We hope that some of the NTS may be able to make one of these presentations!
The Hemlock Project: Connecting New Music & Environmental Science
November 3, 2013 at 3PM
The Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road, Litchfield, Connecticut
(nearby to the White Memorial Conservation Center)
November 7, 2013 at 6PM
Capital Community College
Centinal Hill Hall Auditorium, 11th Floor
950 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut
Robert T. Leverett, guest speaker
Michael Gatonska, composer
The New Frontiers Cello Quartet
Eastern Hemlock: The Passing of a Forest Icon
Robert T. Leverett
Soundscapes and the Songs of Trees
A performance of Beneath Hemlock Tabernacles
The New Frontiers Cello Quartet are:
Questions and answers will follow the performance.
Beneath Hemlock Tabernacles is a 10’ composition for violoncello quartet and pre-recorded soundscape. The idea to compose this work originated with a soundscape recording of hemlock trees that I captured in Litchfield, CT, and the recording reveals the song of the delicate, flat sprays of one of our most beautiful eastern native trees. The ambient, if not ghostly sonorities of the hemlocks are intermittently punctuated by the ‘groanings’ of one dead trunk – caught leaning against another hemlock trunk that still lives, and this particular sound world of the forest is the one that the cello quartet ‘performs’ with. Instrumental effects, soft bowings, and other white noise effects are meant to interact with and imitate the habitat and acoustic of the hemlock grove. The form of this composition follows the amplitude map of the hemlock soundscape – a musical form made up of building and receding intensities created by Nature herself.
The music of Michael Gatonska has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, the Krakow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Talea Ensemble, the LOCRIAN chamber players, and SONYC (String Orchestra of New York City) among others. His music has been performed at festivals around the world, and he has received numerous awards for his compositions including the 2012 American Prize for Orchestra Composition, the Chicago Symphony First Hearing Award, four ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, fellowship and grant awards from the Kosciuszko Foundation, the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and the American Composers Forum. His music has been recorded on the Albany Records label, Major Who Media, the American Composers Orchestra Digital Downloads Series Volume I, and the Einstein Records label. http://www.michaelgatonska.com/
As a result of his membership in the Native Tree Society, his work has evolved to include capturing soundscapes in an effort to both present and inspire audiences with a deep listening experience, and to advance the development of a personal artistic vision which is to combine the things in life that he is most passionate about – music composition, trees, and nature’s acoustics.
Robert T. Leverett is the cofounder and Executive Director of the Native Tree Society and the cofounder and President of Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest. He is coauthor of the Sierra Club Guide to Ancient Forests of the Northeast and a coauthor of Island Press’s Eastern Old Growth Forests, Prospects for Rediscovery and Recovery. He is a coauthor of several other books on old growth forests and the art and science of measuring trees. He is the principal architect of the Ancient Eastern Forest Conference Series held at various eastern universities during the period from 1993 through 2007. Leverett has written and been the subject of many articles on tree measuring and the science and aesthetics of old growth forests. He is currently the Chairman of the Forest Reserves Scientific Advisory Committee for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. He leads interpretive walks for a variety of environmental organizations including the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Walnut Hill Programs in Nature and Tracking.
Jeffrey Krieger has been principal cellist of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, chamber musician and soloist since 1979. He has also been for more than two decades among the new generation of solo recitalists who have incorporated technology - the computer and video - as well as an electric cello built by Vermont craftsman, Tucker Barrett into performance. He has received numerous national awards for this work among which a prestigious 1993 Solo Recitalist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts which allowed extensive touring in the USA, a 1996 State of Connecticut Commission on the Arts Artist Fellowship for work in multi-media, as well as awards from the Canada Council, the Roberts Foundation Creation of New Work Initiative, New England Foundation for the Arts, and American Composers Forum.
Mr. Krieger has performed at prestigious venues, music schools and conservatories, museums, and international music festivals across the US and abroad. Past performances of note have been as featured soloist with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center's New York State Theater and the Saratoga Festival, a solo recital of music by Lithuanian composer, Osvaldas Balakauskas sponsored by the American-Lithuanian Society of New York at Merkin Concert Hall, and a performance of Videocello at the Kennedy Center. He has been a frequent performer and guest lecturer at educational institutions such as the Cincinnati Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Yale University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Conservatorium of Music, Hobart, Tasmania. Performances at international music festivals have included the Boston Cyberarts Festival; International Festival of Electronic Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven; Subtropics Festival, Miami International University; New Directions Cello Festival at the Knitting Factory, New York City; Ebeltoft Festival, Denmarck. In 2000 he was soloist on the electric cello with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, and in 2001 performed composer, Robert Carl’s A Wide Open Field for electric cello with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. In 2007 and 2008 he served as Cultural Ambassador to India performing concerts of American music sponsored by the US Embassy which included performances at the American Center Auditoriums of New Delhi and Mumbai.
Mr. Krieger has recorded numerous electric cello works for New World Records, Vienna Modern Masters, Capstone, Innova, O.O. Discs and Ablaze Records. A recording of the late Donald Erb’s Suddenly It’s Evening on New World Records received rave reviews from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Fanfare Magazine. His most recent recorded work, Night Chains and Night Canticle by Douglas Knehans, available on Ablaze Records, has received critical acclaim from the Audiophile Audition Web Magazine. CDs and downloads are available at Amazon and iTunes, and can also be heard on Pandora.