accuses time of being greedy, stealing time from man’s lives; and Whitman celebrates the joy of time, both now and always and throughout the universe. I arranged these four texts in this specific order to craft a narrative that moves through delight, sadness, anger, and finally joy. I carry out the idea of time through the tempo of the works. All but one tempo indication are derived from a musical beat lasting one second (i.e. the speed of the quarter note is sixty beats per minute).
And All Time will be premiered on 5HE’s annual Chicago concert series in April/May 2017, at Constellation Chicago (audience 150) and at Steppenwolf Theatre’s black box theatre (audience 100), which opens for the first time in summer 2016. 5HE is currently working with presenters to secure further performances for this project.
And All Time will be presented alongside five works also exploring the passage, suspension or cessation of time. Alfred Schnittke’s Piano Quartet in a minor asks whether time’s passage can be slowed or halted. Chicago-based composer LJ White’s Groove III, written for 5HE for the 2011 New Music on the Point festival, is a groove suspended in time, reconstructed in empty space and through different accent patterns. John Cage’s Number Pieces demonstrate how time is marked through counting. Caleb Burhans’s In Time of Desperation captures a particular moment in time, freezing an instant into an extended internal soliloquy. Finally, Nicolas Scherzinger’s Fractured Mirrors examines the idea of fragmenting/recombining rhythmic units in new ways, considering the concept of time beyond our own limited human scale.
String Quartet No. 4: Illuminations (2011) was inspired by medieval prayer books, called Books of Hours, used by laypeople in their daily rounds of prayers. I constructed the quartet to sound as a reader flipping through the pages of a Book of Hours and studying the “illuminated,” or decorated, pictures. This particular quartet shows the my love of programmatic storytelling combined with idiomatic string writing. Recorded 2014 by the Avalon Quartet. Excerpt is Mvt. III - please start listening at the beginning.
Recorded June 2013 by Fifth House Ensemble during the annual fresh inc festival, Frammenti is a work that demonstrates Stacy's writing for large, conductorless ensemble, similar in scope to And All Time. Each of the five short movements is based on one or more musical fragments, and is included on a separate track in this playlist. Please listen from the beginning.
String Quartet No. 4: Illuminations (2011) was inspired by medieval prayer books, called Books of Hours, used by laypeople in their daily rounds of prayers. I constructed the quartet to sound as a reader flipping through the pages of a Book of Hours and studying the “illuminated,” or decorated, pictures. This particular quartet shows the my love of programmatic storytelling combined with idiomatic string writing. Recorded 2014 by the Avalon Quartet. Excerpt is Mvt. VII - please start listening at the beginning.
09/01/2016 - 06/01/2017
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