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Explorations Preview: Margaret Crites’ A Specific Time

April 25, 2010

I hope you all can tune in on Wednesday to hear Margaret’s piece A Specific Time. Of course, if you miss it, it’ll be up here on the site as soon as I can upload it, but who wants to wait for anything anymore?

I’m going to let Margaret speak for herself.  You can also find more information about her at her website, which is pretty awesome.  You can even ask Greg Sandow.

Margaret Crites was born in Houston, Texas but lived a nomadic lifestyle thereafter, living in various places throughout the United States as well as overseas in Hannover, Germany, where she completed highschool. For her undergraduate degree, Margaret studied music composition and piano at Baylor University under teachers Dr. Scott McAllister (Black Dog, X) and Dr. James Williams, respectively. She subsequently went on for her Master’s of Music in composition, which she expects to receive in May of 2010. Margaret also currently teaches undergraduate composition at Baylor University. Her experience includes electronic music composition, songwriting, and of course acoustic contemporary classical. Other musical interests include playing jazz piano, accordion and experiencing live music in any experimental sense! She has also worked as a productions intern at the Ojai Music Festival 2009 with contemporary ensemble Eighth Blackbird and composer Steve Mackey. Her compositions have received multiple performances at Baylor University, and this past summer her work “Heartbeat” for cello and piano was performed and recorded in Prague, Czech Republic.

She writes about her work (which I slightly edited down):

A Specific Time is a work for a chamber ensemble consisting of flute, clarinet, harp, piano, violin and cello.
The piece consists of six sections, to mirror the six players involved.

Each section includes specific thematic material based around one note of a six-note scale,
namely A-B-C-D-E-F, section one concerning A, section two, B, and so on. This note is executed as more
or less a “drone” or “continuous pulse” in each section, constantly remaining in the listener’s ear. With each
section, this drone ascends a step, causing an overall rising feeling throughout the piece.

The climax of the piece arrives at the end of the fifth section. The resolution then comes with section six,
as the E pulse from section 5 resolves to the F pulse, and much more consonant material ensuing
for a sense of resolution and closure.

We’ll be hearing the music performed by Teresita Lozano, Patricia Crispino, Vince Pierce, Stephen Variames, Jamie Madera, and Gracie Keith.  Again, please tune it at or 88.7 fm locally on April 28th at 8:30 and give her music a listen.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the music, and I think you will also.

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