Symphony No. 1 in L Major
Movement I: The adventures of…
in the rumblings
joy finds you
the adventures of…
taking its toll
Movement II: In Static
Movement III: In Stasis
Movement IV: What has been and can be
• conversation, song birds
• it's a souladox
• finale (know you were there)
In the opening ‘good day’, the piano wakes you up softly, like your first moments in heaven have just begun. The strings then walk you through a formal garden full of people gleefully preparing a great festival. The world is beautiful. But, as ‘Movement I’ develops into a series of conflicting emotions and omens, the bliss is short lived. While Chapman lifts us up to our favorite memories of meandering within moments of idealism, he immediately grounds us in moments of heartbreak, and in some ways, cinematic horror. In closing the movement, ‘taking its toll’ brings a new morning of hope.
Within Symphony No. 1 in L Major, you hear a young composer mature enough to touch base with his roots, while paying homage to his studies. In deviating from the melodic, TV-friendly first movement, Chapman pursues a mathematical and tonal approach with the subsequent ‘in static’ and ‘in stasis’. Reminiscent of early American Minimalism, these movements only further the suspense, allowing us to easily envision a film portraying humanity on the verge of yielding to the rule of computers, while the sky is full of tornado sirens.
In ‘Movement IV’ Chapman revisits the never-ending battle of good vs. evil, negative vs. positive, love vs. hate. Throughout this enticing pendulum, there are wonderful moments of marching, eerie segments in the darkening woods, and recollections of clouds and ecstasy. Eventually the storms and tragedy subside, as Chapman’s optimism finally triumphs in ‘finale (know you were there)’. In the end there is a clear message – yes the world will remain curious, but we’ll never give up, we’ll always strive to improve life, here’s our chance to make a difference in this world.
Anthony Lebron, 2014
Written, orchestrated and conducted by Nick Chapman
Recording Produced by Anthony Lebron, Dave Ferraro,
Hektor Fontanez, and Tyler Fenio
Recorded August 20/21, 2013 @ Kaufman Astoria Studios (Queens, NY)
Engineered by Joe Castellon with Bernard Fox
Piano recorded January 2014 @ The Bunker (Brooklyn, NY)
Edited by Dave Ferraro @ audiobydf
Mixed and Mastered by Joe Castellon with Bernard Fox
Music engraving by Edwin Garcia
Original artwork by Hektor Fontanez
Artwork photographed by Patrick Sandefur
Album design edited by Unha Kim
Violin 1: Adrianna Mateo, Karen Dekker, Jennifer Axelson
Violin 2: Nicholas Perry, Hyunju Ji, Inna Langerman
Viola: Daniel Hyman, Jeanann Dara
Cello: Jake Sokolov, Bobbie Lee Crow III, Erik Anderson
Bass: Steve Wood, Ed Garcia, Gene Janas
Flutes: Chrissy Fong, Kyungmi Lee
Clarinets: Donald Moy, Mara Mayer, Mary Larsen
Bass Clarinet: Lathan Hardy
Bassoon: Sara Shoenbeck
Trumpet: Peter Kuan
Flugelhorn: Stephanie Richards, Andrew McGovern
Trombones: Alex Asher, Sam Kulik
Percussion: Geoff Schiffrin, Dave Ferraro
© ℗ Nick Chapman, 2014. All rights reserved.
This opus represents a sampling of works written over the past fourteen years. The first and fourth movements are stories told over a number of themes. The second and third movements represent the composer’s interpretations of form, tone, and time.
‘Movement II’ is a continuous round for any number of musicians, each working through the fourteen different parts at their own pace. In ‘Movement III’ each performer plays through a sequence of whole notes, where one whole note equals the maximum length of a breath or slowest draw of the bow.
This production is completely independent. There is no record label support. The orchestra is comprised of twenty-eight of the best musicians I could hire. It was recorded in an amazing studio with great people. We had one rehearsal and two recording sessions. What follows here is the best of those sessions. This could not have been done without the help of many fantastic friends. I sincerely thank everyone involved in this project for their time, effort, and heart. And finally, a very special thank you to my amazing wife, Julie.