Highlighted by a major new composition by L’Esperance’s own mandobassist Jason Beals and two new compositions by Flynn Cohen, L’Esperance presents seven centuries of compositions with Celtic and Celestial themes for the Canadian-American Club.
Jason Beals’ Gibbous Suite is a textured soundscape of two rhythmically linked compositions, “Passion of the Full Moon” and an untitled piano improvisation. Over the course of its cycle it evokes elements of atmospheric Pink Floyd, relentless Philip Glass, a subtle waltz, and a variation on standard I, IV, V rock and roll.
A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Flynn Cohen studied composition and guitar at Dartington College of Arts (Devon, England) and Mills College (Oakland, CA). He is former student of John Renbourn (Pentangle) and Paul Binkley (Modern Mandolin Quartet), as well as composers W.A. Mathieu, Pauline Oliveros, Agustîn Fernandez, and Frank Denyer. His primary compositional output consists of music for plucked strings (solo and ensemble) and neo-traditional fiddle music, as well as microtonal instrumental music in extended just-intonation. He teaches guitar and mandolin and performs with the nationally-touring American folk band Low Lily, and with Irish accordionist John Whelan.
Flynn’s Treelawn is a post-minimalist piece rooted in the Lydian mode that modulates to relative modes, revealing a structural influence of Irish traditional music, but pulsing rhythmically somewhere between the late Baroque and the late 20th Century.
The Unhappy Couple is a post-modern waltz in the Dorian mode — common in Anglo-Celtic traditional music. Inspired by both a recent trip to the old home place (with the accompanying nostalgia) and a solo guitar composition by the late string-genius Michael Hedges.
Australian composer Percy Grainger moved to England in 1901 and developed a fascination for the traditional music of the British Isles and created numerous sophisticated arrangements of English, Irish and Scottish folktunes. Molly on the Shore combines two Celtic melodies, Molly on the Shore and Temple Hill, with Grainger’s ingenious harmonizations.
Italian composer Francesco Barsanti moved to Scotland in 1735, where he developed a passion for traditional Scottish music (and presumably for Scottish taverns where he would have learned the tunes. His Collection of Old Scots Tunes contains Gilderoy, an old Scottish song celebrating the misadventures of Patrick MacGregor, a red haired Scottish version of Robin Hood who was executed in 1635. Gilderoy’s melody became the basis for Ralph Vaughn Williams Anglican hymn, Kingsfoil and the traditional Irish tune the Star of the County Down.
Providence-born composer and mandolinist Michael Bell, has received numerous commissions for compositions. Uisge Beatha, is a rollicking quadruple fugue based on two of Michael’s contradance tunes, Dancing on a Skateboard and Crossing the Equinox.
Join us for a lively evening blending folk music, classical composers and the unique voices of the mandolin family.
L’Esperance features musicians from Rhode Island, Western Massachusetts, and the Cape. We gather Tuesdays at the Cataumet train station in Bourne, MA and Saturday mornings in Providence. Call 401-345-6930 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to arrange a Try Your Pluck Mandolin Lesson.