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Sojourn

Sojourn

Stephan Prock

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SOJOURN 
Stephan Prock 

Boston-based composer Stephan Prock offers a rich musical reflection of his time in Aotearoa with SOJOURN. Stephan is a film music scholar and freelance composer of contemporary music for soloists, chamber ensembles, orchestra, and film. Based in Boston, USA, Stephan's music is widely performed in the U.S. and abroad.

 
 

Produced by Dave Lisik at the NZ School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington
Recorded by Dave Lisik with assistace from Thomas Voyce, Jack Hooker, and Roy Carr
Edited and mixed by Dave Lisik and Stephan Prock
Mastered by Steve Garden
Design by UnkleFranc

 
 

RAT-D076 (December, 2017)

 

 

album

 
 

SOJOURN 
 

Shakespeare Bitters
Lisa Harper-Brown (soprano)
Mark Dorrell (piano)

 

01  i. Full Fathom Five  (2:41)
02  ii. Come Away Death  (3:27)
03  iii. Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind  (2:10)

 
 
 
 

04  Baci sul vento (Kiss on the Wind)  (7:22)
Roberto Fabbriciani (flute)

 
 
 
 

Cages for the Wind
Margaret Medlyn (mezzo soprano)
Jian Liu (piano)

 

05  x. Words and Roses  (6:39)
06  xi. Warning to Children  (4:48)
07  xii. Gift of Dreams  (3:01)
08  xiii. Whitey   (6:08)
09  xiv. Roots  (4:32)

 
 
 
 

Stradivariazioni
Martin Riseley (violin)
Diedre Irons (piano)

 

10  Tema "Stradivari", con amici  (1:01)
11  i. Le Rossignol: Andante notturno  (3:48)
12  ii. Firebird: Allegro Scherzando   (4:39)
13  iii. Le Messie: Adagio n  (2:14)
14  iv. Red Diamond: Vivo   (2:03)
15  v. Alard: L'istesso tempo  (2:22)

 
 

      Total playing time: 57:20

 
 

liner notes

 
 

Stephan Prock on SOJOURN

 

My New Zealand sojourn began in 2006 when I moved from the United States to Wellington to take up the post of Senior Lecturer in Composition at the newly formed New Zealand School of Music (NZSM). With that, I embarked on an artistic and technical voyage of exploration that transformed my compositional outlook and procedure. First and foremost, my immersion in the adventurous and idiosyncratic musical culture of Aotearoa activated a radical evolution in my musical style and perspective, which was inspired by the vibrant musical environment of the NZSM. The School’s world-class performers, in particular, were not only talented, but generously opened up a variety of collaborative opportunities for me. These collaborations formed the basis of my New Zealand sojourn, and greatly informed my subsequent musical development. .

The first piece I wrote specifically for NZ performers was for violinist Martin Riseley and pianist Diedre Irons, a collaboration that afforded the opportunity to put into practice a new musical technique I had been developing based on various forms of symmetry. Just as important, though, their formidable musicianship inspired the virtuosic tour de force that Stradivariazioni would eventually become, transforming my writing for both instruments.

As a vocalist myself, I have always been drawn to writing for the voice, and in that regard I was extremely fortunate to receive a commission from philanthropist Jack C. Richards to write a piece for internationally acclaimed soprano, Margaret Medlyn. Many composers never get the chance to work with a vocalist of such talent and finesse; I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her and the astonishingly versatile pianist Jian Liu to craft the performance on this recording. Baci sul vento was a commission for Italian flutist Roberto Fabbriciani, and it was a great privilege to work with one of the champions of new music for the flute, and to extend my compositional voice in the context of breath. .

The most recent piece on the album, Shakespeare Bitters, emerged from a casual conversation with soprano Lisa Harper–Brown at a New Year’s Eve party. Four days later, I had completed the cycle of three songs that came to be called Shakespeare Bitters. In many ways, this piece is a culmination of the compositional technique that I had been developing and perfecting across these collaborations—a key reason that I was able to write the cycle so quickly. In the end, Lisa’s voice, with its dramatic flair, rich timbre and her velvety legato was perfectly suited to bring the diverse characters of the different songs to life.

Although my New Zealand sojourn ended in 2015 when I moved to Boston, the reverberations of all that I experienced there continue to shape my musical spirit. In that light, I am tremendously grateful to Rattle Records for the opportunity to present this snapshot of my artistic journey in Aotearoa.

 

Stephan Prock, November 2017

 

 

bio

 
 

Stephan Prock

 

 

Stephan Prock received his doctorate from Cornell University where he studied composition with Pulitzer Prize winning composers Karel Husa and Steven Stucky, and with Tristan Murail at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau. He has taught at the University of Virginia, The University of Richmond and the College of William and Mary, and from 2006 to 2015 was Senior Lecturer in Composition and Music Studies at the New Zealand School of Music. He is now an Affiliate Associate Professor at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

For more info, visit Stephan's website here

 

 

 


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