Oct. 19, 2021Print | PDF
Dancing in Rain
Yo Goto is recognized as one of the leading composers and educators in the field of wind and percussion music in the United States and Japan. He is currently the executive director of the Japan Academic Society of Wind Music and a member of the committee of the Japan Band Clinic. Goto received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Yamagata University, Japan, and studied composition with Shin-ichiro Ikebe at the Tokyo College of Music, completing a Performance Diploma Course. As active composer, arranger, and clinician, Goto moved to Texas to study composition with Cindy McTee at the University of North Texas (UNT) in 2001. He holds a Master of Music degree in composition and a Master of Music Education degree from UNT. For excellence in clinics and wind literature research, Goto received the Academy Award from the Academic Society of Japan for Winds and Band in 2000. Yo Goto won the American Bandmasters Association 2011 Sousa / Ostwald Award. He also has worked as a clinician and guest conductor at several international conferences including WASBE and The Midwest Clinic in Chicago, USA. He is a member of the board of directors of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).
The timpani sounds the thunder at the beginning of this precipitous work. The raindrops can almost be felt as the ensemble passes the staccato themes around the stage while other instruments are dancing in between the drops. Dancing in Rain is a dramatic composition with a hint of frivolity that reflects the joy of playing together again.
Kenneth has received numerous national and international commissions and has worked with leading ensembles and orchestras in the USA, Far East and Europe. He is a professor of composition at the Royal College of Music, honorary professor at Liverpool University and active as a guest lecturer.
Between 2007 to 2009 Kenneth was Composer in the House (Royal Philharmonic Society/ PRS Foundation scheme) with the RLPO. He has been represented at festivals from London (Proms) to the USA (Tanglewood/Bowdoin) to China (Beijing Modern Music Festival).
He has received numerous national and international commissions, including the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, a Faber Millennium Commission for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group premiered under Sir Simon Rattle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko, BBC Philharmonic conducted by Vasilly Sinaisky, Hans Werner Henze and Endymion Ensemble (in honour of Henze's 75th birthday), Munich Biennale, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Michael Vyner Trust for London Sinfonietta, Göttinger Symphonie Orchester, Opera Group, Britten Sinfonia, ensemble Psappha and Kissinger Sommer Internationales Musikfestival.
The term Danceries can be found in a copy of Playford's Dancing Master, an extensive collection of folk and popular tunes of the seventeenth century (and no doubt earlier). This publication was used by master fiddle players to teach the various dance steps of the day to a nobleman's house or a king's court. Whilst this present set of 'Danceries' cannot be said to be an aid to terpsichorean agility, it will at least set feet tapping!
The melodies themselves are a mixture of new and old---well, nearly. Where the old occurs it has been adapted in mood and composition and is often interspersed with completely new material. The harmonies and rhythms bring a breath of the new into these themes and add to the drama of the set.
Movement 1: Lull me beyond thee.
Gentle and lilting, almost a barcarole, this movement is very much a reverie. The original tune had the name 'Poor Robin's Maggot' - a rather disconcerting title; maggot, however, in seventeenth-century parlance meant whim or fancy. This theme can also be found in The Beggar's Opera by John Gay (first performed in 1728) under the title 'Would you have a young lady' (Air 21).
Movement 2: Catching of Quails.
A colorful, buoyant scherzo on an original melody. The thematic material is shuttled around the band to contrast with full-bodied tuttis. The last few bars fade away to almost nothing before a final surprise!
Movement 3: My Lady's Rest.
A tender pavane, also on an original theme, with Moorish leanings. Solos for principal winds and brass contrast with warmer tutti passages. The movement culminates with a final presentation of the theme before evaporating in held flute and trumpet chords.
Movement 4: Quodling's delight.
The final movement to the set combining one of the melodies from Playford's Dancing Master ('Goddesses') with an original contrasting melody.
-- Kenneth Hesketh
Danceries – Set II
This second set of Danceries continues the format established of the first set in its use of material taken from Playford's Dancing Master, to create an extended dance suite. In this set, the melodies have been more abstracted and project only a distant echo of their original forms, but as before, each movement is self-contained, colourful and direct, with its own mood.
The outer movements – Jennie’s Bawbee and Peascod’s Galliarda – share a use of driving percussion writing with a military air. Tom Tinker’s Toye and Heart’s Ease (movements two and three) are both settings of original melodies. All movements are more extended than in the first set, with a freer use and approach to the material; melodies now occur in various keys and are supported by a greater variety of harmonic colouring. The result is a richer, even more exhilarating set of dances. Danceries has come of age!
-- Kenneth Hesketh
Jess Langston Turner composes contemporary instrumental and choral music. He began his musical training with piano and trumpet lessons and in high school developed an interest in composition. He earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in trumpet performance from Bob Jones University in 2006 and 2008. From 2008-2011 he attended the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT, where he earned a master’s degree in composition and was named a Regent’s Scholar. In May 2015 he completed a DMA in music composition at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Throughout his undergrad and graduate years, Turner completed a variety of composition projects, several of which have been recognized for national awards, including first place in the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Composition Award, finalist in the ASCAP Lotte Lehmann Art Song Composition Competition, winner of the John Ness Beck Award for Choral Composition, finalist for the Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, winner of the 2011 Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, and most recently winner of the Merrill Jones Composition Contest for Young Bands. In 2010, he was invited to participate in the National Band Association’s Young Composer Mentor Project. In recent years he has served as visiting composer for numbers of schools and universities such as the University of Georgia, the Hartt School, Stephen F. Austin University, The University of Wisconsin - Lacrosse, among others.
Dancefares is a piece about “earworms,” little musical fragments that get stuck in our heads and won’t dislodge themselves, no matter what. Most of the musical material in Dancefares is based on the infectious little opening motive which pervades the piece from beginning to end. Throughout the piece, you may hear references to well-known popular songs (well, one in particular).-- Jess Langston Turner
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