By Robert Schulslaper
I first spoke with Barbara Harbach in 2010 (Fanfare 33:3) but I’ve kept up with her musical adventures in the intervening years thanks to the ongoing series of Fanfare interviews that followed. For those who don’t know her, she’s a harpsichordist/organist whose numerous CDs reflect her passion for both older and contemporary music; a tireless researcher and promoter of the works of overlooked composers, often women, but not exclusively so; a publisher of scores and journals; a festival organizer; a former host of a radio program; the Curator’s Distinguished Professor Emerita of Music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and a composer whose extensive catalog includes numerous symphonies—11 thus far—and other orchestral works, chamber music, musicals, operas, silent film scores, and more. It was a pleasure to reconnect with her to discuss her latest release, Volume VI of her orchestral music as performed by conductor David Angus and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Looking at the track listing for Volume VI before listening to the CD, I wondered why Visions of Hildegard and The Sound The Stars Make Rushing Through The Sky, originally heard on Volume V, were being repeated. However, I soon realized that these are orchestral scores, as Hildegard was originally composed for piano and violin and The Stars for soprano, violin, and piano. What prompted the orchestral versions?
Yes, Visions of Hildegard began life as a piece for violin and piano, and The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky was originally for soprano, violin, and piano. These chamber pieces appeared on my Chamber Music V, MSR Classics 1695 and were beautifully recorded by Stella Markou (soprano), Jane Price (violin), and Alla Voskoboynikova (piano), my colleagues at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. I was fortunate to have world-class artists to collaborate with at the university, and they were halcyon days for composition and music making.
Sometimes a composer may feel that she has more to say about a particular theme or even complete works such as Visions and The Sound the Stars Make, and then they may morph into a larger form with an expanded palette. Such is the case with these two pieces, which went from chamber music to orchestral. I have always been drawn to strong women who did not follow society’s dictums—Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179), Jane Johnston Schoolcraft (1800–1842), pioneer women who helped settle Alaska, Dorothy Parker, and Harriet Scott (Dred Scott’s wife). There are also the women highlighted in Civil-Civility for chamber orchestra—Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Margaret Mead, Ida Wells-Barnett, Sojourner Truth—and in Freeing the Caged Bird for woodwind quintet—Maya Angelou, Sara Teasdale, Kate Chopin, Emily Hahn, Abigail Adams. Add to these Light Out of Darkness (Helen Keller), and the poems of Emily Dickinson. I am also inspired to write music for silent films by ground-breaking women film directors—Alice Guy Blaché’s Making an American Citizen (1912) and The Birth, Life and Death of Christ, and Lois Weber’s Hypocrites (1915), among others.
No matter how many times I read Hildegard’s biography, I am still in awe of her accomplishments in the 12th century: She belonged to the Order of Saint Benedict and became known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, but she was also an abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, mystic, and visionary. Many consider her to be the founder of natural history in Germany. She is well known as a composer of sacred monophony and is the most recorded medieval composer in modern history. In all three movements of Visions of Hildegard, melodies flow from instrument to instrument, weaving a musical tapestry, so each instrument has a magical moment.
The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky, an orchestral suite in three movements, takes its title from Jane Johnston Schoolcraft’s Native American name, Bame-wa-wa-ge-zhik-a-quay, which in English is “Woman of the Sound that Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky.” Schoolcraft was an extraordinary princess of the Ojibwe people who settled along the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Superior, a region they called home for more than 500 years. She is the first known Native American poet and female writer, her work paralleling famous Anglo-American and British writers, including William Wordsworth (1770–1850) and Lydia Sigourney (1770–1850). Schoolcraft was the granddaughter of the famous Ojibwe chief, Waub Ojeeg, and her mother, Susan (or “Shau-gush-co-da-way-quay”), was the daughter of the chief. Her father, John Johnston, was a highly educated white fur trader, who taught her English, plus the Bible, history, and poetry. Like her mother, Jane married a white man, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, and used her knowledge of English and Ojibwe to help him learn of Ojibwe oral history and traditions, and ultimately to publish its stories.
