Title

SOLO RECORDING. METAMORPHOSIS: NICOLASA KUSTER, BASSOON

Introduction

Metamorphosis is an album of 20th century bassoon music by composers from the Americas. The album name is derived from the never before recorded Metamorphoses for solo bassoon by Leslie Bassett (b. 1923).

Purpose

With ample experience recording as part of a small group or large orchestra, the challenge of a solo project was the next step for artistic development. Producing and releasing independently would also provide the artist valuable insights about the methods and models available for creating, producing and releasing music. Compositions were selected that would make a contribution to the existing recorded repertoire.

Method

I began by choosing a program, and then researching and practicing these selections. Rehearsals with pianist Dr. Sonia Leong began in Spring 2011 as we prepared for preliminary performances at Pacific Music Camp, O’Connor Woods Retirement Center, and the Pacific Bassoon Studio class. These early performances were part of the process of working on our interpretations of the works, as well as my assessment of how well they worked together. The program shifted during this initial rigorous artistic exploration, resulting in the addition of Sonata Para Dois Fagotes by Francisco Mignone (1897-1986) to balance the Latin America inspired Sonata by Willard Elliot (1926-2000). Recording began Summer 2012. We recorded in sessions of three to four hours each at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, a full-service recording and mixing facility that has excellent grand pianos and naturally reverberating spaces (a “real hall” sound) well suited for classical acoustic artists. After each session, I edited on my own. Each movement of each piece took hours of concentrated work to process this way and the engineer would then apply my editing choices to the material. The recording, editing, mixing, and mastering portion was complete at the end of the summer of 2012. The final steps were the art and design, the liner notes (housed at NicolasaKuster.com), licensing, manufacturing and distribution.

Results

Physical CD’s as well as digital distribution.

Significance

In addition to the increased artistic visibility that this recording project grants me, the process of completing this project has been significant for my teaching and mentorship roles, exposing me to every step in the process of producing an album. Initially estimated as a one year project, the process took far longer as I negotiated the unknown territory. This album will help these selected works to perhaps become a part of standard bassoon literature --only one (the Mignone) has been previously recorded. Leslie Bassett’s Metamorphoses has been selected to be the required repertoire for the 2014 Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition which will broaden its reach even more. Metamophosis also includes two works by women (works by women do not figure prominently in bassoon repertoire): Concert Piece for Bassoon and Piano by Libby Larsen (b. 1950) and Sonata by Nancy Galbraith (b. 1951).

Location

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Format

Poster Presentation

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SOLO RECORDING. METAMORPHOSIS: NICOLASA KUSTER, BASSOON

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Metamorphosis is an album of 20th century bassoon music by composers from the Americas. The album name is derived from the never before recorded Metamorphoses for solo bassoon by Leslie Bassett (b. 1923).