NEW MUSIC TUESDAY | Michelle Ross’ New Piece: “The Whale Music”


The brand new EP was launched on February 11, 2022, and was accompanied by a video by Lembit Beecher. The work originated from New-York primarily based violinist and composer Michelle Ross‘ personal improvisations and explorations with a cello. It begins with a chant impressed by Hildegard Von Bingen, telling a narrative of a whale and monks.

The Violin Channel not too long ago mentioned the brand new piece with Ross.

“In 2019, Saeunn and I had been speaking concerning the intersection of improvisation and composition, and I used to be particularly sharing with Saeunn that I used to be struggling to ‘let go’ of my improvisations and write for devices/performers aside from myself,” Michelle instructed The Violin Channel. “To this, Saeunn replied, ‘Properly, then write me a bit! That method you possibly can’t play it your self!’ What started as a supportive concept from a great pal, resulted in a convergence of my inventive identities and opened up a deeper portal into my compositional language.”

“Saeunn is from Iceland, and so I wished to include a component of folklore into her piece. Whereas I used to be improvising on a cello, a delusion got here to me: of a whale swallowing monks, and the monks chanting from inside.”

“Improvisation is a large a part of my course of, and so I borrowed a cello and commenced exploring the instrument. It was like discovering music for the primary time. I used to be struck by the magnified response from small issues that I might do naturally on the violin: subtly adjusting my finger strain, or shifting the angle of the bow on the string, would reveal a spectrum of fundamentals and expression.

“Guided by an almost-haphazard-freedom that comes from approaching an instrument that isn’t your individual, I encountered sounds that pushed my creativeness — every thing from guttural sighs to brilliant exuberant gestures. I then spent weeks with a fraction of a Hildegard Von Bingen chant, permitting items of it to permeate my very own musical language — just like the everlasting swirling and transmutation of a chant which may occur over centuries. A chant impressed by this fragment begins the piece, and weaves itself out and in all through the work till the ultimate utterance.”

“Collaboration is without doubt one of the most vital issues for me as a musician. My aim as a composer is all the time to speak my intention as clearly as attainable, and that is inextricably linked to the performer. Saeunn and I met many occasions on zoom, taking part in via the piece as I wrote it. I hand-write my manuscripts and goal to include additionally her private imprint on the musical textual content itself. Once we had been within the studio recording the work, I guided Saeunn via an improvised cadenza. Lembit Beecher, who animated the movie, and I had a really collaborative course of as properly — it was an honor to have a fellow composer who I love a lot spend months with my rating and produce my idea to life visually with a lot care and creativeness.”

“The best present for a composer is the infinite number of responses that listeners can have — and all I may ever hope for could be that you just pay attention with an open coronary heart (and good headphones!). Could The Whale Music, Saeunn’s lovely efficiency, and Lembit’s unimaginable animation, connect with your spirit and linger in your creativeness!”






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