May 13, 2009
top ten “pop” albums (mine anyway)
in no particular order- these are my top ten turn-to albums of the past few years. I know there is a fairly wide (and biased) mix here, but enjoy! The hyperlinks take you to the album’s lala.com page where you can listen for free. Also, if you tweet: twitter.com/hallmancomposer
regina spektor: begin to hope
joanna newsom: Ys
dixie chicks: taking the long way
dixie chicks: home
brazilian girls: new york city
sigur ros: agaetis byrjun
thom yorke: the eraser
Missy elliott: under construction
My “Home” Variations has been published/distributed by the double reed specialty company, Fish Creek Music. Fish Creek was founded by the inimitable Julie Ann Giocabassi, former English Horner for the San Fran Symphony. She commissioned and performed a myriad new works, including Arron Jay Kernis’ fantastic English Horn Concerto. You can read more about her here. “Home” Variations was commissioned for and premieres by New York Phil’s iconic Tom Stacy. more info on him here. “Home” Variations is based on Dvorak’s New World Symphony English Horn solo from the second movement and is for E. Hn and pno. You can pick up a copy and hear clips here. (This piece would also work pretty well on vla, clo, etc.- so if you feel like transcribing- have at! )
April 29, 2009
April 17, 2009
October 19, 2008
Lois and I just worked together on a new piccolo sonata that she premiere in September 08. It is a fun, perky, joyful, but smart piece. She played it with Charlie Abramovich, piano (head of keyboard studies at Temple University and an accomplished composer and a celebrity accompanist)
Why the piccolo? How do you find so much potential in the smallest instrument of the orchestra?
The piccolo has great range – it can cut across a symphonic orchestra in the high register and the low register can resemble a simple wooden pipe. I like getting a rich tone from the instrument and frequently play it both expressively and sweetly, which aren’t the sounds one expects from the instrument.
When I was in eighth grade I performed a nineteenth century art song, one of literally a thousand older works written for piccolo solo at the turn-of-the-century. The audience’s response was amazing and from that early experience I decided that I wanted to become a piccoloist. Just being noticed by my teachers was a feat for a shy kid. An English teacher offered to accompany me and my shop teacher’s very fidgety son froze in his seat, dropped his jaw and didn’t move throughout the performance. My family started referring to me as the “pied piper”.
I learned from my teachers that the piccolo had the potential to have a Renaissance as a solo instrument. In college I studied with the great piccoloist John Krell of the Philadelphia Orchestra and later with his predecessor in the orchestra, Kazuo Tokito. The first commissioner of solo works for piccolo, Laurence Trott gave a full week masterclass on his discoveries, the most intriguing of which he had me perform- piccolo with prepared piano and color slides. The heart-wrenching photos of oil covered birds accompanied by the wailing piccolo had audience members crying.
Lois, how did you find Joe’s music?
At first I found the piccolo sonata straightforward to read. Its character is both witty and light. The more I played it the more I discovered within. It contains subtle surprises. Once you think you know where it’s heading the music takes a turn and you’re headed a different direction. I find it simple and complex at the same time.
You have premiered and commissioned tons of works for piccolo… how do you feel this new Sonata will fit in this canon you are creating?
I think it’s a great fit. I have not been disappointed with any of the works. I suppose one could argue that they all fit the genre of “Neo-classic”, but I find that each has a very different feel from the other. Joe’s work is unabashedly major and fun, both for the audience and for me!
Can you describe the process of collaboration? Did you find working with Joe any different than previous composers?
I’d describe it as two people that don’t know each other focused as one on their artistic creation. I don’t think working with any two composers has been a similar experience. Some are precise with every detail, some are only interested with the overall feel of the piece, some are happy with anything I want to try, some want me to try out different techniques for their effectiveness – most work within the broad area of the middle ground. I found Joe easy to work with. He produces the composition quickly and is not demanding.
Do you think you’ll work with Joe again? What’s next? more sonatas, chamber music, concerti??
I like the idea of a chamber work with piccolo and I’m indeed hoping to work with Joe again!
Do you have any concerts coming up (after September 26th’s “Bliss and Friends” concert in Glenside- where LH will premiere the Sonata for Piccolo and Piano):
We have another performance of the sonata coming up at Andrea Clearfield’s Salon on November 30. Email Andrea at email@example.com for details.
September 19, 2008
September 9, 2008
Congrats to all the composers (including myself) who were selected for this great concert with Pascal Gallois, the uber-bassoonist. The concert is on Halloween night, October 31.. Info below. My piece was written for my dear friend Nicole Raimo- to play for her two daughters. It is entitled “Tres Fabulitas” or Three Fairytales. Hope to see you there! and make sure to say Hello!
Pascal Gallois Composition Call Winners
The American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter is pleased to announce the winners of the Pascal Gallois bassoon composition call! Pascal Gallois has selected the following composers and compositions for the recital concert on October 31st:
- Julia Alford-Fowler: Trio
- David Carpenter: Three Myths
- Paul Epstein: Prime Times 2
- Joseph Hallman: Tres Fabulitas
- Chuck Holdeman: Adage Fevrier
- Heidi Jacob: Quodlibet
- Emiliano Pardo-Tristan: e-m@trix
- Melissa Pausina: Beyond the Veil
- Geoffrey Peterson: Homage to Donald Erb
The winning composers will be contacted about rehearsals. This recital concert will take place on October 31st at 7:30pm in Rock Hall Auditorium on the campus of Temple University (corner of Broad Street and Cecil B Moore Avenue).
Free tickets to all three Pascal Gallois events may be obtained through the ACF Philadelphia website: www.newmusicphiladelphia.com
For more information on the Pascal Gallois events at Temple University on October 30th and 31st, please visit the ACF Philadelphia website: www.newmusicphiladelphia.com
These events are made possible by:
The Philadelphia Music Project, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts