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March 2015
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A Sneak Peek at Chicago Composer Eric Malmquist’s Latest Score

Composer Eric Malmquist

The International Chamber Artists led by pianist Patrick Godon stop by the studio Monday March 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm to perform a program of works by Poulenc, Beethoven, Paul Schoenfield, and Chicago composer Eric Malmquist. Scored for soprano and chamber ensemble, Malmquist’s new piece If You Travel Far Enough is ICA’s first commission.  Read the composer’s notes about the work, take a sneak peek at his score, and follow along as you listen to the ICA perform Live from WFMT with Kerry Frumkin.


Program Notes

I have lived my whole life thus far (just over twenty-nine years) in various locales in Illinois. I was born in the rural town of Morris (once the largest grain exporter in the world), educated in mid-sized city Bloomington, and was married and currently reside in Chicago. I have sipped in bars and driven past barns and lands from Woodstock to Vienna, and despite its dysfunctions the state remains very special to me.

When I was approached to write this piece, from the very start Susan Licciardi’s texts were to be the core and inspiration of the work. Susan spent her childhood in Galena, then lived much of her early adult life traveling and learning about the world. In the end she settled in Chicago, what she has called “the perfect city to live in” and has left these texts as a memoir of her experiences. Her work, Bars and Barns, is a deeply affecting collection of reminiscences on the locales she has visited in her time.

In writing the music, I wanted to try and do justice to Susan’s vision and experiences as well as reflect on the things I have learned myself over the years of residing in the Midwest and traveling beyond.

This music was commissioned by Patrick Godon and the International Chamber Artists in Chicago. Of special note – it is their very first commission. I am deeply honored and humbled to have been entrusted with this distinction.

Click to see an excerpt of Eric Malmquist's score.

Click to see an excerpt of Eric Malmquist’s score.

Performance Notes

Songs within each set should be performed with little or no pause between them. There should be short pauses in between sets.

The full score is formatted so the pianist can perform from it. Movements with large forces are in score order (woodwinds, brass, piano, voice, strings) while smaller forces are in the order below. Empty staves are omitted to reduce the systems per page and overall page count.

There is also a version available for soprano, cello, and piano, which also serves as the soprano’s score.

If it’s interesting or helpful to know, the songs are each in a different pitch center of the scale (in order: F, D, B, A-flat, C, G, E-flat, A, F-sharp, E, D-flat, B-flat). “Bars” is loosely based on fourths, “Barns” on thirds, and “Land” on fifths.

Performers are encouraged to perform individual songs, sets, or selections from this work.

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