Two Points of View/Dva Gledišta
Jenni Brandon – Places We Are From
Places We Are From explores the idea of identity and where we come from both geographically, physically, and spiritually. This unique exploration is reflected in the make-up of the 3 different instrumentation performance options for this work: oboe/bassoon/piano, oboe/alto saxophone/piano, soprano saxophone/bassoon/piano. Using these combinations to tell stories of joy, hope, frustration, and perseverance, each instrument has its own individual solo within the work, making each version unique. Allowing the individual voice of the instruments to shine, this creates the possibility of discovering who we are and finding happiness in the journey.
This work is in one movement with titled sections to help tell the story:
Joy & Hope
Jenni Brandon is a composer and conductor, creating music in collaboration with other musicians and artists. She has written over 70 works, telling stories through memorable musical lines influenced by nature and poetry. Commissioned to write music from solo to
orchestral works, her music appears on over 21 albums. Her music has been awarded the Sorel Medallion, American Prize, Paderewski Cycle, Women Composers Festival of Hartford International Competition, and Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition among
others. Her works are published and distributed by Boosey & Hawkes, Santa Barbara Music, Graphite, TrevCo, Imagine, J.W. Pepper, June Emerson, and her own publishing company Jenni Brandon Music. As a conductor she conducted her one-act opera 3 PADEREWSKIS in the
Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center. She also presents workshops on collaboration and the business of music, striving to create a supportive environment where collaboration leads to an exploration of ideas. Visit jennibrandon.com to learn more.
Nansi Carroll - Canzonet
Dora and I met Nansi during the Common Tone Music Festival in 2021, where she was premiering her piece Light Bearer with the TORCH Collective. Near the end of the Festival Nansi offered to write a piece for the two of us and we gratefully accepted. The resulting work is Canzonet, a three movement work based on “Miraculous Love’s Wounding,” a duet by Thomas Morley. Each of the three movements is a short musical interpretation of Morley’s text setting and features a great deal of interplay between the oboe and soprano saxophone.
Nansi Carroll (b. 1946) studied voice at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, the Tanglewood Music Center, and Yale School of Music, where she received her Doctorate in 1982. Her principal teachers were Marjorie Thomas and Phyllis Curtin. Carroll is also active as a composer with a current catalog of over three hundred works. She is published by GIA, and her music also appears in the volume Sacred Sound & Social Change. For 25 year she served as the Music Director for the St. Augustine Catholic Student Center at the University of Florida and is currently Co-Artistic Director of A Musical Offering, 501(c)3 which administers the Jubilus Festival in Gainesville, FL. Carroll’s music focuses on settings of African-American Spirituals.
Stanislava Gajič – Devojačko Kolo/Maiden’s Dance
Maiden's Dance, or Devojačko kolo, is inspired by a traditional melody that many different nations in the Balkans and Middle East claim as their own. In Serbia it is known as "Aj ruse kose curo imas" which is about love towards a girl with ginger hair. The melody is probably originally from Spain. It came to Serbia from Arabic counties and particularly Turkey, as they occupied Serbia for 500 years. This melody is centuries old and in all nations it talks about a Maiden's happiness. My inspiration was to connect the beauty of the melody and harmony of this song and put in the most beautiful singing registers of oboe and saxophone. Through their interpretation we can hear all the parts of the world where this melody is used. This piece was commisioned by Proud Duo.
Stanislava Gajić, born 1980 in Sremska Mitrovica (Serbia), graduated in composition at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. She finished Master of Art and D.Arts in composition in class Isidora Žebeljan at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. Her project for the bachelor degree was ballet Grieving Family. The premiere took place at the Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad. Stanislava got the Vasilije Mokranjac Award at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. Stanislava`s works have been performed by Symphonic orchestra Serbian National Theater, Symphonic orchestra of the Province of Bari, Region Puglia in Italy, Camerata Academica Novi Sad, San Juan String Ansamble Argentina, The Construction Site Contemporary Music Ensemble, Collegium musicum choir, Orfelin choir and orchestra, soloists like a Milijana Nikolić, soprano, Marko Miletić, violoncello, Mateja Marinković, violin, Lydia Kneip, flute, Branko Džinović, accordion and etc. She is Assistant Professor at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad.
