CONCERT II — Night of the Living Composers

Saturday, 7:30pm February 8, 2020

Samper Recital Hall
Cabrillo College
6500 Soquel Drive
Aptos, CA

Lori Rivera, mezzo-soprano
Sarah Cahill, piano
Giacomo Fiore, guitar
James Pytko, clarinet
NMW Ensemble, Philip Collins, conductor

Night of the Living Composers is our annual showcase of chamber music and song by not-yet-departed individuals.  Local bias notwithstanding, this season’s NLC is bi-coastal, with equal doses of Eastern and Western coasts of the U.S.

Christian Wolff, I like to think of Harriet Tubman (1985)
speaker, violin, harp, double bass

Text: Susan Griffin; Harriet Tubman (1821-1913)

Scott Stobbe (2019)
clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, guitar (world premiere) commissioned by NewMusicWorks

James Pytko, Spiral
by Carleton Macy, for bass clarinet, vibes, marimba and piano.

Philip Collins, Pleasant Dreaming (2006/2019) (world premiere), Circadian Melodies
piano solo

David Behrman, Mills Open Space (2019)
flute, piano, harp, violin, cello, double bass, percussion

Paul Simon, Can’t Run But (1990)
flute/piccolo; trumpet; violin; viola; violoncello

Paul Simon, Renè & Georgette Magritte with their dog after the war (1983)
flute; trumpet; electric guitar; violin; viola; violoncello

Carleton Macy, SPIRAL (1986) piano, marimba, vibraphone

World premieres by Santa Cruzans Philip Collins and Scott Stobbe highlight the local angle of our concert. Scott Stobbe– a native Santa Cruzan, relocated to New Orleans – brings a new quintet, Circadian Melodies (commissioned by NMW). The work’s title alludes to the natural circadianbio-cycles of living organisms.

Sarah Cahill makes a cameo appearance to premiere a newly shaped version of Philip Collins’ 2006 piano solo, Pleasant Dreaming.

Also on February 8, the music of recently relocated Monterey native, Carleton Macy will be featured for the first time on a NMW concert. And it won’t likely be the last. During his 32 years of teaching at Macalester College in Minnesota, Carleton created a substantive and fascinating oeuvre of chamber music. His SPIRAL is especially convincing; guaranteed to enthrall!

Paul Simon is among the most celebrated living composers of our time. But since he is associated with popular music, his serious collaborations with ethnic and stylistic diversities are often overlooked.  Contemporary chamber music concerts would not be the first place one would expect to encounter Paul Simon’s music.


Two songs from Paul Simon’s 2018 album,  “In The Blue Light”— Can’t Run But and René and Georgette Magritte with their dog after the War— will be sung by Lori Rivera, to the accompaniment of NMW Ensemble performing  instrumentations inspired by Bryce Dessner’s and Robert Sirota’s artful arrangements on “In the Blue Light.”

David Behrman! Another new name to our “Living Composer” roster. He is a celebrated composer and artist of diversely innovative accomplishments. His sound and multimedia installations have been realized around the planet and his collaborations with John Cage, David Tudor and so many others, opened ways of integrating sound, image and environs anew.

Behrman’s Mills Open Space is as alluring as it is unpredictable.

I Like to Think of Harriet Tubman, by Christian Wolff is a jaunty adaptation of Susan Griffin’s poem, Harriet Tubman. It is set for voice and a trio of undesignated instruments. Lori Rivera will orate – as only she can!

And after all, what would African American History Month be like without a salute to Harriet Tubman?