TOWER MUSIC PERCUSSION QUINTET AWARDED NEW MUSIC USA GRANT

Joseph Bertolozzi is pleased to announce that his arrangement of Tower Music for percussion quintet has been awarded a New Music USA Project Grant. Follow the project’s progress here.

Dr. Terry Longshore will lead Left Edge Percussion, a contemporary percussion group in residence at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, Ashland in the premiere performance November 8, 2018 in Ashland, OR.  Says Dr. Longshore: “This New Music USA grant directly supports Left Edge Percussion’s work as a contemporary percussion ensemble dedicated to commissioning and presenting new work by living, breathing composers who push the boundaries of music. We are excited to present the world premiere of Joseph Bertolozzi’s Tower Music–Percussion Quintet.”

The work features 82 percussion instruments played by five performers. Bertolozzi’s grant covers expenses in the extraction of parts from the full score so each member of the ensemble will be able to read their own part on tablet computers.

The arrangement faithfully reproduces the music written for the Eiffel Tower within the context of a percussion 5tet, i.e.: cymbals standing in for fence crashes, bass drums for booms on the Tower legs with a log, glockenspiel for pings on a pipe, etc.

Of the 1114 projects received this past December requesting over 7 million dollars in support, the Tower Music Percussion Quintet is one of 108 chosen for an award.

New Music USA supports and promotes new music created in the United States, awarding roughly $1 million dollars annually through three grant programs: Project Grants, Music Alive, and The Impact Fund. Project Grants offer project-specific funding to individuals and organizations. Music Alive supports composer-in-residence positions in orchestras of all sizes. The Impact Fund supports and promotes small, artist-driven ensembles, presenters, and venues in New York City.

In using the power of virtual networks and people to foster connection, New Music USA  deepens knowledge, encourages appreciation, and provides financial support for a diverse constituency of practitioners and appreciators, both within the United States and beyond.

Bertolozzi Band Music in Fresno

I was thrilled by the performance of my work “The Contemplation of Bravery” at the San Joaquin Valley Concert Band Invitational at Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall in Fresno, CA, Fri 4/13.

Conducted by David Lesser w/soloist (the other!) David Lesser, it was commissioned for the Bicentennial of West Point – The U.S. Military Academy and premiered March 18, 2001 in Eisenhower Hall by the USMA Concert Band under the direction of Major William Garlette, featuring Sgt. Harry Ditzel, horn teacher to David Lesser who is now Principal Horn of the Dallas Winds.

The work was subsequently was recorded by The United States Military Academy Band (with Tod Addison conducting) and Seattle Music (with Joel Eric Suben conducting and Mark Robbins on horn).

“No marches! We have enough marches, and from the best! Do something different for us.” That was the advice Bertolozzi received from the West Point Band before beginning work. “In any event it was my intention to write something beautiful, so I introduced an introspective, meditative point of view into the genre of military music. Surely there are times when soldiers must think hard on their responsibility to perform their duty in the face of personal danger. This to me is the essence of bravery: to knowingly put one’s self at risk. I wanted to present my impression of someone meditating on the circumstances that requires them to relinquish their safety for a greater good.”

Though not literally programmatic, the music expresses the essence of its title:  the voice of the French Horn represents the personal, solitary thought with long, arching solo lines, while the rest of the ensemble surrounds it with an atmospherically textured landscape appropriate to evoking thoughtful reflections. The orchestration highlights the various colors, combinations and blends available only within the concert wind band. From filigreed figuration, and pungent mixtures, to roaring tuttis, gentle chamber combinations and solo voices, a coherent place was found for the entire sonic palette. There is even a section of “composed silence. “Wanting to include the whole range of sound to express the profundity of my subject matter, I placed, about two thirds of the way through the work, a blazing chord for low brass and percussion which then fades. Three piccolos reveal themselves and slowly ascend, drifting like wisps of vapor and hovering a bit before they dissipate. All the while three triangles have been gently shimmering in the background like stars and then they die away into what might be construed as a grand pause, but what is indeed a “moment of silence” which has been integrally added into the work.”

On the archival recording from the premiere one can hear Bertolozzi delivering his remarks to the audience before the performance, He mentions that bravery is not only the province of soldiers, but also of police and firefighters, and that the piece is really for all of those people as well. Who knew that six months later on September 11, 2001 there would be a sadly practical need for music that honored such heroes?

American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP)Recording Academy / GRAMMYs.

BRIDGE MUSIC – 9TH SEASON

BRIDGE MUSIC, Joseph Bertolozzi’s musical homage to New York’s iconic Mid Hudson Bridge (and sister project to his Tower Music from the Eiffel Tower in Paris) celebrates its 9th anniversary in 2018.

This sound-art installation is located at each of the bridge’s towers, is accessed from the Mid Hudson Bridge’s pedestrian sidewalk near 14 Gerald Dr., Poughkeepsie and/or Johnson-Iorio Park, in Highland for the Listening Station kiosks. Open from dawn to dusk April 1 through October 31, additionally the same music plays year-round, 24/7 in the parks flanking the bridge on 95.3FM.

Joseph Ruggiero, Executive Director of the New York State Bridge Authority said: “Joseph Bertolozzi has given a voice to the Mid-Hudson Bridge, an iconic bridge that is an engineering marvel which has contributed to our great American history. The New York State Bridge Authority is ever grateful to Mr. Bertolozzi that he chose our bridge to create that first melody of bridge music that now echoes from the Hudson Valley to Paris and beyond. We congratulate Mr. Bertolozzi on commencing the 9th season of Bridge Music and wish him continued success.

Also this summer Bridge Music partners with Poughkeepsie’s O+ Festival featuring tours of the installation given by composer Joseph Bertolozzi. ​Says organizer Corene Concepcion-Rivera: Partnering with Bridge Music this summer in conjunction with PO+K is an amazing step towards collaborating with key City leaders in the Arts Community. With the installation of our Poughkeepsie Gateway Project on the Route 9 Underpass, Community members will be lead to the pedestrian walkway to view and take a tour of the Bridge Music installation.

Once the tour is over, visitors can participate in all that PO+K has to offer this 2018 year! Visit www.opositivefestival.org for volunteer, submission and sponsorship opportunities.

A tenth anniversary extravaganza is planned for next year, in 2019. Details will soon be available.

You can follow #BridgeMusic on Facebook, Twitter, and just by reading the paper and listening to the radio!

TOWER MUSIC AT ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL

The talented choreographer Maddie Trotter interprets “A Thousand Feet of Sound” from Tower Music in dance at Australia’s Adelaide Fringe Festival! TIX HERE: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/rip-drag-ruminate-af2018 ! #TowerMusic

Maddie Trotter is one of Adelaide’s newest dance makers and movers. What you’ll see at this event is short bursts of fresh dance ideas.

The brief for each choreographer is to present innovation in thought and inspiration through action. The collection of styles should keep all dance watchers challenged and engaged. See you there.

Presented by:
Adelaide College of the Arts

Adelaide College of the Arts is a hub of tertiary arts education in South Australia. Centrally located in the city in Adelaide’s Light Square, AC Arts is Australia’s only tertiary institution housing the study of performing arts, visual arts and design all in one building.
Bachelor of Creative Arts (Dance) – TAFE SA’s Bachelor of Creative Arts (Dance) is a degree in elite dance performance. Delivered in partnership with Flinders University, the course combines performance with theoretical study of classical and contemporary dance. You’ll develop skills in realistic dance techniques, devised movement practices, dance project realisation, choreography and stage performance.