Commissioned and premiered by Tower Duo in 2013, Crosswind by Chin Ting Chan is full of interactivity and energy. It features intricate gestures that not only stimulate conversations, but also create a complex overall texture. The two instruments are often meant to be heard as a single entity. Chin Ting’s music stems from an interest in representing his impressions of the visual world with sonic images. It is often inspired by patterns and shapes he discovers in daily objects, as well as imaginary landscapes he sometimes encounters. He is Assistant Professor of Music Composition at Ball State University.
Places never painted by Phillip Sink was written for Bill and Lauren Funke and premiered at the 2012 World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews Scotland. The piece explores the idea that many wild and beautiful places on earth will never be reimagined by the human hand. Sink’s music is inspired by social awareness, the human experience, science, and art. In addition to traditional composition for voice and acoustic instruments, he composes audiovisual works that combine video with electronics. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Northern Illinois University.
places never painted
there are places never drawn
by small hands,
nor feeble hands
that tremble under the weight of
a dull, short pencil
-never painted with purples and greens
nor outlined by dark earthy powders
-never labeled with a single word
nor dotted with
fresh black ink
on a freckled map
-never cut up/split up
into small fragments,
thinly smeared with viscous glue
and smoothed out
on a pale, stoic wall
-these wild places-
some exist before an eager lens,
only to be captured
and streamed into
infinite zeros and ones
Four Short Episodes by Michael Rene Torres was premiered by Tower Duo at the Brevard Music Center in 2011. The work explores the timbral possibilities of the flute and saxophone combination and depicts four different stages of a dramatic, intricate, and sometimes explosive dialogue between two characters. Torres' music tends to explore the juxtaposition of consonance and dissonance and is often inspired by psychology. He describes his music as dramatic and theatrical with complex, intricate moments, and calm, introspective moments.
Epic Suite by Scott Brickman is in five movements. Three faster-paced movements frame two slower ones. The title “Epic” doesn’t refer to the scope of the piece, but of it being a duo with two heroes. Like most of Brickman's music, this work is a 12-tone piece based on the octatonic scale. Brickman is Professor of Music and Education at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. He is passionate about athletics and his Baltic and Slavic ancestry and culture. His orchestral music has been performed by orchestras in Kiev and L’viv Ukraine.
Tower Music by Thomas Wells was written for Tower Duo and premiered by them in November 2017. Wells’ goal was to write a piece that highlights the virtuosity of the duo and exhibits a strong and clear narrative. The first movement is the most complex of the three in terms of development, transformation of material, contrasts of mood, and length. The second movement is a lament, occasionally interrupted by animated figures suggestive of Movement One. The perpetuum mobile third movement dissolves into a static concluding section that recalls the mood of the lamentazione. Wells is Professor of Music Composition at The Ohio State University School of Music.
Precipital Pairing by Dylan Arthur Baker was premiered by Tower Duo at the Brevard Music Center in 2014. The two movements explore different kinds of sensations encountered in a wet, humid, environment (inspired by the weather in Brevard NC). “Dew” explores the feeling of walking on wet grass, barefoot, in the morning. “Mist” explores the experience of looking at mountains in the distance as mist comes and goes, making everything come into and out of focus. Baker is a freelance composer living in the Great Pacific Northwest. Much of his music is inspired by the natural world.
Notturno: In Memoriam Toru Takemitsu by Marilyn Shrude was written in memory of Toru Takemitsu, whose music has always been a great source of inspiration to Shrude. The original version for violin, alto saxophone, and piano was premiered on June 10, 1996 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center by Maria Sampen, violin; John Sampen, alto saxophone; and Marilyn Shrude, piano. A version for flute, alto saxophone, and piano followed in 2007. Shrude is a Distinguished Artist Professor of Music (Composition) at Bowling Green State University.
Charlie Wilmoth's Three Pieces is repetitive, but it never sits still. The performers are constantly on high alert, playing in rhythmic unison at one moment before interrupting or distracting one another the next. These pieces were written for Tower Duo, and have much to do with the hyper-focused way Michael and Erin think and move in performance. Wilmoth taught composition and theory at Otterbein University in Ohio for seven years before a recent move to Los Angeles. His most recent project is PopGrammar.com, an online music theory course for pop songwriters.
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Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.
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