CROSS ISLAND

 
CROSS ISLAND
Keri Degg

Story

This is the title work of our 2011 CD, Quiet Strength. It is a milonga (the precursor to the tango).

 

Originally written for alto saxophone and piano, it was arranged by the composer for us in response to a call for music by women composers.

CROSS ISLAND
Rick Sowash

Story

A track from our 2011 CD, Quiet Strength. The composer says of this work, "It is loud and declamatory in places, but it seemed natural to me that the music should grow and swell, even if it is a lullabye.  Of course, it's a lullabye only figuratively.

 The lullabye is an odd genre, when you think about it.  Music which is, ostensibly, intended to induce in the listener a state of non-listening, ie., sleep.  

I had in mind, when I wrote this piece, something I've often pondered ... and it has to do with Gershwin.  Such a great talent and he died so very young.  Tragic.  What occurs to me is that it ought to fall to other, later American composers to try to write the music he might have written, had he lived.  thus, I've written a number of pieces very much in what I fancy to be the style of "late Gershwin" (in reality, there is no "late Gershwin") ... think of it as Gershwin extended on into the latter half of the twentieth century.  He was born in the same year as Copland, remember, and Copland died in 1990.  So Gershwin could have lived that long.  What music would he have been writing in the 70's and 80's, one wonders?  We'll never really know, but I like to think that maybe it would have sounded a little like my Lullaybe for Kara.”

CROSS ISLAND. featuring Joseph Rutkowski, Jr.
Mark McCarron

Story

From our 2011 CD, Quiet Strength.

A jazz Waltz, arranged for us especially by the composer.

Joseph Rutkowski, Jr., clarinet; Suzanne Mueller, cello
Meira Warshauer

Story

Engineered and Produced by Reed Robins, MacIntyre Music, NY

Composer Meira Warshauer's powerful and haunting work, in its clarinet/cello incarnation (the original is for solo cello, and there are also versions for solo cello and string orchestra, violin and cello, and cello choir).

From the composer's program notes:

I wrote these sketches during the days of watching the horror of the attacks of September 11: The collapse of the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon, the plane crash in Pennsylvania.

I didn’t have a piece in mind, or consciously set out to write one. But the sketches seemed to belong together, afterwards...

It is my way of holding each other in our loss.

It reflects my sadness, our collective sadness
the loss of loved ones
looking for survivors, not finding...
Hoping it isn’t true, disbelief...
it is true...
The slow motion collapse of the towers--
with that collapse, all of our losses
our national sense of invulnerability gone

humility
interdependence
prayer

Hope may be found inside the heart bared open to pain, but also to truth and love.

CROSS ISLAND & Yeou-Cheng Ma
01/25/2015

Story

This was our free improvisation with violinist Yeou-Cheng Ma on Sunday afternoon, January 25, 2015, at Jericho Public Library.

 

As we always tell the audience, this is the part of the program where we know no more about what we're about to play than they do. There is no fore-panning at all. In this case, Ellie started things off with a lovely line an Yeou-Cheng and I responded. The trick to these is listening to each other and adjusting direction as needed. The audience LOVED this one!

CROSS ISLAND, featuring Joseph Rutkowski, Jr.
Arkadie Kouguell

Story

The closing track of our 2011 CD, Quiet Strength.

 The music of Arkadie Kouguell was introduced to us by his son, master cellist and teacher, Alexander Kouguell.

CROSS ISLAND, featuring Joseph Rutkowksi, Jr.
Composer: Franz Schubert (arr. by John Gibson)

Story

Shepherd on the Rock is a favorite of all of ours. Unfortunately, the original is for soprano, clarinet, and piano. Fortunately, John Gibson, of JB Linear, arranged it or clarinet, cello, and piano. Both we and our audiences love this version so much, we made it the opening track of our first CD, EXPLORATIONS.

CROSS ISLAND, featuring Joseph Rutkowski, Jr.
Andreas van Haren

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Although we've never met, Andre is a good friend to CROSS ISLAND, and we play a great deal of his music. This lovely, peaceful trio should give you a good idea why. You can purchase it on EXPLORATIONS.

CROSS ISLAND
Composer: Paquito D'Rivera

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This was recorded in one take by Elinor and Suzanne at the very end of the recording session for Explorations. We liked it so much, we used it.

CROSS ISLAND, featuring Joseph Rutkowski, Jr.
Paquito D'Rivera

Story

A tune from the Master, Paquito D'rivera, featuring Elinor's montuno and Joe's improvised soloing. Another track from Explorations.

CROSS ISLAND, featuring Joseph Rutkowski, Jr.

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Recorded in December, 2009, at the UMC Church of Bay Shore (LI, NY) - in one take, of course, because otherwise, it wouldn't be an improv! Another track from our first CD, EXPLORATIONS.

CROSS ISLAND
Composer: Dave Brubeck

Story

"The Desert and the Parched Land" is a transcription by cellist Derek Snyder of Dave and Matthew Brubeck's piano improvisation from the recording "Quiet as the Moon." It is originally drawn from a soprano solo in Dave Brubeck's Mass, " To Hope!," composed in 1979. This recording is from our first CD, EXPLORATIONS - a live performance at Southampton's Rodgers Memorial Library in December 2009.

CROSS ISLAND, featuring Joseph Rutkowski, Jr.
Mark McCarron

Story

This is the closing track of our first CD, Explorations - a lilting jazz waltz by Mark McCarron, arranged especially for us by the composer.

Suzanne Mueller
Eugene Friesen

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This recording has not been released on any albums. I love this work, and my live performance of it has become a staple of the Pediatrics Memorial at NewYork-Presbyterian, where it brings great comfort to the families of children lost in the past year at the Hospital, and to the medical staff who treated them and felt their losses keenly.

Elinor Abrams Zayas
Frederic Chopin

Story

This was recorded live a a performance at the Bayport-Blue Point Public Library on January 23, 2011.