Lavender Bass Performs “Tide Pools” by Jenni Brandon at the Laguna Art Museum

Jenni Brandon’s “Tide Pools” for Bassoon and Cello” performed by Lavender Bass; Christin Phelps Webb, bassoon; and Jeness Johnson, cello at the Laguna Art Museum on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM. The venue is at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, (949) 494-8971. Live! at the Museum is presented in partnership with Laguna Beach Live!

Christin Phelps Webb is a freelance chamber and orchestral musician based in Los Angeles and has been a member of several popular ensembles including Orion Winds, Ceora Winds, and the New Chamber Ensemble. She maintains a private teaching studio, conducts clinics and masterclasses, and will soon publish several of her chamber music arrangements. She holds degrees in music performance from Indiana University and the Peabody Conservatory, and has also studied at the University of Southern California.

Jeness Johnson is a Los Angeles based a soloist and recording artist, and has performed worldwide including in concert halls including Severance Hall, Lincoln Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Teatro Sociale in Como, Italy. She attended the Pacific Music Festival, Spoleto Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Meadowmount School of Music, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Jenni Brandon said “When I first started to write “Tide Pools for Bassoon and Cello” this work I thought I would tell two separate stories – one of the ocean, its ebb and flow between high and low tide, and then the stories of the creatures that lie in the tide pools. As I began to write, however, I realized that there is a strongly symbiotic relationship between these elements. The creatures, always present, appear and disappear under the frothy flow of the water.  We glimpse them briefly before the waters swirl and darken, and it is finally when the ocean recedes during low tide that the treasures of these tide pools are fully, yet briefly, exposed. Throughout this work the ocean flows and froths, submerges and swells, coming and going, and offering glimpses of the creatures that make their living in the folds and crevices of shoreline rocks. The creatures are submerged and finally hidden in a never-ending give and take of survival and beauty.”

Description of the sections of this one-movement work:

  1. Tidal swirls: A glimpse of what lies below…
  • Swirling and Frothy
  • Dance of the Striped Shore Crab
  • Languid and Fluid: The Sea Star
  • The Adaptable sculpin – the 7/8 represents the sculpin’s ability to adapt to an uneven existence – sometimes surviving for a period of time trapped in the tide pool under a hot sun, sometimes moving out to sea with high tide.
  • Beautiful pull of the tide: The California Mussel appears

       2.  Low Tide: In the shallows

  • Purple sea urchin
  • Black turban snail hiding in the rocks
  • The tide begins to come in, churning and swirling, wildly joyful

This work was commissioned by Christin Webb (bassoon) and premiered with Jeness Johnson (cello) at the Laguna Museum of Art in May 2017 – a wonderful location along the Pacific Ocean for a premiere of a work about Southern California tide pools. This work was created as part of a commissioning consortium, and a huge thank you to Christin and these co-commissioners who helped bring this work to life through their support and performances:

Scott Pool – bassoon

Cory Barger – bassoon

Patrick W. Price – supporter

Stephen Phelps – supporter