YAMHILL

“The Thaw” preview: A transitional journey

World premiere of Oregon composer's new work culminates a collaborative creative process

by GARY FERRINGTON

Editor’s note: The course of a new composition from conception to concert performance can be meandering. Here, in the words of those involved, is a diary of the creative voyage that concludes May 28, when the Oregon Wind Ensemble, led by Rodney Dorsey, and University of Oregon Singers, led by Sharon J. Paul, perform Oregon composer Andrea Reinkemeyer’s The Thaw. Update: we’ve added a streaming recording of the performance to the end of this story.

1_Header Photo: 618px wide. Caption: Composer Andrea Reinkemeyer. Courtesy A. Reinkemeyer. 

Composer Andrea Reinkemeyer.

A native born Oregonian, Reinkemeyer studied with Robert KyrJack Boss and Harold Owen while earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon in 1999, and with University of Michigan faculty members Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, and others while working on her master’s (2001) and doctoral degrees in composition (2005).  She’s now Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory at Linfield College in McMinnville.

Andrea Reinkemeyer: Composing has always been a part of my training, so it seems strange to me when I meet musicians who don’t compose. As an undergraduate at the University of Oregon, I joined the Pacific Rim Gamelan on a whim, wrote a little piece for the ensemble, and Dr. Robert Kyr  took me aside one day to ask, “Why aren’t you a composition major?” I have been pursuing that path ever since.

Rodney Dorsey conducts the UO Wind Ensemble. Photo: UOSOMD.

Dr. Rodney Dorsey conducts the UO Wind Ensemble. Photo: UOSOMD.

Continues…

As the title suggests, John Brodie’s exhibit, “Versus Artifacts” at Linfield Gallery in McMinnville, presents a challenge to the viewer, a call to decipher what may be contrary/adversarial within this elegant display.

The gallery itself is a well-lit, big cube with generous wall space. A white couch, white coffee table and white stool, all arranged on a large oriental-style rug, sit at the back and remind me of a very modern living space one might see in an “Architectural Digest” spread. I could imagine a pleasant fundraiser being held here, or keeping with the likeness to a private residence, a cocktail party where I would find myself out of my league. All because of the very white furniture.

In fact, the furniture arrangement was listed as “The Lounge,” and while the couch, stool and rug were the real objects, the table was a fabrication by Brodie. Had things been different, I might have then asked, “Now, who’s out of place?”

Placement plays a big part in this show. It creates a syntax that exists within and between pieces. The vocabulary is fairly restricted in the repetition of materials and motifs, but there is a certain generosity toward the viewer in this, meaning I was able to develop a story Brodie might be trying to tell us.

Continues…