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Duo Sequenza to perform Wednesday at Wofford

Flute, classical guitar ensemble featured in Troubadour Series

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Debra Silvert, flute, and Paul Bowman, guitar, to perform Wednesday, Oct. 18, as Duo Sequenza for Wofford's Troubadour Series.
2017-10-16

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Duo Sequenza, a flute and classical guitar ensemble, will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building at Wofford College as part of the Troubadour Series.

Composed of Debra Silvert, hailed as a “gem of a flutist,” and classical guitarist Paul Bowman, critically acclaimed as being “among the best guitarists in the world,” Duo Sequenza’s performances have received enthusiastic ovations from audiences throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. The duo was honored by the National Flute Association to perform at its 2016 Annual Convention in San Diego. Wednesday’s performance at Wofford will feature the East Coast premieres of two 2016 works dedicated to them.

Duo Sequenza is the Chamber Ensemble-in-Residence at the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso, Ind.

Amin Sharifi’s “Duets Exhibition” consists of four short pieces, each with an accompanying painting and text. The Iranian-born composer says the works are not inspired by or about the art or quotes, but are based on his thoughts while looking at a painting, reading a text and listening to music at the same time. “So many factors not directly related to the sound impact how we experience music, which is why we continue to enjoy listening to music we have heard before. With this work, I have set out to ‘compose’ and ‘direct’ a certain condition that will put the listeners inside an experience in which all of their senses will be engaged beyond mere listening, and their minds transported to different existential and aesthetic places,” says Sharifi, assistant director of the Indiana University New Music Ensemble.

The Duo Sequenza’s most recent commissioned work, “South Shore Suite” by Jorge Muñiz, is a 26-minute composition for flute and guitar written to celebrate the state of Indiana’s bicentennial year in 2016. The piece portrays a journey by train along the South Shore of Lake Michigan. Five movements, in addition to a prologue and an epilogue, serve as a musical portrait of landmarks and historical events of the region. Included are the majestic Lake Michigan, the famous sand dune Mount Baldy, the love story of Indian Princess Mishawaka, the melancholic legend of the ghost of Diana of the Dunes and John Dillinger’s jail break of 1934. The suite begins with a prologue (South Bend) and ends with an epilogue (Chicago), representing the beginning and end of the South Shore Rail Line, our nation’s last interurban electric commuter railroad. Throughout all the movements, the composer’s personal sense of the motion (and emotion) of riding the train through these inspiring landmarks is interwoven in the motivic fabric of the composition, giving the work a very organic quality that connects them in its full performance.

The music itself draws from diverse musical elements of the American vernacular: jazz, blues, country and R&B as well as more contemporary rock elements.

Muñiz is the acting chairman and associate professor of music (composition and theory), at the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts at Indiana University South Bend. He was the winner of the first grand prize of the European Young Composers Competition as well as several other international awards.

Paul Bowman’s transcription of C.P.E. Bach’s “Hamburg Sonata, Wq. 133” and California composer Deirdre Lynd’s “John Doe’s Running” round out the 60-minute program.

Beginning its 17th year, the Troubadour Series at Wofford is named for Carl Sandburg, who was called “the Old Troubadour” by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Sandberg’s home is located in Flat Rock. Sandburg visited the Wofford campus on more than one occasion. He was an avid guitarist who wrote several poems inspired by the guitar and guitarists. On his deathbed in 1967, he requested one of the Andres Segovia recordings he had listened to since the 1930s.

Troubadour Series concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, contact John Akers at 864-597-4788 or akersjc@wofford.edu.