The first movement, “And Musing Awhile,” is an excerpt from Jane Schoolcraft’s poem, “Pensive Hours.” The last line of the poem, “So pensively joyful, so humbly sublime,” captures its essence with searching and yearning motives, taken up variously by strings, woodwinds, and brass that circle round with percussive, chordal punctuations. Orchestral colors portray the musings and whispers, the glistening stream, and the murmurings of kind voices. The second movement, “Luna and Stella (Moon and Star)” is in irregular 7/8 meter and loose ABACAB rondo form. As instruments join in, the tempo becomes faster and more frantic until arriving at an electrifying 6/8 section with rhythmic themes that boldly alternate between 6/8 and 3/4. All instruments join in the fray and drive impulsively to a concluding musical thunderclap.
The last movement, “Trail of Tears” (with my text), tells a tragic story. In the 1830s, Native Americans were sent on forced relocation marches by the federal government, evicted from their homelands in the southeast. The Cherokee Nation, one of the largest native groups in America, took the longest time to move. In brutal excursions marked by disease, starvation, and death, they were forced to march more than 1,200 miles inland to present-day Oklahoma. Beginning in the summer of 1838 and continuing into the winter, approximately 15,000 men, women, and children were relocated; more than 4,000 died from disease, exhaustion, or exposure. In the Cherokee language, this event is referred to as “the trail where they cried,” giving rise to the English title Trail of Tears. In the music, numerous changes in rhythm, meter, and dynamics, along with colorful orchestration, tell the story as seen through a child’s eyes.
Volume VI also includes Mischances of Life, Eclipsis Lunae, and Spaindango—A Tango Caprice. The booklet explains that some of the material for Mischances “has its origins” in your opera O Pioneers!, which in turn was inspired by Willa Cather’s novel. Of course, that doesn’t mean you didn’t vary or expand it for the new piece.
Composers sometimes use themes and movements of their operas to forge an enlarged and more developed orchestral work, such as the Carmen suites by Bizet or Tchaikovsky’s tribute to Mozart on the 100th anniversary of Don Giovanni. I was not yet finished with some of the themes and story lines from my opera O Pioneers!, so the four movements of Mischances of Life became a piece that portrayed the tragedy as well as the innocence of childhood.
The first movement, entitled “In the Cold, In the Deep, In the Dark,” is the dark place where one retreats after a horrendous tragedy occurs. Alexandra, one of the characters from the book, O Pioneers, contemplates her feelings about the murder of her brother and his lover, Maria. Sadness and melancholy are portrayed by sweet, mournful brass and comforting woodwinds.
In the cold in the deep in the dark
In the silence of the grave
In the cold of my deep unknowing
I must find the cold strength to be brave.
The second movement, “Away, Away, O Monstrous Choice,” is another vignette taken from O Pioneers! When the lovers Emil and Maria try to resist their dangerous attraction to each other, they agree, sadly, to part. Agitation in the strings sets the mood of indecision, as solo woodwinds and brass try to find a resolution regarding the fate of the lovers. Foreboding becomes clear with a reference to the Latin sequence Dies irae (Day of Wrath). Theme and motives are tossed from instrument to instrument in a weighty conversation that has no answers.
Away, away. Unhappy day.
A monstrous path. O bitter way.
I must choose the path that leads away.
In the third movement, “Misfortune’s Folly,” playful repartee and bantering transpires between Emil and Marie, the language lovers often use with one another. They meet at a church fair where the crowds and activities hide their assignation. Emil’s voice is portrayed by the trombone and Marie’s voice by sweet woodwinds and a beguiling trumpet. Their love duet is richly resonant in this orchestration. A subtle hint of Mexican flavor in the music reminiscent of Emil’s return from Mexico is heard just before the love duet blossoms, engaging the full orchestra.
Your gypsy card reveal to me,
That you are truly Miss-fortune
I see it now but can only laugh—Miss-Fortune
In “Dreams Among the Trees,” the fourth movement, Alexandra, Emil, and Marie’s thoughts return to a more innocent time in their lives, depicted by playful motives intertwining and chasing one another. Subsequently, Marie’s Moon Waltz begins and transport the trio to “Dreams Among the Trees,” and all are entranced by the rapturous moment.
And sometimes though it is no one’s fault,
I dream the moon and I are waltzing
Waltzing, lovely light as air.
And then, a sinister reminder that love can be a double-edged sword:
Turn back, O dreamers, from these paths. Control yourselves, forget the past, and we will leave our dreams among the trees.
