NY-based new music chamber group loadbang gives the world premiere of Hannah Lash's The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep at SITE Santa Fe on April 13 and Chatter Sunday in Albuquerque on April 14. These programs are being presented through a partnership between Chatter and American Opera Projects.
Hannah Lash: harp/voice
Andy Kozar: trumpet
Carlos Cordeiro: bass clarinet
Jeffrey Gavett: baritone voice
William Lang: trombone
The Stoned Prince
Composed by Hannah Lash / Libretto by Royce Vavrek
Opening the program is Hannah Lash's Stoned Prince, commissioned by loadbang in 2013. Stoned Prince examines moments in the public and imagined private life of His Royal Highness, Prince Harry during his earlier, bachelor days. The music inhabits a bizarre, drunken, late-night emotional space. The preponderance of low instruments with only the trumpet and the baritone’s falsetto representing the upper range of sound serves as a disorienting canvas for a drama that unfolds via its hero’s drunken phonecalls. This tragicomic song cycle is scored for wind instruments and voice and augmented by sounds from beer bottles and a Zippo lighter. The libretto is by Royce Vavrek.
The Stoned Prince was commissioned by loadbang, developed by American Opera Projects, in association with The John Duffy Composers Institute. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Chimney Sweep and the Shepherdess
Composed by Hannah Lash
The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep is based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. The piece is scored for trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, baritone voice, and harp. Those who remember seeing loadbang perform at previous Chatter concerts will know that that the unusual combination of instruments (minus the harp) is the ensemble’s usual lineup. Lash wrote this new work specifically for loadbang, and she and the four members of the group will be taking on the roles of the fairy tale characters, including the Chimney Sweep, Shepherdess, Grandfather, and General.
An accomplished harpist, Hannah Lash will perform this new work with loadbang. In between Lash’s two works, Santa Fe-based spoken word artist, Emma Sherr-Ziarko, will recite Falstaff's speech from Henry IV, Part 2. The musical pieces on this program are about characters through the ages who are in one way or another still finding their way in life—we see them as they humorously strive for change. However, in the end, they find peace and acceptance in themselves.