Dear Darwin

An Abecedarium For Soprano And Piano

Scott Brickman composer
Kathleen Ellis poetry

Nancy Ellen Ogle soprano
Ginger Yang Hwalek piano

Release Date: June 10, 2014
Catalog #: RR7888
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Vocal Music

Addressing the man who greatly contributed to the theory of our evolutionary ascent, DEAR DARWIN, the second release on Ravello Records by composer Scott Brickman, explores several themes relating to Charles Darwin’s studies and interests including birds, love, world travel, and human boundaries. The song-cycle Dear Darwin is set to 26 poems by Kathleen Ellis and arranged as an abecedarium. Many of Ellis’ poems discuss observations of nature and human behavior, some proposing questions and others suggesting answers, while Brickman’s compositions consider different relationships between the piano and the soprano voice: he places the piano in three different roles in respect to the soprano – as an imitation, as a supplement, and as harmonic support.

The remaining works, conceived for electroacoustic instrumentation, are examples of evolutionary composition. Mayday Rose uses 100 notes or less, where Brickman states, “the definition of a ‘note’ is left up to the composer.” International: Bridge: Peace illustrates the blurring of borders and boundaries, combining and layering somewhat contradictory sounds such as spoken word and sung text, MIDI and sampled sounds.


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Artist Information

Scott Brickman


Illinois native Scott Brickman (b. 1963) was educated in the Chicago Public Schools and holds a B.M. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Music Composition and theory from Brandeis University. Brickman learned under both Chester Biscardi and Yehudi Wyner, whom he regards as his most important and influential composition teachers. Since 1997 he has taught at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where he is Professor of Music and Education.