The last movement, “Fly Low, Stay Out of Sight,” foreshadows the tragedy that is about to befall the lovers Emil and Marie. Frequent meter changes and ominous orchestral themes and colors amplify the tension.
Fly low, stay out of sight. Once put wrong, the world is hard to right.
What can you tell me about Eclipsis Lunae and Spaindango?
When the University of St. Louis asked me to write a piece commemorating the eclipse in 2019, I became fascinated with the idea of what earlier peoples might have thought about such a phenomenon, and gradually a program took shape:
“When the peoples of earlier times witnessed the moon covering the sun, they became deeply distressed and anxious. To drive out an evil spirit they believed to be the culprit, they sought music to dispel the darkness. First, they offered a prayer by having instruments play while sneaking in on one another. As the sky grew darker, the timpani introduces a tranquil melody that rises toward the sky in worship of the sun. Facing little result, they decided the music needed to be louder, so they combined the music of the opening with snare drum and other percussion instruments, creating a powerful Dies Irae. Still, the sun was disappearing, so the trumpets began playing a fanfare, which was still not strong enough to stop the moon’s encroachment. In a panic, they paid homage to the sun in a solemn dirge, In Memoriam, but it, too, was ineffective. Unrelenting, they tried a snare drum and timpani solo with slow-moving chords. The sun was almost gone, so the last effort was to invoke a jazz-style piece alternating with some of the previous melodies. As the sun finally began to reappear and get larger, the people rejoiced in ‘how high the moon,’ joyously playing the song that Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald helped make famous.”
Spaindango—a Tango Caprice for Orchestra began as a piece for harpsichord … a “fetching piece, full of antique flourishes mixed with 20th-century rage and madness, a cauldron of churning notes,” as CD Review described the work. All these elements were transcribed and intensified in the orchestral version. The orchestral version (as well as the harpsichord version) has two theme areas, an A Theme and Tango Theme that alternate with each other for five variations each. The A Theme has an asymmetrical and off-kilter time signature of 5/8 with emphasis on beats one and four. The Tango Theme is in 4/4 time and has glissandi in the upper strings with the tango rhythm in the bassoon and cello, with the trumpet presenting the melody, imitated by unison oboe and clarinet, and finally the xylophone, all with ear-catching glissandi. The last Tango Theme has blistering glissandi, heavily accented tango rhythms and a rising chromatic line that abruptly ends with all instruments proclaiming the final tango rhythm!
How are you getting on with your digitizing of forgotten manuscripts? Are you still recording fragments for your website, and have you thought about recording complete versions of this overlooked music?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the project of digitizing over 100 of my historical keyboard facsimiles. I always appreciated playing from facsimiles; I felt that I was closer to the composer and her/his musical intentions. The following are a few of the historical composers I have done so far: Anna Bon, Maria Hester Park, Caroline Orger, Jane Savage, Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Elizabeth Stirling, Elizabeth Weichsell Billington, George Berg, John Camidge, among others. I have made 13 piano excerpts so far and will put them on my website barbaraharbach.com. I hope to record several more this year.
I also have released complete historical keyboard versions of the following pieces on CD (the Gasparo and Hester Park CDs are out of print but available via streaming):
Johann Sebastian Bach: Organ Music, MSR Classics 1444 Prelude and “St. Anne’s” Fugue in E♭ Major, BWV 552. Toccata and Fugue in F Major, BWV 540. An Wasserflüssen Babylon, BWV653. Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 546. Choral Prelude “O Mensch bewein dein Sünde gross,” BWV 622. Fantasy and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 542. Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 548, “Wedge”
