Friday, June 26, 2009

more from June in Buffalo

We interrupt our look back at the 2008-09 season for a few words from Sequenza21 regular (and SUNY Fredonia composition prof) Rob Deemer. After Deemer posted his first JiB review, he agreed to submit a report for our own blog, focusing on the Friday, June 5 evening performance that featured the Slee Sinfonietta along with soloists flutist Mario Caroli and mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley as well as a solo performance by flutist Lindsey Goodman. Deemer writes, "While the audiences' necessary proximity to the stage caused occasional challenges to holistically experience the combination of acoustic and electro-acoustic, the overall concert was a huge success and quite thought-provoking.

"Commencing with the largest ensemble first, Brad Lubman calmly and expertly directed the Slee Sinfonietta strings, piano & percussion through David Felder's Inner Sky, a tour-de-force for master flutist Caroli that pitted the soloist (on piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute) against both the chamber orchestra and electronics, creating a richly dense texture. Beginning what would become a graduate thinning of textures throughout the concert, Bernard Rand's Now again - fragments from Sappho allowed the audience to experience each line within the chamber ensemble supporting Bentley, who wrung every drop of emotion from the ancient text, while creating a wonderfully unique sound of two female singers acting as a small chorus within the ensemble.

"After two intensely challenging works, one did not expect to see flutist Lindsey Goodman to take the stage by herself...and a toy dog in a basket! Such an introduction, however, was just what was needed for Matthew Rosenblum's tongue-in-cheek work for solo flute and electronics, Under the Rainbow. Incorporating the intricate flute part into the schizophrenic kaleidoscope that emanated from the speakers seemed to be a walk in the park for Goodman, who was into the character enough to slyly gesture to her ruby slippers at the appropriate time without seeming like a performer trying to act. I'm not sure what was more satisfying: the work itself or Goodman's performance, but nevertheless the performance encapsulated the entire concert - so much to enjoy that you'd have to see it again to catch what you missed the first time."

In addition to his activities as a journalist and composer, Deemer directs the Fredonia-based Ethos New Music Society. If you're a reader of this blog living in western NY, you'll definitely want to check out the group's upcoming season.

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