Lorelei Ensemble to Release Christopher Cerrone's BEAUFORT SCALES

Interspersed among the movements are are narrated interludes featuring four texts taken from the writings of Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and more.

By: Feb. 29, 2024
Lorelei Ensemble to Release Christopher Cerrone's BEAUFORT SCALES
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Lorelei Ensemble will release the world premiere recording of Christopher Cerrone's Beaufort Scales on Friday, May 17, 2024 on the Cold Blue Music record label. This highly anticipated album presents Cerrone's lush, alluring music for treble voices and electronics, a piece that carries with it a cautionary tale for our era of accelerating climate change. The primary text for this album is drawn from the Beaufort Wind Force Scale (a measure of wind speed, originally as it related to observed sea conditions) created by Francis Beaufort in 1805. Interspersed among the 13 sung movements are narrated interludes featuring four texts taken from the writings of Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anne Carson, and the King James Bible. Each of these comments on the state of weather at a particular point in time, serving as a pause and a moment to reflect upon the surrounding movements.

Featuring evocative descriptions such as "Calm / smoke rises vertically" and "The air is filled with foam and spray" Beaufort Scales traces a trajectory from placidity to calamity. Cerrone treats Beaufort's original text as a canvas to create a kaleidoscopic view of weather, all headed toward an inexorable climax. Cerrone recalls: "In the summer of 2018, I was composer-in-residence at a festival in southern Oregon. Days before I arrived, terrible wildfires broke out, its smoke blocking out the sun during the day and rendering the air unbreathable without a mask. These conditions lasted for weeks, and forced the festival, which is normally held outdoors, to move into a high school auditorium. Although wildfires are a natural occurrence, they have unfortunately become a frequent, annual occurrence in that area because of climate change. I knew after that experience that I had to find a way to artistically document this experience. Beaufort Scales became that vehicle. I wanted to do what art does best: document the precognitive feeling of something so strange and eerie and new, for which language does not exist yet."

Cerrone cites Scott Huler's book Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale, and How a 19th Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry as inspiration. He says, "I came to share Scott's obsession and began composing a work for eight female voices and electronics, transforming the steps of the scale into 13 corresponding movements of escalating musical intensity. As the work proceeds and the weather becomes more chaotic, each of the voices is increasingly distorted. This mirrors our technology-saturated world, one in which uncanny and tumultuous weather has a growing presence."

Cerrone's new 36-minute oratorio for eight voices and live electronics received its world premiere in November 2023 at MASS MoCA. Beaufort Scales can be heard in a live concert program presented by the Lorelei Ensemble - LOOK UP - to be held on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm at The Dome in Yale Schwarzman Center. Subsequent performances will be presented by Music At Noon: The Logan Series At Penn State Behrend on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 12:00pm; Juniata College on Friday, March 22, 2024 at 7:30pm in Rosenberger Auditorium; and Syracuse University's The Malmgren Concert Series on Sunday, March 24, 2024 at 4:00pm in Hendricks Chapel.

Directed by Lorelei Ensemble founder and artistic director Beth Willer, the Yale program is a co-production between the Schwarzman Center and the world-renowned Yale Glee Club. Willer shared, "The idea of LOOK UP is about looking up to the sky and seeing we are one entity in this expansive universe, but also looking up and seeing what is happening on the planet right here." The performances of LOOK UP will feature Beaufort Scales alongside works by Meredith Monk, Molly Herron, and Elijah Daniel Smith.

