For the Fallen

The marvelous Italian trumpeter Ivano Ascari he contacted me on the recommendation of composer Fabrizio Festa, a mutual acquaintance.  Ivano was creating a program in honor of the centennial of World War I and asked if I would be willing to contribute to this effort. Whenever I create a piece for a soloist or ensemble, I am interested in finding connections that move me both in terms of conception the musical design during our discussion, Ivano told me about the Capana del Cauditi (Bell for the Fallen) in his home town of Rovereto. It was originally cast from World War I cannons that were melted down. After further discussion, I asked whether high quality recordings could be made of the bell, that I would then use a source material for the electronics.

This is what led me to create for the fallen for amplified trumpet and electronics that I fashioned from recordings of the spell, kindly shared by  Marco Olivotto. Ivano premiered the piece at the Mondi Sonori, XV Edizione Festival at the Trento Conservatory in Trento, IT on 10/5/12, and subsequently recorded it on his CD A Hundred Years, in memory of the Centennary of WWI. All of the pieces were written for and dedicated to Ivano.

I subsequently did a brief residency at the Conservatory in 2015, delivering my first lecture in Italian, and  attending a concert that included a spectacular performance of For the Fallen by Ivano, whom I had the pleasure of finally meeting. The next day, my husband and I visited Rovereto, and Ivano took us to see the impressive bell and the foundation on the same grounds where there is a great deal of information both about the bell, which was conceived of by priest Don Antonio Rossaro of Rovereto, and the ongoing work to this day.

While I cannot envision creating multiple versions of many of my pieces, this one is one of the few in which I have done so. In addition to the one for trumpet I’ve also created versions for cello and flute. Diversion for flute was commissioned by the marvelous flutist Lindsey Goodman, who premiered then recorded it on her CD Returning to Heights Unseen. It has been a fascinating process to reimagine the timbral world for several different instruments, and finding a way to interweave each with the compelling sound world of the electronics that I fashioned from the recordings of this amazing instrument.

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