Craig Steffee | Pamlico Sound Sketches

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United States - North Carolina

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Classical: Orchestral Classical: Contemporary Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Pamlico Sound Sketches

by Craig Steffee

From pastoral string and woodwind textures to vigorous and powerful symphonic dynamics, this orchestral suite follows in the tradition of Romantic, Post-Romantic and Neoclassical styles with memorable melodies, graceful harmonies and contrasting moods.
Genre: Classical: Orchestral
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Winds of the Neuse
6:13 $0.99
2. Tryon Palace Gardens
6:43 $0.99
3. Heron
6:10 $0.99
4. Town Dock
6:29 $0.99
5. Nor'easter
5:47 $0.99
6. Intermezzo
3:36 $0.99
7. Mosquitoes
4:10 $0.99
8. Regatta
5:35 $0.99
9. At First Light
5:40 $0.99
10. Passage to Ocracoke
6:54 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In this series of musical portraits, I have attempted to portray impressions of the Pamlico Sound, a body of water that lies between North Carolina's mainland ("Inner Banks") and the barrier islands ("Outer Banks"). This is a region of dramatic waterscapes and wetlands that are home to abundant wildlife, with a rich historical heritage including a proud tradition of independent watermen and contemporary popularity with the sailing community. Although the ten individual pieces in this orchestral suite were composed between 2006 and 2010, they represent a lifetime of cumulative musical influences and many years of developing my own compositional voice. The music of Pamlico Sound Sketches reveals my fondness for the Romantic, Post-Romantic and Neoclassical musical styles of the late 19th and early 20th century, but the range of contrasting musical moods and orchestral timbres in this suite also reflects my own compositional voice and mirrors the variety, scope and character of the Pamlico Sound landscape.

The suite begins, geographically speaking, near the mouth of the Neuse River. In Winds of the Neuse, solo bass trumpet and woodwinds offer gentle themes backed by the restrained power of a large string orchestra to evoke a sparse, languid atmosphere. Tryon Palace Gardens, drawing inspiration from the reconstructed colonial Governor's palace in New Bern, provides immediate contrast with the more precise, formal and regal air of a quartet of solo instruments alternating with a full chamber orchestra. Heron features a lyrical solo clarinet accompanied by string orchestra to portray the grace of a solitary great blue heron against the lush, serene background of the salt marsh. Town Dock envisions, with sprightly character, a sailing day trip originating from the town of Oriental, in Pamlico County, and draws its title from the public dock in the Oriental marina and the community spirit that this structure embodies. Nor'easter, with its pervasive staccato rhythmic figures and full dynamic range of the symphony orchestra, conveys the relentless energy and immensity of the storms that all too frequently impact the North Carolina coastline. Intermezzo is a respite after the storm, with reflection on the damage it has wrought, expressed pensively by piano accompanied by subdued strings and brass. The mood shifts with the scherzo Mosquitoes, a vigorous but lighthearted interpretation of this inescapable coastal insect element. Regatta reflects the majesty and drama of a sailing competition. At First Light depicts watermen working their nets and crab pots at dawn, amid the still wind and glassy water of sunrise. A journey from the Inner Banks to the Outer Banks barrier islands brings the suite to a close both geographically and musically in Passage to Ocracoke, with a dark, solemn opening section and unsettled middle sections leading to safe arrival in the form of a hymn-like theme approaching the conclusion of the voyage.



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Josh Ladds

I love your cd!
I love your cd! The music is very pretty! I think your music on your cd is classical music.