SECOND CD TO BE RELEASED IN 2018
Following the successful release of Scott’s debut CD this past January, recordings are under way for Scott’s second disc! “Whispers of Heavenly Death” will feature eight sets of songs Scott wrote between June 2001 and February 2017. Bringing their extraordinary talents to the project are: pianist Éric Trudel, soprano Jamie Jordan, mezzo-soprano Julia Mintzer, tenor Zachary Wilder, baritone Dashon Burton, and flutist Helen Park. Recordings will take place between June and November 2017 for a 2018 release. The contents will include Scott’s Spring and All (2001–2005), Holy Sonnets of John Donne (2005–2016), Dogen Songs (2006), Riddle Songs (2007–2008), Three Songs for Autumn (2009), Soir d’hiver (2016), Three Songs for Summer (2016), and Whispers of Heavenly Death (2016–2017).
SCOTT JOINS FACULTY AT SACRAMENTO STATE UNIVERSITY
Scott has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at California State University, Sacramento! In addition to teaching a variety of courses, he will coordinate and lead the redesign of Sacramento State’s music theory program. Scott looks forward to joining his wonderful new colleagues in California this summer!
Scott will join a list of distinguished composers contributing new works for organ to a Festschrift for the noted organist David Higgs. Other composers include Byron Adams, Samuel Adler, William Bolcom, David Conte, Jürgen Essl, Martin Herchenroeder, Stephen Kennedy, Robert Kyr, Nico Muhly, Craig Phillips, and Zachary Wadsworth. Scholar-artists Bernhard Haas, Kerala Snyder, and Joel Speerstra will add articles to this celebratory anthology.
Scott will write a new work for the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division’s High School Honor Choir for its 2018 convention in Pittsburgh, PA. The premiere, which will take place between March 7 and 10, will be conducted by David Fryling with Timothy Plambeck at the piano. The texts will be from Madeleine L’Engle’s exuberant poems titled “Instruments.”
In May 2018, the Plainville (CT) Wind Ensemble under the direction of Ken Bagley will premiere Scott’s first work for that medium. The piece will be a fanfare in celebration of the ensemble’s 30th anniversary.
“THE STOLEN CHILD: CHORAL WORKS of SCOTT PERKINS”
On January 13, Navona Records released Scott’s debut full-length CD, “The Stolen Child: Choral Works of Scott Perkins.” The disc features performances by Audivi of three of Scott’s large choral works: A Word Out of the Sea, The Stolen Child, and The World of Dream. Pick up or download your copy today through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ArkivMusic, or iTunes; or listen on Spotify. Previews are available on Scott’s audio page and on Navona’s website.
Read what critics are writing:
“[Perkins’s] material exudes an ethereal character, especially in the title piece, that leaves an indelible imprint. . . . Especially haunting is the six-movement title work (2006), in which a magical being attempts to protect a child from future sorrows by spiriting it off to the natural world. . . . There’s a sultriness to Perkins’ melodies that’s potent enough to seduce an adult, let alone a less worldly child, and one repeatedly basks in the glorious effect of the cascading vocal melodies, regardless of whether the movement’s character expresses the liveliness of youth (“To a Child Dancing in the Wind I”) or the wistfulness that sets in as the end draws near (“When You are Old”). Structurally the work impresses, too, with Yeats’s title poem framing the four inner movements, which constitute a life cycle, with prologue and epilogue treatments. . . . Each of the three settings feels modern in its compositional design yet at the same time very much connected to the longstanding traditions of choral music. Though there’s a natural fluidity to the vocalizing that ties it to writing of the past, Perkins’ beautiful settings never feel anything less than contemporary.” —Textura
“Perkins’s “neo-modal” language is balanced and fluid. His compositional technique is exquisite. . . . His music is saturated with images and he succeeds in maintaining a scrupulous respect for the word. . . . Perkins captures musically an emotional portrait that reflects the aspirations of these three poets with great expressive power.” —Sonograma Magazine (translated from the original Catalan)
“Scott Perkins builds an intricate world with his choral collection The Stolen Child. . . . These are three very different works which [complement] each other beautifully. [A] Word Out of The Sea is arguably this album’s most haunting inclusion, whilst The World of Dream represents a collection of dreamy, floaty pieces. For me The Stolen Child is easily the most beautiful and pleasing segment. This is an incredible choral work that delivers more intimate themes the more you listen to it. 10 [of 10].” —Darren Rea, Review Graveyard
“The textures of Perkins’ choral music are clearly contemporary, and some of his techniques (such as his elaboration of the sound of a single letter) are quite modern; yet his vocal colors, frequent use of modal language, and direct expressiveness recall the old a cappella tradition. . . . The vocal writing is assured and well- designed throughout all these works. . . .” —Infodad
“All three works are similar in that the emphasis seems to be on the higher voices and everything blending into a conversational, murmury, shimmering sort of sound. It’s hypnotic and intriguing. . . .” —operaramblings
OTHER WORKS IN PROGRESS
In addition to the commissions listed above, Scott is writing:
- An opera, Pierce, with a libretto by Nat Cassidy. Pierce tells the tragic and horrifying story of the United States’s most obscure leader, Franklin Pierce, haunted beyond comprehension and driven desperately to distraction, as his country descends into civil war.
- A multimedia chamber work based on fairy tales by Angela Carter, adapted by Charles Ogilvie. The work will be scored for a small group of vocalists and instrumentalists to include mezzo-soprano Julia Mintzer.
In CASE YOU MISSED IT...
On May 21 the choirs of Bethesda Lutheran Church and United Church on the Green, New Haven, CT, gave the world premiere of Scott’s newest sacred choral work, A New England Requiem. The 25-minute piece for soprano, choir, organ, and chamber orchestra, was commissioned by the Bethesda Music Series. The texts come from the requiem mass and four New England poets: Dickinson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, and Sigourney. The work was premiered at Bethesda Lutheran Church under the direction of Lars Gjerde with Caesar Storlazzi, organist, and Margaret Astrup, soprano.
On April 20 the Camerate Isla of Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, under the direction of Ross Bernhardt, presented a program of music by living composers, including Scott’s setting of The Lord’s Prayer.
Scott recently enjoyed a four-week residency at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming. This past February, Scott and seven other artists of various media worked on independent projects on a beautiful, 13,000-acre ranch between the Sierra Madre and Snowy Mountain ranges. Scott completed Whispers of Heavenly Death, a set of songs on poems by Whitman; and he made significant strides on Pierce, an opera with librettist Nat Cassidy.
On October 22, Noah Horn led Audivi in the world premiere of Scott’s choral piece The World of Dream. The performance took place at Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Detroit, MI. Audivi recently recorded the work for Scott’s new choral album (see above), which was released on January 13, 2017.
NEW CHORAL RELEASES BY AUGSBURG FORTRESS AND PARACLETE PRESS
In 2017 Augsburg Fortress, the publisher for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will release its fifth and sixth anthems by Scott: Benediction and You, God, Are My Light. Scott will also begin a relationship with Paraclete Press, which will publish his The Wonders of Thy Grace in June 2018. Until then, the anthems are available for purchase through Encore Music Creations. To order, email Encore@EncoreMusicCreations.com.