Art-Poem-Music : Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer, artist Elizabeth Kirschner, poet Pamela J. Marshall, composer News release March 1, 2007 Contact: Pamela Marshall pmarshall [ at ] spindrift.com Concert Program
WomenWatch: A Passage to Hope
Art Exhibition, Poetry, Music
Art Without Borders & Andover-Newton Theological School
At the Meetinghouse, Andover-Newton Theological School
210 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459
Concert- Thursday, March 29, 2007 8:00pm
Jodi Hitzhusen, soprano
Lisa Conley, flute
Jing Li, cello
Pamela Marshall, piano & reader
Communing with Birds
for flute by Pamela J. Marshall
The Cloths of Heaven
(ca.1912) by Rebecca Clarke
Words by William Butler Yeats (1886-1979)
(1910) by Carrie Jacobs Bond (1862-1946)
(1995) by Meira Warshauer
Words by Chana Senesh (1949- )
From the set of songs “A Time to Blossom”
Accompanied Readings from Body and Soul
Poems by Elizabeth Kirschner, music by Pamela Marshall
3. Look and Listen
Body and Soul, Volume 2
Music by Pamela J. Marshall,
Words by Elizabeth Kirschner
1. Mulched by Moonlight
2. O Trill
3. The Lost Roots
About the Art-Poem-Music project
About artist Sirarpi Heghinian-Walzer
About poet Elizabeth Kirschner
Jodi Hitzhusen, soprano
At the age of 10, Jodi Hitzhusen made her singing debut as a soprano soloist in Britten's Ceremony of Carols. Since then, her agile voice has been heard all across the United States, as well as in the Philippines, Panama, and England. In 2003, she made her operatic debut as Pamina in the Springfield Regional Opera Young Artist production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." She has also sung the roles of Second Knitter in Barab's "Game of Chance," and Echo in "La Calisto," both at New England Conservatory. Other partial roles have included Adina from "Elisir d'Amore," Sophie from "Der Rosenkavalier," and Gretel from "Hansel and Gretel."
Hitzhusen has been a featured soloist with various choirs and orchestras and has participated in the Masterworks Soli Deo Gloria Summer Program and the OperaWorks Summer Intensive Program. In 2002, she was a semi-finalist in the Missouri State National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition and was the winner of four consecutive Ozark NATS competitions. Hitzhusen graduated from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri and received a Master’s degree from New England Conservatory. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and has been instructing students since 1999. Along with her vocal activities, she is an accomplished pianist and a commissioned composer.
Lisa Conley, flute
Lisa Conley graduated summa cum laude from the Hartt School of Music in 2003 where she studied with John Wion and Elena Duran. In addition to her studies at Hartt, she has participated in the Stratford-upon-Avon International Flute Festival (UK) and was a masterclass fellow in 2004 at the Banff Center for the Performing Arts. She makes her home in Boston where she is very involved in the local music scene, from serving as the secretary for the Greater Boston Flute Association to performing with local ensembles including the Devil Music Ensemble and the Callathumipian Consort.
Jing Li, cello
Born in Beijing, China, cellist Jing Li immigrated to the United States when she was three years old. She received her first cello lessons from her father at the age of eight and has since presented numerous solo and chamber music concerts around the world. She has appeared in festivals such as the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Piatigorsky Seminar for Cellists, and her previous cello teachers include Janos Starker, Paul Katz, and Laurence Lesser. Ms. Li is Principal Cellist of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Chamber Orchestra and Assistant Principal of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. As an avid teacher, she holds a position on the faculty of the NCMC Nantucket School of Music and the BYSO (Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra) while maintaining an active private studio in the Boston area.
Elizabeth Kirschner, poet
Elizabeth Kirschner has published three collections of poems, "Twenty Colors," "Postal Routes," and "Slow Risen Among the Smoke Trees" all with Carnegie Mellon University Press. She has published widely both nationally and internationally and teaches at Boston College. Kirschner's new poetic settings of Schumann's "Dichterliebe," retitled as "The Dichterliebe in Four Seasons" sung by soprano Jean Danton and accompanied by pianist Thomas Stumpf will be released on Albany Records. She enjoys musical collaborations and has worked with composers Thomas Oboe Lee, Paul Wehage and Carson P. Cooman.
