Announcing “Symphony No. 2: The Creation”

I am very excited to announce the completion of my latest composition! This piece is meant to bring to the listener’s mind the wonder of creation and the amazing reality of the universe. For thousands of years, people have thought of art as a means of imitating the Creator of the Universe. The Book of Genesis tells of how He made the world out of nothing and how He delighted in it. It is much in the same way that a composer purposefully creates music. There is a significant difference in that God creates something out of nothing whereas the composer creates from pre-existing material (i.e. sound, time, etc.). Yet in the making of music, we can participate in the joy of the Eternal Creator who made the universe and us for a beautiful purpose. With this piece, I hope to inspire a meditation on the beauty of existence and bring listeners to a peaceful realization of being.

In movement one, there are melodic figures darting here and there to illustrate chaos, yet there is also a recurring sixteenth-note pattern that depicts the “divine wind sweeping over the waters.” Movement two is an unfolding of light. Movement three tells of the growth of order and of the joy of the new day of creation.

In three movements:

1. Spirito: In the beginning God created heaven and earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping over the waters. ~Gen. 1:1-2

2. Adagio: God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. ~Gen. 1:3

3. Maestoso: God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light ‘day’, and darkness he called ‘night’.
Evening came and morning came: the first day. ~Gen. 1:4-5

The complete score and parts can be found for download on the IMSLP website: http://imslp.org/wiki/Symphony_No.2_(Rosaria%2C_Danielle)http://imslp.org/wiki/Symphony_No.2_(Rosaria%2C_Danielle)

 

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IMSLP Composer Page

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In order to allow my music to be played and enjoyed, I am happy to announce that I have begun to share some of my compositions on IMSLP. The first piece I’ve uploaded is Percussion Quartet No. 1, Jungle Path. This piece was premiered back in March, 2015 as part of an LA Composers Collective concert. It has two main sections, a slow lyrical one and a lively, Latin-flavored section with distinctive melodic lines and syncopation.

http://imslp.org/wiki/Percussion_Quartet_No._1_(Rosaria,_Danielle)

Music At Home

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I’m writing this post for stay-at-home artists, especially women artists who sacrifice so much to look after their families. It can be a struggle for someone who is used to performing on stage and collaborating with many different people to suddenly be alone and “confined” at home. Yet I can assure you that being at home is actually a wonderful opportunity for artistic growth as well as for meaningful work.

This time in my life requires me to be at home most of the time. I have two young children who need my nurturing and care. This is a great joy to me! Yet, this situation also presents its own unique challenges to my musical life. I’m sure there are many people who experience this sort of life change when they go from professional career to caring for family. It can feel isolating. But the life of a musician does not need to disappear under these circumstances. Rather, it can change and grow. Staying at home can offer time for reflection and study, individual discovery and expression, and opportunities for embarking on sincere and unique projects away from peer pressure and deadlines. And if one is at home looking after children, there is the absolutely amazing opportunity to share, in a deep and profound way, the joy of music and all that can be passed on by studying and practicing it.

One of the beautiful things about music and the life of the artist is that they encourage us to be creative problem solvers, flexible and determined in the midst of change. One of my favorite sayings is “Adapt and endure.” The musical life should support the life of the human being and not the other way around. In the situation where one must stay at home, it is most likely necessary to curtail frequent performances on stage. But for thousands of years music making has taken place off stage as well as on. When we take our music from the professional sphere and bring it into the home, we can give it as a gift to our children, teach them about beauty, self expression, world cultures, language, and logical thought processes. We can teach them to sing and/or play an instrument. We can teach them to appreciate the wonderful music of others. In this way we give them the gift of freedom, the gift of art.

There is a historical context to this approach to music. During the Enlightenment in Europe, pianos were first built and sold in great numbers. They were often sold to people in the new middle class, people who wanted to educate themselves and their children. They wanted pianos in their homes because they valued culture. Composers during this time wrote thousands of piano works and instrumental sonatas to satisfy the demand for music in the home. We owe the existence of the violin and piano sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert to this demand. Even today pianos are often to be found in homes as a sign of “the good life.” Not every home has someone who knows how to play these instruments, but they are there nevertheless. But of course some families do boast of pianists of various skill levels. How beautiful it is when a family’s home is alive with real music! Children can be taught to appreciate and play at a very early age. By creating an environment where music making is encouraged, the stay-at-home artist is passing on culture to the next generation. This is one of the most important and joyful things we can do as human beings!

