1. Song of Attachment – Nova Pon
2.-6. Whimsical Sketches of Fanciful Birds: Book 2 – Vincent Ho
7. Momentum – David Eagle
8. Nowhere Left to Run – Claude Lapalme
9. Whimsical Sketches of Fanciful Birds: Book 3 – Vincent Ho
Jeremy Brown, saxophones
Lana Henchell, piano
Recording and Audio Engineer: Zana Warner
Additional sound and technical support: Alex Bohn, UCalgary, Theatre Services
Designed & Manufactured by DMA Discs
Thanks to the University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts, Bruce Barton, Director, for providing the Eckhardt-Gramatté concert hall for this recording on January 5, 6, and 7, 2022. In addition, my gratitude to the UCalgary Centre for Research in the Fine Arts, Penny Farfan, Director, for the financial support that allowed the completion of this recording. My sincere thanks to the multi-talented composer and founder of Redshift Records, Jordan Nobles, for his belief in this project from the early stages.
Finally, my deepest thank you is to my wife, Lisa Stephen, who created the artwork for this recording, and who, as always, provides endless encouragement and support for my musical projects.
TK525 © 2022 Jeremy Brown
Born in Seattle, Washington, Jeremy Brown earned degrees from Washington State University, The Eastman School of Music and The Ohio State University. He is Professor of Music at the University of Calgary and performs as a jazz, classical and free improviser, primarily on the saxophone. He is also a woodwind doubler and performs as a flautist, clarinetist, and on recorders, penny whistle and slide flute. At the UCalgary School of Creative and Performing Arts, he has been a conductor of the wind bands and the jazz bands. In addition, he has taught courses in improvisation, the saxophone studio, instrumental music education and SoTL, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
He was the saxophone soloist with the National Youth Band of Canada in 2015 and again as the conductor/artistic director in 2017, an unprecedented double tenure.
As an author, he has written numerous pedagogical articles for The Instrumentalist magazine, Canadian Winds, where he serves as an associate editor, and many other periodicals. His recent book The Wind Band Music of Henry Cowell (Routledge Press, 2018) includes definitive recordings of Cowell’s music with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s winds, conducted by Dr. Brown. In addition, he was series editor and lead compiler of the inaugural Royal Conservatory of Music Saxophone Series (Frederick Harris Music, 2014), a multi-volume saxophone anthology with graded repertoire, etudes, technical studies and orchestral excerpts. He is writing a book, New Perspectives on Jazz Patronage (Routledge Press), to be completed in 2023.
He was founding Artistic Director and conductor of the National Concert Band of Canada, 2002-2010, an auditioned youth band of students from across Canada. In addition, he has been the Artistic Director and conductor of the Calgary Wind Symphony for 25 years, a sixty-member wind band founded in 1955.
His recording of Wayfaring (2014) by Nova Pon was nominated as the Outstanding Classical composition of 2015 by the Western Canadian Music Awards. In 2010, his solo recording of Canadian solo and chamber music for saxophone, “Rubbing Stone,” was nominated for outstanding classical record of the year by the Western Canadian Music Awards. In 2017, he was nominated for the Student’s Union Teaching Award, which he won in 1999. In 2014 he was awarded the inaugural University of Calgary Teaching Award by the Faculty of Arts. In 2009 he was recognized at Southam Hall in Ottawa as a “Canadian Music Ambassador” by the Canadian Music Centre to commission and perform music by Canadian composers, with about sixty works commissioned. In 2008, he was named one of five “Innovators of the University of Calgary” for his community outreach with the Salvation Army. In 2007 was awarded the David Peterkin Award for his contribution to music education in Alberta by the Alberta Band Association.
Calgary native, Lana Henchell, is an award-winning pianist and educator whose dedication to performing Classical music has taken her across Canada, U.S.A., France and Portugal.
After her orchestral debut with the Calgary Civic Symphony at the age of 13, Lana has since performed as a soloist with several orchestras, including the Orquestra Classica do Centro (Portugal), the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, the Calgary Civic Symphony, the McGill Symphony, and the University of Calgary Orchestra.
After completing her doctorate at McGill University (Richard Raymond) and her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Calgary (Marilyn Engle), Lana performed in prestigious events such as the Coimbra World Piano Meeting (Portugal) and L’Académie Musicale Internationale (France). In addition, she was the winner of the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Piano Competition and the Coimbra World Piano Competition; and received top prizes in the International Stepping Stone of the Canadian Music Competitions and the Stravinsky Awards International Piano Competition.
Her penchant for contemporary music has been shown by numerous performances at the New Works and Happening New Music Festivals in Calgary. Her most recent projects have featured the colorful music of Juno-nominated composer, Vincent Ho—including newly commissioned works for saxophone and piano duo. In addition to performing, Lana currently teaches piano privately and at the University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts. She is also an avid adjudicator—serving on juries for the Honens ProAm Piano Competition and the Canadian Music Competitions, held across Canada.
Song of Attachment, (2020) Nova Pon (1983)
When Jeremy Brown commissioned this work, I asked him about themes currently important to him, and he talked about love, loss, success, and gratitude. At the same time, I was similarly immersed in love and gratitude for my recently born child and, tiptoeing and scurrying as she slept, struggling to succeed at making things work. I also felt loss, though in a different sense: mourning the passing of each irreplaceable moment and feeling our inevitable gradual separation, but also the joyful exuberance of her growth. I contemplated time–the race against it striving to get ahead, the way some moments seem to stretch out forever, and the protest against time, like a frantic bird that we wish to hold fast, as it, ultimately, takes our loved ones from us. Finally, I thought of the view of attachment as the source of suffering but preferred to focus on acceptance of change, gratitude for the moments we have, and affirmation of the need to cherish. This work explores my response to these thoughts and variations on a theme.
Whimsical Sketches of Fanciful Birds, Books 2 & 3, (2021) Vincent Ho (1975)
These two books – five pieces in each – are continuations of my “Whimsical” series for alto saxophone and piano. Like Book 1, these movements are meant to be cartoon-like musical caricatures of various species of birds. With each bird, I personified them by associating them with amusing characteristics and personality traits that many of us could identify with. Doing so gave rise to many inventive musical ideas, opening up new possibilities of saxophone performance techniques while expanding my “Fanciful Bird” universe. The subtitles of each movement are self-explanatory regarding their narratives.
Nowhere left to run, (2021) Claude Lapalme (1962)
Nowhere left to run is in response to the George Floyd killing last Spring. I wrote two pieces about it in the Covid-19 solo composition projects. The piece describes the anxiety of trying to escape from forces beyond your control. In the second part, George’s death is defined by pitchless and breathy techniques for the saxophone to describe the lack of oxygen as he is needlessly and violently restrained. The chant Dies irae is used, as well as a brief micro-quote of the song “Mama” by Cesare Andrea Bixio, referring to the last words allegedly uttered by the victim. It was written with celerity and a great sense of urgency.
Momentum (2018), David Eagle (1955)
Momentum was composed for and is dedicated to Jeremy Brown. In the fall of 2018, I was living in London, and each morning would write in the quiet of the Music Room at the British Library. To get there, I needed to make my way through bustling streets, dodging and sometimes stumbling through the crowds, until realizing that one needed momentum and spontaneity to move forward. That daily experience influenced the agile character of the composition, in particular the shape and direction of musical lines, its rhythmic changes and density, and the speed of the melodies. These are contrasted with calmer, more reflective passages, as if suddenly arriving in an open space, getting a chance to breathe.
More information can be found about the composers at the links below: