ACE COMPOSERS

21st century chamber music by

Alan, Christopher, and Eric Schmitz

 

OVERVIEW

 

The Ravello Records release ACE COMPOSERS features the music of three composers in the same family: Alan Schmitz and his two sons, Christopher and Eric. Though Alan describes the three composers as having different influences, their music is linked by connections to popular musical genres, which each references in some manner in a work featured on the album.

 

Alan Schmitz’s Brass Trio features a ternary structure distinguished by the presence and absence of what he describes as ‘exordium’ (the technique of instruments sharing one note and then gradually spreading it outward). Christopher Schmitz's Five Miniatures, for saxophone and mallet percussion, is highly atmospheric and speaks to, in its film noir character, his experience as a film composer. Trio, for flugelhorn, English horn and cello, by Eric Schmitz, represents a rare opportunity to hear the flugelhorn, which is overwhelmingly associated with jazz music, in a more classical setting. The source genre of all three composers indicate the Schmitz family are all attracted to popular “non-classical” idioms and incorporate these into their compositions.

 

All of the Schmitz composers’ music is widely performed. Alan has published articles on composing for the guitar. Christopher is attentive to film scores, while Eric prefers composing for jazz and big band.

 

highlights

 

Alan Schmitz is Professor of Theory and Composition at the School of Music, University of Northern Iowa, and has received several awards and commissions from agencies including the Alaska Council of the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, the University of Northern Iowa and the Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Foundation

 

Christopher Schmitz is Associate Professor of Theory and Composition at the Townsend School of Music, Mercer University, and his scores accompany feature films including “Dance with the One” (2010 SXSW Film Festival Selection) and “Between Kings and Queens” (REMI Winner, 43rd Annual WorldFest – Houston International Film Festival)

 

Eric Schmitz is Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at SUNY Oswego, and is the recipient of two Downbeat awards:  “Best Jazz Arrangement” for his orchestral arrangement of Harold Danko’s For Bud in 2003 and “Original Composition – Best Song” for his big band piece In Your World in 2004

 

Alan Schmitz has released two albums previously on Ravello Records: 90s TIMEFLOW (RR7821) in January 2012 and LYRIC IMAGES (RR7837) in May 2012

 

CREDITS

 

Five Miniatures recorded April 21, 2015 at

Neva Langley Fickling Hall, Townsend School

of Music, Mercer University in Macon GA

 

Session Producer Steve Moretti

Recording Engineer Rob Evans

 

Brass Trio recorded March 29, 2015 at Russell Hall Recording Studio, University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls IA

 

Session Producer Alan Schmitz

Recording & Editing Engineer Tom Barry

 

These recording expenses were funded by a grant

from the College of Arts and Sciences, University of

Northern Iowa.

 

Reflections recorded March 22, 2015 at

Blackdog Recording Studios in Rochester NY

 

Session Producer Eric Schmitz

Recording & Mixing Engineer Robert Blackburn

 

Hexachord Fantasy recorded June 23, 2015 at Riverside Recital Hall, University of Iowa Center for New Music in Iowa City IA

 

Session Producer David Gompper

Recording & Editing Engineer James Edel

Recording Session Assistant Nima Hamidi

 

Trio recorded October 4, 2015 at Blackdog Recording Studios in Rochester NY

 

Session Producer Eric Schmitz

Recording & Mixing Engineer Robert Blackburn

 

Rhapsody for Violin and Piano

recorded April 20, 2015 at Neva Langley

Fickling Hall, Townsend School of Music,

Mercer University in Macon GA

 

Session Producer Steve Moretti

Recording Engineer Rob Evans

 

Big Changes Ahead recorded May 28, 2015 at Hip-Bone Studios in New City NY

 

Session Producer Eric Schmitz

Recording & Mixing Engineer Kent Smith

 

Tango Fantasy recorded May 28, 2010

at Catamount Studios in Cedar Falls IA

 

Session Producer Alan Schmitz

Recording & Editing Engineer Travis Huisman

 

The Playful Lark recorded October 22, 2015 at Neva Langley Fickling Hall, Townsend School of Music, Mercer University in Macon GA

 

Session Producer Christopher Schmitz

Recording Engineer Ian Altman

 

Album art by Georges Braque, 1909-10,

La guitare (Mandora, La Mandore),

oil on canvas, 71.1 x 55.9 cm

 

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Mastering Shaun Michaud

Production Engineer Nate Hunter

Art & Production Director Brett Picknell

Graphic Designer Emily Roulo

A&R Alex Bourne

Marketing Specialist Morgan MacLeod

Release Date: April 8, 2016

Catalog #: RR7928

 

TRACK LISTING

 

Five Miniatures Christopher Schmitz

Monty Cole, alto saxophone; Marcus Reddick, marimba and vibraphone

1 I. Prelude

2  II. Wind Corridor

3  III. Water Diamonds

4  IV. Night Tower

5  V. Bear the Bee

 

6  Brass Trio Alan Schmitz

Randy Grabowski, trumpet; Yu-Ting Su, horn; Anthony Williams, trombone

 

7  Reflections Eric Schmitz

Charles Pillow, English horn; Bob Sneider, electric guitar; Jeff Campbell, bass; Rich Thompson, drums

 

8  Hexachord Fantasy Alan Schmitz

David Gompper, conductor | Emily Duncan, flute; Thiago Ancelmo de Souza, clarinet; Leonardo Perez, violin; Matthew Laughlin, cello;  Korak Lertpibulchai, piano; Andrew Thierauf, Wannapha Yannavut, percussion

 

9  Trio Eric Schmitz

Brian Shaw, flugelhorn; Andrew Blanke, English horn; Hyugrai Kim, violoncello

 

10  Rhapsody for Violin and Piano Christopher Schmitz

 Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin; Elizabeth Pridgen, piano

 

11 Big Changes Ahead Eric Schmitz

Michael Davis, tenor and bass trombones

 

12  Tango Fantasy Alan Schmitz

Julia Bullard, viola; Todd Seelye, guitar

 

13  The Playful Lark Christopher Schmitz

Kelly Via, flute; Elizabeth Pridgen, piano

 

 

ALSO ON RAVELLO

 

90s TIMEFLOW (RR7821)

LYRIC IMAGES (RR7837)

Alan Schmitz

    

 

 

© RAVELLO RECORDS LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.

 

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