Thursday, January 11, 2018

Gregory Walker: This month my Rock, Pop, and Hip-Hop Fantasies were published by Bellegrove

Gregory Walker

Gregory Walker writes:

This month my Rock, Pop, and Hip-Hop Fantasies were published by Bellegrove:
Pop songs transformed into contemporary classical duets - for intermediate 
through advanced violinists.
Instrumentation: Two Violins Composed: 2017 Published by: Distributed 
Contemporary music doesn't get a lot of love from most professional violinists, let alone violin students.
No big surprise considering the vast majority grow up with a steady diet of the classical masters,
which not only influences young musicians’ musical tastes, but their technical development.
But so much of today's repertoire offers unique intellectual and interpretive challenges, rewards that just don't exist
in the traditional canon, wonderful as it is. Not only that, modern music often demands certain things
that may not be required for most standard repertoire, but that you do find at the highest levels of musical artistry.
Things like inspired research. Technical problem solving. Personal interpretation.

How can we bridge that divide between the traditional classics and the unfamiliar language of contemporary music?

The Rock, Pop, and Hip-Hop Fantasies are not transcriptions or arrangements of popular songs,
though their pitches and rhythms have been inspired by specific tracks. The enigmatic expressive directions scattered throughout
are actually clues, and they also do suggest ways of understanding the notes.
The difficulty here ranges from ambitious Suzuki Book I level to Brink of Death insanity.
Along the way, adventuresome players can work on specific technical challenges, get exposed to 21st Century extended techniques,
and maybe find an encore showpiece or two. 

I had actually taught the first of them to a student a few years ago:

Composer Gregory T.S. Walker's original 2014 rock violin duet: "Evanescence (The Syncopation)" - from the up-coming collection, The Rock, Pop, and Hip Hop Fantasies.

Another was published in December's Strings magazine and their online edition includes the recording:

Gregory T.S. Walker (1961 -  ) is an American Academy of Arts and Letters Fellowship recipient and April 2007 International  Musician cover artist.  A University of Colorado professor and the artistic director of the Colorado NeXt Music Fest, his Dream N. the Hood for Rapper and Orchestra was described by the Minneapolis Pioneer Press as "an American masterpiece".  Born in Northampton, Massachusetts, the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker and African-American womens' music scholar  Helen Walker-Hill, Walker graduated from Indiana University and performed solo synthesizer concerts throughout California before obtaining a Masters degree in Computer Music from the University of California at San Diego.  He premiered his Concerto No. 1 for Orchestra and Synthesizer and earned a second Masters in Composition from Mills College in Oakland, then completed a doctorate at the University of Colorado.  During his studies, he was engaged as concertmaster of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra while gaining notoriety with a series of multimedia events, including FlamencOrbit and xy techno theatre

Walker deconstructed New Orleans voodoo  artifacts in Gris-Gris Man for Video Violin at the 2016 New West Electronic Arts & Media Organization Festival in Tokyo.  In the internationally-distributed 2012 documentary Song of the Untouchable, he explored the music and culture of India's caste system.  His interactive work with Denver teenagers and their perceptions of violence resulted in the production of 2009's Looking for the Perfect Planet for Chorus and Video Sampler at the Golden Gate Festival in California.  

His music has been performed by Poland's Filharmonia Sudecka, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, and the Encuentro Musical de los Americas in Cuba, as well as at Great Britain’s Lake District Music Festival, the Lamia Conservatoire in Greece, and the Cork Orchestral Society Concert Series in Ireland, the London Song Festival, and at the Chetana International Music Festival in Kerala, India.  His Bad Rap for Electric Violin and Chamber Orchestra is published by Keiser Music and Global Solstice for Electronic Guitar and Chamber Orchestra was released on the Centaur label in 2014.   A multi-instrumentalist who has appeared as a violin soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and has been profiled in Guitar for the Practicing Musician, Walker's work as an interdisciplinary performance artist has also been showcased at the Sonic Circuits International Festival in San Francisco.   His Winter: The Video music video from 2007's Electric Vivaldi (Newport Classic) enhanced compact disc has been a staple on Classic FM TV in Europe.  In performances ranging from the Boulder Philharmonic's premiere of The Passion According to St. Toscanini for Quadraphonic Chorus and Orchestra to the Detroit Symphony’s reading of micro*phone for Amplified Orchestra, Walker has sought to break down barriers of stylistic segregation in contemporary music.

No comments: