Sunday, February 5, 2012

All Our Musical Offerings

Last evening’s Sanford Dole Ensemble concert of “All New – All Local” music was a wonderful experience, on many levels. Obviously, it was the culmination of a few weeks of intense individual music-learning, punctuated by a few rehearsals, not to mention life—the coming together of all the vital ingredients and the fruition of them as a live musical offering.

I cannot completely speak for composer Michael Kaulkin, but I do know that he was very pleased with the first outing of his piece, “Waiting…”

For myself, I can say that it was a much more emotional experience than I imagined it would be. The poetry that was set in “Waiting…” had been given birth long ago. Now, in the hands of someone else, the texts have taken on a new, and perhaps, more fascinating life beyond the page—a life, in fact, that I could never have imagined for them. They now occupy a sonic landscape that is to some extent beyond even the composer’s control. Being one of many performers in this premier was a very precious and beautiful experience for me.

Before the presentation of the piece, both Michael and I were asked to say a little something about how it came to be. I cannot remember everything I said—I confess to feeling extremely awkward when asked to speak extemporaneously—but here are the few things I do remember saying:

This was a collaboration done almost entirely by email—an interesting and unexpected (for me) way to collaborate. Michael had certain ideas for mood and color that I tried to match with material culled from my poetic diary. The pieces he selected were from a time period spanning twelve to thirteen years, and there were a lot of words to set! The challenge was to find a piece that had driving momentum. My work, being as it is a diary, frequently contains snapshots of static moments or moments whose time I attempt to stretch beyond a moment. Michael did find the piece that had the driving momentum he wanted, and around that, he framed the other texts.

Michael and I agreed that “meaning” would not be part of any “collaborative discussion.” As I said to the assemblage of audience and performers last night, “Yes, this piece may mean something specific to me, it may mean something specific to Michael, and to each of us on the stage—but once we put it together as a package and offer it to you, it’s yours!” What it might mean to us doesn’t matter, at that point; all that matters is what it means to you.

The enthusiastic audience response to Michael’s piece was thrilling behold.

Kudos to you, Michael, for creating this beautiful piece of music.

Thank you, Sanford Dole, for introducing me to Michael, and for programming “Waiting…” And thank you to all my colleagues in this lovely adventure: Pamela Sebastian, Ann Moss, Heidi Moss, Helene Zindarsian, Linda Liebschutz, Sally Mouzon, Heidi Waterman, Alan Cochran, Kevin Baum, John Davey-Hatcher, David Meissner, Dale Engle, Paul Thompson, Steven Rogino, Gregory Whitfield, Steven Bailey, Richard Riccardi, Mckenzie Camp, Matt Dodson, Michell Maruyama, Emanuela Nikiforova, Jason Pyszhkowski and Rachel Turner Houk. Thanks to composers Michael Kaulkin, David Conte, Peter Scott Lewis and Sanford Dole for creating new, beautiful and challenging works for us to perform.

And our deepest appreciation goes to you, the concert-goers!

All our musical offerings are for you!

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