Back in action with the Admiral Launch Duo! Lecture-recital with harpist Jennifer R. Ellis discussing "The Sacred and the Profane: A Lecture Recital of New Music for Harp and Saxophone."
Jennifer Ellis, University of Michigan, Jonathan Hulting-Cohen, University of Massachusetts
The Sacred and the Profane: A Lecture Recital of New Music for Harp and Saxophone
Small and Big. Loud and notoriously soft. Portable and stationary. Sustained sound versus plucked. Comparing the saxophone and the harp is an exercise in opposites. They sound different, their historical iconography is different, and the instruments' attributed genders are different. However, bridging this divide is core to what we do as the Admiral Launch Duo. Over the past two years, we have commissioned eight new works for harp and saxophone by composers including Dylan Baker, Joseph Bozich, Matthew Browne, Christine Hedden, Natalie Moller, Patrick O'Malley, Steve Rush and Diana Sussman. This lecture recital will explore the strategies some of these new works use to ameliorate the standard binary divide between our instruments. We will begin by outlining the past divisions between our instruments. Then, we will examine some of the methods our composers have used to knit the two instruments together, with particular emphasis on the vocabulary of extended techniques. Finally, we will demonstrate these strategies in performance. As part of an emerging genre of harp and saxophone duos, we welcome the opportunity to complicate the traditional dichotomy between our instruments through both academic and musical means.