Brian Kershner – Dva Gledišta
Brian Kershner, composer and bassoonist, has written over fifty works for a variety of performance media. Many of the pieces are published, recorded, and have been played internationally. His Three Pressings for Clarinet and String Quartet is being recorded for release on a new CD, in 2022, and another recent recording involves his work for Oboe and Alto Saxophone, Dva Gladišta (Two Points of View), also due to be released in 2022. Dr. Kershner has written extensively for bassoon, including his well-known Sonata for Bassoon, and his Bagatelles for Clarinet and Bassoon, both with Dr. Kershner performing on commercially available CD’s. His saxophone quartet Contours, Canons, and Caricatures, is recorded on Vienna Modern Masters, and won a special commendation by the panel of judges. His song cycle, Leaves of Grass was a finalist in the 2008 Art Song Competition sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He is continuing his series of works for bassoon and one other instrument, the first with guitar and subsequent duos combining with Flute, Erhu and Bass Clarinet. The first three were performed at IDRS conferences. Most recent works include a trio for oboe, bassoon and piano, a new character piece for bassoon and piano, a work for trombone and percussion, and a solo piece for piano. Brian Kershner is currently Professor Emeritus at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT. He has previously served on the faculties of Rutgers University, Baylor University and University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dva Gledišta is the result of a request and commission from a former theory student of mine, when he was at Central Connecticut State University as an undergraduate. Joe Proud contacted me and told me that he and his wife, an oboist, wanted and needed a piece for the two of them to use on a Spring semester recital, as well as a couple of competitions/conferences. I was at the end of a Fall sabbatical leave, and was completing a clarinet quintet, and so I accepted. The title, in English, means Two Points of View and is written in Serbian, as Joe’s wife is Serbian. It pretty accurately transmits what my goals were with this piece. The two instruments have nearly identical written ranges, although with the transposition element, I had a reasonable range within which to work. The piece opens with a combined presentation of intervallic interplay mixed with just slightly offset rhythmic points. The middle of the work contains two sections, the first of which presents the oboe in a quasi-improvisatory manner, written over a “carpet” of quiet multiphonics in the form of a loop, and the parts are not meant to be in alignment. Then the saxophone steps forward in the same solo manner, supported this time by a repeated ten measure pattern in the oboe. The first of these two improvisatory-sounding areas is quite free, and somewhat indeterminate, while the second is more metrically structured. The duo concludes with vigorous and sturdily rhythmic music, infused with all manner of canonic games.
--Brian Kershner, March 2018
Ruby Fulton – WiCkHaM pArK iN 18 HoLeS
Composer and musician Ruby Fulton (b. 1981) writes music which invites listeners to explore non-musical ideas through sound. Her musical portfolio includes explorations of mental illness, Buddhism, philosophy, psychedelic research, addiction, and chess strategy; and profiles of iconic popular figures like the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and musicians Syd Barrett and Whitney Houston. She has collaborated on interdisciplinary projects with thinkers and makers in the sciences and literary, movement and visual arts. She teaches composition and music theory at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music.
WiCkHaM pArK iN 18 HoLeS was composed in memory of Joseph M Proud III, the father of Proud duo saxophonist Joe Proud. Joe's father, an active member of the Frisbee Golf community, designed a course at Wickham Park in Manchester, CT which remains as an important legacy of his life's work. The map of the frisbee golf course provides the structural framework for the music of the duo. Embedded into the structured pattern-based music is a lyrical tune which emerges in the 2nd part of the composition. Creation of this music was supported by a grant from the Idaho Commission of the Arts.
Isidora Žebeljan - Girotondo
Girotondo by Isidora Žebeljan is the only piece on this album not written for the Proud Duo. Originally scored for saxophone, double bass, piano and percussion, this work had been arranged by the composer to feature the oboe as well as two saxophones. A version for oboe and saxophone was discussed with Žebeljan, but was not completed before her death in 2020. With the permission of her husband, oboist Borislav Čičkovački, we created this arrangement for oboe and alto saxophone. Girotondo is a concert miniature in which Isidora Žebeljan’s interest in amalgamating elements of two essentially remote sources of inspiration – folk music and popular music – reached one of its most effective and brilliant peaks. The title is the Italian equivalent of the Serbian fast folk round-dance called kolo. In the piece we can hear, on the one hand, melodic and harmonic devices based the interval of a second, which is a characteristic of folk music in the Balkans; and on the other hand, pointed rhythms and percussive patterns which hint at jazz. The flow of the composition grows into a long accelerando, finishing with a furious coda containing wide range register jumps in the oboe.
ISIDORA ŽEBELJAN (Belgrade, 1967-2020) was the most outstanding and internationally acclaimed Serbian composer and one of the most original compositional voices of the beginning of the 21st century. Her works have been commissioned by institutions and festivals of international recognition including the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation, Venice Biennale, Bregenz Festival, Accademia Musicale Chigiana Sienna, Muziektheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen, City of London Festival, etc. Žebeljan’s works were performed by some of the world’s most celebrated ensembles including the Berlin Philharmonic Octet, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Brodsky Quartet, I Solisti Veneti, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Dutch Chamber Choir, London Brass, and many more. Her compositions were regularly performed in Europe, Israel, USA, Canada, Australia, Asia.