Seegers (April 2017)

Presented at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art on the campus of SUNY New Paltz

There are few American musicians more famous than Pete Seeger. His stepmother, Ruth Crawford Seeger, is less well-known, but her compositions, in a starkly original and modernist vein, are masterpieces of early twentieth century art music. She also, later in her career, oversaw the creation of several important anthologies of American folksong.

This concert grew from the overlapping and diverging strands of Pete and Ruth Crawford’s lives. Pete had no use for the labels and categories into which music is sometimes forced; it was, for him, a means of celebration and communication, a tool in the fight for political and environmental justice, and a way of connecting with even the youngest of children. Ruth Crawford demonstrated even more broadly the ways art and popular music—so often considered separate, even antagonistic, spheres—might blend in the work of a single person. The program presented here aspires to follow their open-minded example: you’ll hear sounds from all across the stylistic spectrum, bound together by the belief that music in any style has the power to unite us all.

Seegers featured world premieres of four original works commissioned by One Quiet Plunge: the compositions Lineage by Nathan Hall and Developing Variations on “Sweet Water Rolling” by Gabriel Lubell, and the video works FlowrPowr by Anneli Goeller and turn! turn! turn! by Gabriel Chalfin-Piney, Emily Glascott, & John Owens.

Complete program notes can be viewed here.

Musicians: Amy Cassiere, oboe; Chris Beroes-Haigis, cello; Joshua Groffman, banjo; Bob Lukomski, live electronics.

Anneli Goeller, FlowrPowr (video)
Gabriel Chalfin-Piney, Emily Glascott, & John Owens, turn! turn! turn! (video
Joseph Bertolozzi, “Towards the Horizon” from Bridge Music
Lukomski/Groffman, Clap Your Hands, no.1
Gabriel LUbell, Developing Variations on “Sweet Water Rolling”
Lukomski/Groffman, Clap Your Hands, no.2
Ruth Crawford Seeger, Diaphonic Suite No. 4
Lukomski/Groffman, Clap Your Hands, no.3
Nathan Hall, Lineage
Lukomski/Groffman, Clap Your Hands, no.4
Bertolozzi, “Landfall” from Bridge Music
Lukomski/Groffman, Clap Your Hands, no.5