Beth teaches composition and clarinet at the University of Maine in Orono, ME. She also spends time in Massachusetts with her husband, David Rakowski, and in her Subaru going back and forth on Routes 95 and 93.
The next few months I’m hoping to get going on a new music-plus-video piece, but there are some events to break up the season. First, another showing of the I Give You My Home film is scheduled for Keene, NH at the Colonial Theatre, June 11th at 1PM. Having seen the movie now a few times on a big screen, I can heartily recommend that viewing/listening experience. Some of the visuals in the piece were recorded nearby, so we hope for Keene locals come out to see them.
Another event coming up is the release of another work of mine on Parma Records, after Parma’s release of the I Give You My Home CD.
This piece, Young Charlotte, was recorded by Aliana de la Guardia and Yoko Hagino in the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA, which was a great experience in itself. The release date is August 24th, on the disc VOICES OF EARTH AND AIR VOL. 5. More info to come..
It’s that time – Guerilla Opera’s work on my piece I Give You My Home is being released this month as both a movie and a CD/audio playlist. The first “single” just dropped, and on March 10th the whole CD will be released. The movie has several screenings scheduled for the live experience coming up – Watertown, MA – Keene, NH – Portland, ME included. There will be online experiences as well, and you can get all of the details in the links below.
We’ve been working on this piece for a while now, with public performances last spring and summer. Now it will be possible for many more people to see the Guerilla musicians perform, both in the Nichols House Museum that inspired the piece, and on location in and around the places that inspired Rose Nichols herself.
Guerilla Opera presents I Give You My Home, a world premiere operatic film inspired by the Nichols House Museum and the life of Rose Standish Nichols, a true-life women’s peace party and suffrage activist and professional landscape architect, and brings to light this singular Bostonian woman’s efforts to affect change. I Give You My Home features music and original libretto by Beth Wiemann and brought to life by the acclaimed filmmaker Cara Consilvio.
The work uses phrases from the first chapter of Vigil Harbor, a novel by Julia Glass. From the title for the whole piece, Say That Geography Is Destiny, we go to individual movements: I. Aimed Straight Toward the Sun, II. Enclosed by Restless Water, and III. Rugged with Rock. The words describe different aspects of a promontory that is the main setting for the novel, a place that’s seen as a safer haven than most in a time of seashore climate changes. Here’s a portion of the piece – the last movement, played by Laura Artesani with me last weekend.
In advance of the release of “I Give You My Home” in its filmed form, Guerilla Opera will have an educational presentation on Rose Standish Nichols and her life, hosted by the Haverhill Public Library on February 15th. Both the movie and the CD will be out in March!
Revision – looks like another session on March 16th at 3PM…
The Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival (https://sebagomusicfestival.org) will have its 50th anniversary concert from this past July on Maine Public (radio and online) tonight. The concert features the work commissioned for this anniversary, “The Lake Guide” for mixed septet. The premiere at Deertrees theatre was quite the event, and everyone involved is looking forward to the broadcast tonight.
A new septet commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Sebago Long Lake Music Festival in the “lakes region” of western Maine. Great players:
Laura Gilbert, flute Benjamin Fingland, clarinet William Purvis, horn Min-Young Kim, violin Matthew Sinno, viola Mihai Marica, cello Mihae Lee, piano
Each movement has some element depicting activity on or in the water. The first movement features the piano part continuously “rowing” underneath the rest of the ensemble. The second movement floats on the surface, constantly moving, but slowly. The last movement has the piano part “diving in,” but its energy contrasts with the soft, murky sounds from below the surface. Excerpts from each movement can be heard on Soundcloud – here’s the opening of the final movement:
It was quite an experience to hear the core ensemble of Guerilla Opera perform the piece at the Nichols House Museum on Beacon Hill early this month. Intense, impressive and so musical. And Aliana was in suffragette white for all the shows!
There will be another whole version of the piece, a film shot on locations throughout New England, coming in 2023 – along with an audio recording. More info to come….