For today’s look at Random Contemporary Composers, I thought I’d share an interesting find that I discovered a few months ago. Elena Ruehr is a composer, faculty member of MIT, and a fellow of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute. In 2011, she wrote this short cello concerto, that is based off of one of the stories in David Mitchell’s 2004 book Cloud Atlas. This book is probably my top favorite, so I was happy to see someone had written music inspired by it. The novel follows six different stories set in different time periods, from the 1800s to the 2100s or beyond [it is unclear]. One of the futuristic stories follows a clone, Somni-451, who is kept in slavery with other clones, but eventually she gains self awareness and breaks out of the pattern, working toward leading a revolution. In this concerto, the cello acts as a musical portrayal of Somni-451, and while the music is tonal and in thinner textures, it is harmonically dense, and glides through different environments like a long river.
Today on musicainextenso,
Jennifer Kloetzel, cello
Gil Rose with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Thank you for tuning for Random Contemporary Composers this week! Stay tuned for next week where we will have a guest editor to talk about the importance of music education.
- Nick O.