COMPOSER: Stephen Downing
for solo cello, three percussion, and fixed media
Duration: 8 minutes
This week in a while back was written for Kenneth Stewart, Brooks Frederickson, and Eric Chang. The piece is in three parts and consists of cycles, layers, and grooves that enter, exit, and overlap.
PERFORMANCE: Duke New Music Ensemble [dnme] on April 14, 2019 at Duke University in Durham, NC
Created & Composed by Thomas F. DeFrantz and Kenneth Stewart Programming and Composition by Kenneth Stewart
The sonic component for this work is generated through the Kinect Camera, a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 gaming console. The Kinect allows 3D motion capture capabilities via
an infrared camera, an RGB camera and a depth sensor. In this project, Stewart’s sound design in the program MAX/MSP is applied to the Kinect’s data to track the gestures of the performer to create and manipulate sounds in response to the real-time physical gestures.
Recorded at BreakAlive Studios - Durham, NC - February 3rd, 2020 as part of the string section for Al Strong's "Lift Every Voice and Sing" - Mastered by Dave Darlington - Two Bass Hit Studios NY, NY
Al Strong - Executive Producer/Arranger, Trumpet
Jeremy "Bean" Clemons - Producer/Mixing
Violins - Trev Wignall, Autumn Brand
Viola - Matthew Brant
Cello - Kenneth Stewart
Piano - Charles "Chuckey" Robinson
Saxophone - Bluford Thompson
Bass - Kevin Beardsley
Guitar - Hugh Swasso
The footage selected is of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens from 1937. What moved me about this footage is how striking the color of the flowers appears as captured by the Kodachrome film. It is interesting how this footage from 1937 is just two years after Kodak made this kind of film commercially available - in fact, the famous color scenes in the Wizard of Oz were shot with this same film.
My mother, a former professional horticulturalist, instilled in me a love of plants and flowers at a young age. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my mother and I outside planting flowers and vegetables in our family garden. This piece is dedicated to her.
The piece is a 12-Tone version of the bugle call, Taps for Cello Solo. The work is lamentation for a nation torn with a romantic modern expression. The piece is intended as a protest piece for the war in Afghanistan in 2003.
Fallen Soldier, as heard on PRI's From the Top Ep. 96 - Kenneth Stewart was the show's first Young Composer honoree.