Composer: John Steinmetz
|I. Under Ground||3.25|
|II. The Devourer||6.25|
|III. Gone is Gone||4.5|
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This edition consists of a duet score.
Coal Seams was commissioned by Joshua and Stefanie Gardner for Égide Duo.
From the composer's program notes:
' I haven’t visited coal country in Appalachia, but readings, songs, and images from the region moved and disturbed me, and led into these musical explorations. This piece enters coal country via imagination, digging around in three seams of impressions and emotions.
“Under Ground” imagines descending into the earth, into the dark.
“The Devourer” starts playfully, then one instrument steals notes from another, and eventually they tussle and crash. The music evokes an imaginary being, endlessly hungry for wealth and power, that leaves devastation in its wake. Yet deep inside itself, the Devourer wails with unfilled need.
“Gone is Gone,” a made-up folk song, mourns what is lost and broken: lives, communities, landscapes. The idea here, and the hope, is that acknowledgement and mourning might help to honor the people, the places, and the need for renewal.
Joshua and Stefanie Gardner commissioned Coal Seams for their duo, Égide, that uses music to confront issues in the world. While discussing possible directions for the piece, I learned that Joshua Gardner grew up in coal country. His arresting photographs of landscapes affected by mining gave the piece its direction.
The music touches only a few of the images, ideas, and feelings that came my way. Some of the things that stuck with me: Miners loving their families and their work. Unsafe, illegal conditions in mines. Insufficient inspections. Black Lung afflicting younger miners. A bankrupt mining company, unable to pay miners’ medical expenses, reappearing under a different name. Forests and rivers buried. Cities hungry for electricity. Coal smoke polluting air and raising temperatures. Industry dominating state politics. Absentee landowners. Wealth extracted and exported. Communities trying to revive. '
Performer / Ensemble Link Comments Égide Duo: Joshua Gardner (cl), Stefanie Gardner (bcl) (2020).
Pages (score): 14
Publisher Code: C2105
ISMN: Book: 9790800216091; PDF: 9790800216107
Weight: 246 g