Schubring: Spring Wandering
"I wrote this piece in Ann Arbor, Michigan during the winter of ‘17-18, which happened to be a particularly long and indecisive one. There were days when the father was suddenly beautiful and warm, only to yield snow again the next day. I was inspired by the idea that spring seemed to be taking its time to arrive, but once it finally did, I loved to go for long walks outdoors. Spring Wandering is an invitation to experience the joy of taking one’s time and embracing unpredictability."
- Karalyn Schubring
Commissioned by Parker Nelson
Performed by Parker Nelson, Daneille Gonzalez (dgonzalezpercussion.com), and Karalyn Schubring (karalynschubring.com)
"Ever since I was a child, I've always been fascinated by roundabouts: circular traffic intersections where cars are required to move in one direction, and cars outside the roundabout must yield to those inside. From an urban planning perspective, roundabouts are a significantly more safe and efficient type of intersection when compared to traffic lights or stop signs. But for me, the best feature of roundabouts - much to the annoyance of any passengers or other drivers on the road - is anyone's ability to go around and around and around the roundabout without end. There's a beautiful and haunting feeling of movement but also of stasis as you see the car's gasoline meter reads lower and lower and you feel your body perpetually pushed towards one side of the car, even though you're not going anywhere at all.
From a sociopolitical standpoint, anyone would say that 2020 has been an intense year. From the worldwide coronavirus pandemic to a renewed racial awakening in America to ever-stronger natural disasters fueled by the onset of global warming, each day we wake up to another intense news cycle and another tragic story. Yet to paraphrase a sentiment I've heard from so many friends and family members, it feels like we're all trapped in some sort of vicious 'Groundhog Day': time passes, the tide turns, the sun rises and sets: but there is no change, there is no progress, and we are dealing with the same issues of ignorance and partisanship and hatred that we have been for tens, dozens, even hundreds of years. It's like we're all trapped in one giant, endless, manic roundabout: we're stuck in this stasis and we can't go anywhere despite all of the dizzying G-Forces and our fuel slowly drying up.
When Parker Nelson asked me to write an upbeat and 'pop-y' piece for horn solo and loop pedal, I never thought the work that I'd write would be so charged with meaning. But the whole piece, built off of fragments of material presented by the horn before the loop pedal begins, seems to almost programmatically echo the sentiments above. Sure, it's upbeat, and yes, it's 'pop-y', but by the end of the piece it grows into a dark, menacing, manic, and despairing looming mass as the loop pedal's cycle - perhaps symbolizing all of the vicious cycles we are caught in these days - builds and builds until all that is left is one voice crying out."
- Benjamin Beckman
Premiered as a part of the 53rd International Horn Symposium on August 13, 2021.
Commissioned, Premiered, and Performed by Parker Nelson.
Likhuta: Special Someone
Catherine Likhuta (b. 1981) is an Australian-based composer, pianist and recording artist.
Special Someone was a piece commissioned by Liz Deitemyer for Parker for Christmas 2019. The piece is actually intended to be modular and versions for horn/bassoon, horn/horn, horn/bass are also being created by the composer.
Premiered as a part of the Fresh Inc Festival on June 18, 2020.
Performed by Parker Nelson and Eric Heidbreder (www.ericheidbreder.com)
Shilkloper: New Jerusalem Way
Arkady Shilkloper (born October 17, 1956) is a Russian multi-instrumentalist (horn, alphorn, flugelhorn, vogelhorn, ELEPHANT-Horn, corno da caccia, corno pastoriccio, didgeridoo) and composer.
After meeting Arkady at the International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles, I began to study some of the technology required to perform these pieces live. Using a combination of multi-effect pedals, looping pedals, and prerecorded samples controlled with a MIDI pad, this performance of New Jerusalem Way is a piece transcribed by Parker Nelson from Arkady's album, Hornology. Despite this being a video, everything heard in this piece is built and manipulated live by me in real time. Plus, its a ton of fun!
Music video from Fifth House Ensemble's trip to Tuva in the summer of 2018 to work with world-renowned throat singing ensemble, Alash. Shot on the shores of Lake Chaghatai, the location that inspired the song.
Chaghatai is the name of a lake in the Tangdy district in central Tuva named after Genghis-Khan's hot-headed second son. The song features the beautiful murgu flute, an overtone flute with no holes made from the angelica plant. The phrase sülde-le bo has no direct equivalent in English. The word sülde has religious, divine, holy, spiritual, and even political implications, and in Mongolian means 'spirit banner,' a banner of horse-tail meant to contain the spirit of its owner. The translation provided here is meant to be taken more as a paraphrase.
My Chaghatai waves and waves
As it settles into its hollow.
A beautiful girl, smiling and flirting,
Enters her cabin.
Brothers and sisters wait for me,
I'm hunting the animals of Chaghatai.
Brothers and sisters wait for me,
I'm digging the roots of Chaghatai.
My Chaghatai is the princess of the Tangdy peaks
Where the countless fishes splash and play.
O my bountiful Chaghatai
Recorded at Shure World Headquarters just outside of Chicago, Fifth House Ensemble joins bluegrass legends, Henhouse Prowlers, for some cross-genre fun!