I DREAM AWAKE

BILL WHITLEY

 

 

OVERVIEW

 

Exciting new Ravello Records release I DREAM AWAKE consists of chamber music composed by new PARMA composer Bill Whitley. Whitley’s music is characterized by meditative and trance-like qualities inspired by various forms of meditation practice, and, above all, the artistic installations of Alexander Calder. Indeed, Whitley’s music seems to be primarily concerned with depicting and embodying experiences, whether they be sensory, natural, spiritual, or human experiences.

 

Lily of Force (for vibraphone, contrabass, piano, and soprano saxophone) takes its name from a Calder mobile of the same name. Whitley credits the piece with solidifying a compositional approach influenced by Calder’s work: using the idea of objects suspended in time and space as the basis of a meditative musical language in both content and syntax. Sharing this approach is Los Cielos, written for piano and soprano saxophone. Little White Salmon, a multi-movement cycle for piano and narrator, uses the life cycle of a pacific salmon as an allegory for the human experience. The music, along with the text by Whitley and Donna Henderson, depicts sensory experiences of the salmon—“humming summers’ roar and thrum of falls”—as they are passed on to the next generation. The most recently-composed pieces on the album concern spiritual experiences from around the world. Awake (for soprano saxophone, piano, and flute) was commissioned by trIaD in 2015, and expresses an Indian mandala experience. The Creation of the World, a two-movement piece for two guitars, was written in 2016 for South Hill Guitars. The first movement, “Ocean and Her Cloud Daughters,” depicts a South-Asian creation story and uses Indian modes and rhythmic cycles. The second movement, “Coyote Draws Yakail-Wimakl,” is based on a Chinook creation story in which Coyote, the creator, dances to cure his loneliness and in the process, creates the world. It is structured as a dance, beginning in sadness and culminating in a rapturous fugue in an 11/8 meter.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Composer and pianist Bill Whitley’s music heavily engages in themes of mysticism and nature, incorporating musical elements as diverse as Gregorian chant, raga music, and progressive rock. He names Brian Eno, John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, John Luther Adams, and others as major musical influences.

 

Bill Whitley has written music for a variety of instrument groups, ranging from chorus to orchestra to solo electric guitar. His music has been performed in Europe and in the United States. Whitley’s music is recorded on Teal Creek Music, and his choral works are published by Trinitas Choral Series.

 

A native of the Northwestern United States, Whitley studied organ, piano, and composition at Gonzaga University. He later earned a Master of Music degree and a Ph.D. in composition at the University of Idaho and the University of Oregon, respectively. Whitley has taught at these universities, as well as at Western Oregon University and the University of Portland.

 

Whitley has studied music with Robert Kyr, David Crumb, Robert Dickow, Dan Bukvich, and Fr. Kevin Waters. Composers with whom he has taken master classes include Lou Harrison, George Crumb, Velio Tormis, John Adams, and John Corigliano.

 

CREDITS

 

The Creation of the World

Commissioned by and dedicated to James Reid & J.P. Shields

 

Awake

Commissioned by trIaD Sarah Chae, Arthur Sagami & Nicholas Zollo

 

All music composed by Bill Whitley

 

All tracks recorded August 2-3, 2016 at Indiehub in Milan, Italy

by Stefano Giungato & Gabriele Simoni

 

Little White Salmon

Vocal track recorded September 5, 2016 at Airlie Hills Music in Maupin OR

by Rich Sutliff

 

Mixed and mastered by Francesco Zago

 

Produced by Bill Whitley & Francesco Zago

 

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw

A&R Marina Altschiller

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette

Art & Marketing Director Brett Picknell

Design Ryan Harrison

 

 

 

Release Date: August 11, 2017

Catalog #: RR7971

 

 

TRACK TITLES

 

Los Cielos (2008)

Elena Talarico  piano

Federico De Zottis  soprano saxophone

 

01 I. Cholula

02 II. Ixtapaluca

03 III. Oaxaca 

 

 

04  Lily of Force (2009)

Stefano Grasso  vibes

Matteo Lorito contrabass

Elena Talarico  piano

Federico De Zottis  soprano saxophone

 

 

The Creation of the World (2016)

Eni Lulja guitar

Elisa La Marca  guitar

 

05  I. Ocean's Veil

06  II. Coyote Draws Yakail-Wimakl

 

 

07  Awake (2015)

Federico De Zottis  soprano sax

Elena Talarico  piano

Francesco Marzano  flute

 

 

Little White Salmon (2010)

Elena Talarico pianos

Donna Henderson  vocals

Poem by Bill Whitley & Donna Henderson

 

08 I. White Water

09 II. The Eddy 

10 III. Flow 

11 IV. Mouth

12 V. Flows In, Returns

13 VI. The Eddy (Reprise)

14 VII. White Water 

 

 

ALSO ON RAVELLO RECORDS

 

COLOR STUDIES  (RR7938)

Hakki Cengiz Eren

 

 

© 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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