- This event has passed.
Jenni Brandon’s Works Performed at The Music by Women Festival
March 5, 2020 - March 7, 2020
Jenni Brandon’s works ‘Three Desert Fables for solo oboe “ and “Multitudinous Stars and Spring Waters” performed at The Music by Women Festival, Mississippi University for Women (co-ed since 1982), March 5-7, 2020. The university is located at 1100 College Street, Columbus, MS 39701. The festival will include papers, presentations, lecture-recitals, and performances all regarding music composed, taught and performed by women. The festival will feature concerts of new and historic music written by women composers historically as well as in the present day. The performances schedule is:
Multitudinous Stars and Spring Waters — Kossen Auditorium, 2:30 PM, Saturday, March 7, 2020 by Dr. Amy Yeung, soprano (University of Tennessee at Martin), Dr. Douglas Owens, oboe (University of Tennessee at Martin)
Jenni Brandon’s “Three Desert Fables for solo oboe” tells the story of the unique relationship between the Joshua trees found in the Mojave Desert and the Yucca moth. The Joshua tree relies on the moth for pollination, and the moth lays her eggs in the flowers of the Joshua tree where the larvae live off the yucca seeds. In fact, one cannot survive without the other, and this relationship is much like a fable, making this a wonderful story to tell as a solo for oboe.
The Joshua tree is dance-like and angular, its branches twisting and gnarled. In contrast the moth is fluid and lyrical, flying to the highest flowers of the Joshua tree to lay her eggs and to pollinate the white flowers of the tree. In the final section of the piece the Joshua tree and the moth dance together, relying on each other for their survival in the harshness of the desert. This piece was written in collaboration with oboists Ryan Zwahlen of the Definiens Project and Laura Medisky at the University of Wisconsin.
“Three Desert Fables for solo oboe is available for purchase on Jenni Brandon’s website.
“Multitudinous Stars and Spring Waters,” by Jenni Brandon represents a collection of women poets from a vast period of Chinese history. The poems in it come from the collection of poems “Women Poets of China”. This book, edited and translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung, explores poetry from many centuries both attributed to and written by women poets.
Throughout the centuries Chinese women were not allowed to share their poetry. They were basically property of their husbands, having no rights to money, property, or education. Poetry was written in secret, often destroyed or shared only amongst other women. It has been just in the 20th century that Chinese women poets began to freely write and share their poetry.
Within this work are three main poems:
o Spring Song
o Thinking of Someone
o Married Love
These make up the larger picture of love and waiting, sometimes with disappointment and grief, of admiration, of marriage and of eternal love. In between are selections, almost like Haiku, from the poem “Multitudinous Stars and Spring Waters” by Ping Hsin. These feel like fragments of thoughts; like what you’d think silently to yourself, before and after the bigger declarations of the messages from the three larger poems.
Thematically, all the poems tie together. There are day and night themes (“Spring Song” moves into “Bright moon”). There’s the “ocean of thoughts” and the turbulent waters of the heart (“The orphan boat” and “Thinking of Someone”). And of course, there is limitless, eternal love, like the night sky full of stars (“Void only” and “Married Love”). But the whole work is a love song – telling that age-old story of the push and pull of emotions that only love can cause. The soprano and oboe are equals in this intertwining duet in telling this love story. Both bring emotional weight to the work as they journey into eternal love as told through the final lines of the work:
I am in your clay. You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt.
In death we will share one coffin.
Full texts of the poems are available on Jenni Brandon’s website. “Multitudinous Stars and Spring Waters,”
Commissioned by Dr. Amy Yeung of the University of Tennessee-Martin, it was her vision of wanting to tell a love story through the voices of her culture that led to the creation of this work. Premiered by Dr. Yeung and Dr. Douglas Owens at the University of Tennessee-Martin in March 2018. Co-Commissioned by Esther Gray Lemus, Soprano.
“Spring Song” By Kenneth Rexroth, from the original by Meng Chu, translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung, from WOMEN POETS OF CHINA, copyright ©1973 by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung. Reprinted by permission of Mississippi University for WomenNew Directions Publishing Corp.
“MULTITUDINOUS STARS AND SPRING WATERS” from the original by Meng Chu, translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung, from WOMEN POETS OF CHINA, copyright ©1973 by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
“Thinking of Someone” from the original by Hsiung Hung, translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung, from WOMEN POETS OF CHINA, copyright ©1973 by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
“Married Love” By Kuan Tao-Sheng, translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung, from WOMEN POETS OF CHINA, copyright ©1973 by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.
“Multitudinous Stars and Spring Waters,” is available for purchase on Jenni Brandon’s website