Ben Yarmolinsky | Dark Eyes

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Dark Eyes

by Ben Yarmolinsky

Dark Eyes and other musical memories is a compilation of chamber music written over more than thirty years. Its mood is primarily nostalgic, with many styles and many moods. It is the story of my life.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. March
2:30 $0.99
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2. Tempo Rubato-Tempo Preciso
8:59 $0.99
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3. Lullaby
3:13 $0.99
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4. Dance
4:21 $0.99
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5. Carousel
5:05 $0.99
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6. Burlesque
4:03 $0.99
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7. Scarecrow
3:45 $0.99
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8. Honky-Tonk
4:18 $0.99
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9. Prelude To "Alice in Wonderland"
4:07 $0.99
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10. Prelude To "Through the Looking-Glass"
4:29 $0.99
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11. Ballpark Variations
10:16 $0.99
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12. Dark Eyes Variations
12:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Although not a musical prodigy, I was, from an early age, an ardent music lover. At the age of eleven I started
to play the guitar. My strongest early affinities were with the music of (in alphabetic order): Bach, Beethoven, the
blues, Miles Davis, John Dowland, flamenco, folksong, Gershwin, Tom Lehrer, Motown, Ravel, the Rolling Stones,
Satie, Sor, and Stravinsky.
At fifteen I moved to New York and attended Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn. There I began lessons in classical
guitar, piano and theory, and wrote my first notated compositions. In 1972, I went to Harvard where I majored in
music. After finishing my sophomore year, I spent two years in Paris where I studied guitar at the Ecole Normale de
Musique, and took private lessons with Nadia Boulanger. She was eighty-six and I was nineteen when we met.
Despite the difference in age, we got along fairly well, and I learned the fundamentals of harmony from her.
After finishing my degree in 1977, I took a job teaching music at the American School of Tangier, and remained
in Morocco for the next four years, teaching, composing, performing, and hanging out with the expatriate American
writer Paul Bowles. He became a mentor to me and encouraged my composing and my interest in Moroccan music.
This latter interest would lead to my Ph. D. dissertation, The Music of the Jilala: A Repertoire of Spirits.
Returning to New York, I enrolled in the graduate program in music at City College where I studied
composition with David Del Tredici, Lester Trimble, and Ned Rorem. I then went on to the Graduate Center of the
City University of New York where I received a doctorate in music in 1991.
In the eighties and nineties I discovered that my musical, political and literary interests could be combined
in various ways. Some projects I worked on were: The Constitution: a secular oratorio, a setting of large portions of
the U.S. Constitution, April 15th Blues, a musical theater piece about taxes, Clarence & Anita, a documentary opera
based on the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, and a series of song cycles on poems by American poets.
This variety of subject matter suits me; and I continue to explore both familiar and unconventional musical territory.
I am a founding member and director of Friends and Enemies of New Music, an organization that has been
presenting concerts of contemporary music in New York since 1989. In 1998 I was appointed professor of music at
the Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. I also continue to perform from time to time as a
solo guitarist, accompanist, and singer of my own songs. Since the nineties I have worked as a lyricist as well as a
composer, and have written many songs and several theater works in that capacity.
Little by little I have amassed a large body of compositions, including operas, musical theater works, film
scores, chamber music, and many songs. I am neither a revolutionary nor a reactionary. My style is a personal homage
to music I have known and loved—from nursery rhymes to North African rhythms, from rhythm & blues songs to
Renaissance & Baroque dances—it is a logical development of my early musical affinities. If my music tends to be,
in the words of the New York Times' Alan Kozinn, "wildly eclectic," it is so because of my belief that one should write
what one hears, wherever that may lead.

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