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Acclaimed violinist performs Hunter students’ compositions

The compositions of Hunter music students were performed by a critically acclaimed violinist in Lang Recital Hall last week, giving them a chance to hear their work as it was meant to be played.

Violinist Pala Garcia performed the six songs to a small audience of music majors. The event, directed by professor Daniel Fox, lasted just a little over an hour and each composer had a chance to introduce his or her own work before it was played.

The first song performed was written by Alyssa Regent. “The Dancing Manchineel” is a piece that represents a tree dancing with the wind.

“This piece is me looking back on where I’m from,” said Regent.

A native plant to her home in the Caribbean, the manchineel tree is toxic and forbidden to the touch. According to Regent, it can cause an intense rash. She wanted to write a piece that represents her roots. The dynamics and upbeat rhythms accurately reflected the notion of the dancing tree.

“I think with this piece, I was trying to write it as organically as possible,” said Noah Wood, the composer of “Fantasie.”

Written in a very tonal manner, Fantasie consisted of different dynamics that set a dissonant overall tone. The silence mixed with the quick tempo showed Wood’s inspiration —guitar-heavy genres and Bach.

Nicholas Vulpis had different intentions for his piece. He didn’t compose a conventional composition. Instead, his piece, “Mistakes,” was inspired by the imperfections that the artist must endure during practice.

“It was born out of walking through the practice rooms and hearing everyone make mistakes,” said Vulpis.

It gives the listener a chance to feel the frustration that the artist goes through before the piece is ironed out and perfected for a live show. However, since all the mistakes were intentional, concentration was still needed and it reflected on Garcia’s face as she read through the music sheet while playing along.

“Any Moment Now,” written by Joe Young, is a piece that has a narrative arc. It started by illustrating the feelings of being in a rush through a beautiful landscape then stopping to reflect for a quick moment before rushing off again.

Inspired heavily by both classical music and bluegrass, Young was able to convey these ideas to the listener by playing with the dynamics and timing. The piece starts off uneasy and eases into a soft melody before returning to the rush once more.

Once Garcia finished the last piece, she took a bow and thanked the composers for their work. She mentioned how they had all attended several workshops and worked with her to get the piece to sound as close to what they wanted as possible. As she walked off stage, the composers walked up to give their final thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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