musings from a scholar, a performer, and a die-hard pedagogue!
This year I was presented with an opportunity 21st century musicians often take for granted: working with a composer to create a new work for my instrument.
LA-based composer (and all-around fabulous person) Adrienne Albert wrote a new work for me to premiere at the 2013 International Double Reed Society Conference.
Albert graciously invited my thoughts on the direction of the composition. Together, we decided the first women of song provided ample inspiration. Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, & Sarah Vaughan provide the sultry backdrop for Adrienne Albert's newest addition to the bassoon repertoire: Swing Shift.
Our distance (LA & Cincinnati) was no obstacle to musical collaboration. I performed score drafts during Skype sessions. Playing from my iPad (while taking notes on a paper print-out), I was able to switch quickly between drafts. Skype meetings also gave Albert the opportunity to make instantaneous changes to the score. We both commented upon the highly collaborative and effective nature of these interactions.
Days prior to the IDRS 2013 Conference, we met for an intensive work day on Swing Shift. More enjoyable than "intense work," the composition came to life as we were able to collaborate in person. Albert could mold a live ensemble to the composition's needs. Likewise, Jed Moss (piano) and I were able to sample varying musical choices for the composer to hear in a true acoustic.
The day before the world premiere, we added the final touch: percussionist Keith Lloyd joined our ensemble. His smooth attack added the right texture to create a sassy, sultry, shift back to
the Swing Era.
An experience as this not only immerses performers within the composition process (and visa-versa), but it also deepens the connections within our musical industry. From pen, to publication, to performance--we are all musicians.
Interested in purchasing Swing Shift by Adrienne Albert?
Adrienne Albert's Website & TrevCo-Varner Music