Organ Music for the Synagogue (Album 13 of Volume 4: Cycle of Life in Synagogue and Home), Milken Archives, 2015
Antonio Soler: Harpsichord Sonatas 1–120 (Padre Samuel Rubio Edition) MRS Classics 1300, 14-CD Box Set 2015
Bach: Art of the Fugue, and Johann Pachelbel: Canon, Chaconnes & Chorale Preludes, 2-CD set, MSR Classics 1442, 2014 Bach: The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080. Komm süsser Tod. Pachelbel: Canon in D. Chaconne in F. Chorale Preludes: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her; Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Her; Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren; Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder; Nun komm der Heiden Heiland; Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der von uns; Wenn wir in höchsten Noten sein; An Wasserflüssen Babylon; Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christi; Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott; Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern; Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein. Chaconne in D
Thomas Haigh: Six Concertos for Harpsichord, Opus 1, MSR Classics 1441, 2013
Anna Bon de Venezia: Six Sonatas for Harpsichord, op. 2, MSR Classics 1241 2007. Three-movement sonatas in G Minor. B-flat Major. F Major. C Major. B Minor. C Major
Bach: Goldberg Variations for Harpsichord, Gasparo Records (Gallante), GG 1018, 2002
Pachelbel: Canons, Gasparo Records, GSS-2001, 1999. (Reissued as MSR Classics 1442)
Summershimmer: Women Organ Composers, Hester Park, CD 7704, 1996 Works by Elizabeth Stirling, Barbara Harbach, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Christina Harmon, Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen, Jeanne Demessieux, Julia Smith, Ethel Smyth, Libby Larsen, Clara Schumann, Mary Jeanne van Appledorn
Classical Prodigies: Elizabeth Weichsell Billington / Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hester Park, CD 7703, 1995 (harpsichord) Billington: Sonatas I–III, op. 1. Sonatas I–VI, op. 2. Mozart: Allegro in C Major. Andante in F Major. Menuett 1 in C Major. Allegro in B♭ Major. Menuett & Trio in G Major. Klavierstück in C Major. Eight Variations in G, KV 24. Untitled in F Major, KV 15. Seven Variations in D Major, KV 25
Eighteenth-Century Women Composers: Music for Solo Harpsichord, Vol. I, Gasparo Records, GSCD-272, 1995 (Also released on Kingdom Records, UK, KCLCD 2010, 1989) Cecilia Barthélémon: Sonata in E Major. Marianne Martinez: Sonata in E Major and Sonata in A Major. Marianna d’Auenbrugg: Sonata in E♭: Rondo. Elisabetta de Gambarini: Pieces for the Harpsichord. Maria Hester Park: Sonata in F Major
Eighteenth-Century Women Composers: Music for Solo Harpsichord, Vol. II, Gasparo Records, GSCD-281, 1990 A Lady: Lesson VI in D Major. Cecilia Barthélémon: Sonata in G Major. Maria Hester Park: Concerto in E♭ Major and Sonata in C Major. Elizabeth Turner: Lesson I in G Minor and Lesson II in G Major. Sonatas by Elisabetta de Gambarini, Elizabeth Hardin, Hester Park
Sonatas by Elizabeth: Eliszbetta de Ganbarini/Elizabeth Hardin, Hester Park CD 7702, 1995, Harpsichord; de Gambarini: Sonatas I-VI. Hardin: Lessons I-VI
Women Composers for Organ: Music Spanning Five Centuries, Gasparo Records, GSCD-294, 1993 Works by Roberta Bitgood, Amy Beach, Elizabeth Stirling, Edith Borroff, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Marga Richter, Violet Archer, Clara Schumann, Gwyneth Walker, Miss Steemson, Gracia Baptista, Mary Jeanne van Appledorn, Barbara Harbach, Grete von Zieritz
Contemporary Organ: Samuel Adler/Dan Locklair, Gasparo Records, GSCD-277, 1990 Dan Locklair: Rubrics. Agonies & Ecstasies. Samuel Adler: Toccata, Recitation & Postlude. Two Meditations. Reflection. Wind Songs
JS Bach: Art of the Fugue, Gasparo Records, 1990 American Hymn Preludes, Gasparo Records, GSCD-258, 1990 Samuel Adler: Hymnset. When Jesus Wept. Garner Read: Preludes on Old Southern Hymns, op. 90. Six Preludes on Old Southern Hymns, op. 112
While browsing your website I came across a disc devoted to modern-day composers Arnold Rosner and Daneil Pinkham. Is that the only CD you’ve recorded of contemporary harpsichord music? Are there other similar compositions you’d like to record? Concertos, perhaps?
