Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Last Night's concert

I'm not likely to have much for you today. Last night three of my songs from Songs from the Poets were featured in a concert here at Bellas Artes. The soloist was Canadian soprano Hannah Pagenkopf who did a great job. Probably the big hit was my setting of Annus Mirabilis on the poem by Philip Larkin, a rather sardonic account of the 60s sexual revolution. It begins with the singer shouting out "sexual intercourse!" and the guitar part is larded with quotes from the Beatles' first LP, mentioned in the poem. At the after-concert gathering people from time to time would call out "sexual intercourse" in the rhythm of the song. Some audience members told me afterwards that their favorite was the song "Listening to a monk from Shu playing the lute" by Li Po, the 8th century Chinese poet. Each song is in a musical idiom proper to the poem, so in that one I use a preparation to make the guitar sound a bit like a Chinese bell.

Here is a poster for the concert:


Do you notice the error on the poster? My songs were not written in the 20th, but rather in the 21st century.

Sometime soon I will likely have some clips to post for you. We may even do a video of one of the songs.

For a musical envoi today I am going to link to a post from a couple of years ago where I present a piece of mine for solo guitar. This is "Chant" from my Suite No. 1.


3 comments:

Marc Puckett said...

Glad it went well last night, and that your songs were well performed and received! Aplausos to Miss Pagenkopf @hpsoprano. 'Chant' is lovely-- thank you-- and raises my expectations for Songs from the Poets! I don't hear the 'cello', I don't think, but will listen again.

Gave way to the inevitable and bought a ticket for tomorrow's opening night of the 50th season of the Eugene Symphony-- Mason ("urban energy and techno edge [in] his celebratory premiere") Bates's Gramophone Depot, Saint-Saens' Violin Concerto no 3, Ravel's Rapsodie espagnole, and then Gershwin's American in Paris. We shall see.

Christine Lacroix said...

I'm looking forward to the rest. I still can't find anything of yours on YouTube. Do you have a channel?

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks, Marc and Christine!

I do not have anything on YouTube, intentionally. Up to now I have preferred that people come to my blog and I couldn't see any real benefit to putting anything on YouTube. But I am now preparing to release a couple of CDs commercially--again, a reason not to put anything on YouTube. I will keep you posted, but the plan is to put out a commercial release on either a streaming channel like Spotify, a digital download one like iTunes or as a CD through CD Baby, probably.

The releases would be one of solo guitar with several of my pieces and some recordings of standard repertoire. Then there would be an album of chamber music with guitar, violin and piano. Finally, and most of all, the whole of my Songs from the Poets, which would be an album in itself.