Noises, Sounds & Strange Airs
CD of new American music by Ewazen, Heinick, Marshall and Snow
From the CD's booklet:
Pamela J. Marshall
Pamela J. Marshall received degrees in composition from Eastman and Yale Schools of Music, where she also studied horn, conducting, and electronic music. She currently lives in Lexington, Massachusetts. She plays French horn in local orchestras and writes technical documentation for computer software. Her compositions include music for synthesizers, brass, mandolin, and orchestra. She works with composing tools on the computer and is working on a program that produces textures by varying the density of random events.
Ms. Marshall has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and has received commissions or grants from the Mass. Council for the Arts, the New Works/New Composers series at the Composer's Forum, NEWCOMP, DanceArt, mandolinist Neil Gladd, American Women Composers, etc. She has worked at Kurzweil Music Systems, writing software and developing sounds. Her music is published by Seesaw Music, Plucked String, and her own company, Spindrift Music.
"I wrote Child's Play for Benita Bike's DanceArt Company, which performed in the Boston area until 1989 and is now in Los Angeles. Benita's choreography for each section was inspired by games she played as a child. I wrote the music to fit the mood and rhythms that she planned for each dance. I used a Kurzweil 250 to synthesize the sounds in Child's Play. In addition to using combinations of built-in sounds, I sampled sounds of crystal glasses as well as a trifle bowl whose rich tone is part of Boogey Man and Hopscotch.
Listen to Child's Play on SoundClick (streaming MP3 6'34")
"I conceived of Soliloquy's opening theme one evening toward the end of a stay at the MacDowell Colony. I was there in winter, working on an austere, eerie piece about archeological ruins. The euphonious intervals of Soliloquy's opening theme were a beautiful contrast to the bleak sounds of the other work. Sometimes, I think Soliloquy belongs in a suite in the tradition of Bach. However, the piece is more like a fantasia where the cellist plays fragments from one or maybe several suites, half remembered.
Listen to Soliloquy on SoundClick (streaming MP3 4'52")
Printed score from Spindrift Music Company
"Sky's Mirror is a reflection and commentary on passages from Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Much of what Thoreau writes reflects my own feelings about the natural world. However, his expression of the strength and inviolability of nature seem naive today as we face severe problems of environmental degradation and contamination of natural processes. Walden and many other places face compromise at the least and toxic destruction at the worst.
"I did not treat the text as a narrative. Instead, I broke the text up into words and phrases, so that the music passes gradually through the words, reflecting different images of the lake and our relationship to it. The full text of the passages which I used are printed in the score to give the performers a better sense of where the fragments come from. Repetitions and emphasis in the music add my own perspective.
In such a day, in September or October, Walden is a perfect forest mirror . . . Nothing so fair, so pure, and at the same time so large, as a lake, perchance, lies on the surface of the earth. Sky water. . . Nations come and go without defiling it. It is a mirror that no stone can crack, whose quicksilver will never wear off, whose gilding Nature continually repairs. . .
"So it seemed to Thoreau, but we cannot continue to believe it."
Printed score and excerpt for listening, from Spindrift Music Company
Last updated April 05, 1998