Music of Alex Freeman 8 February 2008

Christopher U. Light Lectureship at Carleton: Music of Alex Freeman

Christopher U Light Lectureship at Carleton Music of Alex Freeman
Selected solo and chamber works of Carleton College's new composition professor will be performed in conjunction with a lecture about the works included. Brian Lee will perform Freeman's one-movement Piano Sonata (2000) and Three Pieces (2004). Eva Alkula will perform Magnolia (2002), for the Finnish traditional kantele, and comes all the way from Helsinki, Finland to do so. The program will conclude with two mixed chamber pieces: Intermezzo, a short work for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano written for a wedding, and Blueshift, written for the same ensemble (Pierrot) plus percussion. The concert will also feature David Carter (St. Olaf), Nina Olsen, Martha Jamsa, Jay Johnson,  Matthew McCright, and Hector Valdivia.

Professor Freeman, from Raleigh, North Carolina, completed his studies at The Eastman School of Music, Boston University, and The Juilliard School. He comes most recently from an extended stay in Finland, where he went via Fulbright fellowship to do research on Jean Sibelius's music, sketches, and compositional process and study at the Sibelius Academy with the composer and writer Eero Hämeenniemi.

The compositions on this program represent a cross-section of  Freeman's instrumental chamber works of the last seven years. Sonata, for piano, and Magnolia, for the Finnish national instrument, the kantele, are performed by the very musicians for whom they were composed.

The mixed ensemble pieces on the second half of the concert offer a contrast—in both medium and style—to the solo works featured on the first half. Intermezzo, composed for the wedding of two friends of the composer's in 2006, is a light, melodic piece tailored to the occasion for which it was written. Blueshift, loosely based on the astronomical concept of the same name, contains aspects of minimalism and pays homage to Steve Reich in the year of his 70th birthday. This work was part of an expansive minimalist festival in Helsinki and was a joint commission by the US Embassy in Finland and The Sibelius Academy.

Christopher U. Light, Carleton class of 1958, who also created companion lecture funds in the fields of art and music, established the Light Lectureship in Literature. Light is a freelance writer and composer, record producer and musician with a dedication to promoting the arts at Carleton.