Earlier in my career, I concentrated on commissioning, publishing, and recording 20th-century harpsichord composers and their pieces, such as the following:
Rosner/Pinkham, 20th Century Harpsichord Music, MSR Classics 1443, 2013 Arnold Rosner: Musique de Clavecin, op. 61; Sonatina d’Amour, op. 83. Daniel Pinkham: Partita for Harpsichord
Harpsichord Music, Vol. I, Gasparo Records GSCD-251, 1994 Bohuslav Martinů. Deux pieces pour clavecin, Sonate pour clavecin, Deux impromptus pour clavecin. Virgil Thomson: Four Portraits. Vincent Persichetti: Harpsichord Sonata No. 7, op. 156. William Albright: Four Fancies for Harpsichord. Samuel Adler: Sonata for Harpsichord. Rick Sowash: The Unicorn and Theme with Six Variations. Alec Templeton: Bach Goes to Town (Originally released on Twentieth-Century Harpsichord Music, Kingdom Records, London, UK, 1988)
20th Century Harpsichord Music, Vol. II, Gasparo Records GSCD-266, 1990 Arnold Rosner: Musique de clavecin. Dan Locklair: The Breakers Pound. Vivian Fine: Toccatas and Arias. Barbara Harbach: Spaindango – Caprice for Harpsichord
20th Century Harpsichord Music, Vol. III, Gasparo Records GSCD-280, 1990 Dan Locklair: Fantasy Brings the Day. Samuel Jones: Two Movements for Harpsichord. Arnold Rosner: Sonatine d’Amour. Daniel Pinkham: Partita. Samuel Adler: Bridges to Span Adversity
20th Century Harpsichord Music, Vol. IV, Gasparo Records GSCD-290, 1999 Emma Lou Diemer: Toccata. Michael Alec Rose: B’rachah (Benediction). Gardner Read: Fantasy – Toccata. Edith Borroff: Hyperboles. Mary Jean Van Appledorn: Parquet Musique. Barbara Harbach: Tres Danzas para Clavecin. Vincent Persichetti: Serenade No. 15, op. 161. Robert Stern: Fantasia (ancora?). Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Fantasy. Robert Starer: The Seven Faces of Fernando
Recording and performing contemporary compositions has been a great passion of mine and I would be delighted to record some contemporary concertos and other works. However, I have been spending most of my artistic time writing music, recording the pieces, and loving the whole process and journey.
Towards the end of your conversation with Maria Nockin (Fanfare 45:2) you mentioned plans for “another orchestral CD for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.” How is that going?
I am hoping to go to London mid-summer (pandemic willing) to do my seventh orchestral CD with the London Philharmonic Orchestra with David Angus, conductor. The pieces include Spiritualis for orchestra featuring six African American spirituals, Following the Sacred Sun for orchestra, and Choices and Remembrances for orchestra.
How did the London Philharmonic Orchestra become your orchestra of choice?
It was extremely good luck! Through Richard Price of Candlewood Digital (he produced, edited, and mastered my CDs), I was introduced to Patrick Garvey (London project manager) who introduced me to David Angus (conductor), as well as Mike Hatch with Floating Earth (London sound engineer). Then on this side of the Atlantic, there was Robert LaPorta of MSR Classics (product management) and Tim Schwartz of Onion Productions (package design). As you know, the creation of the music is just a part of the total package in making a CD.
Is there any other music you’re working on or have plans to write that wasn’t mentioned in your previous interview?
I am very fortunate to work with a talented and creative librettist, Linda Rimel. We have done a musical together, The News from Tierra Nueva, and an opera, Look to Love, based on a story by Alexander Pushkin, The Blizzard. We have just started another opera, Pushkin in Baltimore, which has all the opera criteria of great characters who are at times funny, witty, tragic, and poignant, embroiled in a plot centered on a love interest, revenge, murder, and betrayal! I’m also shaping two stories for orchestral storytelling on a successful Chinese woman pirate leader (late 18th century), and a woman who dressed as a man to lead people through the Underground Railroad during the Civil War (19th century).
Has your interest in Native Americans, both outstanding individuals and their experiences as a people, inspired you to write more music since Following the Sacred Sun?
I am researching some interesting topics of the Navajo Nation in northwestern New Mexico, and the Mescalero Apaches in southern New Mexico where I live. Now all I need is some time to explore the stories of the peoples in New Mexico. Often melodies occur to me as I am reading about a character or situation, and the music springs to life through the storytelling.
Have you ever wondered why you compose?
