After starting university last September, I have not written any solo piano pieces, I apologize to all of my wonderful friends for having been inactive on the uploading front. However, I have not been idle and have been working on several other chamber music pieces which I will also upload as soon as I’m able to record them. I hope that you enjoy my new composition.
A month ago during one of our weekly studio classes with piano professor Dr. Corey Hamm, a student brought in the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto. Dr. Hamm told us that the key to playing the famous piano introduction was to learn to revel in the beauty of a simple chord. This approach helped me in writing and recording of this piece which has a very simple two part form based essentially on four chords. Throughout the piece, I try to really acknowledge and feel the emotional impact that comes with each different chord. For this reason, it takes a long time for me to move from one section to another.
I am truly honoured to have studied with someone who is not only a composer of wonderfully enchanting music but who is also a great teacher.
Jean Coulthard Readings at the VSO
This morning I was fortunate enough to attend the Jean Coulthard Readings where Maestro Gordon Gerrard and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra read through six orchestral scores (chosen by Gerrard and the VSO composer in residence, Edward Top) of composers who are in the early stages of their careers. The readings were named in honour of one of British Columbia’s most cherished composers, Jean Coulthard (1908-2000). Unfortunately, I could only stay to listen to the first four pieces Imagine – Riley Koenig, Omnia Causa Fiunt – Erik Engholm, Fantasia for Orchestra – Sam Kaplan and Garden of Shadow and Sorcery – Nicholas Ryan Kelly. It was a truly wonderful experience and we are very grateful to have such a wonderful program provide young composers with the chance of hearing their orchestral music in Vancouver! I had the pleasure of meeting composer Jocelyn Morlock, composer/professor Stephen Chatman, composer/student Matthew Emery and recent doctorate grad Kevin Zakresky. Also at the readings were my two fabulous composition teachers Rodney Sharman and David Gordon Duke with whom I am pictured with below.
On Thursday night Feb 20, I had the honour of meeting Dr. Corey Hamm at Place Des Arts, where he gave an amazing lecture on Contemporary Music. He described to us his own intimate development of taste for music of the 20th century and onwards from his early teen years to the present. He started with his early distaste at age 14, for the Barber Piano Concerto, which he now loves and moved through the years to the fantastic piano variations in Frederic Rzewski’s “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” (Dr. Hamm is also releasing his own performance of the variations this March). Other pieces that he mentioned in the program were Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony, Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No. 1, and David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir – Hearing Solar Winds: Arc Descents. It was an amazingly warm and thought-provoking lecture which everyone enjoyed immensely! The most beautiful part of his presentation was his comment on how classical music would never die and that there are still great masterpieces being created now, in the 21st century which will be recognized 100 years from now. After the lecture, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Hamm and taking a picture with him.
Gene Emerson & Dr. Corey Hamm
Some comments on Gene’s music
“In my forty years of teaching high school music, Gene was the only student that had the desire to pursue music composition and possessed the necessary theory skills to follow through. Also, having a playing knowledge of several instruments allows her to consider their suitability for her compositions. Gene appreciates the universality of music and its power to draw humanity together in the true spirit of love, compassion and brotherhood. Listen carefully and you’ll feel the love.”
- Glenn David
Dedicated,respected and beloved music teacher in Greater Vancouver Area
“Dear sweet soul, you brought tears to my eyes and goose bumps on my arms. I am so moved by your open heart and beautiful spirit. Your music is rich with innocence and freshness …I cannot listen to your music without being profoundly moved.”
- Robin Easton, Author, Speaker and Musician
….. Watching this impressive benefit concert(Unicef)makes me feel ‘proud’… I realize …. that Gene has become (or even better: still is) an artist who deserves to be taken serious, by all of us. In 2011 I wrote “Of Russia and Canada; a Story in Two Micromovements” (piano-solo) for Gene in a time we were, yet living thousands of miles away from each other, more ‘connected-than-imaginable’ on just ‘digital-based’ contact… And now, of all pieces, it’s this one that led me back to Gene and this video: loyal and dedicated as I know her, she commented on ‘our piece’ again yesterday: a rather emotional moment for me. Dear Gene, you are a gift to all who are able to connect with you and your music. You inspire me more than one can imagine..
With love and respect, your friend and colleague,
- Baz Odink Composer/Pianist from The Netherlands
I believe in beauty even sometimes its hard to find it. Watching this video(Unicef benefit concert) moved me so much because I could see it. Congratulations Gene for your gifts and thank you for sharing this wonderful moment!
- Jorge Brizuela Sr.
I came to your Pre-Concert Recital on Nov 16th. 2013 It was wonderful to listen to some of your new and old compositions live and as always your music touches my heart. In my humble opinion, the Autumn Dance is one of your finest compositions. As usual, your music is full of melody. In your Autumn Dance you describe the joy of autumn so well; change of colors, leaves are falling, …. I love your creativity. Thanks again for the show and also a huge kudos to the violist.
- Lisa Armstrong
Concerning Piano trio II: yes! yes! yes! How dramatic it becomes for the Allegretto! At about 6:50 it becomes very special indeed, speaking to larger than just personal emotion…very mature and profound composing. It is too easy to get wistful and just rummage through your emotions, but the mature composer reaches for the bigger goals, the transcendent ebb and flow of history, even of existence. That is the difference between “songwriting” and “composing” in the deeper sense. This trio is composing! Wonderful composition that gives you a road forward, but of course you already know that, don’t you? Concerning Autumn Dance: yet another beautiful composition, very wonderful composing for both instruments, the development and sound is now becoming very nicely mature and your composition more wonderful and complex. How touching the 2nd movement is, thoughts of autumn and the French sound just before what I guess I would call the dance and “rondo” at the finish the theme 9:30 to 9:45 wonderfully realized, sound without pretension, very nicely done, it bears repeated listening.
- Roger Conner Jr
There are artisans, and there are artists. The difference is in the intangibles. Works of artisans may be complex in form but shallow in essence for lack of a “soul”. I call it a “soul” because it’s intangible. You write from your heart, you play from your heart, and your music resonates in my heart. That’s soul. You are a true artist. Your are mature way beyond your age. I adore you, I admire you, and I respect you… Concerning Piano Trio II: Truly amazing. Beautiful opening Adagio, it’s calm, lyrical, yet with a strong emotional undercurrent. Then comes Allegretto that finishes with passionate excitement. Lovely, lovely. Incredible. Concerning Suites D’Insectes: You never cease to amaze me with your enormous talent. Your music always touches my heart and evoke emotional response. That’s true artistry, not to mention how incredible you are technically as well. … As I said before, I adore you, I admire you, and I respect you. I know your last concert was a great success.
- Ren C
16 year old Young Canadian Composer presents for the first time three new original compositions accompanied by Vancouver Symphony Orchestra musicians Zoltan Rozsnyai (cello), Jeanette Bernal-Sing (violin) and Reg Quiring (viola). Also, Gene will present her original composition duet: Suite D’Insecte for piano and clarinet with distinguished clarinet player Gene Ramsbottom. Gene’s unique style and her emotional compositions have already created a sensation. We invite everyone to join us for this exciting one of a kind concert.