Live and Studio Festival Videos
2022 Akropolis Chamber Music Institue
Impulse by Brittney Benton
Impulse focuses on syncopation, dovetailing, and changing time signatures. Accented notes poke their way through the texture. The melodies and accompaniment are often passed between all three clarinets, blending each of the instruments together while the piano provides the rhythmic glue that holds it all together through the changing time signatures. Each of these attributes led me to the name “Impulse”, as this piece impulsively propels itself forward.
Performed by Gretchen Hill (clarinet); Rachel Hertz (clarinet); Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet); and Max Hammond (piano). Recorded at Voorhies Hall in Bay View, MI, August 14, 2022.
Scenes from My Mother's Story by Aaron Hendrix
"This piece tells the simple and personal story of my mom’s journey into motherhood. “Lost Lullaby” is for my mom’s first pregnancy which ended in miscarriage. It is at times simple and sad, at times turbulent and confused, even angry. The opening oboe solo presents the Motherhood Theme, and the entirety of the piece is derived from this plaintive tune. Eighteen months later, my older sister was born. My mom described their expanded family unit as “Our Perfect Trio”. The scene begins tentatively, a fresh and fragile life, guided by young and cautious parents. Soon, however, the music leaps forward, spinning with the unbridled joy of newfound familial bliss. I arrived one year later. During this pregnancy, my mom was concerned she did not have enough love for two children, the sheer intensity of emotion she felt for my sister surely could not be fractured or spread. Her father assured her: “Love doesn’t divide, it multiplies”.
Four years passed, and my younger sister was born. Now “Outnumbered”, my parents had saved their most independent and exhaustingly energetic child for last. About halfway through the scene, the musical momentum is parlayed into something weightier, melancholy. Time spins away, indifferent to any mother’s plea for reprieve. “20 more years” pass in in a moment. The final scene reprises the Motherhood Theme, followed by a quick statement from each of the three kids. These just sort of drift away, leaving the piano alone for it’s final, bittersweet musings. This, however, is not the end. Childhood is just the “Prelude” to the next story." ~Aaron Hendirx, Composer
Performed by Kristen Diederichs (oboe); Kari Landry (clarinet); Matt Landry (saxophone); Gabrielle Hsu (bassoon); Max Hammond (piano) and Noel Holloway (percussion). Recorded at Voorhies Hall in Bay View, MI, August 14, 2022.
A Houston native, Aaron recently completed his Masters degree in composition from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Michael Daugherty and Evan Chambers. He completed his undergraduate studies at Houston Baptist University, where he graduated first in his class with a double major in composition and piano performance.
Travel Hazards by Oswald Huỳnh
"After being inside for the past three years, I was able to travel extensively for the first time these past few months. A road trip back home to Oregon from Missouri, a three-day bender in Chicago, and a humid week in Louisiana. Of course there was an excitement in being able to visit old friends and see new sites, but along with all that is the exhaustion of the journey. And from flight delays to nonsensical traffic, nothing ever seems to go to plan. Travel Hazards acts as a sort of musical journal for some of these events." ~Oswald Huỳnh, Composer
Performed by Taylor Francis (flute); Tim Gocklin (oboe); Jacob Wolf (clarinet); Zach Robarge (saxophone); Ryan Reynolds (bassoon); and Noel Holloway (percussion). Recorded at Voorhies Hall in Bay View, MI, August 14, 2022.
Oswald Huỳnh is a composer and bassoonist from Portland, Oregon. His works navigate Vietnamese aesthetics and tradition, language and translation, and the relationship between heritage and identity. Huỳnh writes music extensively for instrumental forces to create evocative soundscapes that convey underlying narratives and emotions.
Growth Rings by Ryan Lindveit
A concerto for bass clarinet and winds featuring Akropolis' bass clarinetist, Andrew Koeppe
"When I started composing this piece, I was obsessed with a particularly dramatic progression of eight chords separated by half-steps and minor thirds. I originally discovered these chords in the Sanctus movement of one of Franz Schubert’s late mass settings and immediately knew I wanted to incorporate them into an original composition. The title of this piece, Growth Rings, reflects both the cyclical nature of these chords and the form itself and relates to the wood construction of most of the instruments being used, including the solo bass clarinet. Growth rings are patterns that can be discerned in the cross-sections of trees, and each ring usually reflects a growth period of around one year. Growth rings therefore are a legible symbol of the longevity and resilience of a tree. However, this longevity can only be observed by ending the life of the tree so that the inside of the trunk becomes visible. Growth Rings is inspired by this tragic beauty as well as by the mysterious fact that every tree contains a history of itself inside its own trunk.
I relished the opportunity to write a bass clarinet concerto for the indefatigably talented Andrew Koeppe and an ensemble made up of the other members of the Akropolis Reed Quintet and the participants of the Akropolis Chamber Music Institute (13 players). It has been a distinct pleasure to rehearse and conduct this piece, and I offer my heartfelt gratitude to Andrew and the rest of the performers." ~Ryan Lindveit, Composer
Performed by Andrew Koeppe, bass clarinet soloist; Taylor Francis, flute; Kristen Diederichs, oboe; Tim Gocklin, oboe; Gretchen Hill, clarinet; Rachel Hertz, clarinet; Jacob Wolf, clarinet; Kari Landry, clarinet; Zachary Robarge, saxophone; Matt Landry, saxophone; Gabrielle Hsu, bassoon; Ryan Reynolds, bassoon; Max Hammond, piano; Noel Holloway, percussion. Recorded at Voorhies Hall in Bay View, MI, August 14, 2022.
Ryan Lindveit is a composer, conductor, and educator who takes inspiration from literature, art, science, technology, and personal experience in order to craft colorful and emotionally vivid musical journeys. He holds degrees from the University of Southern California and Yale University and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Michigan