Eric Guinivan

Notes from the Composer

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra

Performed by the University of Southern California Thornton Symphony;  Eric Guinivan, Percussion; conducted by Donald Crockett.

Since my earliest years as a percussionist, it had always been a dream of mine to compose and premiere a work for percussion solo and orchestra. I realized this dream when Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra was premiered in February 2008 by the University of Southern California Thornton Symphony under the direction of Donald Crockett. It has since been selected as a winner of the 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and has upcoming performances in Oviedo, Spain (August 2010) and Seattle, Washington (May 2011).

Mie: Caprice for Eight Musicians

Performed by the University of Southern California New Music Ensemble; conducted by Case Scaglione.

Mie is a highly intense and emotional pose struck in traditional Japanese Kabuki theatre that signifies the height of tension and drama. A mie pose typically involves swinging the head, taking a large step forward, spreading the arms, and often, crossing the eyes. The actor strikes the pose and then freezes briefly, at which point all other actors on the stage also stop their movements; the full attention of the audience and actors alike is focused on the mie pose. Mie: Caprice for Eight Musicians is a piece of musicological fiction inspired by the capricious gestures and poses of Kabuki theatre. The influence of Kabuki is realized through moments of focus and repose intertwined with gestures that blossom slowly and others that flourish rapidly.


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Comments [21]

Nina from New York

Oh yes. Very assured - every moment creates a desire to hear the next moment. Lovely.

Sep. 20 2010 05:08 PM
Natalie Williams from Bloomington, Indiana

Eric would be a wonderful candidate for this opportunity. His music expresses a depth and maturity that go beyond his years. His music is finely crafted, well-considered, and based in a fantastic technique. He is a wonderful composer and I look forward to hearing more of his work.

Sep. 04 2010 08:22 PM

Eric's work seem to be refreshing and deserving of the many awards he has already received. I would love to see him write a piece for Orpheus!

Sep. 04 2010 04:01 AM

I had the pleasure of being in the audience for the premiere of Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra and truly enjoyed both hearing and watching the performance. It is a beautiful piece and it was exciting to watch Eric perform the intricate percussion solo. The end of the piece buit to an exciting percussion climax. I am looking forward to hearing more from this promising composer/percussionist!

Jul. 24 2010 01:49 AM
Fernando Arias from Spain

It´s very difficult to describe in words the feelings that a good composition creates in
your mind, and it's quite difficult for a composer to convey these feelings to the audience.
I think that only great composers are able to create this type of atmosphere, and Eric
Guinivan is certainly one of these composers. From the first moment when I discovered
his music I have enjoyed the great talent of this young composer whose compositions are
full of fresh concepts, musical color, and energy.
I have had the opportunity to work on his “Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra",
which I will have the opportunity to play and record on a CD for the label Philartis
Vienna, and honestly I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how fantastic this work is.
It has a well-defined structure with impeccably developed orchestration, full of color,
well-defined in the orchestral accompaniment, and with great energy in the solo part.
Ultimately all of these features are the result of effort and talent of this young composer,
who composes with strong character full of personality and freshness.
Fernando Arias
(Principal Timpanist of Oviedo Filarmonía - Asturias, Spain)

Jul. 22 2010 09:27 AM
A.J. from Los Angeles

I love "Mie" - it's such a confident work, admiringly unafraid of taking big risks. Eric's sense of pacing is pretty much flawless - almost all moments feel important and placed exactly where they need to be.

Jul. 06 2010 11:06 PM
Jess Knox

I've been fortunate enough to see both of these pieces performed live, and I think it's worth noting that not only are they well-written, but they make for great performances. They're showstoppers, Mie especially, without being flashy for flashy's sake. Thanks in big part to his experience both as an accomplished percussionist and as a composer, Eric makes a lot of smart choices when he writes. Everything he composes is intended to present well on the page, on a recording and on the stage.

Jul. 06 2010 09:09 PM

Eric's music is very exciting!!! I always love his pieces to perform and listen to!!!!! If you have never heard or played his piece, I highly recommend to try one of his pieces! You will love it and his pieces will make you want to try more! :)
I'm sure he will be a successful musician/composer for his career!

Jul. 05 2010 07:19 AM
Juhi Bansal

Eric's music is always exciting and incredibly well crafted. His later pieces, particularly, show a very unique and innovative voice. He'd be a fantastic choice!

Jul. 04 2010 01:17 PM
Sarah from Chicago

I love Eric's energy and drive in his music. His pieces hold the listener's interest as they are innovative and unique. Eric brings much knowledge and expertise to his pieces that make them come alive for the audience.

Jun. 29 2010 12:03 AM
Nick Terry from California

Himself being both a performer and composer, Eric's music skillfully balances music that is sonically and thoughtfully novel, while being carefully crafted (...some of the most dell-designed and thoughtful notation you come across), so that the players are at ease and "having fun" in the first rehearsal. If you're looking to partner with an up-and-coming composer, Eric is a smart way to go

Jun. 28 2010 08:35 PM
Matt from LA

Eric is fantastic! His fresh and energetic voice will surely lead to mainstream success in the near future.

Jun. 27 2010 01:56 AM
Travis from Chicago

Eric's music is always very well crafted and quite original. These two pieces show his usual energy, evoking a minimalistic quality reminiscent of John Adams, which always maintaining a rich sense of tonality.

Jun. 26 2010 06:19 PM
Laura Kramer

Eric's works are solid- definitely deserving of a commission!

Jun. 25 2010 01:45 PM
Sarah Gibson

Wonderful compositions! Eric would be a superb choice!

Jun. 25 2010 09:43 AM
Lev Marquis

An absolutely amazing piece! It is extremely well orchestrated and the ideas are developed expertly. Hands down, Eric Guinivan is the musical genius of our times.

Jun. 25 2010 02:39 AM
Rebecca Baggenstoss from Seattle, WA

I love the energy, motion, and intensity of Concerto for Percussion. It has a great balance of melodic and battery percussion in the solo part. It also has great balance between the solo and orchestral sections; and wonderful conversations within the ensemble. I am currently working on this piece for the upcoming performance in Seattle in 2011, and I cannot wait to give voice to this passionate piece of art!

Jun. 25 2010 12:22 AM

Highly visceral and compelling music. I had the pleasure of performing "Mie" and was highly inspired by his flawless string writing.

Jun. 24 2010 06:27 PM

Eric Guinivan's music is amazing! He is also a very talented percussionist and is constantly playing with ensembles. It is so important that more music is coming from composer/performers like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin. Those composers who have an equal interest in composition and performance are able to create timeless masterpieces. Because of Eric's brilliance as a percussionist, he understands the beauty of percussion in a way that is revolutionizing the repertoire just as Bach did with the keyboard.

Jun. 23 2010 07:32 PM
Jordan from Switzerland

That's funny--I listened to the percussion concerto and immediately thought, "Eric is a pro." Everything in this piece is so clear and exciting. I think Eric would be a worthy choice.

Jun. 22 2010 01:58 PM
Dr. Scott Giles from Sacramento, CA

"Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra" had a good opening full of pathos (and very good orchestration and promising harmonies). Although the rest of the piece was good it never lived up to its opening and from time to time really did sound like a student piece.

Jun. 21 2010 01:28 AM

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