Cover Photos and Notes from the Liners of Both Recordings
Fleur De Lis Liner Notes:
St. Louis has a rich French heritage, evidenced in our street names such as Laclede, Des Peres, Chouteau and Lafayette. The fleur de lis, historically associated with the French monarchy, remains an enduring symbol of France and its conquests, and has a special significance for the city of St. Louis. It can be seen throughout the city in architecture, flags and business logos. In this album there is a connection to this heritage through music by French composers Dukas and Charpentier, and the New Orleans-inspired New Life Suite, another city associated with the fleur de lis.
With the exception of the Charpentier, all of the pieces on this CD were either written for us or arranged by us. One of our goals has been to promote new music, so we are happy to present two premieres. Collaborating with these composers has been a tremendous experience. The other works on this album consist of popular works for orchestra or piano that we arranged ourselves for trombone quartet, exercising our creativity. Each piece has significance for us as a group and as individuals, in much the same way as we approach our concept of sound - with room for each voice and its special nature, and yet a dedication to the whole. We wish you well as you travel up the Mississippi and land at our door. Bon Voyage!
Fleur de Lis credits:
Recording engineer: Paul Eachus
Produced by: Paul Eachus and the Trombones of the Saint Louis Symphony
(Timothy Myers, Vanessa Fralick, Jonathan Reycraft, Gerry Pagano)
Photos: Ray Meibaum
Additional photos: Attilio D'Agostino
Graphic design: Benjamin Krueger
Recording session video footage: Andrew J. Schiefelbein
Martin Kennedy, Persistence, writes...
"The empirical concept of ‘persistence’ is used widely in both the hard and soft sciences to describe a state that outlives the process that creates it — memory, in other words. Those working in musical perception have long tried to understand how our persistence of memory allows us to recall melodies and harmonies that have long since passed. Of course, composers have long used their own methods of development and motive to burrow musical ideas in the ear of the listener, all the while using their own memories and experience to spur the creation of their works. In this same vein, the musical material in Persistence is replete with half-remembered memories that trail off, motives that move from light to dark and back again with the passage of time, and the exuberance of life that is carried with us even in times of perseverance."
P. Tom Hanson, New Life Suite, writes...
In Tom Hanson's own words...
I began writing New Life Suite as a MIDI project in 2009 to make a powerpoint presentation to look back on an odyssey which began on my 60th birthday: August 29, 2005 ....... also the day hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. On that day I was busy in Hollywood, Ca., playing my trombone and copying music as I had been doing routinely for over 20 years. I had also been emailing and talking on the phone with a new E-Harmony friend, “Joyce”, who was living in New Orleans. I later found out that Joyce evacuated her home of 30 years in Gentilly about 12 hours before the levees broke and the house took 12 feet of water. She was scheduled for a shoulder cuff operation in New Orleans on September 2nd, but instead, with only one arm, packed a few items in the car, and left with the dog to get out of town. After a couple of days, when it became clear she could not return to her home, she ended up at a friend's home in Titusville, Florida, where she had to find a new doctor and set up a new operation on her shoulder, which took place in November of '05. In December of '05 Joyce flew to visit me in California so we could finally meet for the first time. I left California in January of 2006 to join her in search of a “New Life” for both of us, .............. and the Odyssey began.
New Life Suite is a personal entry into my own diary and is written for Joyce. It is a story about Joyce and Tom, Hurricane Katrina, the House in Gentilly, and New Orleans itself. New Life Suite also made a transition from MIDI Composition to become a Trombone Quartet through my involvement with the Low Brass Collective when I moved to the St Louis area. Thanks to Gerry Pagano, Tim Myers, Jonathan Reycraft, and Vanessa Fralick for all the hard work to give my writing a voice.
1st Movement – “Quartal Jig” - is about Tom and Joyce meeting and becoming two refugees roaming the country. We began at Skippy’s in Titusville, Florida, driving back and forth to New Orleans to view the damage for the first time. With no real place to live, we crossed the country a couple of times visiting California, Seattle, St. Louis, Las Vegas, all while “sort of officially living in Titusville, Florida” and staying on top of official business in New Orleans. In late 2006 we got our own FEMA trailer (24 ft) which was placed in the front yard of the devastated Gentilly house, and became our home for 2 years while gutting the ruined house with the intention of rebuilding. We eventually bought a house in Fairview Heights, Illinois, sold the Gentilly house, and rejoined the real world.
2nd Movement – “Serenade for Joyce” – Losing her house, neighborhood, city, and job was difficult. This movement is dedicated to all Hurricane Katrina losses suffered by the house in Gentilly, New Orleans, the whole gulf coast, and all the emotional cost of losing valued household possessions and a way of life.
3rd Movement – “New Orleans Landscape / French Quarter Visit” – Is more about present day New Orleans, which is recovering rather well in its quest for New Life. The opening bars express how I felt driving into New Orleans for the first time, arriving on I-10 from the east and getting a first short glimpse of the entire city from the top of the high bridge. One beautiful view.
The remainder of the movement, “French Quarter Visit” is a cluster of simultaneous traditional tunes simulating a walk down Bourbon Street where you might hear five bands at once, or any New Orleans experience you might have during Mardi Gras at a parade. The selection of tunes you may hear is very eclectic. You can hear rhythm and blues, rock and roll, Dixieland, French folk music, frontline music, and hard core be-bop. The environment is very prolific, too busy, untidy, harmonically loose, funky, and Very Creative. The influences of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Diz & Bird, and many others can be felt and heard daily. New Orleans is truly one of America's deepest creative musical roots. As a reflection of my own experiences in the last few years, after the rumble and intensity of New Orleans, the movement ends with St. Louis Blues as if I were to drive up I-55 and find a calmer more peaceful space at my St. Louis home in Fairview Heights, Illinois.
4.1 Liner Notes:
"4.1", recorded in September 2008, and released in March 2010, includes our former colleague, Steve Lange, now of the Boston Symphony. This was our first full recording as a trombone quartet. We included music from the standard trombone repertoire that we felt we had something to say about. Also, original in the trombone quartet literature, is Conrad Henning's beautiful transcription of Francis Poulenc's Four Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi. The cover photograph, taken from the stage of Powell Symphony Hall, is by Ray Meibaum.
Recordings are also available for purchase on CDBaby.com