Program Information

Yale Presents Lorelei Ensemble in LOOK UP, featuring Christopher Cerrone's Beaufort Scales

Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm
The Dome at Yale Schwarzman Center | New Haven, CT
Link: https://schwarzman.yale.edu/events/lorelei-ensemble

Music At Noon: The Logan Series At Penn State Behrend

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 12:00pm
McGarvey Commons, Reed Union Building, State Behrend | Erie, PA
Link: https://musicatnoon.wordpress.com/our-2023-24-season-schedule/

Juniata College Presents Lorelei Ensemble

Friday, March 22, 2024 at 7:30pm
Rosenberger Auditorium| Huntingdon, PA
Link: www.juniatapresents.com/lorelei

Syracuse University: The Malmgren Concert Series

Sunday, March 24, 2024 at 4:00pm
Hendricks Chapel | Syracuse, NY
Link: https://chapel.syracuse.edu/programs/events/malmgren-concert-series/

Beaufort Scales Tracklist

Christopher Cerrone - Beaufort Scales (2022-3)
1. Prelude: Sea Like a Mirror [3:27]
2. Step 1: Ripples with Scales [2:34]
3. Interlude 1: F. Scott Fitzgerald [1:24]
4. Steps 2 & 3: Small and Large Wavelets [4:10]
5. Interlude 2: Herman Melville [2:02]
6. Steps 4,5 & 6: Small, Moderate, and Large Waves [4:44]
7. Interlude 3: Anne Carson [3:26]
8. Steps 7, 8, & 9: Sea Heaps Up/ Waves of Greater Length/ High Waves [5:27]
9. Interlude 4: Herman Melville [2:11]
10. Steps 10 & 11: Very high waves/ Exceptionally High Waves [3:18]
11. Step 12: The Air Is Filled with Foam and Spray / Postlude [2:09]

Total Time: 35:05

Album Credits
Producer: Mike Tierney and Christopher Cerrone
Executive Producer: Jim Fox
Recorded, Mixed, Edited by: Mike Tierney
Recorded at Dimension Sound, Boston, M.A, November 5-6, 2023
Mastered by: Scott Fraser
Design: Jim Fox
Cover Art: iStock
Photo Credit: Ebru Yildiz

About Lorelei Ensemble

Lorelei Ensemble is recognized across the globe for its bold and inventive programs that champion the extraordinary flexibility and virtuosity of the human voice. Led by founder and artistic director Beth Willer, Lorelei has established an inspiring mission, curating culturally relevant and artistically audacious programs that stretch and challenge the expectations of artists and audiences alike. 

Lorelei Ensemble is creating a living repertoire for a living audience, working with today's leading composers to commission more than 65 new works that expand and deepen the repertoire of sounds, timbres, words and stories that women use to reflect and challenge our world. This new repertoire for women's and treble voices demands fierce flexibility and openness from each artist and listener, allowing unparalleled music making that is born from the unique position of power and cultural influence that women hold. Collaborating composers include David Lang, Julia Wolfe, George Benjamin, Kati Ago?cs, Lisa Bielawa, Kareem Roustom, Jessica Meyer, Christopher Cerrone, Sungji Hong, Reiko Yamada, Peter Gilbert, Scott Ordway, James Kallembach, John Supko, and many more. Current projects and commissions include Julia Wolfe's Her Story, Christopher Cerrone's Beaufort Scales, and works in progress by Katherine Balch, Elijah Daniel Smith, Angélica Negrón and Ayanna Woods.

Recordings document and preserve the work of Lorelei and its collaborators for future artists and audiences. On the New Focus, Sono Luminus, Cantaloupe, and BMOP Sound labels, Lorelei has recorded the music of living composers Kati Ago?cs, Peter Gilbert, James Kallembach, David Lang, Jessica Meyer, and Scott Ordway, as well as historical repertoire from William Billings, Guillaume Du Fay, Alfred Schnittke, To?ru Takemitsu, the Turin Codex and the Codex Calixtinus. Recent releases include James Kallembach's Antigone: The Writings of Sophie Scholl (New Focus Recordings, 2022), named Critic's Choice by Opera News; David Lang's love fail (Cantaloupe 2020), described as "a work that channels poignancy through harmonic and melodic clarity" (The Road to Sound); and Impermanence (Sono Luminus 2018), about which WQXR raved, "Utterly gorgeous...The group's...probing interpretations of works both ancient and modern makes for instantly affecting listening."

