A Gondola Evades Us is based on "Moro, lasso, al mio duolo" from Carlo Gesualdo's Book of Madrigals No. 6 (1611). The unusual opening chord sequence of "Moro, lasso," drives the harmonic structure of this piece composed for piano and percussion. Gesualdo*, an Italian Nobleman of the late Renaissance, composed with a chromaticism atypical of this period, even as his crafting of madrigal counterpoint remained idiomatic. Gesualdo's music may have never been widely known if it weren't for the scrutiny placed on him as a result of the murder of his wife and her lover, a deed done at the composer's own hands. The contrapuntal nature of the Italian madrigal, Gesualdo's chromatic experimentation, and perhaps even a prodding from his well-documented psychopathology all come to influence A Gondola Evades Us.
*(Gesualdo lived in south-central Italy, more than three hundred miles from Venice – nary a gondola to be found).
James Holdman is a composer, performer, improviser and educator. His compositions, which are influenced by American popular music, world music and post-tonal art music, have been performed locally and nationally. As an active performer, current ensembles include the Marimba Bullies, a Zimbabwe mbira-influenced marimba group; Deep Midnight, a Greek rembetika duo; and earWorm, an electroacoustic improvisation ensemble. Holdman is currently a faculty member at Inver Hills Community College.
May 17-18, 7:30 p.m.
May 19, 2 p.m.
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