ensemble flute (doubling alto), bassoon, trombone, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass (or electric bass)
duration 8 minutes
written fall 2008
commissioned by New World Symphony
premièred January 30, 2009, Miami, FL
published by Andres & Sons Bakery
I wrote Some Connecticut Gospel in the couple of months leading up to the 2008 presidential election. It’s partly a piece about Charles Ives, and how his music and inimitable personality have become a legend for composers, and also about some strange feelings (hope? patriotism?) that had been welling up inside me for the first time in my life.
Connecticut is unlike some other states, whose residents seem to have a strong sense of group identity, even pride. I never feel “Connecticutian”; I tend to think of myself as a misplaced Californian, even though I only spent the first five years of my life in the Bay Area. Did Connecticut used to have more of a personality? Before the factories shut down, before every city became a depressed corpse, before Route 7 became a parade of strip-malls and the southwest corner a spec-house paradise, the state must have had some real charm. Some Connecticut Gospel is a song of praise to this imagined place— Ives’s Connecticut.
recorded live at Sprague Hall, New Haven, CT, February 2010
performers Mindy Heinsohn, flute; Nicholas Akdag, bassoon; Matt Wright, trombone; Timo Andres, piano; So Young Kwon, violin; Vessilin Todorov, viola; Hannah Collins, ‘cello; Joe Magar, electric bass