Composer, Pianist, Teacher
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Dawn Lindblade, commissioner of MANIC MELODIES, discusses the work with Kimberly Powell on KUCO 90.1 FM.
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When the prospect of writing a vocal work first arose I quickly became intrigued (and puzzled) about how the composer goes about selecting a text when given the freedom of choice in the matter. I wanted lyrics that spoke to our "modern" sensibilities. The idea to set something decidedly unmusical fascinated me, too. Since so many of us visit online social networks quite frequently I became attracted to (and finally committed to) the idea of using posts on these sites as lyrics. The selections came from within my circle of Facebook friends and represent some of the more creative, revealing, and zaniest parts of our experience.
Musically speaking, there are seven songs and two pieces for one or both of the instrumentalists: Overture and Selfie. I chose to employ a wide variety of musical styles - from jazz and pop to wildly dissonant aleatoric or "chance" music - to explore the ways each style could be blended and integrated into an admittedly semi-serious work. The most childish parts of my wanted this to be music that would fit right in at Pee-Wee's Playhouse.
MANIC MELODIES: Nine Tchotchkes for baritone, B-flat clarinet, and piano was written on commission for Dr. Dawn Lindblade for herself, Dr. Rob Glaubitz, and Dr. Sallie Pummill-Pollack, Funding was made possible by the generous support of the University of Central Oklahoma Office of Research and Grands. Special thanks go out to these friends for allowing me to use posts from their Facebook pages in the creation of this work: Matt Elliott, Anthony Tompkins, Tony, Li, Hailey Hopkins, William Simmons, Mark Thompson, and Kristofer Matthias Eckelhoff.