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Monica Houghton: Of Time & Place


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Composer Monica Houghton has a musical and academic resume that is made even more exceptional by her experiences as a true citizen of the world. Her travels around the globe have led her to incorporate non-Western instruments and musical practices into several of her compositions as well as to find inspiration trekking through Peru, or by exploring the remote and desolate areas of the American West. On Chamber Works, her debut on Navona Records, Houghton incorporates these influences along with many others to deliver eight stunning performances showcased in a variety of musical configurations. Chamber Works opens with “Andean Suite,” a four-movement piece, that gleans its inspiration from Houghton’s journey on foot through the mountains of Peru. The sense of freedom exhibited by the opening movement, “With the Condors,” is buoyed by the closing movement, “Dance,” which employs folk music idioms of the Andes to express pure joy. “The Twelve Causes from the Circle of Becoming” reflects the essence of Tibetan Buddhist Wheel of Life paintings. In the spirit of those paintings pianist James Winn delivers an intricate and powerful performance. The Argenta Trio brings the three movements of “Wilderness Portraits: Three Places in Nevada,” capturing Houghton’s quiet sense of awe at the beauty of the natural world. Three of the album’s pieces, “Three Songs without Words,” and “Stay Shadow,” and “Corpo Sonoro,” gather inspiration from poets as disparate in place and time as New Spain’s Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, who worked in the mid-17th century and the Tang Dynasty poet Tu Fu. The four poetic pieces in “Corpo Sonoro” are here performed by pianist Halida Danova, for whom it was composed, and are based on poems by the Brazilian poet Maria Davico. Turning her creative gaze on Beethoven, Houghton composed “Epigram,” performed by the Cleveland Chamber Collective, in response to his last quartet. The album concludes with the floating, mysterious “Sky Signs” which is, the composer says, a fantasy inspired by the fluctuating changes so common in the natural world.
Facts
Item number NV6162
Barcode 896931004626
Release date 6/8/2018
Category Classical Music
Label NAVONA
Media type COMPACT DISC
Number of units 1
Performers
Classical Artist Various Artists
Disc: 1
Andean Suite00:10:00
1 Andean Suite: I. With the Condors (Live) 00:02:21 Atapine, Dmitri Park, Hye-Yeon
2 Andean Suite: II. Lacuna (Live) 00:02:22 Atapine, Dmitri Park, Hye-Yeon
3 Andean Suite: III. White Horse (Live) 00:02:06 Atapine, Dmitri Park, Hye-Yeon
4 Andean Suite: IV. Dance (Live) 00:02:04 Atapine, Dmitri Park, Hye-Yeon
The Twelve Causes from the Circle of Becoming00:08:00
5 The Twelve Causes from the Circle of Becoming 00:07:23 Winn, James
Wilderness Portraits: Three Places in Nevada00:11:00
6 Wilderness Portraits: I. Jarbidge 00:04:27 Argenta Trio
7 Wilderness Portraits: II. Mount Charleston 00:03:26 Argenta Trio
8 Wilderness Portraits: III. High Rock Canyon 00:03:01 Argenta Trio
Stay, Shadow00:07:00
9 Stay, Shadow (Live) 00:07:03 Panoramicos
3 Songs Without Words00:06:00
10 3 Songs Without Words: No. 1, New Moon 00:02:31 Robinson, Mary Kay Better, Don
11 3 Songs Without Words: No. 2, Spring Rain 00:01:06 Robinson, Mary Kay Better, Don
12 3 Songs Without Words: No. 3, Snow Storm 00:01:44 Robinson, Mary Kay Better, Don
Epigram00:07:00
13 Epigram 00:07:22 Cleveland Chamber Collective
Corpo Sonoro00:11:00
14 Corpo Sonoro: I. A Rosa Mal - Temperada 00:02:06 Dinova, Halida
15 Corpo Sonoro: II. A Poesia 00:02:53 Dinova, Halida
16 Corpo Sonoro: III. Quase um Soneto 00:03:01 Dinova, Halida
17 Corpo Sonoro: IV. Dodecafônicamente 00:03:11 Dinova, Halida
Sky Signs00:07:00
18 Sky Signs 00:07:17 Cleveland Duo Umble, James
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