Quiet Harbor

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for flute, clarinet, violin, and cello (2015)

Composer: Nick Norton
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Description

Audio


Duration

5 min.

Instrumentation

Flute, Bb clarinet, violin, cello

Program Notes

While visiting my family’s home in the summer of 2014 I found a copy of the Oxford Book of Sea Songs.

I’d been listening to a good bit of Charles Ives recently so decided to pick a few of the songs to set against one another, essentially to see how they would sound. The songs I selected were John Dory, A Joyful New Ballad, and The Seamen and Soldiers’ Last Farewell to Their Dear Jewels. After a few bars (and a few tonal adjustments) I knew I was on to something.

During that summer I also visited Emerald Bay, on Catalina Island, where I spent every summer growing up. It was the first time I’d been back in three or four years.

Hanging out on the dock or on a moored boat late at night at the end of summer, whether with friends or alone, is one of my favorite places to be. It’s hard to put it into words, but it gives me a combined feeling of cool peacefulness and the warmth of being home. It’s also one of the rare places that I’m able to get out of my own head and just exist and be present in the moment.

I remembered how this felt by getting back there and experiencing it again, and tried to capture it in the colors of this piece.

Description

Audio


Duration

5 min.

Instrumentation

Flute, Bb clarinet, violin, cello

Program Notes

While visiting my family’s home in the summer of 2014 I found a copy of the Oxford Book of Sea Songs.

I’d been listening to a good bit of Charles Ives recently so decided to pick a few of the songs to set against one another, essentially to see how they would sound. The songs I selected were John Dory, A Joyful New Ballad, and The Seamen and Soldiers’ Last Farewell to Their Dear Jewels. After a few bars (and a few tonal adjustments) I knew I was on to something.

During that summer I also visited Emerald Bay, on Catalina Island, where I spent every summer growing up. It was the first time I’d been back in three or four years.

Hanging out on the dock or on a moored boat late at night at the end of summer, whether with friends or alone, is one of my favorite places to be. It’s hard to put it into words, but it gives me a combined feeling of cool peacefulness and the warmth of being home. It’s also one of the rare places that I’m able to get out of my own head and just exist and be present in the moment.

I remembered how this felt by getting back there and experiencing it again, and tried to capture it in the colors of this piece.

Nick Norton

Nick Norton is—like you—made from materials forged in the cores of stars. He was born in Los Angeles approximately 13.6 billion years after the universe and at least a few hundred thousand after vertebrates developed a system to interpret vibrating air as sound, and has been making music ever since. The LA Times describes his work as crazy, and NewMusicBox referred to his pieces as “visceral sonic haiku.” At an early age Nick discovered that he got a seriously life-affirming kick out of certain arrangements of sound, so started making some by playing guitar and saxophone in bands. He studied composition in college—a lot of it—and in a whole bunch of garages, studios, apartments, backyards, beaches, mountains, bars, libraries, clubs, restaurants, lakes, forests, glaciers, and deserts. He’s been really lucky, because he’s had great teachers along the way, including Clarence Barlow, Curtis Roads, Joel Feigin, Andrew Tholl, Lei Liang, Rand Steiger, Chinary Ung, Anthony Davis, Robert Keeley, Harvey Sollberger, and Michel Merlet. Nick has also worked on pieces with Vicki Ray, Christopher Rountree, Sarah Gibson, Thomas Kotcheff, Justine Aronson, Richard Valitutto, Cristina Valdes, Ashley Walters, Giacomo Baldelli, Brandon Rolle, Anthony Garcia, Marc Evanstein, Sofia Gubaidulina, George Benjamin, Ted Hearne, Martin Bresnick, and Philip Glass. As an armchair political philosopher Nick rejects the distinction between high and low forms of art. He is invested in creating new experiences for listeners from all backgrounds and destroying social barriers to enjoying music. He pursues his mission through his work on behalf of Equal Sound and Bathysphere Music, as well as with his bands Calm MachineThe Newports, and Honest Iago. A student of Zen Buddhism, Nick enjoys punk rock, cinema, craft beer, sci fi, being in or near the ocean, hanging out with his girlfriend and their dog, publicly learning how to cook, and Oxford commas.


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