Music projects created by Fred Fox School of Music faculty inspired by tree-ring data and an 1930s ultra modernist female composer are getting noticed.
“If a tree’s rings are studied in a lab but no one hears them, do they make noise in the climate movement?”
This question was posed in a major 2,100-word feature by the Arizona Republic’s climate reporter Joan Meiners. She calls the performance by a trio of Fred Fox School of Music faculty – Sara Fraker, Marissa Olegario and Jackie Glazier – “a hauntingly beautiful 13-minute composition of trees, by trees and for trees.” The feature digs into the science of climate change culled from tree-ring data.
- Arizona Republic | Researchers find musical muse in forest climate data
- The same story was republished on the front page of the Arizona Daily Star.
- University Communications | Q&A with Sara Fraker
For the Wild
“Pine Chant” was then featured on “For the Wild,” an environmental justice podcast that featured guest Jarod K. Anderson.
Inspired by tree-ring growth data from the University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, Pine Chant is a sonic embodiment of 12 Arizona trees and an emotional response to climate crisis. Dr. Margaret Evans, a dendroecologist from the tree-ring lab, provided scientific direction on the project. The commissioning project for Pine Chant was designed to incorporate principles of dendroecology, deep ecology, and deep listening through an artistic lens.
Lachlan Skipworth, composer
Sara Fraker, cor anglais
Jackie Glazier, clarinet
Marissa Olegario, bassoon
Produced by Lachlan Skipworth, Sara Fraker, and Alexander Lipay. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Wiley Ross at the Haskell Recording Studio at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music.
Johanna Beyer: Music for Woodwinds
The “Pine Chant” trio of Fraker, Olegario and Glazier also recorded a CD of the musical works of underrepresented female composer Johanna Magdalena Beyer as part of the Arizona Wind Quintet. The CD “Johanna Beyer: Music for Woodwinds” received a positive review from Fanfare magazine.
Arizona Wind Quintet
Brian Luce, flute
Sara Fraker, oboe/English horn
Jackie Glazier, clarinet/bass clarinet
Marissa Olegario, bassoon/contrabassoon
William Dietz, bassoon
Daniel Linder, piano
The CD was recorded, mixed and mastered by Wiley Ross at the Haskell Recording Studio for New World Records.
Through her novel approaches to texture and melody, German American composer Johanna Beyer (1888–1944) became one of the most distinctive modernist voices of the mid-20th century. Beyer was the first woman known to have composed for electric instruments (Music of the Spheres, 1938). Her compositions anticipate elements of minimalism, a movement that would manifest two decades after her passing. Beyer was long omitted from the written history of ultra modernism. However, her activities as a composer and pianist in 1930s New York City placed her within the orbits of many important artists.
“It is projects in our current day, led by companies like New World Records, that can collectively aid in undoing the wrongs of history by bringing recognition and representation to integral compositional treasures such as the works of Johanna Magdalena Beyer.” —Fanfare
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