I sometimes wonder how and why my life took the paths that it did. I started out wanting to be a concert pianist, then along came organ and harpsichord; they became my passion. I took theory and analysis throughout my education, but composition was not in the top tier. Then after I got my DMA in performance, I began to write, first for what I knew best, which were choral and organ pieces. Through the years I branched out to sonatas for solo instruments and keyboard, quartets and quintets, string orchestra, musicals, operas, and finally double-wind orchestral pieces that have two players for each instrument in the wind section. Along the way I became very interested in recovering historical women (and underrepresented men) composers who have been neglected and relegated to the back rooms of libraries and collections, overlooked for way too long. So, I recorded their music, published editions of the music, and performed the pieces as often as possible, along with the usual traditional repertoire.
I’ve spoken with you about your Vivace Press previously, and currently, your website has a section devoted to Harbach Music Publications. Are the two connected?
Vivace Press was my company from the early 1990s, and when I moved to New Mexico I changed the name to HMP, Harbach Music Publishing, as I revamped and enlarged the inventory, which is always evolving with new pieces and editions being added.
Another of your journalistic activities involves Women of Note Quarterly, for which you’ve contributed numerous articles.
The Quarterly is focused on historical and contemporary composers and musicians, and while I was at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, it became Women Arts Quarterly Journal. I would use articles in the Journal in my radio show that I did for the university station, and it was fun to interview women and talk about their processes of creativity. Both journals gently retired when I came to New Mexico.
You told Maria that the Women in the Arts program you initiated at the University of Missouri is “going gorgeously!” As a complement to that, I’ve just discovered that you wrote Women in the Arts: Eccentric Essays in 2015. Would you like to say anything about it?
There were two volumes of Women in the Arts: Eccentric Essays. For the first volume I had a co-author, the well-known Medieval musicologist Dr. Diane Touliatos-Miles. She taught me so much about editing a book, and I am grateful. When Cambridge Scholars Publishing were interested in a sequel, I decided to go for it; thus was born Women in the Arts—Eccentric Essays in Music, Visual Arts and Literature Vol. II. Little did I know how much work was involved when doing the editing yourself! The excellent chapters of the book came from the participants at a conference I hosted at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Women in the Arts.
Have you written more silent film scores since we last spoke?
Not yet! I have several silent films that I would like to do including Oceans Waif (1916, approx. 43 minutes), directed by Alice Guy Blaché. Here are some of the silent film scores that I have composed:
Hypocrisy Suite for orchestra 1915 and Hypocrites, for chamber orchestra silent film (Total time 54:29) Director: Lois Weber, and released MSR Classics Orchestra IV 2018
The Birth, Life and Death of Christ 1906 for CHAMBER ENSEMBLE and silent film of the same name. (Total time 36:23) Director: Alice Guy Blaché. Premiered at the St. Louis International Film Festival, St. Louis Art Museum, 2014, and released on MSR Classics 1544 Harbach Chamber Music V
Judith Simon 1915 for chamber ensemble and Hungarian-Jewish silent film, Simon Judit (Total time 26:16) Director: Adolf Merai Premiered at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, UM-St. Louis, November 2006 Renamed Echoes from Tomorrow for chamber ensemble, and released on MSR Classics 1255, Chamber Music II
A House Divided 1913 for chamber ensemble and silent film (Total time 13:47) Director: Alice Guy Blaché Premiered at Webster University, November 2005 Renamed Separately Together for chamber ensemble, and released MSR Classics 1253 Chamber Music I (David Shepard, film preservationist, used my A House Divided music for a TCM [Turner Classic Movies] release, 2015)
How Men Propose 1913 for chamber ensemble and silent film (Total time 4:54) Director: Lois Weber Premiered at Webster University, November 2005 Renamed Caronelet Caprice for chamber ensemble, and released on MSR Classics 1253, Chamber Music I
Making an American Citizen 1912 for chamber ensemble and silent film (Total time 15:37) Director: Alice Guy Blaché Premiered at the St. Louis International Film Festival, Tivoli Theatre, November 2004 Renamed Transformations for string quartet, and released on MSR Classics 1253 Chamber Music I Also released as Transformations for string orchestra MSR 1255 Chamber Music II.
Do you still play the organ for religious services?
My organ shoes decided to retire when we moved to New Mexico, alas.
Since relocating, have you been involved in organizing any festivals or concert series, as you’ve done elsewhere?
We moved to New Mexico right before the pandemic hit, so I have not been able to make much contact with the artistic community. I did a video lecture for the local American Guild of Organists, “Women Composers for the Organ,” and I am looking forward to getting out-and-about, interacting, and collaborating with the musical community and meeting all kinds of creators.