West Virginia University’s Chamber Winds will present an unconventional concert filled with mad cows and twisted melodies on Tuesday, April 24.
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Gladys G. Davis Theatre at the Creative Arts Center.
The event is free and open to the public.
Under the direction of Professor of Music John Weigand, the Chamber Winds usually consists of only wind instruments. For this concert, a string quintet is added, as well as two synthesizers.
The highlight of this concert is “Gnarly Buttons” by John Adams (b. 1947), for solo clarinet and small orchestra. Doctoral candidate Amy McCann will join the ensemble as clarinet soloist.
While traditionally defined as “knotty” or “twisted,” an American definition of gnarly emerged in the 1990’s as something “awesome,” “neat” or “fresh.” The buttons relate to our lives at the end of the 20th century as being largely given over to pressing one another’s buttons.
The three pieces that make up “Gnarly Buttons” carry that similar characteristic of being twisted in one way or another.
“The Perilous Shore,” a Protestant hymn from the 19th century, is twisted and embellished from the start, appearing first in monody and eventually providing both micro and macro material for the ensuing musical structures.
A traditional hoedown is looked at from the much different perspective of a cow in the piece “Hoe Down (Mad Cow).” It was originally written for British friends of the composer Adams, who gave the first performance during a time of quarantine.
The final part is “Put Your Loving Arms Around Me,” a simple song that is quiet and tender up front, yet gnarled and crabbed at the end.
For more information on the event, contact the College of Creative Arts at 304-293-4359.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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