BRUSH CREEK RESIDENCY
Scott is enjoying a four-week residency at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming. This February, Scott and seven other artists of various media are working on independent projects on a beautiful, 13,000-acre ranch between the Sierra Madre and Snowy Mountain ranges. Scott is working on three projects: Whispers of Heavenly Death, a set of songs on poems by Whitman; Pierce, an opera with librettist Nat Cassidy; and a multimedia chamber work—see details lower on this page.
“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
UPCOMING WORLD PREMIERE
On May 21, the choirs of Bethesda Lutheran Church and United Church on the Green, New Haven, CT, will perform 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 Latin mass for the dead and four New England poets: Dickinson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, and Sigourney. The work will be premiered at Bethesda Lutheran Church under the direction of Lars Gjerde with Caesar Storlazzi, organist, and Margaret Astrup, soprano.
WORKS IN PROGRESS
Having recently completed a requiem (see above) and three sets of songs, Scott is busy working on several new projects, including:
- 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.
- Whispers of Heavenly Death, a set of songs for mezzo-soprano and piano with texts by Walt Whitman. The set is dedicated to Julia Mintzer.
In CASE YOU MISSED IT...
Soprano Jessica Petrus and organist Heinrich Christensen performed a special arrangement of ”Death be not proud” from Scott’s Holy Sonnets of John Donne on November 4 and 5. The program, which was part of the Skylark Ensemble’s Spotlight Series,was presented at Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole, MA (November 4), and Parish of the Epiphany (November 5).
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.
On October 7, trumpeter Katherine Evans and pianist Darryl Nixon gave the world premiere of Scott’s Elegy, which he wrote in 2003. The performance took place at St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church in Vancouver, British Columbia.
On September 25, the choir of Spring Valley UMC in Dallas, Texas, premiered Scott’s newest church anthem for choir and organ, You, God, Are My Light. The piece was commissioned to celebrate John Tarver’s twenty years as Spring Valley’s organist. The performance was led by Director of Music Ministries Bert Johnson with Tarver at the console. Augsburg Fortress will publish the piece in 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.