Between Two Worlds


March 24, 2018
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts


Crossing between the worlds of American folk and new classical inspires Present Music’s concert Between Two Worlds. Guest conductor David Bloom and the Present Music Ensemble will collaborate with indie composer and performer Sarah Goldfeather to premiere two of her new compositions on the stage of the Helen Bader Concert Hall. Inspired by being between two different types of worlds, the concert will also feature composer Dylan Mattingly’s “Lighthouse (Refugee Music by a Pacific Expatriate)” and Dan Trueman’s piece for hardanger fiddle, “Orton’s Ode”.

Join Present Music as we take-over the Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts on March 23rd with an exploration of expressive dichotomy! After-party to include live music and projections, cash bar, and a unique photo opportunity!

Between Two Worlds Concert Program 2018

Dylan Mattingly: Lighthouse (Refugee Music by a Pacific Expatriate)

Annika Socolofsky: a sense of who

Dan Trueman: from Symphony of W’s-movement II. WaysOfTheUnderworld

Donnacha Dennehy: As An Nós

Sarah Goldfeather: short set of original folk songs

Dan Trueman: Orton’s Ode

Program subject to change.

Program Notes:

Lighthouse (Refugee Music by a Pacific Expatriate)
By: Dylan Mattingly
Composer’s Note:
Lighthouse (Refugee Music by a Pacific Expatriate) is black window music for when too small thunderstorms sing against vast vast humidity and storm lights flash mutes beneath starships and crosscountry metal and sleepscape crashing trans-Pacific journeys drift flower petals across routes of diluted warm rain and suddenly all you want is skyscraper saltwind and wet rocks and foghorns and dancing cold bridge lights and cars and distant suns flying by black black waves and you say to that indifferent bottomlessness, that throbbing gamelan, that breather of clouds like 747s, “you’re my home” and you run your hands through her hair again.

A Sense of Who
By: Annika Socolofsky
Composer’s Note:
“I find that people who come from small places have a very strong sense of who they are.” – Nic Gareiss
I have never come from a small place. I’ve spent my life jumping around from Edinburgh, to Chicago, to Pittsburgh—city after city after city. But in 2012, for the first time in my life, I moved to a smaller place. In Ann Arbor, Michigan my fiddle and I were swallowed, heads-first, into the traditional Irish music scene. Showing up to familiar faces and tunes and conversation at Conor O’Neill’s on Main St. every Sunday night provided a sense of community I’d never before experienced.
Over the last few years, there’s been this microscopic point inside of me that has started to grow. That point is that sense of belonging, that sense of friendship, that sense of love, that sense of community, that sense of grounding, that inkling of a sense of who… It’s been growing. And that is everything.

Orton’s Ode
By: Dan Trueman
Composer’s Note:
-I wrote this for my great Uncle Orton Enstad on his 100th birthday, who lived his entire adult life in Wausau, WI.
Orton’s Ode in composed in the traditional Norwegian “Huldrestille” tuning of the Hardanger fiddle, a highly-ornate folk fiddle, with 6 extra ringing sympathetic strings and a dragon scroll.
This tuning represents the lore of the “Huldra”, in Scandanavian mythology a vengeful forest troll who assumes the appearance of a dairy maid- the only give-away being the cow’s tail beneath her petticoat, and her hallow bark back, similar to a rotting tree-trunk. The huldra lures a man into the forest, saps him of his power and wits, and he wanders lost the rest of his days.

As An Nós
By: Donnacha Dennehy
Unsurprisingly, Donnacha Dennehy, a co-founder of the [Crash] ensemble, revels in the “classic” Crash sound in his piece As An Nós, with its layering of rhythmic cells, its instruments echoing or moving in hocket with each other, and its fabric of tightly woven musical threads. Dennehy offers a kaleidoscopic range of instrumental colors from one moment to the next in the work’s tremulous middle section, but the piece gradually asserts itself and becomes an insistent, chattering conversation of rhythms.
– John Schaefer

Symphony of W’s – II: Ways of the Underworld
By: Dan Trueman
Composer’s Note:
Walking wobbly whilst waking and warning and being warned of the ways of the world and the underworld: these are all at work in the Symphony of W’s. I call this a symphony in part because it is first and foremost simply sound and music: a “concord of sound,” I hope. It is in four movements, like many symphonies, though
perhaps the symphony it is most indebted to is Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Winds, which is in but one short movement. Also, like many symphonies, it easily enough inspires a story, or the sense of a story as it may be.
W’s kept cropping up as I composed this piece: the footsteps of a drunkard walking wobbly towards an abyss in movement 1; an Old Time tune called Ways of the World, which inspired the New tune I made for movement 2; an obscure Robert Frost poem —
Warning — which I set more than 25 years ago and revisited for movement 3; and finally a sense of slowly waking, rising into a new world in movement 4 (there is also a bit of thievery here, from a famous Bach Chorale that features an ascending whole-tone scale). Finally, I can’t deny that I was also hoping to reclaim this wonderful letter from it’s political associations in some small way; it is full of zigs and zags and pizzazz, and deserves better (though the recent revelations of the former president’s private painting habit make me wonder).
Symphony of W’s was premiered by Crash at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Dublin in 2011.

Greasy Glass
By: Sarah Goldfeather
Composer’s Note:
Greasy Glass is a song about transformation that was originally written for my indie-folk band, Goldfeather, and appears as the last track of our most recent album, Patchwork Quilt. It describes the feeling of listlessly watching your own life pass by without being able to see clearly or participate, until a sudden simple realization snaps everything into focus: the way we feel and live within our circumstances can be in our own control, that we might be prisoners within our own minds, but we also possess within us the key to free ourselves from despondency. It is an almost comically simple notion, chanted over and over in the words “I am free.”

The Hardest and Uncommon Light
By: Sarah Goldfeather
Composer’s Note:
The Hardest and Uncommon Light and In Dreaming are excerpts from my upcoming song cycle which explores the varied ways in which we experience cognitive distortions. I worked with the incredible poet, Martha Sprackland, to interweave text and music to shed light on the illogical corners of the mind.

The Hardest and Uncommon Light explores the miserable and distorted thinking surrounding the end of a relationship. It runs the emotional gamut from irrational, obsessive thought to quiet contemplation and introspection, fixating on the desperate immobility and inner torment that comes with powerlessness, and how one’s tempestuous and compulsive behavior and closed-circuit thought processing can sweep the good away. The eponymous last line of the text captures a cruel clarity: “the hardest and uncommon / light comes quick and will not repair” – nothing will be ever be the same again.

In Dreaming
By: Sarah Goldfeather
Composer’s Note:
In Dreaming evokes time passing at different simultaneous speeds; a feeling of falling and being unable to move, trapped in the viscous world of our unconscious over which we have no control. It is the feeling of being held hostage by one’s own distorted thoughts, either literally in our sleeping unconscious, or in the fantasies we construct to explain our own inner logic and the way we perceive reality.

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