A Lot of Night Music

News Feature

News & Events

April 8, 2012
Friday night the Choral Society's Spring Concert, under the direction of Professor [b]Steven Young[/b], will feature the world premiere of two works. One is by Professor [b]Curtiss Hoffman[/b] of anthropology, whose cantata includes textual components from the writings of Carl Jung with melodies based on dreams of Dr. Hoffman.[br][br]The other is by Boston-based composer [b]Graham Ramsay[/b], and is called "Oda al Mar" ("Ode to the Sea").[br][br]The third piece featured in the performance is "Oceanic Eyes" by [b]Matthew Harris[/b]. The composer visited with Dr. Young and the choral society in the days before the performance.[br][br]Dr. Hoffman's piece, "The Gilgamesh Cantata," was written using software called Finale. "My dreams came up with the melodies I just copied them down and worked them," said the composer, who says he dabbled with music back in his high school days. [br][br]The lyrics for the piece come from Jung's "Red Book," which the famous psychologist wrote and illustrated between 1914 and 1930. The book was not published until 2009.[br][br]Composing the cantata was "very intense," Dr. Hoffman said. "It's the sort of thing that gets me up in the middle of the night," he said.[br][br]Mr. Ramsay's piece was written specifically for the BSU performers.[br][br]"He sent me some music about a year and a half ago and we played something of his last year, and then he asked if he would write something for us," Dr. Young said.[br][br]The result is a modern piece that is very expressive, featuring an ocean-like, cyclical motion.[br][br]Mr. Harris' visit with the choral singers helps in many ways, Dr. Young said.[br][br]"It gives them different insights into the making of the piece," he said. [br][br]The Choral Society's Spring Concert will be held Friday at 8 p.m. in the Horace Mann Auditorium. The performance is free and open to the public.[br][br](Story by John Winters, G '11; photo by Doris Galli, '13, University Advancement)
The BSU Choral Society (file)