"Clay Jug" Choral Music of Edie Hill sung by The Crossing produced by PARMA recordings
Described as “flat out beautiful--deep and tuneful and full of mystery…(Sterophile Magazine), Edie Hill’s music is performed all over the globe. Her choral works have been commissioned and performed by some of the world’s finest choirs including The Dale Warland Singers, The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Nederlands Kamerkoor, Cantus and the Rose Ensemble. Hill's music has been heard at venues including Lincoln Center, The Library of Congress, Musis Sacrum (Arnhem, The Netherlands), LA County Museum of Art, The Walker Art Center as well as venues in Thailand, Iceland, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, the Baltics and the United Arab Emirates. A three-time McKnight Artist Fellow and a two-time Bush Artist Fellow, Hill has received grants and awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Meet The Composer, ASCAP and Chamber Music America. She actively cultivates the talents of young composers and musicians as well as educating and engaging the public in the music of today. She has been a guest lecturer at such institutions as Syracuse University, the American Composers Forum, the Iowa Composers Forum Nuts N’ Bolts Festival, Tufts University, the University of Michigan, Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) and the Conservatory at Arnhem in The Netherlands. Hill earned a B.A. at Bennington College where she studied with Vivian Fine, and then went on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Minnesota studying with Dr. Lloyd Ultan. She has also studied extensively with Libby Larsen. As Composer in Residence at St. Paul's The Schubert Club, she runs the Composer Mentorship Program. Hill resides in Minneapolis where she works as a freelance composer and owns Hummingbird Press.
In 2014, I was approached by PARMA recordings with the opportunity to create a new album featuring a selection of my choral works. In 2015, I am honored to be signed on as one of their artists and am looking forward to working with PARMA and the acclaimed chamber vocal ensemble, The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally, to make a new CD.
“Clay Jug” will be comprised of seven choral works commissioned from 1999 to 2014. My work and my life are music. I compose it, I study it, I teach it, I dream it and I send it out into the world.
It is through composition that I learn about the world, grapple with and celebrate life. Each one of these pieces comes from texts and ideas that resonate with me deeply. Each has a personal story behind it. They all come from “inside this clay jug,” to quote the title track. In other words, all of what I offer on this recording is a musical “log” of experience from over 15 years of living.
So what is compelling about this? The shared experience of living! Life is exquisite and excruciating. What I communicate is honest and raw. A dialogue with fellow human beings that are sharing the planet at this point in time is what I love about this circular art form. It’s my take. I put a map on the page that is sent into the air by performers and taken in by audiences. It’s a simple sharing. I believe that this simple sharing is compelling.
We are all the “Clay Jug.” We are sturdy, strong, breakable and fragile. We hold inside us the resilience of the human spirit, (the Fenix), the ability to actively think and listen, (Thinker, Listen!) the ‘dark night of the soul’ or that journey we have to take even though we do not know what is on the other side (Cancion de el alma). The stages of our lives (We Bloomed in Spring and Alma Beata et Bella). Breath, heartbeat, flutes, drums, MUSIC! MUSIC - this thing that is intrinsically human, that has spoken to us since the beginning of time (From the Wingbone of a Swan).
The arrival of this CD is a bit of lovely serendipity at this point in my career. Before PARMA approached me, I had been rolling the idea of a choral CD around in my head and thinking about how I could make it happen. I’m grateful to be a part of a number of wonderful recordings. “Clay Jug,” however, will be the first of my music alone. This opportunity will open new doors enabling me to continue to grow and challenge myself doing that work I love.
Works on this CD are as follows (in order of the track listing):
• From the Wingbone of a Swan for SATB choir, flute, cello, marimba and drum 2013
I. Prelude to Speech
III. Paleolithic Flute
Text (English) by Edie Hill and Tim O’Brien. Commissioned by The Valborg Choir for their 20th Anniversary. Premiere: Zeist, The Netherlands 2013.
• The Fenix for SATB chamber choir, soprano solo 2000
Text (Anglo Saxon) adapted by Edie Hill from the Exeter Book
Commissioned by the Rose Ensemble under the auspices of the Jerome Foundation with fiscal sponsorship provided by The Schubert Club.
Premiere: April 27, 2000, Christ Church Cathedral, Eau Claire, WI.
• Thinkers, Listen! for voices and body percussion 2007
Text (English) Kabir as translated by Robert Bly
Commissioned by Cantus with a grant from Chamber Music America
Premiere: March 10, 2007 Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
• Cancion de el Alma for SATB chamber choir 2013
Text (Old Spanish) by San Juan de la Cruz
Commissioned by Classical Minnesota Public Radio for The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Premiere: St. Paul Cathedral, November 2013 broadcast live with pre-recorded interview at intermission.
• Clay Jug for SATB a cappella choir 2007
Text (English) Kabir as translated by Robert Bly
Commissioned by Cantus with a grant from Chamber Music America (9 voice men's a cappella)
Commissioned by Robert Bode and the University of Kansas City's Conservatory Singers (SATB version)
Premiere: March 10, 2007 Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
• We Bloomed In Spring for SATB a cappella choir 2014
Text (English) by St. Teresa de Avila as translated by David Ladinsky
Composed for Philip Brunelle and Plymouth Congregational Church Senior Choir
Premiere: May 2014, Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis, MN.
• Alma Beata et Bella for SATB a cappella chamber choir 1999
Text (Old Italian) by Jacopo Sannazaro
Commissioned by the Rose Ensemble under the auspices of the Jerome Foundation with fiscal sponsorship provided by The Schubert Club
Premiere: November 12, 1999 by the Rose Ensemble, Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis, MN.