Anew at Home
- Featured: Norman Bolter
- Release Date: 8/21/2007
'Anew at Home' is a strange and curious journey, an inner journey of belief, hope and discovery.... It is an experiment, really, where one might feel he or she is and has been in a strange and turbulent land, far away from home. From there, one might feel inspired, in the course of this imaginery journey, to travel a distance that is a closing of distance, bringing one closer and closer to the real home. The inside home. After awhile, the journey ends; one awakens. Ones 'home' or surroundings might look the same, but inside, something maybe is different. Closer in, inside where home really is. Anew at home. He wish you a memorable journey! ============== Excerpts from: Record Review - Anew at Home: Music composed and performed by Norman Bolter; ITA Journal, Summer 1999, review by Douglas Yeo 'Boston Symphony Orchestra trombonist Norman Bolter has offered us something far more than just 'another' excellent trombone disc. Rather, he has raised the bar for players and listeners alike by creating a unique, challenging and stimulating experience. In recent years, Bolter has turned his attention to composition and has written [extensively] for various combinations of instruments, most including trombone.... Here is a recording which consists entirely of music of a single composer and is expertly performed by it's creator. This in itself is a ground-breaking achievement. From the first sound on the CD, a shattering rimshot on snare drum in Dances of Greeting followed by the delicacy of finger cymbals, Anew at Home rivets the listener's attention. The 14 compositions cover a wide range of instrumentation and character, and Bolter's playing is a model of fluidity, beauty and trombone mastery. Yet his blistering technique, stunning range and expressive involvement never occur for their own sake. It is refreshing to see a trombonist create an album that not only goes below the surface of what we have come so often to expect, but which also builds a whole new foundation and creates an impressive model for what an album can be....' ============== In creating this recording, the atmosphere and feeling of living music was the most important thing to us. All tracks have minimal or no edits in order to offer this sense of the music's being 'live,' and you with us there, at the point. Our aim was the freest possible essence expression, so as to uplift and inspire both those playing and, you, the listener. Enjoy! Music by Norman Bolter Produced by Carol Viera Engineered by Brad Michel Performed by Norman Bolter (tenor trombone) with Phillip J. Kiamie and John Tanzer (percussion), Sayuri Miyamoto (piano) and Judy Saiki (harp). About some of the individual pieces (more to come!): DANCES OF GREETING (Original Key of F), for trombone and percussion (3:23) 'DANCES OF GREETING, composed in 1995, was designed specifically to 'clear the air' in order to make room for a warm, happy greeting to be delivered and received....' DARK SEAS, for trombone and piano (2:38) 'DARK SEAS, a short piece for trombone and piano, was inspired during a conversation between the composer and Jim Philput in February 1997. During this conversation, Jim... vividly portrayed experiences of unusual weather patterns at sea. As well, Jim later showed the composer striking photographs of the 'dark seas' that formed up at these times. The composer was inspired, not only by the evocative aspects of these natural oceanic phenomena, but also by Jim's own inspired connection to them.' LAKES, arranged by the composer for tenor trombone and harp (8:14), ?from OF MOUNTAINS, LAKES AND TREES, for solo bass, tenor and alto trombones with orchestra (over 35 minutes with Epilogue). 'The development of LAKES, in large measure, drew directly on the composer's own childhood and adult experiences. Growing up in the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes,' the composer was no stranger to lakes. This intimate relationship fostered the writing of Lakes. ...the composer also drew upon mystery and legend. Nearing the end of LAKES, the composer evokes the early morning... images of still, mirror-like waters, a pervading blanket of mist and the sound of canoe paddles slowly and quietly moving through the waters. These elements can create a meditative stillness.... This transcription of LAKES, taken from the original movement in OF MOUNTAINS, LAKES AND TREES, was inspired upon hearing one of the first rehearsals for the symphonic work with the solo trombone and harp alone.... The trombone solo is high and lyrical and requires a fluid legato and feeling of freedom in the sound. In the soft ending with the cup mute, the trombone blends with the harp.' AT FAR, BROUGHT NEAR, for trombone and piano (4:05) 'Written in August 1995, AT FAR BROUGHT NEAR was inspired by a very special kind of longing. Everyone has had the feeling, in some way, shape or form, of being distant from a loved one or a favorite place or circumstance, or even the feeling of being distant from where one actually would want to be in ones life or in oneself. This feeling can bring about a loneliness, an ache, a yearning to want to close that gap.' YOU ARE NOT ALONE (Seven Unaccompanied Solos for Tenor Trombone),?for solo trombone (13:16) STAND YOUR GROUND, PORCH IN THE PINES,?BY THE POND, IN THE WIND, ECHOING ENIGMA,?QUESTIONS, THE FRENCH MONKEY, THE RED SCOOTER 'The curious title YOU ARE NOT ALONE... was chosen in response to the very fact and sentiment that nothing exists 'as an island unto itself.' For isn't it true that, even when you are 'alone', the earth is under your feet, you breathe the air, and the sun is over your head? And, of course, there are the flora and fauna all around you - with your history and future on either side of your now....' More to come about the individual pieces. THE SONG OF KING DAVID, for trombone and piano (8:22) 'Completed in 1997, THE SONG OF KING DAVID is a development of a melody written by the composer a few weeks before his 13th birthday. That early melody is now the central theme of the current work. In 1968, while the composer was studying for his Bar Mitzvah, his thoughts were drawn to the life of one of his old Biblical favorites, King David, including the awe-inspiring story of young David's standing up to fight the mighty giant warrior, Goliath. This inspiration prompted the composer's first writing of THE SONG OF KING DAVID. In the Summer of 1997, a conversation ensued between the composer and colleague Douglas