So with these thoughts in mind, I continue to create, even late at night. I continue to be an artist, teacher, and musician. I play and sing nursery rhymes by day and write symphonies by night. My newest project is “Symphonic Picture No. 8: The Creation.” It is in three parts and musically tells the story of Genesis, Salvation History, and The New Creation when we are reconciled to the Creator through Jesus. It is a very personal project, one of meditation, of experimentation, of praise and thanksgiving.

Premier Concert with the LACC!

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On Saturday, April 22 at MiMoDa in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Composers Collective will be presenting performances of new works for two sopranos, bassoon and various instruments. I am honored to be a part of this artistic endeavor. My setting of the poem “The Road Not Taken” will be one of the pieces performed. It will be performed by two sopranos, bassoon, and cello.

Studio Version

“The Road Not Taken” (1916) by Robert Frost is a very important poem to many people because it talks about choosing to go one’s own way in life. It’s a poem my mother has always loved. She introduced me to it at an early age and I believe it has had a very positive impact on my life. That’s why in gratitude I’ve decided to dedicate this composition to her.

“The Road Not Taken” (1916)
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

LACC website: www.lacomposerscollective.org

LVSO Invitation!

Rehearsals for the La Verne Symphony Orchestra are in full swing! We’re gearing up for our 5th Anniversary season and are currently inviting new members to join. If you are a musician looking to join an exciting, dynamic ensemble, please consider joining us! You can email me, the orchestra director, at drdanieller8@gmail.com. You can also visit our Facebook page for more info: Facebook.com/lvsymphonyorchestra. You can also learn about the orchestra in our web page at DanielleRosariaViolinist.com/LVSO.

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Symphonic Picture Series

I’ve found that composing what I call “symphonic pictures” is a great source of inspiration. They are single movement pieces that bring to mind a certain place or idea. I’ve composed a number of them already. I want to share highlights from the series with you here.

The first three symphonic pictures are depictions of America. With these three pieces, I set out to create a very American sound with music that is accessible to community, high school, and college orchestras but also has enough depth to be performed by professional musicians. These pieces grew in scope along with our La Verne Symphony Orchestra. It is my mission through these pieces to make quality music accessible to amateurs and professionals alike, a very American idea to begin with.

“Symphonic Picture No. 1: New Frontier” was written for and first performed by the La Verne Symphony Orchestra, a university and community ensemble that seeks to bring people together through the power of music.

I drew inspiration from the composers Antonín Dvořák and Aaron Copland as well as the natural surroundings of my native Southern California. I sought to have a very American sound within symphonic tradition of composers like Dvořák and Copland. I feel this is a great place for me to start as I begin to develop my own symphonic language.

“New Frontier” was premiered by the La Verne Symphony Orchestra in November, 2013 at the University of La Verne.

I find that the natural beauty of America provides endless possibilities for musical inspiration. “Symphonic Picture No. 2: The American West” is also written in the symphonic tradition of Aaron Copland. I like to experiment with putting melodies and harmonies together to see what colors happen when things come together. I imagine places I’ve seen in person: the forest, the running stream, the night sky, the beauty of the American outdoors.

“Symphonic Picture No. 2: The American West” had its successful premier performance in December, 2015 with the La Verne Symphony Orchestra. I had the privilege to conduct the piece and witness a childhood dream of composing and conducting symphonic music become a reality.

“Symphonic Picture No. 3: Journey Across America” is inspired by the beauty and industry of America as well as by the struggles and victories of its people. One can think of the history of America while listening and move through time as well as across the continent in one’s imagination. I am particularly proud of this piece and look forward to the day when it will be performed by a live symphony.

“Symphonic Picture No. 7: Dona Nobis Pacem” is my newest symphonic picture. As the titles says, it is a prayer for peace. Our world today is in great need of peace and understanding between people. Music is one way we can come together to work and create something beautiful. The music is hopeful and passes the simple melody from one unique instrumental voice to the other.

This piece will be premiered by the La Verne Symphony Orchestra in April, 2017.