Music of Jay Weigel



Jay Weigel




Oh Yeah!


Power Press


Augmented Break


Three Evocations


Old Winds


In and out of Light


Take Me Home


An Affirmation






The Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra


John Giordano, conductor · Shields-Collins Bray, piano






The music on this compact disc was written between 1987 and 1992. This music documents a period of personal discovery and revelation. As I wrote each work, I felt a step closer to discovering that elusive voice I've always strived to find. That voice is ultimately expressed through my use of the raw musical material present in New Orleans and its music.




After completing my studies at the University of Southern California in 1983, I returned to New Orleans to compose. As Music Director of the Contemporary Arts Center, I have organized concerts featuring music from both the oral and written traditions. That experience has allowed me to work closely with many of the finest musicians in New Orleans.




My personal experience with New Orleans music has shown me the wealth present in its musical culture, a culture that served as the catalyst for all modern, popular music; a culture whose melodic improvisations spawned Jazz; a culture whose rhythmic patterns breathed life into the field cries that metamorphasized into the Blues as it made its way up the Mississippi River to Chicago; a culture whose musical traditions are passed from parent to child and friend to neighbor; a culture still growing, experimenting, playing and influencing music world wide; a culture whose emphasis on acoustic instrumentation defies the vagaries of modern electronic renderings; a culture relatively untapped by most composers working in the written tradition. The compositions on this disc reflect my New Orleans spiritual heritage. They reflect the unique feel of heart pounding parade drumming the smell of fresh rain on sub-tropical streets; the unique blast of a heavy left hand on an upright piano.




Three of the works on this disc are the result of my collaborations with the dance community in New Orleans. The first work, Oh Yeah! and the sixth work, In and Out of Light, are performed using traditional instruments. The third work, Power Press, was conceived and executed in my New Orleans studio at Pelican Pictures. These three works explore many of the rhythmic concepts present in New Orleans percussion music.




Augmented Break derives its title from the use of musical interludes, or breaks, in the formal structure of many jazz works. These breaks would often give the percussionist a chance to solo. In this piece the breaks consist of two augmented triads expressed through a syncopated rhythm.




Three Evocations for solo piano was written for the New Orleans Institute for the Performing Arts Third Annual Piano Competition. The work served as the required work for all of the contestants. The harmony utilized in the third movement is derived directly from New Orleans jazz piano tradition. The three movements are played without pause.




Old Winds was a study in the use of quotation. I quoted Mozart as well as the New Orleans piano players' "foot stomping." Hopefully, the Mozart adds a bit of humor to the work.




Take Me Home was inspired by several musical ideas. The most immediate is the opening riff played by the orchestra. It was originally a piano riff that I took from the opening of a New Orleans rhythm and blues song.




An Affirmation is a one movement piano concerto written in 1988. The work divides into five contrasting sections. Each section uses techniques and sounds that attempt to create a New Orleans' atmosphere. The slow section uses languid string glissandos played in a way similar to the way old dance bands performed them. The final section is based on a four bar riff


or motive. Each occurrence of the riff is scored slightly different than the one before it. The rhythmic energy and syncopation in the riff is indicative of a New Orleans' groove.




Jay Weigel






Jay Weigel




Weigel, a native of New Orleans, graduated from Tulane University in 1981 while studying composition privately with Roger Dickerson. After receiving a Masters of Music Degree in Composition from the University of Southern California, he returned to New Orleans. In 1984 he was appointed Music Director of the Contemporary Arts Center and Lecturer of Composition and Orchestration at Xavier University. Weigel's compositions have been performed by the New Orleans Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, Louisiana Sinfonietta, Fort Worth Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic Chamber Players and various ensembles in America and Europe. Over the past five years, Weigel's music has been featured in numerous commercials, documentaries, films and records. Most recently, Weigel's work on the R.E.M. hit album Out of Time earned him a quadruple-platinum award from the RIAA.




Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra




Under its founding conductor and Music Director John Giordano, the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra (FWCO) has achieved the status of preeminent touring orchestra of Texas. The FWCO, comprised of 36 accomplished musicians recruited from across the U.S., has toured the Peoples' Republic of China, Mexico and Spain. The orchestra has released two recordings, including a compact disc of baroque violin concertos with violinist Jose-Luis Garcia.




John Giordano




In 1972 Giordano accepted the position of the Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. In 1976, he founded the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra. Both orchestras have since earned world-wide acclaim. Giordano has conducted the London Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra as well as the major orchestras of Belgium, Brazil, El Salvador, Portugal and Argentina. Since 1973 he has worked as Jury Chairman for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.




Shields-Collins Bray




Bray, a native of Monroe, Louisiana, joined the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as Principal Keyboardist in 1987. Prior to his position there, he studied at Arizona State University and received a Master of Music degree from Texas Christian University where he studied with Steven De Groote. Bray has appeared as soloist with orchestras across the Southwest. He has also performed at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina and at the Victoria International Festival in British Columbia.




Recording Engineers: Oh Yeah!, Augmented Break, Three Evocations and Old Winds - Don Turnipseed; Take Me Home and An Affirmation - Mark Bingham; In and Out of Light - Keith Keller; sequenced and edited at Ultrasonic Studios with Jay Gallagher and Steve Reynolds.




Cover artwork by Robert Tannen, 1988, courtesy of Res Nova, New York.




Special thanks to Adelaide Benjamin, Ann Koonsman, Dan Ross, Joe Sanford, Claudia Santosuosso and the Mary Freeman Wisdom Foundation.




Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra




Violin I


Frank Almond, Concertmaster


Adriana Voirin DeCosta, Assistant Concertmaster


David Kempers · Marilyn Chandler · Nancy Todd Weger · Swang Lin


Violin II


Kenneth Schanewerk, Principal · Janine Giesel, Assistant Principal


Andrea Tullis · Marilyn d'Auteuil · Rebecca Rathbun




Laura Burton, Principal · David Hermann, Associate Principal


Scott Jessup ·Joni Baczewski




Wayne Burak, Principal · Debbie Brooks, Associate Principal


Monte Knutson · Leda Dawn Burak




Jeffrey D. Stevenson, Principal · Nami Akamatsu, Assistant Principal




Jan Crisanti, Principal · Karen Adrian, Assistant Principal




Jan Eberle, Principal · Jane Owen, Assistant Principal




Andrew Crisanti, Principal · John Manry, Assistant Principal




Kevin Hall, Principal ·Charles Price, Assistant Principal




Lorin Larson, Co-Principal · Ellen Smith, Co-Principal




Steve Weger, Co-Principal · Don Thomas, Co-Principal




Jack Rumbley, Principal




Preston Thomas, Principal




Shields-Collins Bray, Principal






Oh Yeah! (6:42)


Sally Sherwin, flute


Carolyn Hultquist, violin


Mary Abby Sayle, harp


Karen Ray, cello




Power Press (9:03)


Jay Weigel, multi-instrumentalist




Augmented Break (3:35)


David Kempers, violin




Three Evocations (7:07)


The Beginning


The Word




Anita Chang, piano






Old Winds (8:38)


Pam Dobson, flute


Carrie Vecchione, oboe


Gail Carpenter, clarinet




In and Out of Light (10:19)


David Kempers, David Kazmierzak, violins


Michael Gyurik, viola


Kaaren Makas, cello




Take Me Home (8:56)


Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra


John Giordano, conductor




An Affirmation (13:23)




Shields-Collins Bray, piano


Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra


John Giordano, conductor






Total Time = 68:53