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New CD Release!

Tribute:The Chamber Music of Normand Lockwood

A chance encounter with an Organ prelude one day created a curiosity that led to a major project.  I had heard of Normand Lockwood and his music previously, but that’s about it.  Playing his music that day started something that just continued to grow.  After a relative of mine who is very interested in genealogy informed me that she couldn’t prove that we were related, it didn’t really seem to matter.  I was hooked!

I’ve chosen music for this CD that I felt expressed so much of what Normand Lockwood thought, what kind of musician he was, and even what kind of man he was.  To say his tastes were eclectic is putting it mildly.  He was raised in a very worldly family.  His mother and father both had strong European ties, and came from musical families that spent many years on the continent.

The ten songs sung by soprano Ursula Kleineke-Boyer date from his teenage European years with “This Morn thy Gallant Bark” with poetry by Mary Shelley (1925), to “For Instance” (1998).  The accompaniment styles are wide-ranging, as are the moods, with the deeply serious and romantic “Gallant” to the sarcasm of “He Who Remains Cheerful”, to the almost minimalist “She Dwelt Among Untrodden Ways, and “For Instance”.  A challenging and rewarding set beautifully sung by Ursula.

The “Sonata in Two Movements and Coda for Flute and Piano” (1969), with Laura Osborn playing flute, includes the entire kitchen sink of techniques in use by composers in the mid-twentieth century lexicon including polyrhythms, sound “pictures”-(1st move), serialism, and a very linear approach to atonality in the tone row motive that inspires the 2nd movement.  The almost sonata-allegro form of the 2nd movement keeps the feeling of the piece very grounded in spite of all the textural and tempo changes.  The ethereal Adagio at the end serves to remind us of the timeless but yet deeply felt experience of music itself; more of a comment on the previous material then a remembrance of it.

I also have 4 pieces of my own on this album.  I picked pieces that I felt were in a way part of the experience that Normand Lockwood’s music gave us.  There were plenty of similarities.  He loved poetry and working with the voice.  My composition Yuki-Yuki contains Marilia’s striking vocal techniques expressing the poetry of her gifted husband, Gozo Yoshimasu through my electronic-multi keyboard twists and turns.  My “L.A. Suite for Flute Octet” certainly contains some of those mid-20th century techniques for instrumental writing that N.L’s generation gave us. My “Premonition 2” is from a dance commission from El Camino College in 1998.  I’ve long been interested in sacred choral music just as he was.  The text here is the Agnus Dei heard in so much Christian sacred music and especially in the Catholic mass that Normand was so moved by.

We are looking forward to recording this music in the Spring of this year, and I will keep you informed about the progress of this exciting project.  I wish to thank the people at the American Composers Alliance and the archive library for Normand Lockwood’s music at the Univ. of Colorado-Boulder and specifically Eric Harbeson  for their kind and generous assistance.  Also many thanks to Kay Norton who has written a splendid biography of Normand Lockwood and his music which has been of great value in learning so much more about this man and his music.