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The Oscen Ensemble Performs Jenni Brandon’s “Love Songs” at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival
August 26, 2022 @ 8:30 pm - August 27, 2022 @ 9:00 pm£13.50
The Oscen Ensemble, with Emily Wishart (Soprano), Olivia Tomasovic (Oboe) and Mianoora Kosonen (Piano), performs Jenni Brandon’s “Love Songs” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The performances are at 8:30 PM (2030 hours) on August 26 – 27, 2022, St Mark’s Unitarian Church, 7 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK EH1 2DP. telephone: 0131 659 7600. Tickets are available at Song for the Forgotten Rose | Music | Edinburgh Festival Fringe (edfringe.com).
“Join the classical trio Oscen Ensemble as they explore works by female composers in their Song for the Forgotten Rose. This programme features music from Clara Schumann to living composers such as Jenni Brandon, plus an exciting array of styles from folk music to romantic art songs, highlighting lesser-known repertoire. At its heart, this programme unites love songs of varying kinds: romantic, maternal, faith, community, and appreciation for the natural world. This trio of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alumni are inspired by the unique sound of voice, oboe and piano.”
The program is:
Song for the Forgotten Rose
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
August 26 – 27, 2022
Jenni Brandon (b. 1977)
Love songs for Soprano and Oboe
Love song Chippewa
Love song from the Andes
Sabrina Young (b. 1977)
Song for the Forgotten Rose
Clairières dans le ciel I. Elle était descendue au bas de la prairie
Clara Faisst (1872-1948)
CF 81 Meditation
Luise Adolpha Le Beau (1850-1927)
Drei Lieder, Op. 45
I. In der Mondnacht
III. Ich habe die Blumen so gern
Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
Op. 23 Sechs Lieder aus Jucunde
I. Was Weinst du, Blümlein?
II. Op 22 Drei Romanzen I. Andante molto
Amy Beach (1867-1944)
3 songs Op. 19 II. Ecstasy (words and music by Amy Beach)
Down by the Salley Gardens
Clara K. Rogers
Marjory Kennedy Fraser (1857-1930)
Songs of the Hebrides
A Clyde-side Love Lilt (A Mhairi Bahn)
A Fairy Love Song
The Oscen Ensemble is Crowdfunding their Edinburgh Fringe Festival project at the following link: https://crowdfund.edfringe.com/p/oscen-ensemble-fringe-2022. Please give to this dynamic group of talented musicians and trio of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alumni. Your generous contribution is appreciated.
The Instagram link for the Oscen Ensemble is Oscen Ensemble (@oscen_ensemble) • Instagram photos and videos
I have chosen this collection of texts to tell a story of the Native American woman – a story that she might tell her child while she rocked the child to sleep. We begin with a lullaby (partially borrowed from a Chippewa lullaby) sung gently to a child, and then she begins to tell the story of herself. In “Song of Basket-Weaving” she asks the Cedar tree (mother) to prepare her for love, for bearing children, and for becoming a woman. In “Song of the Blue-Corn Dance she works with other women to harvest the corn. Falling in love, she sings a slightly giddy song “Oh I Am Thinking” which evolves into a strong and steadfast song in “Love Song from the Andes.” Then her lover comes to her in “Love Song,” but it is not too long after that he leaves her for Sault St. Marie in Michigan, never to return again (I interpret this as death – he’s gone away, maybe to fight, or to hunt, but he will never return to his lover). We assume at this point in the story that the child she sings to is their child, and she is telling the story of their love. The story ends how it begins, with the woman back in the present, continuing to sing a lullaby to her child as life goes on, without her love by her side.
It is a story that I feel can be universally understood, but points to the strength of not only the Native American woman, but to the strength of all women to persevere, to raise children and to keep community strong against all odds. It is a “love song” in that it goes beyond just romantic love but tells of love for a child and love of the land. The work may be performed as a whole, or individual movements may be chosen for a shorter performance.
This work was commissioned and premiered by Aryn Day Sweeney, oboist and Assistant Professor of Music Performance at Ball State University with funding provided by the Indiana Arts Commission in 2014. It was premiered at Ball State University by Aryn Day Sweeney-oboe and Yoko Shimazaki-Kilburn-soprano in March 2014.
“Love Songs for Soprano and Oboe” is available for purchase on Jenni’s website at Love Songs -soprano and oboe sheet music (jennibrandon.com)