Composer time! On August 2 2017, at Toronto’s Walter Hall will be the world premiere of my new piece for chamber ensemble (string quartet, horn, oboe, flute) called Songs of the Invisible Summer Stars. Five movements imagining where the stars go in the summer time of extreme latitudes – celestial adventures! See program notes below. Thanks to Toronto Summer Music for the commission! And also many thanks to the Esther Gelber Fund for their generous support, and the Canadian Music Centre.
Here’s who makes up the TSO Chamber Soloists – mostly section leaders and other fantastic players in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra: Jonathan Crow, violin; Shane Kim, violin; Amanda Goodburn, violin; Teng Li, viola; Roberta Janzen, cello; Joseph Johnson, cello; Sarah Jeffrey, oboe; Kelly Zimba, flute (New TSO Principal Flute!); Gabriel Radford, horn; Jane Coop, piano
And here’s whats on the menu for the concert:
Mozart: Oboe Quartet in F major, K. 370/368b
Debussy: Syrinx for flute solo
Carmen Braden: Songs of the Invisible Summer Stars
Brahms: Horn Trio in Eb Major for horn, violin, and piano, Op. 40
Program Note for Songs of the Invisible Summer Stars
In extreme northern and southern latitudes, summer nights are bright as the sun stays above the horizon or dips just below before rising in a glow of unending twilight. Darkness is gone for months, and so are the stars and aurora. Under the glow of these soft star-less nights, I wrote 5 short songs imagining where the stars go when we can’t see them anymore. I used these melodies and ideas as the inspiration for these instrumental works. Below are the lyrics for each of the songs.
1.Where do the stars play when they disappear in the summer?
Where do the stars play when they disappear in the summer?
They play among the shadows fallen, far away.
2. Comet River
Sparks in a hailstorm
Fire outside of time
All rushing on
Downstream becomes upside down
3. A Clandestine Meeting with an Aurora
When she sends her light around me
When she sends her arms of light around my outward star
We shine green fire
Like sky dew shining on new sky leaves.
4. Sway me around, Orion!
Sway, oh sway Orion!
Come, sway me around!
5.When the moon hangs lonely in the blue sky,
When the moon hangs lonely in the blue sky,
Then the moon calls out
“Far away star,
come home and bring the snow.”