LEAVENWORTH — It was mainly in the psychedelic ’60s when people claimed they could “taste color,” but now is your opportunity to hear paintings and sculptures.
That is the idea behind “Musical Murals,” the Icicle Creek Piano Trio’s opening concert for its 2010-11 Canyon Wren Concert series.
The three pieces on the program — David Glenn’s “Sculpture Garden” for Piano Quintet, George Anthiel’s “Second Sonata” for Violin, Piano and Drums and Paul Schoenfield’s “Café Music” for Piano Trio — provide a jazzy start to the season.
“It’s bound to appeal to a wide variety of people,” states pianist Oksana Ezhokina. “Besides offering a concert that is a little bit on the lighter side of classical music, it’s also a concert that has a very strong visual connection.”
“Musical Murals” takes place Saturday at the Canyon Wren Recital Hall. The Icicle Creek Piano Trio, including Ezhokina, cellist Sally Singer and violinist Jennifer Caine, is joined by guest artists for the opening concert.
Glenn joins the trio in performing his jazz-infused piece. Commissioned last year by Tim Christie for the opening concert of the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Glenn’s composition was inspired by five sculptures at the Whitman College campus, assigning musical values to the moods evoked from each work. In an article published in the Dec. 2009 issue of Whitman Magazine, Glenn describes the five movements of “Sculpture Garden.”
“My ‘Sculpture Garden’ opens with ‘Styx,’ (based on a sculpture by Deborah Butterfield) a horse seemingly made out of driftwood. I … used a noble-yet-sad theme built on a pentatonic scale to convey that image,” he writes.
The second movement, set in 3/4 time with “funky dance rhythms,” is inspired by “Three Stories” by Walla Walla native Squire Broel. “Three Stories” gives way to “Carnival” (sculpture by Jim Dine), a “Cuban dance rhythm” that fluctuates “between major and minor sections.” “Pirouette,” by Micajah Bienvenu, inspired the penultimate movement. “I used the Lydian mode, the brightest of the modes of the major scale,” writes Glenn. He explains that the tempo of the music shifts to imitate twirling.
“Sculpture Garden’s” final movement increases in complexity, with a 6/4 time signature and “a sub-division of four and two.” Reflective of John Young’s “Soaring Stones #4,” Glenn uses a rising and falling “six-note melodic theme.”