S T E P H E N   F E R R E

MEDIA

SOUNDS!

If you are curious, and would like to hear some samples, look below. There are also some complete works on Soundcloud. You can also find a beautiful performance of the chamber version of Remembering the Night Sky with Diane Hunger-Zumwalt on YouTube. Don’t be surprised when the video freezes about 3/4 of the way through. As is typical with any video of my performing, the battery in the camera died while recording. (The audio is from a separate high quality source.)
FYI, the audio players do not turn off when you switch from tab to tab, so you will have to stop it manually.

NOTES ON THE SAMPLES

NOTES ON THE COMPLETE WORKS

  • REMEMBERING THE NIGHT SKY

    This work for alto saxophone was recently expanded for saxophone and chamber ensemble, and in some way represents a stylistic diversion for me in which melodic content is dominant over texture.  Harmonic progression is defined in the first movement by the melody and proceeds more quickly than in my earlier works.  After improvisations for both saxophone and piano, the second movement is a traditional melody and accompaniment texture with a strong rhythmic drive, except in the short contrasting section in the center of the movement.

    Remembering the night sky,
    Flashes of the past storm still on the horizon;
    The sea, charged, yet unmoved,
    Still boils, but remains unchanged.

    The eerie calm after the deluge
    Appears out of place, temporary.
    The sky above, devoid of stars,
    Could again unleash its fury at any moment.
    SF, 2001

  • FROM HER HUSBAND'S HAND
  • SYMPHONY NO. 2
  • INNER SANCTUM
  • OYRE'S GARDEN
  • INFERNO
  • PHOENIX

    Phoenix was realized at the Northwestern University Electronic Music Studio in 1985 primarily on Moog and other custom sound modules.  It had its genesis as a filler for a videotape of the dance work, Sundays, choreographed by Lynn Anne Blom. to music by Liz Story.  About a third of the dance was originally silent and not suitable for videotape.  The outer portions of Phoenix were composed to accompany the dance and fill the silences.  They were mostly electronic, but included heavily manipulated fragments of the Story.

    The central portion of the new work was derived from a wind ensemble work  Julianby Jay Kawarsky.  Its use came through a fortuitous accident.  While I was composing Phoenix, I was asked to make a dub of a reel-to-reel tape of Julian onto cassette. The tape had been left head out (rather than the standard end out), and I therefore played it backwards at first. While it is a fine work forwards (I later conducted it at the New Music Chicago Spring Festival), I wondered at the amazing sounds it produced backwards.  With Kawarsky’s permission of course, I decided to use the backwards version, again with heavy manipulation, as the sound-bed for the center of Phoenix.  The title therefore represents the rebirth of the two previous works in a wholly new guise.

  • FREE FALL
  • SOLOMON'S SEAL
  • THE STORM