It has also been my pleasure to attend two CD launches in the last few weeks, both of which have pieces of mine on them. Snow Queens by the awesome Juice Vocal Ensemble is a collection of winter music by contemporary composers. Kerry Andrew, Sarah Dacey and Anna Snow's voices are a magnificent blend and their innovative choice of repertoire and attention to detail make this a very special CD...not just for Christmas! My piece, The Ballad of the Harp Weaver, sets a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It tells the story of a mother desperate to clothe her young son during the harshest winter for many years. They have nothing but a "harp with a woman's head that nobody will buy", if you want to know the rest of the story listen here. I do love to tell a story in music and this is definitely influenced by another of my passions, English folk music!
The poem was allegedly inspired by a German Jewish woman, Margaret Schwarzkopf, who was staying with Mary and her husband. Margaret was worried about her mother who was ill in Germany but she had been warned not to return home because of increasing unrest. When her mother died, the heartbroken young woman told Frye that she never had the chance to "stand by my mother's grave and shed a tear".
You can listen here.
I am also delighted to report that at time of writing Snow Queens has entered the classical charts at 22 and This Day at 11. Congratulations to them both!