Lorelei Ensemble maintains a robust national touring schedule, including collaborations with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, A Far Cry, and Cantus, and performances at celebrated venues across the country, including Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tanglewood Music Center, Boston's Symphony Hall, Trinity Church Wall Street, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

Committed to education, Lorelei is empowering young artists to be our next creative leaders through its work with rising performers and composers at children's choirs, high schools, and colleges and universities across the country. Cultivating both individual and collaborative artistry, Lorelei helps young artists hone their skills to become flexible, perceptive, and open-minded musicians. Past residencies include work with singers, ensembles, conductors and composers at the Eastman School of Music, Harvard University, Yale University, Duke University, Bucknell University, University of Iowa, Cornell University, Luther College, Vassar College, Macalester College, Mount Holyoke College, Connecticut College, Hillsdale College, Keene State College, Gordon College, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, Princeton Girlchoir, and the Connecticut Children's Chorus.

Founded in Boston in 2007, Lorelei Ensemble comprises artists based across the United States who maintain active performing and teaching schedules. Learn more at www.loreleiensemble.com.

About Christopher Cerrone

Christopher Cerrone (b. 1984) is internationally acclaimed for compositions characterized by a subtle handling of timbre and resonance, a deep literary fluency, and a flair for multimedia collaborations. Balancing lushness and austerity, immersive textures and telling details, dramatic impact, and interiority, Cerrone's multi-GRAMMY-nominated music is utterly compelling and uniquely his own.

Cerrone's recent opera, In a Grove (libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann), jointly produced by LA Opera and Pittsburgh Opera, was called "stunning" (Opera News) and "outstanding" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) in its sold-out premiere run in March 2022. Other recent projects include The Year of Silence, based on the story of the same name by Kevin Brockmeier, for the Louisville Symphony and baritone Dashon Burton; A Body, Moving, a brass concerto for the Cincinnati Symphony; Breaks and Breaks, a violin concerto for Jennifer Koh and the Detroit Symphony; The Insects Became Magnetic, an orchestral work with electronics for the Los Angeles Philharmonic; The Air Suspended, a piano concerto for Shai Wosner; and Meander, Spiral, Explode, a percussion quartet concerto co-commissioned by Third Coast Percussion, the Chicago Civic Orchestra of the Chicago Symphony and the Britt Festival.

Upcoming projects include a new percussion quartet co-commissioned by Sandbox Percussion, Blow Up Percussion, and the Park Avenue Armory, a new two-piano piece for the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, and new large works for the LA Philharmonic and Roomful of Teeth.

Cerrone's first opera, Invisible Cities, a 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist, was praised by the Los Angeles Times as "A delicate and beautiful opera...[which] could be, and should be, done anywhere." Invisible Cities received its fully-staged world premiere in a wildly popular production by The Industry, directed by Yuval Sharon, in Los Angeles' Union Station. Both the film and opera are available as CDs, DVDs, and digital downloads. In July 2019, New Amsterdam Records released his GRAMMY-nominated sophomore effort, The Pieces that Fall to Earth, a collaboration with the LA-based chamber orchestra Wild Up, to widespread acclaim. The Arching Path, from 2021 (In a Circle Records), features performances by Timo Andres, Ian Rosenbaum, Lindsay Kesselman, and Mingzhe Wang, and was nominated for a 2022 GRAMMY.

Cerrone is the winner of the 2015-2016 Samuel Barber Rome Prize in Music Composition and was a resident at the Laurenz Haus Foundation in Basel, Switzerland from 2022-2023.

Christopher Cerrone holds degrees from the Yale School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He is published by Schott NY and Project Schott New York. In 2021 he joined the composition faculty at Mannes School of Music. He lives in the Journal Square neighborhood of Jersey City with his wife. Learn more at christophercerrone.com.

*The first half of the LOOK UP program, featuring works by Monk, Herron, and Smith, stems from Lorelei’s performance at the 2019 TESS conference at MIT, as part of Natalia Guerrero’s Songs from Extrasolar Spaces, revealing to the public some of the first images of exoplanets captured by the TESS telescope.