Luanne's original composition: "Un Souvenir d'hiver" for String Quartet
"Un Souvenir d’hiver"
(A Winter Memory)
Composed in 2016, commissioned by the late Katia Popov (concertmaster of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra) and the California String Quartet.
The composer writes:
“Before her passing, Katia asked me to write a piece for her string quartet, for an upcoming winter holiday concert. I decided to pull inspiration from places I’ve spent some time in, which have a distinct winter season (as opposed to Los Angeles), and use musical language to travel from one to another, creating a “memory” for the musicians and the audience.
I grew up in Montreal, Canada, where the winters are harsh: cold, dark, many feet of snow, ice storms. I remember being inside during snowstorms and feeling a sense of excitement for what was going on outside — will school be canceled? Will our neighbors come over to enjoy a hot meal with us? — and comfort — for being protected in a warm house, surrounded by my family.
I lived in Hamburg, Germany, where winters are not so snowy, but windy and rainy. Those North Winds were chilling to the bone! Walking was a challenge on certain days, and the sea storms would occasionally drown the amphibious part of the Barbour with violently crashing waves. Brahms was born there, and Mendelssohn as well, so I composed this piece thinking of their music.
I spent a week or so in Vienna one late December, where Brahms, Mozart, and Schubert (among others) all lived there at one time or another. The sound of walking on those cobblestone roads, surrounded by historic imperial buildings, and walking into a breathtakingly beautiful coffee house to have a drink and warm up was inspiration for the elegant second subject in the piece.
I also spent a couple of weeks in late December in Seoul, Korea. It was very cold there too, and besides warming up at the spas, we would pop into the numerous “karaoke rooms” to have a bite to eat and maybe a drink. Korean Pop was actually inspiration for the middle section of the piece!
I hope that, as you listen to our performance, you can hop on the journey with us and imagine yourself in a place such as one of these, with the contrast of the cold winter outdoors, and the comfort of warmth and shelter indoors. We also hope to remember Katia through this music, and for those who have never met her, to create a memory of her spirit. as you experience the music."
The California String Quartet
Violin 1: Luanne Homzy
Violin 2: Hana Kim
Viola: David Walther
Cello: Evgeny Tonkha
December 11 2019, at the Adat Ari El Temple
The Music Guild
Video Type: YouTube
Quarantine Special: "Where Are You" remote recording collab
It is a dark time for everyone on the planet right now and just like everyone else, musicians are really struggling to keep working and generally do the thing they love most: perform great music for people.
I have to admit that - although I'm still doing ok - I can feel quite down thinking about the state of music right now and I fear where it might end up after this is all over.
Of course I prefer not to think too much about that and instead occupy myself with beautiful music instead. For that reason I'm starting a new series dedicated to music, musicians and music lovers: "The Quarantine Sessions".
Every week I will try to collaborate with musician friends from all over to record something truly special. Everyone records their part at home and I'll make a mix and edit a video from everything I get sent.
This first episode is my adaptation of Gordon Jenkins' beautiful arrangement which he wrote for one of my favorite albums "Where Are You?" for my favorite all time musician Frank Sinatra. This is the title song of that album.
Somehow the lyrics are fitting with the times.
"Where Are You" - Lyrics: Harold Adamson, Music: Jimmy McHugh
vocals - Jonny Kerry (UK)
violin 1 - Luanne Homzy (USA)
violin 2 - Alexandre Tripodi (Belgium)
viola - Alexandre Tripodi
cello - Evgeny Tonkha (Russia/USA)
harp - Gracie Sprout (USA)
piano - Guillaume Marcenac (France/The Netherlands)
guitar - Christiaan van Hemert (The Netherlands)
bass - Daniël Lehmann (The Netherlands)
drums - Dimitris Koutantos (Greece/The Netherlands)
Video Type: YouTube
Zemlinsky: Maiblumen blühten überall
Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871-1942): "Maiblumen blühten überall" for soprano and string sextet
Melanie Henley Heyn, soprano
Luanne Homzy and Hanbyul Jang, violin
Matthew Cohen and Benjamin Bartelt, viola
Peter Myers and Vardan Gasparyan, cello
Video Type: YouTube