VOCAL

From My Doleful Prison (2017)
for soprano and piano (and optional electronics/projected imagery)

From My Doleful Prison” sets the letter Anne Boleyn supposedly wrote to her husband Henry VIII while she was in prison awaiting execution. When I first read the letter, I knew I wanted to create a mad scene, since she is angry, confused, anxious, and filled with all sorts of emotions one would have when in a situation where one is wrongfully accused and sentenced to death for crimes that she may not even have committed. In addition to the soprano and piano parts, I used Logic samples to create a present day atmosphere that one might experience sitting in a jail cell. One would hear footsteps of prison guards approaching on a regular basis, along with clanging of the metal bars, people yelling, and even abstract sounds that one might experience in electrocution chambers. This sounds are ongoing throughout the entire piece to represent the fact that even after communicating the letter in song, the sounds will never stop, and the prisoner is still hopelessly stuck in a state of oppression sitting there in her jail cell.

From My Doleful Prison” was commissioned by Emily Woodruff and premiered at the Composers Now Festival February 17, 2017, followed by a second performance at the UNLV Nextet Concert March 15th with faculty pianist Timothy Hoft.

 

 

Songs in the Dark (2016) for voice, piano, synth, electric bass
Text by Emily Bronte (1818-1848) and John Donne (1572-1631)
1. I’ll Not Weep (text from poem “Stanzas”)
2. Air and Angels (text from John Donne’s “Air and Angels”)
3. The Night is Darkening
Interlude: “Frozen” (piano solo)
4. Fall, Leaves, Fall (text from poem “Fall, Leaves, Fall”)

Recording featuring Jennifer Bellor, vocalist; Christina Wright-Ivanova, piano; Jason Corpuz, synth; Summer Kodama, electric bass

 

 

Songs in the Dark (2016) for voice and piano
Three songs with text by Emily Bronte (1818-1848)

Video from the premiere at the UNLV Nextet Concert on November 2, 2016.

Jennifer Bellor, composer and vocalist
Christina Wright-Ivanova, piano

1. The Night Is Darkening (text from poem “Night is Darkening”) – she is caught in the middle of a metaphorical storm that ultimately sucks her into the vortex of despair.
Interlude – “Frozen” creating the cold and dreary atmosphere; leaves falling from trees and other instruments join in before voice begins
2. Fall, Leaves, Fall (text from poem “Fall, Leaves, Fall”) – she embraces darkness, welcoming death around her
3. I’ll Not Weep (text from poem “Stanzas”) – 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.

I LOVE Emily Brontë’s poetry, and when I came across these highly emotional poems of hers, they 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

 

 

Songs in the Dark (2016) for voice, string quartet, vibraphone, electric bass
1. The Night Is Darkening (text from poem “Night is Darkening”) – she is caught in the middle of a metaphorical storm that ultimately sucks her into the vortex of despair.
Interlude – “Frozen” creating the cold and dreary atmosphere; leaves falling from trees and other instruments join in before voice begins
2. Fall, Leaves, Fall (text from poem “Fall, Leaves, Fall”) – she embraces darkness, welcoming death around her

featuring Jennifer Bellor, vocalist; Mivos Quartet; Tim Jones, vibraphone; Summer Kodama, electric bass

This version of Songs in the Dark was written for the Mivos Quartet at the UNLV N.E.O.N. Festival for the concert on September 17, 2017.

 

 

Air and Angels (rev. 2016) for voice, piano, synth, electric bass
text by John Donne (1572-1631)

This is a recording featuring Jennifer Bellor (vocals); Christina Wright-Ivanova (piano); Jason Corpuz (synth); Summer Kodama (electric bass)

Performance at the Bop Shop August 21, 2016 featuring Jennifer Bellor (vocals); Julian Garvue (piano); Andrew Links (keyboard); Tyrone Allen (electric bass); Aaron Staebell (drums):

 

 

Air and Angels (2016) for voice and piano
text by John Donne (1572-1631)

 

 

Chase the Stars (2015) for soprano, MC, flute, clarinet, string quartet, vibraphone/glockenspiel, piano, electric guitar, bass, and drums


Lyrics from poem “Ah! Why, Because the Dazzling Sun” by Emily Bronte (1818-1848)
Original lyrics by Rasar Amani
Jennifer Bellor, soprano and composer
Rasar Amani, MC
Bronson Foster, conductor
Lynn Tsai, flute
Ivan Ivanov, bass clarinet
Samantha Ciarlo and Tammy Hung, violin
David Chavez, viola
Lindsay Johnson, cello
Tim Jones and Kyle Bissantz, percussion
Bennett Mason, piano
Sean Carbone, electric guitar
Summer Kodama, bass
Jeremy Klewicki, drums

Chase the Stars was written for the NYC-based ensemble ShoutHouse December 10, 2015. The recording above is from the recording sessions for my debut album featuring UNLV musicians.

