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DOUGLAS HEDWIG

COMPOSER 

CONDUCTOR - MUSIC JOURNALIST - TRUMPETER 

Video Recordings - The Music of DOUGLAS HEDWIG

1. HYMN ("Gitanjali") for string quintet or string orchestra

2. TransSonic Awakenings in D (excerpt)

3. Four Third Streams (1st Mvt) for wind quintet

4. Four Third Streams (2nd Mvt) for wind quintet

5. Four Third Streams (3rd Mvt) for wind quintet

6. Four Third Streams (4th Mvt) for wind quintet

7. Movable Borders for string quintet

8. We Can Find No Scar - Art Song for Soprano & Piano

9. Promenade for a Great City for large brass ensemble

10. Shadow Reflections for piano + We Can Find No Scar for soprano & piano

11. Illumination (from A Certain Slant of Light), brass quintet, organ, percussion

12. A Conversation with Composer Douglas Hedwig

13. Fanfare Alegre: Dia de la Fiesta for Concert Band

14. Tone Poem on Taps for Concert Band - recording 1

15. Tone Poem on Taps for Concert Band - recording 2

16. Comment by Douglas Hedwig on Art & Creativity

17. Muse Noir for cello trio

18. Naval Militia March for band

1. HYMN ("Gitanjali") for string quintet or string orchestra

Composed by Douglas Hedwig in 2017 for string quintet or string orchestra, HYMN ("Gitanjali") is the 2nd movement of a three-movement work entitled "Movable Borders." Commissioned and premiered by the Chattanooga Symphony String Quintet, the work explores various aspects of world cultures. HYMN draws inspiration from the music of India and the USA. This recording is from a recent performance by the outstanding NED Ensemble, based in Desenzano del Garda, Italy, conducted by Artistic Director, Andrea Mannucci. Music and Video by Douglas Hedwig.

2. TransSonic Awakenings in D (excerpt) by Douglas Hedwig

Before the advent of the Internet, short-wave radio broadcasts brought sounds and ideas from around the world to anyone with a radio and antennae. TranSonic Awakenings in D is an electro-acoustic composition in three sections, inspired by the fascinating, and often mysterious sounds and diverse languages associated with short- wave radio broadcasts and audio transmissions. Before digital tuning in receivers, manual tuning of radio frequencies was necessary. So, interspersed throughout this section we hear a pastiche of tuning sounds over a bed of tonal pulsation. This music video is the first of three sections of an 11-minute composition. Music and Video by Douglas Hedwig.

3. Four Third Streams (1st Mvt) for wind quintet by Douglas Hedwig

Four Third Streams is a four-movement composition for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and either bassoon or bass clarinet; this is a recording of the bass clarinet version). The title "Four Third Streams" refers to the inspiration for the piece, which intended as a fusion of Western classical music with jazz styles; a style sometimes referred to a "Third Stream." The first movement, DoDec Shuffle, is a 12-tone work in a "swing" style (think Arnold Schoenberg meets Count Basie!), that features two jazz influenced, semi-improvisatory cadenzas for flute and clarinet. Composed in 2018, it was commissioned by the Chattanooga Symphony Wind Quintet. This present video recording (and, the three movements that follow) is from a live performance by performance faculty from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Louisiana Tech University. Player names are listed in the YouTube text info that accompanies each video.

4. Four Third Streams (2nd Mvt) for wind quintet

The 2nd movement of Four Third Streams is entitled A-Side Ballad (Rainy Sunset). Inspired by the rich melodic and harmonic jazz stylings of composer Gil Evans (and others) in the 1950's and '60's (especially in his collaborations with trumpeter Miles Davis), this is the most lyrical of the four movements. The sub-title of the pice (Rainy Sunset) is indicative of the somewhat melancholy nature of the piece. Whereas the primary title (A-side Ballad) implies a bit of wry humor in its playful reversal of a typical description/label used for 45 RPM pop and rock records of the 60's. At that time, record company executives/producers would typically put the energetic "hit song" on the A-side of the disk, while the B-side was often relegated to the less commercial, more introspective and ballad-like songs. Hence, this movement title essentially puts the ballad on the A-side, where it belongs!

5. Four Third Streams (3rd Mvt) for wind quintet

Movement 3 of Four Third Streams is a brief interlude entitled Muse Noir. It begins with a brief contrapuntal statement of one of the basic tone-rows originally presented in the 1st movement, then moves into a kind of dark, medium tempo jazz-rock piece, with a few unexpected rhythmic and harmonic surprises along the way. The title refers to something of the feel of black & white, so-called "film noir" movies of the 1940's (think Humphrey Bogart in the role of Philip Marlowe!).

6. Four Third Streams (4th Mvt) for wind quintet

The 4th movement of Four Third Streams is a kind of Latin-Jazz fusion piece entitled Quintal Grooves. The work presents a series of related but distinctive latin styles within a classical music chamber music tradition. Improvisatory in feel and construction, the work comes to a driving conclusion but once again stating the primary tone-row of the first movement. (Incidentally, this - and a secondary row - are present in some form throughout sections of all four movements of the piece, thus providing a unifying quality to the overall 19-minute composition.)

