Chris Thomas • World premiere of a new work: “Snapshots”
Mahler/Schoenberg • Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth)
Alexis Hamilton, Mezzo; Brennen Guillory, Tenor
Chris Thomas • Snapshots
Notes from the composer-
Snapshots is a work written only a month ago. This title is short for “ Snapshots of Los Angeles . ” Each short movement intends to depict a prominent feature in LA.
I. Shades of Brown
What is the most prominent image in Los Angeles ? Not the iconic Hollywood sign, nor the palm trees or downtown skyline. Even these images are overpowered by a far greater sight: they are all lost in a sea of atmospheric smog. This piece is meant to pay a tribute to a dazzling achievement of mankind, the hazing out of world famous landmarks once invisible to the naked eye.II. Hollywierd This piece depicts some of what you might when venturing to the land of Hollywierd . You’ll notice the music frequently changes directions. Just like that famous boulevard, each street corner (and everything in between) contains life more colorful than every Rocky Horror Picture Show theatre in the Northwest combined! Contrary to the image Hollywood makes for itself on the big screen, the real Hollywierd is teeming with shoppers, disillusioned tourists, and colorfully-costumed crooks waiting to alleviate you of a wallet or car.
III. Fahrenheit 405
We’re journeying to an inside joke of Southern California . Interstate 405 around here is the “great Satan” of Los Angeles . If you mistakenly exit upon this road, you are guaranteed a two-hour siesta. The pavement is as sticky as the La Brea Tar Pits. This city is known for some of the scariest drivers in America . Sociologists attribute this to many causes, but us locals really know what makes people crazy around here. Listen to how the music tells the 405 mantra.
This tune is on the personal side. In my recent experience of having moved to LA, Brigitte and I were blessed with a baby kitten: Roma (named after our favorite café in Eugene). When we get home each day, the hour-long freeway battle doesn’t seem so bad. She may bite our toes and shred the carpet, but the erratic and playful nature of cats is a good source for musical material. My idea is to write music that captures the behavior and character of our kitten.