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Hartt’s Robert Carl Has Several Premieres
March was a busy month for Robert Carl, professor of composition and music theory at The Hartt School.
The Greater Bridgeport Symphony premiered White Heron, a piece composed by Carl, on March 17. “GBSO asked to perform a work of mine, and I suggested a new one," Carl said. "Since the call came around January 25, I had to hustle, and in fact I wrote the whole piece in 13 days, and had score and parts finished in about the same amount of time. I completed the whole thing – a nine-and-a-half minute tone poem – in less than a month.”
In addition, an experimental piece by Carl was premiered on March 20 at LaEsquina Gallery in Kansas City, Mo. Carl works with artist Karen McCoy to form the collaborative team, mccoycarl. Sound and Shadow is an installation featuring videos by McCoy, from her Light and Shadow series, accompanied by an original score written by Carl.
McCoy has recorded the often surprising and abstract effects of shadows, animated by such phenomena as wind and the passage of the sun, on various surfaces from locations as varied as Japan, Italy, and Kansas City. Carl created an accompanying soundscape performed by live musicians for a simultaneous projection of several of these videos. Carl’s piece has an open form that guides the performers in their interpretation and response to the visual imagery.
“The result is a sound that is both controlled and improvised,” Carl said. “The visual and sonic elements are autonomous, yet also structured to create a cohesion that will become evident to listeners as they pass through the piece. The audience will be encouraged to move about during the performance in an attempt to achieve a sort of meditational state by walking in participation with the sound and imagery presented by the artists.”
In addition, Carl wrote a flute duo for fellow Hartt faculty member Janet Arms, entitled River’s Bend, which she performed in the 2012 New York Flute Fair. This New York festival is put on by The New York Flute Club, and took place on March 24 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City. Arms was asked to join several other New York flutists to perform in the recital. She performed with her New York City Opera colleague, John McMurtery.