Yeo, bass trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, about THE SONG OF KING DAVID as written in Mr. Bolter's youth. Mr. Yeo encouraged the composer to write down as much of the original version of THE SONG OF KING DAVID as the composer could recall. This recounting caused the composer to begin thinking about the life of King David once again and within the course of this research and dwelling, more music emerged around the early central theme.' Norman Bolter's Bio: Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Norman Bolter was first inspired to play the trombone when, at age four, he saw the Captain Kangaroo television show character, 'Mr. Greenjeans,' play the same instrument. Mr. Bolter began his formal trombone studies at age nine with Ed VonHoff of the St. Paul Public School System. Later, he studied with Ronald Rickets and Steven Zellmer of the Minnesota Orchestra and with John Swallow at the New England Conservatory. Mr. Bolter is very thankful to these teachers and to former Boston Symphony Orchestra principal bassoonist, Sherman Walt, not only for their technical and musical assistance but also for their encouragement and nurturance of his love of music and trombone playing. A Tanglewood Fellow and C. D. Jackson Award winner, Mr. Bolter joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1975 at age 20, becoming the youngest member of the orchestra at that time. As well, he is principal trombonist of the Boston Pops Orchestra and was a founding member of the Empire Brass Quintet, which won the prestigious Walter H. Naumberg Award in Chamber Music, the first brass ensemble ever to win this award. Mr. Bolter has appeared, as a member of the Boston Pops Orchestra, on the televised PBS favorite 'Evening at Pops' with Arthur Fiedler, John Williams and Keith Lockhart as conductors. He has toured extensively in the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America with the BSO, the Pops and the Empire Brass and has made many recordings with them. He also appears as principal trombonist on recordings with Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine. Furthermore, Mr. Bolter appears as soloist and conductor on four recordings of his own compositions, 'Experiments in Music,' 'Anew at Home,' 'Occurrences' and 'In Living Continuance.' In addition to his numerous trombone solos, Mr. Bolter performed the acclaimed euphonium solo in the BSO recording of Mahler's 'Symphony No. 7 ' (Philips Classics Productions, 1990) and also played euphonium on the Minnesota Orchestra recording of 'Ein Heldenleben' by Richard Strauss. Mr. Bolter has composed music from a very early age, with the last thirteen years witnessing an outpouring of new works winning him acclaim as a composer both in the US and abroad. In addition to his own recordings of these works, Mr. Bolter's compositions have appeared on recordings by New York Philharmonic principal trombonist Joseph Alessi, Boston Symphony Orchestra bass trombonist Douglas Yeo, Boston Symphony Orchestra principal trombonist Ronald Barron, and Los Angeles Philharmonic co-principal trombonist James Miller. Further, his compositions have been performed throughout the world, with performances in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America and the US. Amongst the many who have given live solo performances of Mr. Bolter's works are: Joseph Alessi ('Arctic Emanations' for trombone and piano), Ronald Barron ('Sky Dreams' for alto trombone and piano), Scott Hartman ('Trees' for alto trombone and orchestra), Randall Montgomery ('Clouncey' for tuba and piano and 'Keepers of the Cosmic Sea' for solo tuba and brass ensemble with percussion), Richard Sebring ('Nautilus' for solo horn and brass ensemble with percussion), Charles Schlueter ('On the Cusp' for solo trumpet and brass ensemble with percussion, 'Immersions' for solo trumpet and 'Marsha's Gift' for trumpet and piano), Charles Vernon ('Of Mountains, Lakes and Trees' for solo bass, tenor and alto trombones and orchestra, and 'Sagittarius2' for bass trombone and piano), R. Douglas Wright ('Solar Voyages' for solo trombone and brass ensemble; 'Lakes' for solo tenor trombone and orchestra) Douglas Yeo ('Of Mountains' for solo bass trombone and orchestra) and Jacques Zoon ('In the Place of Wild Lavender' for flute, horn and cello). Mr. Bolter's works have been commissioned by Joseph Alessi ('Arctic Emanations' for trombone and piano), Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston ('IOURS' for trombone and chamber orchestra), the Zellmer-Minnesota Trombone Competition ('Morning Walk' for tenor trombone and piano, 'Sagittarius2' for bass trombone and piano), Mike Roylance ('Night of the Soul' for tuba trio), Peter Chapman ('Immersions' for unaccompanied solo trumpet), the Online Trombone Journal ('The Joy in Being Able' for trombone and piano), the University of St. Thomas ('A White Company Overture' for concert band) and others. In his numerous compositions (over 200 created to date), Mr. Bolter explores creating 'essence music' (music as a living thing) inspired by the natural worlds and the human story. His compositions have a broad range of instrumentation, including works for a variety of solo instruments (trombone, trumpet, tuba, horn, flute, didjeridoo, ram's horn, serpent and others), brass ensemble, trombone choir, concert band, brass band, mixed chamber ensemble and orchestra. Notably, Mr. Bolter has composed more music for the trombone that any other composer. A renowned teacher, Mr. Bolter serves on the faculties of New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory and Longy School of Music. Many of his students hold positions in major symphony orchestras, chamber music groups and universities around the world. In addition to conducting regular master classes, Mr. Bolter holds special Frequency Band workshops, co-conducted with his wife, entertainment psychologist Dr. Carol Viera. Mr. Bolter also is co-author, with Dr. Viera, of several papers and booklets, including 'Methods of Effective Practice,' 'High Range Exercises,' 'It's Not All in the Air' and 'The Metronome Meditation.' He also has written a unique sight reading book for advanced trombone players, 'Reading at the Speed of Sight.' All of these works are available for purchase on the Air-ev Productions website. Mr. Bolter offers private lessons, as his schedule permits, in which players can experience for themselves his unique and effective one-to-one instruction.
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