Saturday, October 12, 2019, 7:00 pm, Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center, Camarillo. – William Hoyer’s presentation begins at 6:00 pm. Doors open 5:30 for viewing paintings & exhibits.
Sunday, October 13, 2019, 3:00 pm, First United Methodist Church of Ventura. – William Hoyer’s presentation begins at 2:00 pm. Doors open 12:30 for viewing paintings & exhibits.
Channel Islands Orchestral Suite by Ashley Broder, is a set of meditative tone poems inspired by the islands; (1) Santa Cruz, (2) San Nicolas (3) Anacapa (4) Santa Barbara (5) San Clemente (6) San Miguel (7) Catalina (8) Santa Rosa. Santa Monica Mountains by Bevan Manson, depicts jazzy foot traffic on Pacific Coast Highway, with guitar soloist Hans Ottsen. Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland is ballet music with “an American theme.” East River Mountain Suite, Rising & Shining, by Bruce Thomas, is an ode to the composer’s home state of West Virginia. Night Owl, Thunder on the Blue Ridge by Michael Daugherty, is a romp of steam-powered trains.
ART EXHIBITS & INFORMATION BOOTHS
Channel Islands Orchestral Suite by Ashley Broder is a remarkable ocean treasure, embodying a wealth of natural and cultural resources. The biodiversity of the islands is unsurpassed, but its ecosystem is fragile. The performance of the Channel Islands Orchestral Suite will serve to further enlighten the community about this unique archipelago, encouraging conservation efforts and furthering support of restoration programs by means of the performing arts. The overture introduces the journey of discovering all eight islands. Broder’s inspiration for Santa Cruz was Margaret Holden Eaton’s adventures in Diary of a Sea Captain’s Wife. The full chamber orchestra with brass is incorporated, creating a loud, powerful piece, which includes an artistic interpretation of Chumash ceremony. The wind, isolation, and story of the “lone woman” are themes for the San Nicolas movement. Over a tumultuous base of strings and woodwinds, a single soprano voice carries the melody thought to have been the “lone woman’s” song recorded on wax cylinder in 1913. Anacapa Island is one of the most iconic and frequented islands. The original Chumash name for the island translates to “mirage”. The cheerful melody is played by a small string ensemble with two french horns, which contributes to the foghorn ambience. Santa Barbara Island has been declared an “Important Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society. After researching the resident birds and their calls, I combined their songs into a woodwind, triangle, and marimba ensemble. Danger is the theme for San Clemente with its steep cliffs and multiple species of cacti. The military presence is represented by the percussion. San Miguel begins with a light, giddy mood and finishes on a more serious tone, mirroring the experience of ranching families who lived on the island in the 1800s and 1900s. The Santa Catalina movement includes two contrasting themes. The first pays homage to the musical history of The Casino during the big band and swing era. The second theme is meant to evoke the majestic and sweeping views. The canyons of Santa Rosa Island are teeming with life. The brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion weave together melodies and counterpoint, emulating a canyon. The finale brings this adventure to a close, developing upon the overture, and continuing to build until the triumphant conclusion.
Santa Monica Mountains by Bevan Manson had its premiere with CHICO in 2015. Since that time, Bevan Manson has rewritten the first movement and made changes to the second and third movements. Here is what the composer says about the new version: “Santa Monica Mountains uses a little jazz as one layer in several that unfold musically and emotionally through the piece. The piece starts with its first movement (‘Moderato, poco darkness; Allegro, poco happier’) as a tribute to the many fogs and marine layers that often drift in to the Santa Monica Mountains from the sea, creating mystery and moisture, through some foggy harmonies in the woodwinds and trumpet. Yet the sun shines through (a musical sun too, in a rather sunny melody for the moment in the violins) as one ascends the hills to witness the vast Pacific panorama–a sight that we locals often take for granted. There is much serenity here. But then again, one can come across shadows and ambiguity in a moment. And descending from the hills on a summer night, one can encounter of course the dissonant cornucopia of traffic jams (what’s the hurry? Where is everyone going?) that can just as mysteriously disappear. In the flats, there is the echo of a rhumba–someone in Malibu is having a party, i.e. an ‘event’. That violin melody is now perhaps a stroll on the beach. Perhaps someone else is solitary on the beach, contemplating the ever-changing and yet never-changing sea. As night falls, the fog returns as the musical mystery returns to its original self. The second movement (Andante moderato) is where longing and wistful emotions come directly to the surface. Perhaps there is a romantic dissonance or a sense of profound regret and loss, unresolvable. And what’s not to like with an oboe and English horn taking such emotions on? (they are naturals at such). But in the moment one finds solace, as in the first movement, in the stars and in the slow wheeling of nature. No dune buggy wheels here. On a technical level, the theme is a melody I wrote a while back which seemed to give birth in its interval construction to aspects of the tune in the next movement as well as its harmony. In the 3rd movement (Allegro con brio), subtitled ‘Swirl of Life’, the music is in flight, paying notice to a flock of birds in a thousand-year old formation of remarkable symmetry wheeling over the ocean. A drive rather briskly down the Pacific Coast Highway on a sunny day with bouncing canines and toddlers -each with their own choreography, is a happy moment. “The sights, aside from nature’s beauty, can be varied-an overstuffed film executive with a memorable sneer, an oversized bagel with a memorable schmear. Nevertheless one is aware of past of potentially future tragedy as windy weather, fast moving fires, fast moving oil spills and the like, can ruin your day… and thus aside from dealing with the task at hand, we must think of the future, foreboding or not. The ‘happy’ theme thus has some bittersweet underpinnings when constructed in passages of musical development. Percussion and woodwinds egg on the guitar soloist to the end, where the destination appears to be a (musical) street fair.”
