11 March 2013

Elizabeth's Concert to be Webcast

We wanted to let you all know about an upcoming concert where Elizabeth will be performing the world premiere of a piece written by her sister, Kathryn Smith Derksen.  The concert will be streamed live through the PLU Music Department, so you all can watch it live this coming Saturday, March 16, 2013, 8:00 pm (Seattle time):  http://www.plu.edu/soac/events/webcast/home.php  

The concert opens with Elizabeth playing solo guitar, with Kathryn's piece on at about 8:10.  This will be followed by guitar duets by Elizabeth and Stephen Howland, an intermission and then a jazz combo group featuring Stephen Howland (guitar) and guest jazz performers Courtney Fortune (vocals) and Nate Omdal (bass).

These are Kathryn's notes about the piece:  "Odyssée Tchadienne: Rues de la Prière, Chadian Odyssey : Streets of Prayer, is a reflection on the variety of music I heard in my several years living in Chad.  The southern region of this isolated country is balanced between the Muslim - Arabic speaking cultures, and the Christian communities speaking French and local languages.  Over time, music has become a mélange of sounds, a co-mingling of alien and local.  Colonial church music was squeezed into pentatonic position, with blocks of chords moving in parallel fourths.  Single-line melismatic passages from North Africa call the faithful to prayer, but are also heard in market music.  I was haunted by these two sounds: dissonant pentatonic harmonies and decorated single-line melodies that never mixed, especially when juxtaposed with the absence of our western scale and temperament.  In this piece I have tried to re-create a walk through the town.  We first hear an Azan, a simple call to prayer at a nearby mosque, followed by more complex calls that repeat throughout the piece.  The musical stroll travels to the church, where I borrowed the tunes Tien ma main and Quel Bonheur.   Marketplace stereos play middle-eastern music of the oud, and the dance sounds of a Lebanese orchestra.  The walk continues past a guitar jam-session, and a youth music rehearsal, including the vernacular song Jesu I bo.  The final section is reminiscent of a marimba band, followed by the evening call to prayer."