- by Michael Schelle
Written for ENSEMBLE 48
Zane Merritt, electric guitar
Scott Comanzo, percussion
Will Huff, trombone
Matt Smart, piano
Joshua Morris, doublebass X2
Adam Cohen-Leadholm, guitar
Brian Grimm, cello
Megan Pokorney, violin
Nick Liebman, computerized visual presence
CALHOUN (2009) is a directed improv piece in three parts:
1. 'trading fours',
2. the big (original) cocktail lounge torch song tune (begins c. 3:10), and
3. jam session from Hell (which ends in darkness because they have 'blown the fuse' !!)
The lyrics for the torch song (which first appear c. 4:10, but get more out of control (screaming, @ 6:00) as the piece progresses and sinks into more and more chaos !!... and near the very end (c. 9:00), when the dust has settled, and in the dark: one final run of the lyrics - quiet, nostalgic, reflective, sad and w/ the musicians self-identifying - ending w/one solo chime hit (the end of Ensemble 48 ... they were soon graduating / going their own separate ways - the end of an era).
"Damn we're great, we're Ensemble 48
We're Adam, Matt, and Josh, and Scott and Zane
But we're not insane, cause we got Megan too,
And Nick the Kosher Jew, and Will and Brian too."
CALHOUN was written specifically for the great ENSEMBLE 48 - an ensemble of incredible young musicians who just also happened to be my grad composition students at that time (c. 2007 - 2010) - one of the Golden Ages of Composition at the School of Music, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN USA. I knew them well, and I knew (and loved) their eccentric musical personalities. Founding members Merritt, Comanzo, Liebman and Morris (sounds like a really dangerous law firm to me) - and additional 'go to' new music specialist musicians as needed - performed dozens of concerts across the midwest during their time in Indianapolis, often performing music written by them, for them.
CALHOUN was written for Ensemble 48 near the end of their Indianapolis 'residency' - right before they began to disband and move on to various doctoral programs / professional performance gigs across the US.
- New Music