RELEASE DATE: September 2nd, 2022
Diversions is Rose Bishop's debut album of solo flute repertoire that she either commissioned during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, or performed as part of her residency with the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra in October, 2021.
This album features compositions by all female composers, and includes works by Amber Beams, Nicole Chamberlain, Linda Robbins Coleman, and Lisa Neher.
Press Release, Friday, August 5th, 2022
I am so thrilled to finally announce the release date for my new solo debut album, Diversions, on Friday, September 2nd through OddPop Records! I hope you will all join me for my album release recital and reception at Coe College at 7:30pm on September 2nd.
This album started with the commission of Linda Robbins Coleman by the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra to write a brand new concerto for me as their 2021 Artist in Residence. In addition to the world premiere of this concerto, Diversions also features music by Lisa Neher, Nicole Chamberlain and Amber Beams.
Preorders for the physical CD are available now on my website, and digital download preorders will be available within the next week.
I am so grateful to everyone who helped make this dream a reality, and can’t wait for you to hear these amazing new works! I am especially grateful to Southeast Iowa Symphony Director, Robert McConnell, composers Linda Robbins Coleman, Lisa Neher, Amber Beams, and Nicole Chamberlain; to Peter Nothnagle for recording and putting these recordings together; to Adam Shuemaker and Odd Pop Records; and to Coe College for helping me fund this project and for providing the space to record many of these works.
Program Notes from the Composers
NIGHT SONG FOR MOTHS for solo piccolo by Lisa Neher
I am finding more and more how vitally important it is for me to step away from my indoor work, to do-lists, and strategic planning and immerse myself in nature. When I take the time to do this, my pulse slows, my mind clears, and what really matters to me in life comes into focus. I am comforted by the cycles of the moon and the rain, and by the lives of animals and plants, going about their own business, regardless of the anxieties of human society.
In this piece, I invite you into stillness, reflection, and connection with whatever you are feeling in this moment that needs some attention. You will hear the gentle rising of the moon, beginning in the haunting low register of the piccolo, the fluttering wings and unpredictable movements of moths, expressed by fast ascending and descending motives and quivering trills, and the steady motion of rippling water, expressed by a series arpeggiated chords. The moon motive returns in the high register about halfway through the piece, representing the brilliant light of the moon as it reaches its apex. At the end of the piece, the motive descends, representing moonset as dawn approaches. This piece was commissioned by and is dedicated to my dear friend Rose Bishop.
REACH OUT for solo flute by Lisa Neher
Reach Out was written for Ray Furuta as part of the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music's #GLFCAMGigThruCOVID initiative, a project to support performers struggling with income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
IMPERIAL TOPAZ by Nicole Chamberlain
Imperial Topaz was commissioned by Beth Devlin for her husband, Jay Devlin. Imperial topaz is the gemstone for the 23rd anniversary which the couple celebrated in 2018, when the piece was completed. The color of imperial topaz has been described as the color of the sun at sunset. In the 17th century, Russian tsars claimed exclusive rights to the gemstones mined in Russia which resulted in the gem being named imperial topaz. The piece is intended to be performed on contrabass flute, but could easily be performed on any of the low flutes or even the C flute.
SEAL MOTHER for solo alto flute by Lisa Neher
In Celtic and Norse mythology, selkies are magical beings that can change from seal to human form by shedding their sealskins. Selkie tales often feature a human man stealing and hiding a woman selkie’s sealskin, trapping her in human form, marrying her, and starting a family. When she finally finds her skin, she is compelled to return to her ocean home, but in so doing, she
leaves her children behind.
I grew up near Washington State’s Puget Sound waters, where harbor seals can be spotted in quiet mornings. Their heads bob up in the glassy water and sometimes they would stare at me with large dark eyes before slipping effortlessly under the water again. Seal Mother envisions a selkie in her seal form, swimming not too far offshore, watching her children from a distance. Lyrical melodic lines express her love and longing for her children, while undulating motives evoke currents of water and grief. The embellishments are inspired by Irish whistle ornamentation such as cuts and taps. The piece ends with a reinvention of the Scotts ballad The Great Selkie, a tragic folksong about a Selkie father and his son who are killed by humans while in seal form.
Seal Mother was commissioned by and is dedicated with love to Hal Ide and Rose Bishop.
CALLS by Amber Beams
Drawing inspiration from the sound of a Native American flute, Calls challenges
the performer to step away from the restrictions that a classical flute piece would require. While there are partial bar lines and a starting tempo for each movement, look at them as mere guidelines. However, keep in mind that each movement has its own story to tell. It is up to the performer to tell these stories to the audience.
Morning Call reflects the start of the day, just as the sun is rising over the horizon.
This call is awaking all the creatures of the Earth from their nightly slumber. While this movement contains a moment of pushing forward, it tends to stay calm as the Earth awakes.
Love Birds is a fun movement in which the performer should tell a story of a male
and female bird chatting. Although it begins calmly, like most couples an argument arises after the male bird tunes out his female companion. As the argument grows it becomes difficult to understand who is talking and who will win the argument.
Dusk is the final movement and draws inspiration from the first two movements.
The opening statement is drawn from the ending of the first movement, telling the creatures that night has come once again. Within this call, there is one response as we hear the bird couple calling to each other as the night settles.
DIVERSIONS for one soloist, 3 flutes and orchestra by Linda Robbins Coleman
Diversions was commissioned and premiered by the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra and Robert McConnell, Music Director and Conductor. It was written for soloist Rose Bishop, the principal flute and SEISO Artist in Residence. Diversions is dedicated to the four most important people in the composer’s life – her beloved husband, William S.E. Coleman, her cherished parents, Harold R. Robbins and Marjorie E. Robbins, and her best friend and adoptive father, Robert Shultz (BobDad).