Timothy Andres

Notes from the Composer

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Timothy Andres (Michael Wilson)

Some Connecticut Gospel

Performed by Mindy Heinsohn, flute; Nicholas Akdag, bassoon; Matt Wright, trombone; Timothy Andres, piano; So Young Kwon, violin; Vessilin Todorov, viola; Hannah Collins, 'cello; Joe Magar, electric bass.

I wrote Some Connecticut Gospel in the couple of months leading up to the 2008 presidential election. It’s partly a piece about Charles Ives and how his music and inimitable personality have become a legend for composers, and also about some strange feelings (hope? patriotism?) that had been welling up inside me for the first time in my life.

Connecticut is unlike some other states whose residents seem to have a strong sense of group identity, even pride. I never feel “Connecticutian;” I tend to think of myself as a misplaced Californian, even though I only spent the first five years of my life in the Bay Area. Did Connecticut used to have more of a personality? Before the factories shut down, before every city became a depressed corpse, before Route 7 became a parade of strip malls and the southwest corner a spec-house paradise, the state must have had some real charm. Some Connecticut Gospel is a song of praise to this imagined place—Ives's Connecticut.

Bathtub Shrine

Performed by the Yale Symphony Orchestra; conducted by Toshiyuki Shimada.

Yale’s Woolsey Hall is a peculiar acoustic environment. Its high ceiling, shallow stage, and hard, nonporous surfaces create a staggering 13-second reverberation, flattering some sounds and completely overwhelming others. The mighty Newberry organ sounds fantastic; anything fast or staccato, not so much. The effect is that of a giant bathroom.

When the Yale Symphony Orchestra asked me to write a piece in memory of one of their past conductors, I knew I wanted to write for the hall that the orchestra has struggled with and triumphed in for some 40 years. I didn’t know William Harwood (he died the year I was born), but I did play keyboards in the YSO for several years, experiencing first-hand the camaraderie and fierce playing that the group inspires.

That said, Bathtub Shrine is an elegy, based on a chaconne in parallel fifths. Rising fifths also act as a melodic impetus, on which first the saxophone and then other wind instruments ponder, debate, and elaborate, in that order.


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Comments [26]

Reuben from MD

Very nice! I like the cords

Aug. 19 2010 08:48 AM
Kevin Scott from Middletown, New York

Excellent fusion of jazz and contemporary concert sounds, bringing a fresh and fervent perspective to the table.

Aug. 04 2010 03:03 PM
ATS from NYC

Timo's music is beautiful and thoughtful, and as a person he is grounded and humble. Very deserving!

Jul. 01 2010 10:05 AM
Aaron from NYC

I can hear Timo writing a piece for Orpheus. He's got the precision and the energy down.

Jun. 30 2010 10:44 PM
Ian from New Haven

This is one of my favorite pieces by TImo. Simple, beautiful and it grooves. I never get tired of it!

Jun. 29 2010 11:27 AM
Lainie from NYC

Timo draws on the techniques and gestures of so many different world of compositional thought and he does it with grace, craft, and power. I love his music and I'd be so excited to hear what he'd have in store for Orpheus!

Jun. 24 2010 03:07 PM
Ariel from Lenox, MA

Was listening to "Shy and Mighty" when I stumbled upon this page. Timo has a truly unique and unusually accessible style -- I look forward to hearing much more!

Jun. 22 2010 05:58 PM
Homsar from Strongbadia

Having known Timo the better part of my life, I can say with certainty that he is an inspired pianist, composer, and musician. I can't wait to hear more.

Jun. 22 2010 05:34 PM
David from New York/Chicago

Timo is a hugely imaginative composer. His music is as playful as it is thoughtful.

Jun. 22 2010 11:00 AM
Amy Kirsten from New Haven

I believe in Timo's music - it seems to me to be really deeply felt and never just simply written down. I love the way Some Connecticut evolves over time - I'd love to see what he would do with Orpheus.

Jun. 22 2010 09:37 AM

What a gifted and inspiring young composer... I look forward to hearing more of his work.

Jun. 22 2010 09:18 AM
Jordan from Blonay, Switzerland

I have seen several posts from Dr. Giles and they are nothing but pointless ad hominem attacks ("...if it were more inspired..."???) If only his comments were more interesting, if only they were more detailed, if only they were more substantive...

... but then, he would be an entirely different commenter. Only then would his opinion be worth listening to.

Jun. 22 2010 07:26 AM
Henry from New York, NY

Absolutely delightful and inspiring. Timo's music can be compared to an architectural singularity that is meticulously detailed. His work is infused with enthusiasm and ferocity that is unparalleled; it always brings us a pleasant surprise.

Jun. 21 2010 08:25 PM
Justin from Newport

When I started airing modern works on Music for Internets over a year ago, Timo was one of the first composers to catch my ear. I find myself continuously going back to his music just for the shear personal pleasure of it.

Jun. 21 2010 05:06 PM
Annie Banerjee from Houston

Absolutely Fabulous!

Jun. 21 2010 04:52 PM
Jane from Staten Island, NY

I love "Bathtub Shine", but I don't think that's an appropriate name for this piece. The piece is melancholic and in the beginning it makes me think of Copland's "Our Town". With a name like "Bathtub Shine", I expected to hear something on the goofy side. Keep 'em comin', Timo!

Jun. 21 2010 04:50 PM

I've listened to Timothy's music with great interest over the last year -- his work is specific and evocative, and never fails to move me. I'd love to hear whatever he and Orpheus might do together!

Jun. 21 2010 04:26 PM
Dr. Scott Giles from Sacramento, CA

"Some Connecticut Gospel" is not very original nor as expertly put together as one would wish. If it were more interesting, if it were more detailed, if it were more inspired...

... but then it would be an entirely other piece. I am appalled that the composer took a "couple of months" to write this very modest little piece and I hope that, with more practice and schooling he attains greater proficiency.

Jun. 21 2010 03:53 PM
Tracy from NY

I've heard Timo's compositions become more mature and refined over the years, but never at the expense of its unique voice. And he himself is a perfect blend of passion and professionalism.

Jun. 21 2010 02:04 PM

Just listened to Bathtub Shine. Truly beautiful.

Jun. 21 2010 07:07 AM

timo is a knowledgeable and graceful composer with real craft and real soul. he would do great things with orpheus.

Jun. 20 2010 10:38 PM

I've seen this composer's work grow and develop over the last few years - I'm excited to hear what is to come.

Jun. 20 2010 03:59 PM
A. Lanzilotti from Berlin

Timo Andres has a fresh, strong voice that carries through both small chamber music works to large orchestral pieces. His music is both compelling in rhythmic grove, and the layering of voices to create soaring melodic lines that evolve organically. He is extremely professional, and wonderful to work with.

Jun. 20 2010 01:32 PM
Sebastian Cauliflower from Bandar Seri Begawan

This composer uses words as well as musical notes beautifully. I look forward to more of his work.

Jun. 20 2010 09:13 AM
Jordan Kuspa from New Haven

I love Some Connecticut Gospel! It's totally an earworm--I'll be humming it for days!

Jun. 19 2010 11:50 PM
Chris from Brooklyn

Not only a good friend, but also a fantastic composer and pianist.

Jun. 18 2010 01:43 PM

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