February 12, 2021 – Snow Moon/ Snow Blinding (Folkloric/Mi’kmaq)
“In the Falling Dark 1” was composed by Derek Charke in 2014 as a commission by the Muzikon series for pianist Barbara Pritchard. The work is about the time of day known as dusk or twilight. In French this hour is known as ‘Entre Chien et Loup’ (translated as between dog and wolf). The mood begins from a recurring chorale to shimmering, repeated chord patterns opening to brooding moments and spaciously improvised solemn reflections.
March 26, 2021 – Worm Moon/ Maple Sugar (Folkloric/Mi’kmaq)
“Nocturne Op 97” by Richard Gibson
As would be expected from the title, I have tried through this piece to create music evocative of nocturnal mystery, introspection and the revelation of hidden meaning, in the same manner that the obscurity of nightfall can be conducive to personal introspection. Within a restrained registral compass, and against a background of mysteriously ambiguous inner-voice chords, certain anchor tones gain prominence through the progress of the piece, ultimately revealing the hidden structural ‘meaning’ in the form of the 12-note chord which concludes the piece. Of course, the compositional point of departure was simply to create a succession of beautiful sounds, in this case for Janet Hammock, a pianist and friend of long duration to whom the nocturne is dedicated. The revelation of a hidden meaning was a serendipitous by-product, dictated to me by the music, during a period of intensely focused composition.
April 23, 2021 – Birds Laying Eggs Moon (Folkloric/Mi’kmaq)
“Nocturne E. 93” by Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté
Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté was a mostly self taught, Russian-born Canadian composer. She also was a virtuoso pianist and violinist. This Nocturne is a childhood piece she wrote around the age of 13 and then later returned to revise and expand as an adult in 1936 while living in Berlin. There are influences of Chopin and Schumann but this is clearly the work of an expressive and independently minded artist.