“For several of the compositions on this album, I was influenced profoundly by the pandemic lock down in 2020. Emotions portrayed in the works range from reflection in Older Ways, to sadness in Alone and to joy for the gift of healthy family and friends in Perihelion. Freedom Day conveys my hope for a post–pandemic world.”
Often I find that the music speaks for itself, and a catchy title will come to me that is whimsical in spirit and has no direct relation to the piece. Such is the case with Perihelion and 21 Practice.
During the pandemic lock down, I listened to West African music for an uplifting diversion. Perihelion is inspired by that vibe. In this piece guest artist, percussionist Shane Shanahan, trades solos with Hevreh pianist Adam Morrison.
Spirits that Dwell in the Grandmother Tree
A friend of mine lives in rural North Carolina in a 250 year old house that is built next to an ancient tree. I have often felt the presence of the many spirits that live in the tree.
My father grew up on Meserole Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and lived there until he joined the Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Written in a swing style, I have tried to recapture the feel of the street from those times.
Without the pandemic, I believe that I would never have written this work, which reflects the feeling of isolation that so many felt during this time. The extreme low register of the bass clarinet lays out a slow and meditative bass line that accompanies plaintive lines of the clarinet and English horn.
This piece is written for English horn, clarinet, and piano in a style of composition that I used more in my past. With soulful and slow melodic lines, it is also based on a yearning for less technologically complicated times.
Central West End
I named this piece based on my observations after a visit to this area of St. Louis MO. I was impressed with the diverse neighborhood with elegant turn of the century architecture and an open eclectic spirit.
The day I received my second dose of the vaccine, I coined the term “Freedom Day.” I also felt a strong sense of hope for the world.
I have always been fascinated by concepts of advanced physics. In my mind, the deeper one delves into science, the closer you get to witnessing the workings of God. In this piece, the complicated displaced rhythms create the effect of the ground moving under your feet, much like the constantly evolving theories about the origins of the universe.
The Prentice Farm
Tim Prentice is a renowned kinetic sculptor who lives and works in bucolic West Cornwall CT. For many summers he has generously hosted Hevreh for concerts held in his barn surrounded by his soaring artwork. The piece was written in memory of his late wife Marie Prentice. Our amazing guest artist Naren Budhakar (tabla player) joins Hevreh on this piece. The bell–like and gliding strokes of the tabla weave gently throughout the work.
Too Late to Matter
This work expresses my concern with our world’s inability to deal with climate change. It is a composition that is filled with frustration but ends on a hopeful note with the sound of the shofar.
– Jeff Adler, composer