7. Movable Borders for string quintet by Douglas Hedwig

Movable Borders is a 3-movement, 18-minute composition for string quintet (2 violins, viola, cello and double-bass), and exists also in a version for string orchestra. Composed in 2017, it was commissioned by the Chattanooga Symphony String Quintet who premiered the work in 2018. The title refers to the nature of the composition, as it is inspired by world music (both fold and art music) from various countries and regions. The first movement Journey draws upon elements of both Hungary and Argentina. The second movement - Hymn - is largely inspired by Hindustani and South Asian styles, and features a solo for double-bass intended to suggest the vocal and instrumental style of Indian classical music. The movement ends by combining the Indian "flavor" with a distinctly American, open sounding and traditional hymn-like setting of the original tune. The 3rd and final movement is entitled Dance, and it is inspired by the unusual asymmetric time signatures typical of music of the Balkan region of Eastern Europe. (At the premiere of the string orchestra version of this piece in New York City, the conductor humorously referred to this movement as a kind of Serbian Salsa!)

NOTE: The timings of the three movements are contained in the comments section of the YouTube video link.

8. We Can Find No Scar - Art Song for Soprano & Piano

We Can Find No Scar, by Douglas Hedwig, is a setting of the poem by Emily Dickinson entitled "There's a Certain Slant of Light." This video recording is from the world premiere of the work, performed by soprano Jourdan Laine Howell and pianist Joshua Lubben at the 2108 Frontwave New Music Festival in West Palm Beach, Florida.

9. Promenade for a Great City for large brass ensemble

Composition by Douglas Hedwig composed for the Inauguration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at NYC City Hall, January 1st, 2010. Entitled Promenade for a Great City, the work was performed by the Brooklyn College Brass Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Hedwig.

10. Shadow Reflections for piano + We Can Find No Scar for soprano & piano

Live Performance from the New Music on the Bayou Festival 2019, at Louisiana Tech University. Shadow Reflections for piano, performed here in its premiere by Justin Havard. It is paired with a We Can Find No Scar performed by soprano Joann Martinson Davis. Both of these works are inspired by the poem, There's a Certain Slant of Light, by Emily Dickinson.

11. Illumination for brass quintet, percussion & organ

Illumination is the 5th (concluding) movement of "A Certain Slant of Light" for brass quintet, organ and percussion. Composed by Douglas Hedwig in 2015 on a commission from St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Chattanooga, TN (Dr. Keith S. Reas, Organist and Director of Music), A Certain Slant of Light was awarded the American Prize in Chamber Music Composition in 2018 and is published by Carl Fischer Music, NYC. This current video recording is from a performance at Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe, LA, during a festival/residency in early 2020 featuring the musical compositions of Douglas Hedwig, hosted by the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

12. A Conversation with Composer Douglas Hedwig

Douglas Hedwig is interviewed by Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Music Director and Conductor, Kayoko Dan. The interview took place prior to a performance of Hedwig's ONYX for brass quintet in September 2020, during which the composer discusses aspects of his compositional process and inspiration.

13. Fanfare Alegre: Dia de la Fiesta for Concert Band

Fanfare Alegre: Dia de la Fiesta is really more of a short tone poem or concert-overture than an outright fanfare. Highly programmatic and rather cinematic in style, it musically relates the story of a Mexican village on the day of an important festival. Originally composed for symphony orchestra in 2018 in honor of the National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S.A., "Fanfare Alegre: Dia de la Fiesta" was premiered in this version for concert band by the concert band of the University of Louisiana at Monroe on February 18, 2020, Steven A. Pederson, conducting.

(Fanfare Alegre: Dia de la Fiesta in its original version was commissioned and premiered by the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra at the Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga, TN on September 27, 2018; Kayoko Dan, Conductor.)

14. Tone Poem on Taps for Concert Band - recording 1

NOTE: Suggest starting at 04:15 (that is, 4 minutes and 15 seconds from the beginning of the video).

Tone Poem on Taps was composed by Douglas Hedwig in 2012 in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the composition/creation of America's most well-known and famous bugle call, Taps. This video is from the World Premiere performed by the U.S. Army Band at West Point (the "West Point Band"), under the direction of the composer, on September 12, 2012. An audience of over 12,000 people gathered at Trophy Point at West Point, NY for the concert.

15. Tone Poem on Taps for Concert Band - recording 2

This commercially released recording of Tone Poem on Taps was featured on the recording, Day is Done; Music Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Taps. Performed by the Maryland Defense Force Band and members of the 89th Army Band (NYG), it is under the musical direction of Lt. Colonel Jari Villanueva.

16. Comment by Douglas Hedwig on Art & Creativity

NOTE: Suggest starting video at 0:53 (that is, 53 seconds after the start).

In this very brief video segment, Douglas Hedwig describes a key element of his compositional process. Recorded in 2019 as Composer-in-Residence at the Siena Art Institute in Siena, Italy. [www.sienaart.org/Dettaglio-figura/id:322]

17. Muse Noir for cello trio

NOTE: Begin video at 37:00 (that is, 37 minutes and 0 seconds after the start of video).

Premiere performance in Brussels, Belgium from November 2020 of Muse Noir for three cellos by Douglas Hedwig. Selected for premiere as part of the annual Festival Osmose international festival of modern music. Basically a "musical miniature," Muse Noir is a poignant, playful work, 02:20 in duration.

18. Naval Militia March for band by Douglas Hedwig

Douglas Hedwig was commissioned to compose the New York Naval Militia March by the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs and by the New York Naval Militia (the official naval militia of NYS, under the command of the Governor). Composed for concert/military band in 2011, it was premiered in Patterson, NY by the combined bands of the 42nd Infantry Division Band (NY Army National Guard) and the 89th Army Band (New York Guard), under the direction of the composer.