Before I talk about Vermont's concert contribution to the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, I have an update on the Music After Concert. They've received good coverage about the event: they were featured on the SoundNotion podcast,WQXR's "The New Canon," and mentioned by Anne Midgette on her blog in the Washington Post and on Alex Ross's "The Rest is Noise." However, they still need your help, so please contribute.
So yeah, little ol' Vermont, the state that was recently devastated by Hurricane Irene (which took out homes, roads, and historic bridges, by the way), has compiled and commissioned eleven tribute pieces to 9/11. The Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, the brainchild ensemble behind these commissions, will be performing them again in concert twice (once on September 11).
From Steven Klimowski, director of the VCME:
"After the planes crashed in the twin towers and then their total destruction I felt and incredible hollowness in my gut. Like the emotional wind had been knocked out of me. And then to see the incredible heroism in the volunteers was inspiring. I think the entire country wanted to do something to help. Sitting in Vermont, what could I do? As a musician I know that music defines the spirit of the times. As director of the VCME I had the organization and contacts to ask composers to write a short piece reflecting what they felt at the time. The composers were chosen from the Vermont composers that I knew and respected and from those composers whose pieces were going to be bumped from the February program that this late change eventuated. What I received from the composers was a truly remarkable set of heart-felt works that preserve the spirit of that unique moment in American history."
The composers and their works are Alex Abele's "Arise and Unite" for solo piano; Dennis Báthory-Kitsz's "Fuliginous Quadrant" for violin, cello, clarinet, and piano; Anthony Cornicello's "Fractured Landscape, Suspended Song" for clarinet, cello, percussion, and tape; David Gunn's "faux pastiche" for violin, clarinet, cello, and piano; Don Jamison's "Three Threshold Songs" for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, and cello; Dan Jessie's "A Feary Tale" for violin, clarinet, bass clarinet, cello, piano and narrator; Erik Nielsen's "We Shall Always Have A Song" for violin, cello, clarinet, and piano; Troy Peters's "Lament 9/11/01" for cello, and mezzo-soprano; Thomas Read's "A Watch in the Night" for clarinet, bass clarinet, and piano; Belinda Reynolds's "Dust" for clarinet and cello; Allen Shawn's "Dark Song" for bass clarinet and piano.
I've heard a few of these moving pieces. Here's a preview.
Can't make it out to the concert like me? You can always contribute by sending a 501(c)(3) contribution to the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, OR by contacting Steven Klimowski directly to set up a contribution via PayPal.
Please help them out. Your donation would also help their local economy, since any small gesture of support would probably help them out of this mess. (Did I mention that these pictures of devastation completely break my heart? I drove on Route 2 to pick up my Christmas tree one year. I also directed a church choir in Waterbury. Sad times.)