Britt Orchestra recording of Michael Gordon’s “Natural History” released digitally by Cantaloupe Music is available January 19 exclusively on Apple Music and iTunes – February 2 on all other digital services
The Britt Music & Arts Festival and Cantaloupe Music announce the digital release of Michael Gordon’s orchestral work “Natural History” for orchestra with 10 Klamath tribal drummers, a chorus, brass and percussion.
The work “Natural History” was commissioned by Britt to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Parks, and was performed under the direction of Britt Orchestra music director and conductor Teddy Abrams. The 25-minute recording of “Natural History” was performed by the Britt Orchestra, a chorus of fifty regional choristers, ten members of Steiger Butte Drum, who are all from the local Klamath Tribes, and thirty regional brass musicians and percussionists in front of a live audience at the Britt Pavilion on Saturday, August 20, 2016. It was originally premiered in July 28 & 29, 2016 on the rim of the lake at a location that Gordon scouted, with the brass and percussionists arranged on a dramatic rise overlooking the orchestra. The recording will be released as a digital download on Apple Music’s iTunes, and on Spotify.
“We wanted to create a work of musical art that truly binds the natural environment and topography of Crater Lake with a musical landscape and experience. It’s important to us that this work feel deeply connected to the environment, instead of simply presenting music in a beautiful place,” says music director Teddy Abrams.
Gordon visited the lake in the summer of 2015 and winter of 2016 and spent time with both Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman and Park Historian Stephen Mark. Local writer Lee Juillerat also provided him with background on the history of the region and native lore and tradition. On his last trip to the park, Gordon spent a week in a ranger’s house in the dead of winter. During that period, he spent time working with Steiger Butte Drum, an extended family from the Klamath Tribes that sings and collectively plays a large drum, which they encircle. The drum group members are the soloists of the piece, which, in Gordon’s words, is “designed to…draw out the natural sounds in and around Crater Lake and connect the natural sonic environment to the orchestra.”
The project was supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts “Imagine Your Parks” initiative to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. The National Park Service was founded in August 1916 to protect America’s most iconic lands and wildlife.
“Natural History” will be available at to pre-order at the iTunes Store at: https://apple.co/2FSaxr6
Inspired by its intimate and scenic hillside venue, Britt Music & Arts Festival provides diverse live performances, an incomparable classical festival and dynamic education programs that create a sense of discovery and community. Since its grassroots beginnings in 1963, the non-profit organization has grown from a two-week chamber music festival to a summer-long series of concerts in a variety of genres, including a three-week orchestra season, and year-round education and engagement programs. For more information, visit www.brittfest.org.