The music of Curtis Rumrill (née Dahn) explores the intersection of literary form and modern chamber music. His works with writer, naturalist and visual artist Webberly Ebberly Finnich (née Zachary Webber) tell stories of animals in desperate or violent predicaments that seek to shed light on the human condition. He is also the composer of instrumental chamber music with and without electronics, works for tape, and studio compositions (multi-track fixed media works composed on acoustic instruments played primarily by himself).
In 2015 Ensemble Dal Niente featured his piece The Parasite, and Her Sister on their tour of Latin America. Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble will take on tour his recently completed concert-length work, The Passion of the Wilt-Mold Mothers, and will give it a studio recording. His music has been premiered and performed by, among others, Ensemble Dal Niente, Tony Arnold, Thomas Rosenkranz, Aiyun Huang, Jordan Dodson, Alia Musica, the Syracuse University Contemporary Music Ensemble, Lisa Cella and Juna Winston. Alia Musica has treated both Sex Poem for Lightbulb by Beetle and Rover to studio recordings, the recording of Rover featuring Tony Arnold and Anna Elder as soloists. SUR Syracuse University released a recording of Sketch for Guitar (performed by the composer) on the CD Live from Setnor Auditorium.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured the premiere of The Passion of the Wilt-Mold Mothers on their list of 10 ways to whet your musical appetite this year in Pittsburgh, and described his piece, Rover, as offering “intriguing melodies and fanciful vignettes within the elegant (yes, elegant — bass drum solos come to mind)” in their review of the 2016 Pittsburgh Festival of New Music.
He has been performed in the United States and internationally, including Vienna, Austria; Basel and Baden, Switzerland; Maccagno, Italy; Panama City, Panama; Bogota, Colombia; Mexico City, Mexico; Boston, MA; Bowling Green, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Syracuse, NY, in venues including the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Teatro Amador and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Panama, the University of Pittsburgh; Syracuse Univerity; Bowling Green State University; and Boston University. Works of his have been included in the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, JazzWerkstatt Wien, Vienna Roomservice Festival, Numu: Neue und Unentdeckte Musik, the soundSCAPE Festival, and Alia Musica Presents.
The Passion of the Wilt-Mold Mothers
2016 (sop, sop, sop, mezzo) performed by Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble 42’00”
Part I, Where the mold comes
Part II, Which describes an unpleasant dream, and other things
Part III, A plea for the impossible
Part IV, The part about the eating
Part V, Hymn and soliloquy
Chamber Works with Voice
The Long Hibernation – 2013 (sax, perc, sop, pno, vln) performed by Ensemble Dal Niente 15’00”
The Parasite, and Her Sister – 2015 (perc, sop, e gtr, vln, vc) performed by Ensemble Dal Niente 15’00”
The Haddock – 2012 (fl, bari sax, trm, perc i, perc ii, pno, sop, vln, vc ) Liz Pearce, soprano 13’30”
Instrumental Works with Electronics
The Triptych Part I – 2012 (trombone and tape) with Juna Winston 8’30”
Lupe Prometió a la Virgen – 2011 (trombone and guitar pedals) performed by Juna Winston 9’30”
Instrumental Chamber and Solo Works
She Was a Municipal Band – 2010 (saxophone quartet) 5’15”
Tra le Stella – 2011 (solo guitar) 6’30”
For Mother – 2011 (solo flute) 4’30”
Il Missionario – 2010 (fl, snare) 2’00”
Eyeballs Big – 2005 (fl, sop sax) 6’45”
Sketch for Guitar – 2004 (solo guitar) performed by the composer 4’45”
The Triptych Part I – 2012 (tape only) 8’30”
The Triptych Part II – 2014 (tape only) 11’00”
Bear on Hi-Hat, Roach on Snare, Kitty on Purr, with a Squeeze-Box Solo by Yours Truly – 2011 (tape) 3’00”
Memory, the Deformer – 2011 (tape) 7’30”
I’ll Go Charging up that Hill, Again – 2010 (tape) 3’20”