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London Recital Tour

Wings of America Program Notes

Moonlit Waters for flute and piano by Lawren Brianna Ware

Dr. Lawren Brianna Ware shared this with us about her piece: "I do know that as simple as it is, I extended it to be reflective. It should paint a picture of the listener taking a stroll at dusk. Once at the lake or pond or whatever body of water they reach, they reflect. On all things. The good, the bad, the sad, the happy, etc. I wanted it to be a meditation for the listener."

Dr. Lawren Brianna Ware, a Gadsden, Alabama native, is a recent graduate of The University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her DMA in Music Composition with a minor in musicology. Compositionally, Dr. Ware’s goal is to “write music that makes one feel.” Although she is an “up and coming” composer, she has begun to secure her place in the world of contemporary classical composition. Dr. Ware’s compositions have  been featured on two professionally recorded albums (the Amernet Quartet’s “Alabama String Quartets (Birmingham Arts Music Alliance)”(2020) and Dr. Cole Bartels’ “On the Brink”(2022)) and will be included on upcoming albums by Marcus Eley (clarinet) and Lara Downes (piano). Her most recent projects include being the inaugural composer and co-founder of the Black Composer Revival Consortium, composing for the Minnesota Consortium for Black American Composers (2020), and composing and releasing an electronic music album in conjunction with comic book writer Jaromir François on the comic My Brother Teddy (2021). In July of 2022, Brianna became the first African-American composer selected to be the composer in residence for the Seal Bay Music Festival in Vinalhaven, Maine. Additionally, she is presently working with with Access Contemporary Music (ACM) on their Songs About Buildings and Moods video series which explores the connection between architecture and music. 

American City for solo piano by Judith Lang Zaimont

Abbie Brewer, piano

Zaimont’s first multi-movement composition, written at age 12, showcases a portrait of New York City with tempos that range from fast and springy to lilting and quite slow. The five original movements appear here almost entirely as first composed, and are now followed by a new sixth movement, inviting the toccata finale to dash headlong to a firm close.

Reach Out for solo flute by Lisa Neher

Reach Out is about yearning for human connection. It is about the need to be heard, to be seen, to be touched, to be understood. Large ascending leaps in the melody represent that longing while expressive arpeggios up and down paint a picture of waves of emotion, surges of happiness, grief, anxiety, and relief. 

We need one another.

​Reach Out. 

​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. 

The Troll and the Fae: The Phoenix by Leanna Keith

Rose Bishop, flute

The Troll and the Fae is a seven movement modular work, and the Phoenix is movement 6 of this work.  The phoenix is a legendary bird which is reborn from the ashes of its predecessor. The cyclical nature of this bird as well as its death via flame associates the creature with the cycle of the sun. It has bright, colorful plumage, often of yellow, reds, and oranges. Beautiful and dangerous, these birds are associated with grace, magic, luck, virtue, and femininity. The phoenix often only appears to mark the beginning of a new era. At the end of its age, the old phoenix prepares its final song. Their kind is so rare, it is likely that the phoenix lived a solitary life - maybe it was lonely, which is why you are able to find it at the end. Then all of a sudden, the bird burst into flames. From the ashes, the fledgling phoenix emerges, and life begins anew.

Prayer for flute and piano by Amanda Harberg

My music is often a reaction to personal experience. I composed Prayer shortly after finding out that a close family member was seriously ill. The piece comes from a deeply spiritual place, and for me it is both a meditation on life, and an expression of faith in the language that is most powerful for me, and on the powerful mysteries of healing.

In this version for flute and piano, Prayer opens with the flute rising gently out of simple piano arpeggios.The melody flows seamlessly from beginning to end, with one long rising and falling line, punctuated periodically by gentle responses in the piano part. The work arcs twice, with the flute working its way up to the highest register, and then falling away to a place of peaceful surrender.

Prayer was composed for and premiered by violist Brett Deubner. After requests from different instrumentalists, I’ve made several different versions of Prayer, including those for full orchestra, and for flute and piano. These versions are available through Theodore Presser Company.

Sunswept for flute and piano by Adrienne Albert

Originally written for horn and piano as the last movement of my Global Warming Sonata and then transcribed for clarinet and piano, Sunswept originated with a call from my friend and fellow Mu Phi member, Susan Dietz, asking if Windswept could be played with flute so that she and her husband, John, could play it together. In reworking the piece, I realized the sonorities of the flute and piano would work beautifully with this piece. Sunswept is an exciting, playful, lyrical and dynamic interchange between the instruments. The piano is an equal partner to the flute in this work.

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