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Herbert Brün, Just Seven for Drum
Just Seven for Drum, by Herbert Brün Performed by Jed Blodgett Brün's "Just Seven for Drum" reinvented the way the snare drum was performed. Inspired by the visual movement of a steel drummer gliding around the various pitch-fields, Brün specifies nine different playing zones across the vertical axis of the drum. Similarly, he asks the performer to stand profile to the audience with the instrument angled towards them, as if striking a steel drum. The piece is comprised of seven short vignettes with an optional eighth movement comprised of the first seven movements performed attacca.
Blest be the Tie that Binds
Last week I had the cool opportunity to play a postlude hymn at Hastings College's weekly chapel service. I did a quick run-through in the space the day before and made a recording just to make sure it worked. But listening back I decided it's kind of pretty! So here you go--a simple arrangement/improvisation of "Blessed be the Tie that Binds." Enjoy!
Alyssa Morris, Prayer for berimbau and Piano
Prayer for berimbau and Piano by Alyssa Morris Commissioned and performed by Tara and Jed Blodgett “Prayer for berimbau and piano was written to musically depict the form of a prayer. It begins with reverent introspection, grows into flowing, heartfelt connection, and concludes with quiet resolution. “In these times of global turmoil, I have prayed to my Heavenly Father for peace, comfort, and guidance. I have felt strengthened and comforted through the power that comes from prayer.” - Alyssa Morris
There is a Green Hill Far Away -- Jed Blodgett
During the recent pandemic my church held an online musical fireside, and I put together this quick arrangement of one of my favorite hymns. As I put the arrangement together I thought about the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is striking to me that this singular event took place over two thousand years ago, yet continues to work in us today to bind up wounds and heal the broken-hearted. Even though his suffering ended, the comfort and cleansing it provided is ongoing. It ended but is yet unfinished. I also reflected on the fact that when I look out at the world each day through news or social media, the first thing I usually see is conflict and heartache. With very little effort, however, I can look deeper and see that there is also so much joy, peace, and love in nearly everyone. It is easy to take the world at face value and let it weigh you down. It is harder, but better, to see compassion, hope, and light. 1. There is a green hill far away, without a city wall, where the dear Lord was crucified, who died to save us all. 2. We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains he had to bear, but we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there. 3. There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin. He only could unlock the gate of heav’n and let us in. 4. Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved! And we must love him too, and trust in his redeeming blood, and try his works to do. Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, (1818–1895) Music: John H. Gower, (1855–1922)
Uma Evolução de Pagode
An Evolution of Pagode (Uma Evolução de Pagode) -------- Voz - Anne Boccato Voz - Löic Cordeone Cavaquinho/Banjo - Alison Martins Violão de Sete Cordas - Camila Alves Percussão - Jed Blodgett -------- “Ô Abre Alas” (1899) Chiquinha Gonzaga “Chega de Demanda” (1928) Cartola “Agua na Boca” (1962) Agildo Mendes “Malandro” (1976) Jorge Aragão “Vou Festejar” (1978) Beth Carvalho “Sou Flamengo, Cacique, e Mangueira” (1980) Luis Carlos “Tá Escrito” (1991) Grupo Revelação “Dieta que vou pro Samba” (2014) Fundo de Quintal
Andrew Maxfield, RESPONSE/ability
In April, 2020, the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts in New York City sent a call for proposals to artists who identify with the Latter-day Saint tradition. Called "Art for Uncertain Times", the center asked writers, musicians, visual artists, dancers, filmmakers, scholars, and creatives alike to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight against the pandemic of racism. Those who were selected were awarded a grant to complete their project and the art was shared digitally throughout the world. RESPONSE/ability was written by Andrew Maxfield for Jed Blodgett in response to the "Art for Uncertain Times" call for proposals, and digitally premiered on September 28, 2020. The program notes, originally typed on an old-fashioned typewriter, are transcribed below. (Original program notes and score can be found at: https://www.centerforlatterdaysaintarts.org/jed-blodgett-andrew-maxfield) -- Oh, what do you do in a bummer-time When the world has lost control? Do you hide in a hole and endlessly scroll On your phone as you try not to cry? Is THAT what you do? So do I. ABOUT THIS PIECE What should we make of 2020, the year, which, as of this moment is just barely halfway cooked, yet which has offered more unwelcome surprises than probably any other recent year? Australia burning, California burning, a pandemic spreading, murder hornets descending, and, possibly worst, human beings yielding to their lowest motivations and (ab)using their influence (45) to encourage others to do the same. We can be and do better than this, right? In the disappointing, the mundane, the revolting, the alarming, the darkly humorous (oh, how we would laugh if it weren't all So real), the sobering, the challenging, and so much more...all mixed, with brighter bits of hopeful stuff. Oh, and being quarantined with kids. This is simply to say that 2020 has been pulsating like a migraine, dripping like that damned, leaky faucet, ticking like the clock in the dentist's office, and...well, you get the gist. A steady barrage, an...ostinato, albeit an offputting, gnarly one. Hence this piece. Now, I hope you won't find it inherently offputting or gnarly! (If you do, please blame the performer!) But I decided to characterize 2020 (or the broader "moment") via an ostinato, a repeating note. That's the steady drip. The surrounding music is a riff on the phrase "my response is my responsibility." First, I like how the word responsibility parses phonetically into "response" and "ability." That's just cool. Second, I like the reminder that my response is in my control, even if the drip is not. I can "lift where I stand" (thanks Br. Uchtdorf), even in 2020. Especially in 2020. And so the four vignettes that comprise this "meditation on response-ability" are just four different responses to the steady drip. None is characterized as a "good" or "bad" response; each is simply an exploration of the many possible reactions to the ostinato. In writing this piece, I've followed three self-imposed rules: 1) Do no touch a computer (heaven knows I've had enough screen time); 2) Attend to the hanging voices (we can geek out on counterpoint sometimes if you care about that one); and 3) Give the story to the performer, who chooses the order of the vignettes (and which to omit), many tempi, and other attributes which contribute to the totality of this small creation. My sincere thanks to Jed Blodgett, the co-recipient of this commission, for proposing this project, and to the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts for making this, and many other, much worthier projects, possible. Here's to fixing the leaky faucet and to each of us being part of the solutions, big and small! Andrew Maxfield Provo, UT, USA, July 2020 Courtesy of my Great Grandpa's Underwood Standard Typewriter No. 5
Dance of the Tumblers, arr. by Jed Blodgett
Dance of the Tumblers from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's The Snow Maiden Arranged for percussion ensemble by Jed Blodgett Performed at the Faculty Percussion Recital on 22 January, 2016 at Juan Diego Catholic High School, Draper, UT. Performed by: Gavin Ryan - Glockenspiel Ron Brough - Vibraphone 1 Egha Kusuma - Vibraphone 2 Jed Blodgett - Marimba 1 Nathan Haines - Marimba 1 Bret Hughes - Marimba 2 Dan Chamberland - Marimba 2 Peter McClanahan - Marimba 3 Spencer Frohm - Marimba 3 Christina Hurlbut - Marimba 4 Kandis Taylor - Marimba 5 Max Meyer - Marimba 5 Nate Watson - Triangle Darren Bastian - Tambourine Chris Nelson - Piatti David Hernandez - Bass Drum Aaron Hall - Timpani
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