Think You Know New Music?
In our fourth installment of the Delos Instrument Series, we are highlighting the musicians behind the notes — the composers, and featuring Joseph Bertolozzi. Over the years, Delos has released albums from all time periods, ranging from medieval chants to “Bridge Music”.
|Photo: ©2002, Rennie Pomatti|
“…Joseph Bertolozzi proved he is a renegade. Hasn’t he heard that consonance, tonality and beauty are old hat? No one writes music as simply gorgeous…anymore. Thankfully he does.” – Martin Heresniak, The Poughkeepsie Journal (Poughkeepsie, NY) November 24, 1983
Orchestras, conservatories and Grammy® winners play his works. His music has been heard everywhere from the Vatican to the US Open. There’s a reason why people are listening.
Joseph Bertolozzi is forging a unique identity as a 21st century musician with original works ranging from full symphony orchestra to solo gongs. With increasingly numerous concerts across the U.S. and Europe to his credit, he enjoys performances by groups such as the Grammy-winning Chestnut Brass Company, by orchestras, and by performing groups within conservatories. Some outstanding successes amongst his compositions include “The Contemplation of Bravery,” commissioned for the Bicentennial of The United States Military Academy at West Point, and his incidental score to “Waiting for Godot” at the Festival Internationale de Cafè Theatre in Nancy, France. He also has composed a large body of liturgical music for both Christian and Jewish worship. Many of these works can be heard at josephbertolozzi.com
Another of Bertolozzi’s compositions is also making new headlines:
Tennessee Williams and Music for “Eccentricities”
“For the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tennessee Williams this year, here’s the concert suite adapted from my score to his play “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale.” The music (still available for revivals) marked the first professional public performance of my music. It was composed in 1978 for the Collingwood Repertory Company, with Elizabeth White directing. The link also offers the reviews and program notes.” Joseph Bertolozzi
Meltdown • Bridge Funk • Dark Interlude • Toward the Horizon • The River That Flows Both Ways • Landfall • Bright Interlude • Steel Works • Rivet Gun • Silver Rain • BONUS TRACK: Joseph Bertolozzi: A Bridge Music Audio Tour
Composed for the Mid-Hudson Bridge
You can drive over it, walk along it, see it lit up at night and marvel at its engineering – now you can hear it played as a musical instrument. Quite possibly the largest percussion instrument on the planet, the “Franklin D. Roosevelt” Mid-Hudson Bridge speaks through Joseph Bertolozzi’s Bridge Music in this remarkable new release.
Five years in the making, Bridge Music is a composition in 10 movements using only the sounds of the bridge itself to create a unique sound art installation, with titles like “Bridge Funk” and “Rivet Gun.” In a fascinating ten-minute Bonus Track, Bertolozzi takes the listener through an audio tour of the making of Bridge Music.
To create Bridge Music, Bertolozzi recorded hundreds of sounds on the bridge’s various surfaces, catalogued them by pitch and location, and then set about the task of creating a virtual instrument from which he could turn his vision into sound. “I play only big instruments,” Bertolozzi explains, referring to his international career as a percussionist and organist.
This “audacious plan” (New York Times) has brought Bertolozzi sustained international attention. As part of the 400th anniversary celebration of Hendryk Hudson’s voyage up the river that now bears his name, Bridge Music is available free to the public, beginning in June 2009, through Listening Stations on the towers of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and FM transmitters in waterfront parks along the Hudson River.
International interest has brought this project far beyond the borders of the Hudson Valley. In addition to feature stories in the Associated Press (AP) and NY Times, the project has been reported around the world in places like China, Sweden, Italy, Argentina, England, the Mid-East, Africa and Australia.
The bridge’s 1920s designer, Ralph Modjeski, was a highly skilled pianist and a classmate of Paderewski. He ultimately chose engineering as his profession, and became one of the 20th century’s greatest bridge designers. “Both as a pioneering engineer and as a musician who loved the music of his own time, I think he would be intrigued to experience this boundary-shattering synthesis involving his beloved bridge and the music of our own time” Bertolozzi writes in the liner notes to this album.