Pamela J. Marshall, composer, piano
Pamela J. Marshall, resident of Lexington, studied horn and composition at Eastman and Yale and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony. She has written for chamber ensembles, synthesizers, mandolin, and orchestra, with commissions from the Mastersingers of Lexington, Concord Ensemble, Green Mountain Youth Symphony, Assabet Valley Mastersingers, First Parish Concord, and Enigmatica mandolin ensemble. The Spindrift Commissioning Guild, started in 2005, has supported several new compositions, including “Black Bear Dance” for horns and drums and Enchanted for oboe and chamber orchestra. Her Christmas arrangements are played by orchestras throughout the United States.
The winter carol “Windshine,” was recently released on an ERMMedia CD, mandolin music is recorded on Plucked String and Enigmatica CDs, and chamber music is on the Clique Track label. Her company, Spindrift Music, publishes her music (on the Web at www.spindrift.com). Her Spindrift Recording Service has recorded many local concerts. She plays horn in the Concord Orchestra.
ABOUT THE MUSIC
Rebecca Clarke, The Cloths of Heaven
Rebecca Clarke was an English classical composer and violist best known for her chamber music featuring the viola. She is considered one of the most important British composers in the period between World War I and World War II; she has been called the most distinguished British female composer of her generation.
W. B. Yeats was a favorite poet of composers of Clarke's generation. She dedicated "Shy One" and "The Cloths of Heaven" (ca. 1912) to the famous English tenor Gervase Elwes, who was one of the first to champion her music, and who sang her music in New York City just days before his 1921 death in a Boston train accident. Fifty three songs by Clarke survive, most for solo voice and piano and also several other combinations including the songs arranged for voice and violin. (Excerpted from Wikipedia.org and the notes for the Naxos CD “Cloths of Heaven”)
Carrie Jacobs Bond, Half Minute Songs
Carrie Jacobs Bond began composing for publication at the age of 32 after her second husband died in an accident. She had little money to care for herself and her young son, and at times she suffered from debilitating rheumatism. She wrote more than 175 songs in the sentimental parlor style of her time and published them herself – her company was called the Bond Shop. Her most famous commercially successful songs were “I love you truly” and A Perfect Day”. She earned more money writing songs than any other woman in her lifetime. (Adapted from notes in the printed music)
Meira Warshauer, Caesaria
Meira Warshauer is an American composer who lives in South Carolina.
The set of songs “A Time to Blossom” also includes songs with texts by Hildegard of Bingen and Emily Dickinson. It is recorded on Warshauer’s CD “Spirals of Light”, available at CDBaby.com.
The poet of Caesaria, Chana (Hannah) Senesh, was a Hungarian Jew trained in Israel to aid the Hungarian resistance in World War II. She was executed in Hungary at the age of 23 after her mission there failed. She is a national hero of Israel. The title of Caesaria refers to the dramatic Roman ruins beside the Mediterranean Sea near Haifa, Israel. (Information about Senesh adapted from Wikipedia.org)
About the Art-Poem-Music Project and Body and Soul
Art-Poem-Music is a full-circle collaborative project between visual artist, poet, and composer. The resulting body of work: Sirarpi’s art exhibition, the set of 22 poems by Elizabeth, and the song cycle by Pamela are all titled Body and Soul. Elizabeth was deeply moved by Sirarpi’s powerful imagery and wrote poems out of that deep stimulation. Sirarpi created new art work inspired from the poems. Pamela lived with both the poems and art, singing the text and finding its inner rhythms. Through the shared inspiration of the three artists, art merges with poems that merge with music.
Both Sirarpi’s dramatic art and Elizabeth’s poems freely combine human and nature imagery. The poems organically combine images of death and sadness with transformation and transcendence and a remaking of oneself, ideas and images that came to Elizabeth as she studied Sirarpi paintings and collages.
Note from the composer:
“It was hard to choose from the deluge of poems that Elizabeth created so quickly. I immediately felt left behind in the collaboration because I don’t work that fast. So I just read and began working with whichever poem stimulated a musical response. I found all the poems to be dark and deeply romantic, deeply interior and introspective. In the music, I sought to highlight moments of transcendance, present in nearly all the poems, when the poet’s voice rises out of hesitation and darkness into light. I found that even the expressions of grief and death have a positive transformative power, and are not as dark as they first felt to me.”
Volume 1 is a set of six songs for mezzo-soprano and string trio. More sets for various instrumental combinations are still to come. We hope to produce both a book of poems and art and a CD of the music.
About Art Without Borders
Art Without Borders (artwb.org) supports the human rights of artists around the world.
Its programs provide exposure and help for artists struggling to build a career amidst persecution and dislocation.