Album Release - Forces of Nature
Forces of Nature
Ravenswood, Arthur Bachmann (1998) - producers, Janna Sailor and Arthur Bachmann
Grief Eater, Sonny-Ray Day Rider (2023) - producer, Janna Sailor
Storms over Camp Creek, Ashley Seward (2020) - producer, Janna Sailor
Chinook, Donovan Seidle (2011) - producer, Donovan Seidle. Solo violin - Chanan Ngo
Silver City, George Fenwick (2014) - producer, Donovan Seidle. Solo violin - Chanan Ngo
Recorded at OCL studios. Engineer - Spencer Cheyne
Mixed and Mastered by Spencer Cheyne
The Kensington Sinfonia
Genevieve Micheletti, violin
Donovan Seidle, violin
Diane Lane, violin
Erin Burkholder, violin
Clayton Leung, viola
Liza Scriggins Lowry, viola
Andrea Case, cello
Kathleen de Caen, cello
Sheila Garrett, bass
Special Guest: Chanan Ngo, violin solo
Artistic Directors: Genevieve Micheletti and Andrea Case
All of these works were commissioned by the Kensington Sinfonia. We are grateful for support from the Canada Council for the Arts and Alberta Foundation for the Arts for this recording.
Arthur Bachmann (b. 1961)
This work, like many of the works I have written, was heavily influenced by events in my life. Not centred about only one event, or even a sequence of events, this work is rather a collage of feelings, moods, and impressions experienced during my summer of last year. Among the highlights was a two week river rafting trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, shooting huge adrenaline filled rapids, camping outdoors, viewing the awe inspiring size and grandeur of the main canyon, all the while playing string quartet concerts at the campsites and in the side canyons we visited. As well that summer, I was married and had a wonderful trip to Salt Spring Island, near Vancouver Island. Driving the small winding roads of the island in a zippy little sports car, and a truly memorable dinner at Hastings House; where we discovered the namesake of this work, a rather lovely Zinfandel by Ravens Wood Cellars, were but some of the memories that influenced the creation of this work for the Kensington Sinfonia. While this work is not intended to be programmatic, I invite you to share in the end result of the beauty and excitement of an event filled summer.
Storms Over Camp Creek
Ashley Seward (b. 1998)
Storms Over Camp Creek was written in response to an eponymous painting by my late grandmother. The piece is structured around three lush, pastoral episodes with a tumultuous storm in the center. Reflecting the behaviour of birds after a storm, the third and final episode is more subdued than the others; grief changes us in many ways, and sometimes the only response we have is to keep going a little quieter. Storms Over Camp Creek is dedicated to the memory of Britta Seward.
The Grief Eater Firaga
Sonny-Ray Day Rider (b. 1987)
Grief, like nature, is wild and untamed. It is an unbridled phenomena that can be furious and embracing like the two seemingly oppositional elementals fire and water—one fiercely destructive and the other mercifully life giving. Yet Fire can still create new life from the maw of its ashes and water can devastatingly drown and eat all the light in its flood-path. Grief is as capricious as nature. It is a monster sometimes, and a gentle beast at other times. Yet to travellers unfamiliar with its territory, grief is always bewilderingly disorienting and painful.
The Grief Eater Firaga is about my emotional-landscape being transformed by immense pain that is associated with loss. Firaga is the anthropomorphism and summary of my healing journey with grief. It is about the shedding and offering of my old life (MVT I Blood Offering) and the bidding farewell to that old life. (MVT II Blood Elegy).
Donovan Seidle (b. 1977)
I wrote “Chinook” over a period of 3 weeks in February 2011 for an upcoming concert with the Kensington Sinfonia in Calgary, Alberta Canada; during one of the harshest months of the year on the prairies of Alberta, and while wishing for the warmth we’ve come to expect from the mercurial midwinter Chinook winds.
Chinooks are “foehn winds” that occur on the downwind slope of a mountain range - native translation describes the winds as the “snow eater.” They are the warm winds that travel from the west – from the Pacific coast, over the western farmlands, up and over the mountains, and over the foothills east of the Rockies to warm the prairies. Mid-winter, this comes as quite a reprieve from the cold, but also brings drastic changes in temperature and air pressure.
The piece is played as one unbroken movement, as a sort of miniature tone-poem, following the journey of the warm winds from the west. Each section of music has an attached “image” written in the music score. These are:
Sea and Sky; the western coast
The waves crash…
The wind brews…
The western farmlands, traveling east
Becoming more precarious…
Steep Rise, craggy mountain
Over the foothills
Looking West on the Prairie - Arch in the sky
Warm breeze on a frozen prairie
You’ll hear motives representing the wind, and ‘impressions’ of wave crashes and the craggy mountain journey, the massive arch displayed in the sky, and finally the welcome, warm breeze on your face.
George Fenwick (1964-2020)
Silver City charts the rise and fall of an Alberta mining town. The piece opens with the sounds of a calm, rolling prairie. No sooner is the scene set than a CPR train rolls through, drowning out the natural world. A boomtown appears overnight, and with the boom comes the Trickster. The trickster promises the boomtown’s miners unending riches in the mines, and the frenzied men set to work. They work at a frantic pace, searching for the fulfillment of the Trickster’s promise, but nothing appears. The rising anger and frustration of the miners sparks a riot, and when the smoke clears the town has been reduced to ashes. Only the sounds of the prairie disturb the newfound silence.