Sunday, October 28, 2007

Concession to Halloween

One of the scariest things you can do as singer is to sing a work that is filled to the brim with dissonant chords. I just finished singing a brand new work by Judith Lang Zaimont called "Rememberance" (four movements - about 23 minutes) with my colleagues in the Portland Symphonic Choir, and the Zaimont piece was one of the most nerve-wracking things that I've ever done. It ranks with a performance of Stravinsky's "Les Noches" that I did with the PSC some 14 years ago. "Rememberance" was extremely difficult because the choir constantly had to find pitches that were cast in very odd relationships to the notes that led up to the notes that we were asked to sing. It's one thing to play an instrument (like the piano) and just play the notes, but as a singer, you have to find the notes inside of you. Zaimont's "Rememberance" was filled with clashing sounds that challenged our abilities to the max. But we made it, and we survived. Whew!

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