Aether
01:25
DavidAsherBrown

Aether

As a teenager, I was once stranded with my brother-in-law in Tel Aviv. My parents were settling a “security crisis” at the airport (that’s its own story for another day). We waited for them in the apartment of Manya, one of my oldest relatives. I think Manya spoke Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, and Polish. We spoke English. We spent hours together waiting for my parents. In the meantime, we had lunch and developed a sort of pidgin language for things like “pass the butter, please”. In our language that was, “Le Petit General, bevakasha”. That’s because Israeli butter packaging had a cameo of Napoleon Bonaparte where the Land O’Lakes lady is supposed to be. Manya told us stories in unknown languages for hours, accompanied by old photographs and colorful gestures - the only one I remember was of a bullet going into someone’s leg and blood spraying out Wednesday Addams style. I wonder what those stories were about. Photos of faces who have no one left to remember them. Now I speak a…passable conversational Yiddish. But Manya isn’t around to speak to anymore. Not many Yiddish speakers are. I often hear the icebreaker question, “If you could have lunch with anyone who ever lived, who would it be?” I’d love to have that lunch with Manya again. I’d listen to her stories as an adult who speaks her language. In real life, we don’t get to go back. We can only live our lives once and when moments have passed they’ve passed. Anything else is for imagination. Aether is a 60-second composition for backward string quartet. Notes and dynamics were performed in reverse order and the recording you see has been inverted. The feathers that seem to float up were actually dropped down from out of the shot by other ensemble members. Thanks to Delirium Musicum for performing the piece without even being able to know what it would sound like. Etienne, YuEun, Emily, and Javier, I can say with all sincerity that you sounded marvelous forward and backward.

Music

List of Works

Choral

2017 - Three Yiddish Songs, arrangement (SATB and Piano)
2014 - To the Moonbeam (SA or TB and Piano)

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2012 - The Tyger (SSA and Piano)
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2012 - Think Not of It, Sweet One So (SSA and Piano)
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2009 - Beautiful Rain (SATB, Tenor and Piano)
    Preview
    Watch
2008 - Sevivon (TTBB)
2008 - Oyfn Prihpetchik, arrangment (TTBB and Tenor)
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    Listen
2008 - Ah, Robin (SATB, Alto and Balinese Gamelan)
2007 - Psalms my Father Read when my Mother had Cancer (SATB, Cantor and Piano)
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    Watch
2006 - Madrigal (SATB)
2006 - Vocalise (SATB)

Chamber


2013 - Postcards from an Imaginary Travelougue (Flute and Marimba)

    Listen
2012 - Hypatia (Piano Quintet)

    Listen
2012 - Chusidl (Trombone and Violin)
2010 - We are Star Stuff Harvesting Starlight (Saxophone Quartet and Tabla)

    Watch
2009 - Fun With Serialism (Oboe, Bassoon, Trombone, Trumpet, Horn and Double Bass)
2008 - Shtetl Dances (String Quartet)
2007 - Spin Cycle (Piano Trio)
2006 - Sonata for Flute and Piano

Solo


2011 - Monstrorum Historia (Violin)

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    Watch
2008 - Metamorphoses (Guitar)

 

Piano

2007 - Shades of Sound
2005 - Piano Sonata No. 2
2004 - Piano Sonata No. 1, "Zablutow"

Song


2012 - Three Songs (Mezzo Soprano and Piano)

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2012 - Lovesick Wanderer (Soprano and Piano)
2012 - Two Girls in Black (Two Sopranos and Piano)
2010 - The Writing on the Wall (Tenor and Piano)
2008 - Oh Captain, My Captain! (Soprano and Piano)

 

Large Instrumental


2013 - Voyager (Orchestra)

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2009 - Jubilee (Youth Orchestra)

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2006 - Sinfonietta (Symphony Orchestra)

Electro-Acoustic

 

2019 - FORWARD

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2018 - Baby Beats

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2008 - Beyond Civilization (Stereo)

 

Musical Theater

2014 - The Empress of Many Tongues - Libretto by Jessica Piazza
2011 - The Sound Ascending (Feature Legnth Musical) - Libretto by Jason Tremblay

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