 

 

Burning Light (2015) for soprano, piano, electric guitar, electric bass, and drums
Lyrics from poem “Ah! Why, Because the Dazzling Sun” by Emily Brönte (1818-1848)

Jennifer Bellor, vocalist
Tim Jones, vibraphone
Jae Ahn-Benton, piano
Sean Carbone, electric guitar
Summer Kodama, electric bass
Colin Woodford, drums
Bronson Foster, conductor

 

 

Burning Light (remix) (2016) for voice, soprano sax/clarinet, piano, electric bass, and drums
Another version is available (see category VOICE & ENSEMBLE)
Video excerpt from performance May 22, 2016 in Ham Hall featuring Jennifer Bellor, singer/composer; Cory Tiffin, clarinet; Jason Corpuz, piano; Summer Kodama, electric bass; Jeremy Klewicki, drums


Video recording by Joshua Sjoen

Video from Bop Shop Show August 21, 2016 featuring Jennifer Bellor, Colin Gordon (soprano sax), Julian Garvue (piano), Andrew Links (keyboard), Tyrone Allen (electric bass), and Aaron Staebell (drums):

Video recording by Dan Woodruff

 

 

Fallen Veneer (2015) for 2 sopranos, flute, clarinet, string quartet, 2 percussion, piano, electric guitar, electric bass, and drums
Lyrics adapted/inspired by the poem “Christabel” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) and Baudelaire’s “The Generous Gambler”

Jennifer Bellor, soprano and composer
Hunter Rose Turner, soprano 2
Bronson Foster, conductor
Lynn Tsai, flute
Ivan Ivanov, clarinet
Samantha Ciarlo and Tammy Hung, violin
David Chavez, viola
Lindsay Johnson, cello
Tim Jones and Kyle Bissantz, percussion
Jae Ahn-Benton, piano
Sean Carbone, electric guitar
Summer Kodama, electric bass
Colin Woodford, drums

 

 

Familiar Stranger (2015) for soprano, flute, clarinet in Bb, violin, cello, piano, 2 percussion (congas, glockenspiel, vibraphone), and electric bass
Lyrics adapted/inspired by “The Generous Gambler” by Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) with help from Elizabeth Reeves

Jennifer Bellor, vocalist
Lynn Tsai, flute
Ivan Ivanov, clarinet
Samantha Ciarlo, violin
Lindsay Johnson, cello
Tim Jones and Kyle Bissantz, percussion
Jae Ahn-Benton, piano
Summer Kodama, electric bass
Bronson Foster, conductor

 

 

Familiar Stranger (remix) (2016) for voice, soprano sax/clarinet, piano, electric bass, and drums
Another remix version is available for jazz (see category JAZZ CHAMBER)

Video from Bop Shop Show August 21, 2016 featuring Jennifer Bellor, Colin Gordon (soprano sax), Julian Garvue (piano), Andrew Links (keyboard), Tyrone Allen (electric bass), and Aaron Staebell (drums):

Video recording by Dan Woodruff

Video excerpt from performance May 22, 2016 in Ham Hall featuring Jennifer Bellor, singer/composer; Cory Tiffin, clarinet; Jason Corpuz, piano; Summer Kodama, electric bass; Jeremy Klewicki, drums

Video recording by Joshua Sjoen

 

 

Perhaps Not to Be… (2013) for soprano and piano
text by Pablo Neruda

This recording features mezzo-soprano Rachel Love at the Women Composers Festival of Hartford March 13, 2016.

Perhaps Not to Be is to Be Without Your Being was written for the wedding of soprano Emily Mills Woodruff in June 2013 at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY. The English translation of the poem by Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) was used for the piece, and was originally scored for soprano and organ, featuring mezzo-soprano Katherince Ciesinski and organist Thatcher Lyman.

Perhaps Not to Be… (2013) for soprano and organ
text by Pablo Neruda

 

 

Late, By Myself (2012) for soprano, vibraphone, piano, bass, and drums
text by Rumi

Video recording of a performance at the Eastman Women in Music Festival, featuring dancers Miss Pfohl Smith and Alaina Olivieri

Late, by myself, in the boat of myself,
no light and no land anywhere,
cloudcover thick. I try to stay
just above the surface,
yet I’m already under
and living with the ocean
– Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Late, By Myself (2011) for soprano, vibraphone, piano, bass, and drums was commissioned by Emily Mills Woodruff, and premiered at the Eastman School of Music, featuring Emily Mills Woodruff, soprano; Tomasz Arnold, vibraphone; Jennifer Bellor, piano; Ben Thomas, bass; and Aaron Staebell, drums.

 

 

Nightingale (2011)
text by E. Louise Beach

I performed my composition Nightingale with pianist Christina-Wright Ivanova on the October 27th Nextet Concert at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Here is a video recording:

Nightingale was among the songs commissioned by E. Louise Beach and the Just Poets society in Rochester, NY. I premiered the songs at St. John Fischer college and the Women in Music Festival at Eastman Spring 2011.

 

 

Awakening (2011) for organ (and optional voice)

Awakening (2011) for organ solo was premiered by organist Thatcher Lyman on the Craighead-Saunders organ at Christ Church. I collaborated with him on the piece, and given the coloristic possibilities of the organ, I left the registration choices up to him and any organist performing this in the future. Awakening is a fantasy using the song I wrote setting the poem “Juliet’s Aubade” by E. Louise Beach to music. In the middle of the piece, Thatcher sings a few a portion of the melody.

 

 

Three Little Scenes (2009) for soprano, cello and piano
text by Lia Purpura
I. Smoke
II. Sunday Afternoon
III. Parking Lot in the Snow

Three Little Scenes was premiered at the Eastman Benson’s Composers’ Forum in collaboration with poet Lia Purpura.