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SU Department of Music Launches Fluid Series

September 13, 2007

SELINSGROVE, (Pa. ) – In response to the 2007-2008 University Theme, “Water,” Susquehanna’s Department of Music has planned a series of concerts titled FLUID: Music, Water and Motion. The concert series kicks off Friday, September 14, with a performance of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat at 8 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall of the Cunningham Center for Music and Art. This and all performances in the series are free and open to the public. All other series performances will also be held in Stretansky Concert Hall.

The concept for FLUID is based on the dynamic quality of water – by turn’s tranquil, volatile, still or restless – and how it has found expression in the music of every era and genre. From the earliest operas to the improvised jazz of today, there exists music that metaphorically reflects in its creation and performance the variability of water itself; music that, like water, transforms borders even as it alters its own form.

Accentuated with narration and acting, students and faculty led by Eric Hinton, assistant professor of music and director of bands, will explore this concept in the September 14 performance of L’Histoire du Soldat. Stravinsky’s 1918 work is based on a traditional Russian folk tale but the music moves through a variety of non-Russian idioms – jazz, tango, waltz, march, and even chorale – as easily as one moves through water. Blurred borders are demonstrated further by the overall themes of the story, as the soldier encounters confusion between good and evil, and between present and past.

The FLUID series continues on Wednesday, October 10, just in time for Halloween – a time of maximum fluidity. With the first frost, the smell of smoke and dying leaves blowing about, Halloween blurs the lines between this world and the next. In recognition of this fluid period, Associate Professor of Music Patrick Long will present his improvisational score based on the silent horror film Nosferatu. Like Halloween, the event, which begins at 8 p.m., will blur the lines between a concert and a film, between improvised and composed music, and between the worlds of electronic and acoustic sounds.

On Saturday, October 27, the department will present a saxophone solo and chamber music recital featuring Associate Professor of Music Gail Levinsky and Deborah Andrus, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Music. The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. on this musical presentation of the various ways water can be viewed. The beauty and simplicity of Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces for Clarinet & Piano will be paired with a new work for saxophone by composer Halim El-Dabh entitled The Miraculous Tale, which is the composer’s musical interpretation of his personal experience of being hit by lightening. Other works will include Evan Chambers’ Come Down Heavy! and Arthur Frackenpohl’s light, effervescent work Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. The recital will also present the premiere of Jason Bahr’s Tipping Point for saxophone and piano.

Hinton and the Susquehanna University Symphonic Band will take the stage for another FLUID performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, November 18. The concert will feature works that, through musical metaphor, convey the idea of water. Works from Gustav Holst, David Maslanka, David Bedford and others attempt this evocative representation through form and technique. Holst’s work conveys the flowing River Thames as it makes it way past the town of Hammersmith. Bedford’s Sun Paints Rainbows on Vast Waves utilizes unusual orchestral colors to convey the interaction of sunlight and water. Tears by David Maslanka was inspired by the dissolution of a traditional African culture overrun by its European neighbors as told in a story by African writer Ahmadou Kourouma.

Contact: Victoria Kidd


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