Electro-acoustic music: Mirabell (1991)

December 10, 2009

Mirabell (1991)
Music: Roger Bourland
Performer: William Powell, clarinet
Yelton Rhodes Music

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Portable Rhapsody No.3 “Mirabell” for clarinet and tape was written for and dedicated to William Powell. “Mirabell” is a character in James Merrill’s epic The Changing Light at Sandover. Mirabell is a young mischievous spirit that speaks to the story’s main characters through the Ouija board. He is sometimes playful and whimsical, but can turn into a oracle of mysteries when we least expect it.

This piece is the fourth of a series of “Portable” music: three Portable Rhapsodies (for alto sax, flute, and clarinet) and one Portable Concerto for Viola. The pieces are portable in that they may be played with a portable mp3 player or computer virtually anywhere. The styles borrow from not only the classical music tradition, but from jazz, new age, and popular music. It is the composer’s hope that they will not be banned to the ghettos of contemporary music concerts and will be received as “cross-over” works.

[Photo of James Morrison who played Mirabell in the film “Voices from Sandover” and adaptation of James Merrill’s “Changing Light at Sandover.”]

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