Recording project: that’s a wrap

Yesterday was the fourth, and final, recording day with Christian Amonson of Arts Laureate at the helm of the recording booth. We recorded Doug Hedwig’s beautiful three-movement work New Worlds for soprano, trumpet and piano. My CSU colleagues, Tiffany Blake (soprano) and Tim Burns (piano) collaborated on this new piece. In fact, all five works that I recorded over this week were newly-commissioned chamber pieces that feature the trumpet.

New Worlds was finished in April of this year, and is based on three poems that were compelling to Doug to set to music. The first poem, Annus Mirabilis, is by John Dryden (written in 1666), and Doug called this movement “Lunar Neighbors.” The second poem, written in 1744, is by John Armstrong, and is called The Art of Preserving Health. This movement is called “In Their Turns to Rise” which is the last line of that poem. The last movement, “Our Moon,” is based on the eponymous poem by Peter Elias, a 20th-century poet.

It was great to record this piece, featuring the wonderful singing of Tiffany, after all the more trumpet-centric compositions earlier. Here are some photos of yesterday’s session:

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Third day of recording

On the third day of recording, there was only one piece on the docket: James David’s Moonwatcher. A colleague, Jim is the composition professor at CSU. He has written many interesting things for trombone and band and many other genres. For instance, here is his Bright Window with Joseph Alessi on trombone:

But Moonwatcher is his first solo piece for trumpet. It’s a three-movement work for trumpet and piano–much like a sonata.  Each movement is inspired by a moon-related mythological being from different cultures. This summer, he has also written a piece for trumpet and electronics called Sketches in Red Clay, commissioned for the Next Generation Trumpet Competition.

Bryan and me

I had set aside the whole day, yesterday, for recording this 14-minute piece, because there are some technical and musical details that require attention, plus the second movement calls for delicate and virtuosic flugelhorn playing. The pianist for Moonwatcher was my CSU colleague, piano professor Bryan Wallick, who was fantastic to collaborate with on this piece. Also, Bryan is a very calm and reassuring personality that really helped make the recording day go smoothly, in spite of a lot of retakes for trumpet technique or soft entrances.

Christian Amonson, founder and owner of Arts Laureate

Once again Christian Amonson, our recording engineer (and the owner of Arts Laureate), was fantastic not only with his recording abilities but also with his ability to hear what we were doing and urge us on to really great sounding takes.

Here are some more photos from Tuesday’s recording of Kevin Poelking’s Cassini (working with CSU percussion professor, Eric Hollenbeck and CSU piano senior instructor, Tim Burns) and a few of yesterday’s work on Moonwatcher.

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