Appalachian Spring Known as “the Dean of American composers,” Aaron Copland ranks among the world’s greatest composers of the twentieth century. Through his unique harmonies, melodies, rhythms and use of orchestral instruments, he wrote music that evokes the history and vast landscape of America. His early works came to the attention of the musical world after he studied composition with the renowned teacher Nadia Boulanger. He spent three years under her tutelage, immersing himself in the intoxicating cultural atmosphere of Paris in the 1920s. His first major work was the Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, written in 1924 at the request of Mlle. Boulanger. In 1925 he returned to the USA determined to write “truly American music.” The first major work to use musical idioms that sound “truly American” was his ballet Bill the Kid. It remains, along with Appalachian Spring, among his most frequently performed works today. Appalachian Spring is a ballet commissioned and danced by Martha Graham that premiered in 1944. She had requested a work with “an American theme.” The storyline tells of a spring celebration of American pioneers and a wedding in the Appalachian Mountains. Originally scored for a chamber orchestra of 13 instruments, the ballet earned him the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music. At the request of several conductors, he scored the work as a suite for full orchestra, creating eight sections taken from various parts of the ballet score. Number seven features Copland’s famous variations of the Shaker tune, “Simple Gifts.” In 1972 he created a 13-player version of the orchestral suite, which is the version we will hear today.
East River Mountain Suite by Bruce Thomas. Rising and Shining is the first movement of East River Mountain Suite by Bruce Thomas. In his own words: “This is a tribute to the area where I grew up in the mountains along the West Virginia/Virginia border, in a town called Bluefield. It is essentially an Appalachian culture and because of it I was exposed to a rich mixture of various musics, starting with home where my father was a talented jazz musician. All around me was folk, bluegrass, country, Scottish/Celtic, R&B, rock, concert band, church music and even some classical. Even after a lifetime of absorbing music from all over the world, my origins there still gave me the roots that are the foundation of my musical existence. The first movement summons the awakening of the mountains from darkness and the ensuing rhythms of its daily life. The second is a sweet little waltz that is innocently optimistic, almost calling to mind an old-fashioned Saturday night dance, filtered through the prism of youth and all of its possibilities, present or recalled. The last movement is a pastiche of the rich cultural tapestry that makes the area what it is, from the beauty of the land to the stories, legends and history therein, and the drama and joyrides that comprise life. And life has to groove (on).”
Night Owl (Thunder on Blue Ridge) A professor of Composition at the University of Michigan School of Music, Michael Daugherty is noted for integrating several musical styles into his compositions–a “polystylist,” to be precise. One can hear elements of jazz and popular music in many of his works. Night Owl is a three-movement composition for orchestra. The composer writes: “Night Owl for orchestra is inspired by the masterful, nocturnal photography and sound recordings by O. Winston Link (1914-2001), who chronicled the last days of steam locomotive powered trains from 1955 to 1960 in the United States and the Norfolk and Western line.” We will hear the third and final movement, “Thunder on Blue Ridge.” Here is what the composer says about this movement: “I translate the sights and sounds of O. Winston Link’s steam-powered trains into a stomping barn yard romp. A pulsating snare drum groove, like the clicking sounds of a locomotive thundering down the tracks, is punctuated by a train bell, harmonica and strings playing ‘behind the bridge.’ A catchy Appalachian-like tune, first played by the woodwinds, is developed and transformed through an array of kaleidoscopic orchestrations and polymetric counterpoints. After a series of virtuosic instrumental interludes, my musical train rumbles to its final destination.”