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Shawn L. Copeland & Velez Clarinet Quartet | Pulse

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Contemporary Moods: Instrumental
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Pulse

by Shawn L. Copeland & Velez Clarinet Quartet

The witty, sarcastic, and poignant music of Carlos Velez for clarinet and clarinet quartet.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Caricatures for Clarinet Quartet: I. Sampler Platter
Velez Clarinet Quartet
1:12 $0.99
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2. Caricatures for Clarinet Quartet: II. Dmitri's Doleful Dirge
Velez Clarinet Quartet
3:12 $0.99
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3. Caricatures for Clarinet Quartet: III. Blague (Joke)
Velez Clarinet Quartet
4:25 $0.99
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4. Caricatures for Clarinet Quartet: IV. What Bartók Secretly Wanted to Publish
Velez Clarinet Quartet
2:19 $0.99
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5. Sonic Flare
Velez Clarinet Quartet
5:02 $0.99
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6. Four Incantations: I. Awakening the Willow Wisps
Velez Clarinet Quartet
3:21 $0.99
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7. Four Incantations: II. Gathering the Archons
Velez Clarinet Quartet
3:23 $0.99
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8. Four Incantations: III. Shaping Moonlight
Velez Clarinet Quartet
2:29 $0.99
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9. Four Incantations: IV. Conjuring Smoke and Flame
Velez Clarinet Quartet
2:15 $0.99
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10. Pulse: I. Firestone
Shawn L. Copeland & Rajung Yang
5:41 $0.99
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11. Pulse: II. Southern Nights
Shawn L. Copeland & Rajung Yang
5:41 $0.99
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12. Pulse: III. Pulse
Shawn L. Copeland & Rajung Yang
3:01 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
MUSICAL MONUMENTS

Composer Carlos Velez and clarinetist Shawn Copeland have been friends for over 20 years. The two musicians met while studying together at Stetson University (DeLand, FL) in the 1990s. Since graduation, they have periodically collaborated on a body of musical literature for the clarinet. This CD, PULSE, compiles their oeuvre. The importance of the music itself cannot be overstated, due to 1) Its contribution to the dearth of modern clarinet literature (as opposed to violin or piano) and 2) The fact that these pieces stand as an excellent example of the ways in which music can commemorate as well as sonically depict the nature of a relationship. In essence, the music stands as a monument to both the friendship and the collaboration.

Monuments are made to last. The word “monument” itself stems from the Latin verb monēre: “to remember.” Certain aspects of our shared experience should be and deserve to be remembered and commemorated in a permanent way; therefore, humans build physical monuments to weather the elements in a hopeful (yet ultimately futile) attempt to withstand the inevitable common denominator, Time. Additionally, humans invariably allow their innate sociality to permit the construction of social monuments—otherwise known as friendships—which can seem as lasting and steadfast as any statue, obelisk, or marble fountain: grounded and immobile as a physical structure yet adaptable and malleable as only a lasting friendship can be.

Almost as early as man could document life in literary form, he began to write about relationships and friendships. Take, for example, Gilgamesh and Enkidu from the Sumerian epics (2100 BC) or David and Jonathan from the 1st Book of Samuel (630 BC). These friendships were so special that they were memorialized in lasting and meaningful ways, that is, stone slabs and expensive papyrus. Since, friendship has been a constant theme of literary output; but, prose or poetry is not the only way to document a friendship. I would argue that the creative output of an artistic collaboration can just as easily document the essence of a friendship.

Case in point: PULSE. The primary impetus to record and compile the pieces on this CD is to commemorate a musical monument: the collaboration and friendship between Carlos and Shawn. Additionally, the title track celebrates the many lives lost during the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando (2016)—yet another type of musical monument. As gay men, living and working in Orlando during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the targeting of the gay community in such a brutal way struck a poignant and terrifying note with both musicians. This connection with both music and the gay community provides a very unique in-road to an appreciation of each composition on this recording.

CAMP

The art of “camp,” as a cultural sensibility (not a recreational activity), is a heightened and complex form of expression that exaggerates reality in order to comprehend the sheer artiface of an object (for example: Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Versailles) Furthermore, camp can highlight a specific quality to exceeding proportions in order to shift emphasis to the comedy and—quite often—the absurdity of a situation or person (for example: Ziegfeld Follies, The National Enquirer, Las Vegas, a white t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “This is a White T-shirt,” the Spanish singer Charo). Camp converts the serious to the frivolous but—in doing so—comments poignantly on the matter. According to Susan Sontag, camp depends on “things being what they are not” and sees everything “in quotation marks” (pun intended).

Camp also serves as a means for marginalized entities to magnify and distort the politics of their marginalization, finding space for their voices to be heard amidst the prevailing social power structures and ideologies. The gay community has often utilized camp to act as a performative buffer between accepted and deviant social norms regarding sex, gender, and sexuality. For example, the campy aspects of drag performance effectively highlight the very elements of gender performance that separate masculine from feminine; otherwise, normative ideas of gender would most likely remain unnoticed. Tall, broad-shouldered, large-footed men in dresses with caked-on makeup, teased wigs, padded hips, and 9-inch heels decidedly pinpoint what society deems as feminine by exaggerating these feminine elements “to the Gods,” which is drag-speak for “to the maximum.” To that point, one can see that even the colloquial language of the drag and gay communities is replete with camp; in truth, the gay community as a whole has adopted many aspects of the camp sensibility that remain ingrained in the multicolored fabric of its culture, either intentionally or unknowingly.

As openly gay men in the über-campy and Disney-fied town of Orlando, FL, Shawn and Carlos invariably have been subject to and influenced by a fair amount of camp. As their friend, living in Orlando during the late 90s, I remember days full of Disney and nights full of drag. How could this shared sensibility escape our communication and understanding of each other? I invite the listener to consider the fact that camp—inherent in the friendship between these gay musicians—creates a shimmering thread, connecting every track on this recording.

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