Ben Fingland, clarinet, and Steve Gosling, piano, will play my Icons in New York tonight, Feb. 12, at Spectrum NYC, which is at 121 Ludlow Street, on the second floor – show at 7:00 pm. Violist Jessica Meyer will also perform. The program comes to Philadelphia tomorrow night, Feb. 13, at Rose Recital Hall on the U of Penn campus – 8:00 pm
Icons is a piece for clarinet, piano and electronic sound – originally on tape, but now played back from a CD. Here is a program note for the piece:
Icons was completed in 1984 and premiered later that year at Tanglewood. The tape part was realized, using analog devices, at the Columbia University Electronic Music Center. Most of the tape relies on classical studio techniques, affording a tight interweaving of instrumental and electronic parts. Portions of the piece exploit voltage-controlled synthesizers to provide a diverse palette of colors.
The work was recorded by Jean Kopperud and Aleck Karis for release on New World Records in 1998.
The title refers to passages in a book by Madeleine L’Engel entitled Walking on Water. In this book, the author speaks of the calling of artists to form “icons of the true”. The following excerpt from the book appears in the score: “In art we are once again able to do all the things we have forgotten; we are able to walk on water; we speak to the angels who call us; we move, unfettered, among the stars.”
Yes, it’s the same Madeleine L’Engel who wrote this beloved book.