Video of the premiere of “Songs in the Dark” for voice and piano

I’m excited to share the video from the premiere of my song cycle “Songs in the Dark” – the version for voice and piano! I love Emily Brontë’s poetry, and was honored to perform these with Christina Wright-Ivanova on piano at the UNLV Nextet concert November 2nd. I realized more and more the last couple of years how much I miss and love performing. I feel more complete when I aim to perform my own vocal compositions, since I can play a more active role in the music-making process. Here is a little bit about the songs:

When I came across these highly emotional poems, they reminded me of lyrics to rock songs reminiscent of one of my favorite artists, Tori Amos. I decided to compose what I consider alternative rock art song, and create a narrative that ties these poems together: how the main character deals with the varying emotional states that accompany feelings of despair or loss, focusing on the lower register of the voice:
1) “Frozen” – she is caught in the middle of a metaphorical storm that ultimately sucks her into the vortex of despair.
– Piano interlude creating the cold and dreary atmosphere as leaves are falling from trees
2) “Fall, Leaves, Fall” she embraces darkness, welcoming death around her.
3) “I’ll Not Weep” – even though she may be sad that he dies, she really is just sad to be stuck here and hopes that she can die too very soon and join him.

If any of my singer friends want to check them out, send me a message! =)
Here is the audio on SoundCloud:

American Prize Finalist for “Bordello Nights;” Semi-finalist for “Stay,” and “Familiar Stranger”

I’m excited to find out that my composition Bordello Nights was selected as a finalist in the band category. For a complete listing of finalist composers, please visit: http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2016_11_01_archive.html

Here is a recording of Bordello Nights:

Stay for clarinet, vibraphone, and piano was selected to be among the semi-finalists for The American Prize in the chamber music category. For a complete listing, see the blog post at: http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/ for Wednesday, October 19th.

Here is a link to Stay streaming on Youtube:

Familiar Stranger was selected as a semi-finalist in the orchestra category, and announced last week. For a complete listing of semi-finalists, visit the link: American Prize blogspot list of semi-finalist composers for orchestra

Here is a recording of Familiar Stranger:

Upcoming Fresh Ink Broadcasts November 6, 13, 27 and December 4

Thank you, Neva Pilgrim,fresh-ink-schedule for including some of my music from my album on upcoming FRESH INK BROADCASTS! =) Today, she will be playing “Fallen Veneer” on the program “Frontier Music.” My compositions “Stay,” “Moments Shared, Moments Lost,” and “Chase the Stars” will be aired on November 13th, 27th and December 4th. Here is a list of upcoming programs that all begin Sunday’s at 2:00 PM EST on Classic FM, WCNY-FM 91.3 Syracuse, http://www.societyfornewmusic.org/ink.cfm, http://tunein.com/radio/WCNY-FM-913-s27969/

Photos from premiere of “Songs in the Dark”

I premiered the voice and piano version of my composition Songs in the Dark at the UNLV Nextet concert Wednesday, November 2nd with Christina Wright-Ivanova on piano. We had a blast performing, and I’m just so happy to be a part of the music-making experience. I wrote these songs over the summer when I came across these highly emotional and dark poems by my favorite writer Emily Brontë (1818-1848). 14882361_10103371131686926_8894346016840245616_o14876638_10103369034629446_8210108967464652042_oI LOVE Brontë’s poetry, and these reminded me of lyrics to rock songs. Therefore, I decided to compose what I consider alternative rock art song, and create a narrative that ties these poems together: how the main character deals with the varying emotional states that accompany feelings of despair or loss 1) First one, “Frozen,” she is caught in the middle of a metaphorical storm that ultimately sucks her into the vortex of despair. 2) “Fall, Leaves, Fall” she embraces darkness, welcoming death around her. 3) “I’ll Not weep,” she is tired of that low feeling and instead does a massive “over-correction” trying to turn the feeling into hope: Even though she may be sad that he dies, she really is just sad to be stuck here and hopes that she can die too very soon and join him.

Premiere of “Songs in the Dark” at UNLV Nextet Concert

Album Review of “Stay” from No Depression

Mixing Session #2: “Songs in the Dark” and “Air & Angels”

Finished mixing “Songs in the Dark” and “Air & Angels” yesterday, and excited to share!
Jennifer Bellor, composer and vocalist
Christina Wright-Ivanova, piano
Jason Corpuz, synth
Summer Kodama, electric bass

Air and Angels (rev. 2016)
screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-10-43-41-amI re-visited the poem “Air and Angels” by John Donne (1572-1631) here and there over the last few years, and now feel that I have a deeper understanding of the beautiful and ethereal text (i.e. “Love must not be, but take a body too”) in order to give it a more personal interpretation musically. So, I revised the song I wrote back in 2008 for a performance in August, and recorded it!

Songs in the Dark (rev. 2016)
Text by Emily Brontë (1818-1848)
songs-in-the-dark-texts

“Querencia” for Adams State U wind ensemble featuring James Doyle, vibraphone

Querencia for wind ensemble & vibraphone soloist was commissioned by James Doyle and the Adams State University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Angela Winter for premiere at the Colorado Music Educators Association Conference at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs on January 26, 2017. The commission was funded by a grant that encourages art based on the culture of the San Luis Valley in Colorado.Duration: approximately 6 minutes. Here are some score excerpt:
querencia-pg-2querencia-pg-8querencia-pg-12

“Songs in the Dark” with the Mivos Quartet

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I premiered the version I wrote of “Songs in the Dark” with the Mivos quartet on September 17, 2016 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for the N.E.O.N. festival concert. It was such an honor working with them! Featured are:
Jennifer Bellor, composer and vocalist
Mivos Quartet (Olivia de Prato and Lauren Cauley, violin; Victor Lowrie, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello)
Tim Jones, vibraphone
Summer Kodama, electric bass

I orchestrated the first two songs of the cycle for this performance: 1) “Frozen” and 2) “Fall, Leaves, Fall.”

“Songs in the Dark” – song cycle with text by Emily Brontë (1818-1848)