The Passion of the Wilt-Mold Mothers – (sop, sop sop, mezzo) composed for Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble 45’00”
The Passion of the Wilt-Mold Mothers is the story of a mother and her children, animals of indeterminate species. At the opening of the piece a blight of mold comes that wipes out her their only source of food for the winter, the Ilex, or winterberry as it is commonly known. Unable to produce milk, and starving together as they hibernate in their burrow, the mother, our protagonist, eventually makes the decision, conscious or not, to eat her children. She emerges from the ordeal a survivor, and speaking a new language acquired while in the throes of a starving sleep and amidst blood dreams. The Passion of the Wilt-Mold Mothers is a story of apocalypse, suffering, starvation, motherhood, murder, survival, and ultimately of a salvation of sorts. The work, a concert-length musical drama in eight parts, was commissioned by Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and composed based on text written by Webberly Ebberly Finnich.
Excerpts are posted below.
To listen to the complete work, visit http://curtisrumrill.com/wiltmold/
Excerpt 1, Part II, Which describes an unpleasant dream, and other things: Start (page 20) – Rehearsal D (page 23)
Excerpt 2, Part III, A plea for the impossible: Rehearsal D (page 33) – end (page 36)
Excerpt 3, Part IV, The part about the eating: Rehearsal C (page 49) – Rehearsal G (page 54)
Excerpt 4, Part V, Hymn and soliloquy: Start (page 60) – Rehearsal L (page 62)
The Long Hibernation – (sax, perc, sop, pno, vln) performed by Ensemble Dal Niente 15’00”
The Long Hibernation is the story of an animal of indeterminate species that dies in her sleep. She is then lamented through a folk-song in an imaginary dialect of English (presumably the fictional folk-dialect of her species).
Excerpt: Rehearsal R (page 14) – Rehearsal Z (page 22)
Sex Poem for Lightbulb by Beetle – (sop, fl, gtr, perc i, perc ii) for soundSCAPE Festival, Liz Pearce, soprano10’00”
Sex Poem for Lightbulb for Beetle at its most fundamental is, as the title suggests, a work of erotic fiction. In it a beetle bashes herself to death against a lightbulb, driven by sexual desire. It is simultaneously a work of fiction to be taken at face value as a story, and a metaphor for sexual longing and coupling when one party is a god to another’s bugness.
Excerpt: Rehearsal D (page 6) – Rehearsal N (page 16)
In this Styrofoam Room – (fl, ob, cl, sop, vln, vc) performed by Kamratōn 8’00”
In this Styrofoam Room is the story of a bug, living in a trash heap, continually watching her unfertilized eggs wither and die, and begging for a lover to come along.
The Triptych Part I – (trombone and tape) with Juna Winston 8’30”
Aside from the musical short-story form, the other driving force in my work has been musical collaboration. This is embodied in the concert-length collaborative composition, The Triptych, that I have been composing with trombonist, improviser, New Music specialist and self-described “musical botonist,” Juna Winston. This work, for performer and tape, is about two-thirds complete, and is dually influenced by the traditions of concert music and jazz music. In truth, working collaboratively is possibly the most fundamental aspect of my compositional process. Whether I am working with a writer, or a performer, the creative exchange is central for me in realizing a piece.