Robert Honstein's work Soul House serves as a point of departure for this program delving into memory, reflection, and nostalgia.
The program begins with Anna Clyne's 1987, a reflective work for quartet and tape in which the tape's source material is "a melody and winding sounds from a music box that my [Clyne's] father gave my mother in their early days of courting, and the sounds of the carousel and pebbles at Brighton Beach in the South of England—a place of fond memories."
Following the Clyne, is Angelica Negrón's Dust, written to commemorate the Biennial of the Americas in 2015. The work ruminates on "the moment right after the disaster. There’s a deep sense of sorrow and desolation but also an inexplicable tranquility and a slight sense of hope."
Judd Greenstein's at the end of a really great day is a groove-work celebrating the life of the composer's friend Emily whose life ended abruptly after a tragic accident. Greenstein writes Emily passed, "the way you’d expect her to, 'at the end of a really great day.' It was true for the day itself and for her life, and is an inspiring thought to me about how I would like to live all my days, and how it becomes possible to live with the unavoidable tragedies that life presents."
The second half of the program is Robert Honstein's 35 minute work Soul House. Of the piece, Honstein writes "In the ancient world a ‘Soul House’ was a model home buried with the dead. Intended as a vessel for the soul to inhabit in the afterlife, often stocked with clay food, tiny furniture, and even small servant figurines, these otherworldly structures provided sustenance and comfort, a connection to loved ones, and a spiritual home as the soul moved beyond the material world. While writing Soul House I thought about these ancient funerary objects and began to think of my own childhood home as a Soul House. Not for my soul, but rather for memories of family and childhood. Walking through the house now, it’s impossible not to feel decades of memory infusing the house itself, seeping into the walls and floorboards, the air and soil. It is a constant reminder of all that life and living we shared. With that feeling in mind, I wrote this piece: a love letter to the house I grew up in. "
Works on Soul House
Anna Clyne, 1987 (2008)
Angelica Negrón, Dust (2015)
Judd Greenstein, at the end of a really great day (2008)
Robert Hontein, Soul House (2017)