Audio

 
 

and when they opened the cage door she- by Lucas Ranieri (@lucas_ranieri_music) commissioned for En Root in 2018

I. Generational Particle (0:00)
II. Cloud Pillar and Chariot (1:08)
III. Rusty Fife-Trinket Box (1:54)
IV. A Trinity of Voices, Raptureless (3:20)
V. Voice of the Eternal Mother at the Burning Sea (4:54)

Brian Dunbar, flute/piccolo
Kristina Teuschler, clarinet
Emma Terrell, percussion
Alan Snow, violin
Gabrielle Skinner, viola
Kamyron Williams, cello
Lucas Ty Ranieri, electronics

"and when they opened the cage door she-" by Lucas Ranieri was composed several months following Hurricane Maria’s landfall in Puerto Rico from which a problematic dialogue concerning America’s relationship to the island ensued. With En Root’s aim for inclusivity and representation of all heritages in mind as a truly American boy, Ranieri aimed to connect with his Puerto Rican heritage and history despite a tangible physical and emotional distance for the island, its people and family he has never met. And when they opened the cage door she- intertwines religious imagery, American musical tropes and pieces with obscured Puerto Rican musical elements to represent different compartments of Ranieri’s identity/heritage seeking to integrate with one another. In the end, it is not the music but rather the words from women, mothers, mothers of mothers and family’s made-up stories that bring you closest to a sense of oneness and the understanding of your own history.”

(From Lucas Ranieri’s professional Soundcloud)

The Real Discover of America by Sebastian Garzon (www.sebastiangarzon.com/) commissioned for En Root in 2018

Brian Dunbar, flute
Kristina Teuschler, clarinet
Emma Terrell, percussion
Alan Snow, violin
Gabrielle Skinner, viola
Kamyron Williams, cello

This piece was inspired by what Garzon thought what happened when The Americas were discovered. It starts with what the Spanish conquistadors thought what The Americas would be and what it had to offer for them. This is then contrasted with how the natives think how someone could possibly be “discovered” if they were already living there. Both sides are unsure as to what is to come. The second movement begins when the conquistadors land and are greeted by the natives; however, the welcome is not reciprocated. The sound of pain ensues to personify the destruction of the natives and their culture. The piece then ends with a sad afterthought of what the world has lost from the destruction we cannot take back. 

Vera by Hannah Kendall (hannahkendall.co.uk/)

Kristina Teuschler, clarinet
Alan Snow, violin
Gabrielle Skinner, viola
Kamyron Williams, cello

The melodic and harmonic material in this piece was generated through a 12-tone row. In the first instance, the ‘white notes’ (as on the piano) were removed from the series in order and the opening playful section is based on these notes only. These pitches, but in retrograde, also form the basis of the clarinet line when it first enters.

The remaining notes of the prime row are introduced for the first time in the following ‘still’ section and as these pitches inflect the harmony in-turn, a much heavier and darker effect is created. Each instrument is then given a solo before coming back together for a calmer replay of the opening.

(From Hannah Kendall’s professional Soundcloud)

Griot Legacies by Trevor Weston (www.trevorweston.com/
I. Run to Jesus (0:00)
II. Lord, How Come Me Here (4:49)
III. There is a Balm (8:41)
IV. I Got Shoes (12:02)

Kristina Treuschler, clarinet
Alan Snow, violin
Gabrielle Skinner, viola
Kamyron Williams, cello

Griots are West African performers who preserve and communicate the history of their community through songs. Africans brought to America during the Atlantic Slave trade continued to communicate and share their experiences through song.  Starting in the 19th Century, Spirituals emerged as a uniquely American Musical genre as Africans, converted to Christianity, created songs that commented on their experiences through Christian stories and doctrine.

Griot Legacies celebrates the diversity and power of African American Spirituals.

The First movement emanates from a 1960 recording of an 84 year-old man singing “Run to Jesus for Refuge, ” a piece he undoubtedly learned from people born into slavery. The Second movement, “Lord, How Come Me Here,” is an example of a spiritual that explores the existential questions sometimes found in spirituals. This piece fundamentally asks the question, “Why?” Many spirituals were created to console and support individuals as the Third movement demonstrates. “There is a Balm” imagines a better existence where the problems of the second movement are healed. The last movement celebrates the defiant nature of some spirituals.  The sometimes-humorous verses of “I Got Shoes” flaunt the ownership of robes, shoes, etc., as a demonstration of individual agency during a period when ownership was denied to many African Americans. Triumph over adversity is a common theme in the American Dream and fundamental to aspirational nature of African American Spiritual.

(from Trevor Weston’s composer website)