As part of its innovative annual New Music Concerts, the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra is joined by legendary singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson and the incomparable So Percussion in a program of Contemporary Music and World Premieres. Featured on the program is Tone Poems, the World Premiere of the new orchestra work by renowned composer Chen Yi, commissioned by the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra and the Richard P. Wilson Fund for New Music.
On April 28 and 29, the IAAO continues its tradition of performing the most exciting new works of our time, collaborating with world-class soloists and commissioning major composers. The orchestra will perform a program that includes the World Premieres of songs from Richard Thompson's Interviews with Ghosts, Chen Yi's Tone Poem, Peter Askim's Elsewhere... and the World Premiere of the Orchestra Version of John Cage's Credo in US, specially authorized by The John Cage Trust. Also on the program is the West Coast Premiere of So member Jason Treuting's Oblique Music and Steve Reich's Music for Pieces of Wood.
Alongside the youthful virtuosi of the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra, So Percussion will be the featured soloists for three of the works, and Richard Thompson will sing and perform his new songs with orchestral accompaniment.
I didn't actually go looking for them. The songs are based on "the alleged transcripts" of interviews with people who have spoken to ghosts. I found them truly fascinating.
The three pieces being performed this weekend are "Weak Signal", about a spirit who complains of his difficulty in tuning into the living; "Forgive and Forget", based on the memories of a young girl who haunts the place where she was murdered; and "I'll Take My Sorrows to the Sea", about a young woman who haunts the patch of ocean where her boyfriend drowned.
The pieces showcase Thompson's versatility as a composer, as he weaves in Middle Eastern strings and "vague English melancholy."
Richard Thompson, Peter Askim, Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra
Photo by Vance Blaettler