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Scott Lee Releases THROUGH THE MANGROVE TUNNELS Performed by the JACK Quartet With Steven Beck & Russell Lacy


THROUGH THE MANGROVE TUNNELS will be released on Friday, November 13, 2020.

Scott Lee Releases THROUGH THE MANGROVE TUNNELS Performed by the JACK Quartet With Steven Beck & Russell Lacy

On Friday, November 13, 2020, composer Scott Lee releases Through the Mangrove Tunnels on Panoramic Recordings, an imprint of New Focus Recordings. Through the Mangrove Tunnels, performed by the JACK Quartet with pianist Steven Beck and drummer Russell Lacy, is a 45-minute work inspired by Lee's experiences growing up exploring the swamps and bayous of Florida. Ranging from ominous and eerie grooves with otherworldly flourishes to ethereal, gliding strings over pulsing drums and looping harmonies, its eight movements evoke both the dense, swampy undergrowth of the mangroves and the expansive seascape that surrounds them.

Through the Mangrove Tunnels draws from Lee's memories as well as the colorful history of Weedon Island, a nature preserve in St. Petersburg, Florida. Weedon Island's many legends include ceremonial gatherings of Native Americans, landings by Spanish conquistadors, burned-down speakeasies, shootouts, bootlegging, a failed movie studio, plane crashes, and an axe-murder. Despite the island's long history of encounters with humans, to the newcomer it appears to be a pristine natural landscape. Though they have been almost fully reclaimed by nature, traces of its history remain: the line in the dirt of a long-forgotten airplane runway, an ancient sea-faring canoe buried in the mud. The piece evokes this history in impressionistic fashion alongside Lee's personal memories of canoeing through the island's mangrove tunnels. In combining these stories, the continuum of past and present is collapsed, resulting in an exploration of the relationships between memory, history, place, home, and the natural world.

Scott Lee's music often takes inspiration from popular genres, exploring odd-meter grooves and interlocking hockets while featuring pointillistic orchestration and extended performance techniques. His music marries the traditional intricacy of classical form with the more body-centered and visceral language of contemporary popular music, creating a complex music of the present with broad appeal. The Berkshire Edge described the world premiere of his Slack Tide at Tanglewood Music Center as having "moments both of calm and maximum tension...we've never heard anything like it."

Lee has worked with leading orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C, the Moravian Philharmonic, Raleigh Civic Symphony, the Occasional Symphony, the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and members of the Winston-Salem Symphony, as well as chamber groups such as the JACK Quartet, yMusic, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Deviant Septet, chatterbird, ShoutHouse, Verdant Vibes, and pop artist Ben Folds. Recent commissioners include the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, Florida State Music Teachers Association, loadbang, and the Raleigh Civic Symphony.

Notable performances include the world premiere of Lee's Vicious Circles by Symphony in C and a reading and performance of Anadyr by the American Composers Orchestra, conducted by George Manahan, as part of the 27th Annual Underwood New Music Readings In New York City. Three pieces by Lee - Drip Study, Tourbillion, and Car Alarm Strut - were premiered at a Tanglewood Music Center concert led by Michael Gandolfi with coaching by composer Osvaldo Golijov. He was Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra's Composer-in-Residence for the 2019-2020 season.

Lee's honors include a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, winner of the Symphony In C Young Composer's Competition, the Grand Prize in the 2015 PARMA Student Composer Competition, and the Gustav Klemm Award in Composition from the Peabody Institute. In 2020, Lee received fellowships from the Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Copland House's CULTIVATE program.

Active as a music educator, Lee is currently Assistant Professor of Composition at the University of Florida School of Music, and has previously worked as a Lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an Instructor at Duke University. Lee earned a PhD in Composition at Duke University, and also holds degrees from the Peabody Institute and Vanderbilt University. Learn more at

The JACK Quartet is one of the most acclaimed, renowned, and respected groups performing today. JACK has maintained an unwavering commitment toward performing and commissioning new works, giving voice to under-heard composers, and cultivating an ever-greater sense of openness toward contemporary classical music. Over the past season, they have been selected as Musical America's 2018 "Ensemble of the Year," named to WQXR's "19 for 19 Artists to Watch," and awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Through intimate relationships with today's most creative voices, JACK embraces close collaboration with the composers they perform, leading to a radical embodiment of the technical, musical, and emotional aspects of their work. The quartet has worked with artists such as George Lewis, Julia Wolfe, Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin, Philip Glass, and many more. JACK is comprised of violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell.

This season Steven Beck performs "Carnival of the Animals" with the New York Philharmonic and Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the Princeton Symphony, and repeats his annual Christmas Eve performance of Bach's "Goldberg Variations" at Bargemusic; this has become a New York institution. Mr. Beck is an experienced performer of new music, having worked with Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez, Henri Dutilleux, Charles Wuorinen, George Crumb, George Perle, and Fred Lerdahl, and performed with ensembles such as Speculum Musicae and the New York New Music Ensemble. He is a member of the Knights, the Talea Ensemble, and the Da Capo Chamber Players. He is also a member of Quattro Mani, a piano duo specializing in contemporary music. As an orchestral musician he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet Orchestra, Orpheus, the Mariinsky Orchestra and many others. Mr. Beck's discography includes Peter Lieberson's third piano concerto (for Bridge Records) and a recording of Elliott Carter's "Double Concerto" on Albany Records. He is a Steinway Artist.

Russell Lacy started playing percussion when he was nine. In high school, Russell studied classical percussion under the noted percussionist and composer Christopher Deane; he completed high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Russell continued his training at undergraduate and graduate training at North Carolina Central University and Queens College respectively. Russell has shared the stage with John Hart, John Bailey, Frank Kimbrough, Steve Cardenas, Bobby Porcelli, David Berkman, Michael Blake, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Eric Reed, Delfayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Pete McCann, and Gregory Tardy. Russell also co-led the Trachy/Lacy Collective, which released Lanky (2009) and performed in venues in the United States most notably the Kennedy Center. A music educator since 2004 Russell opened Russell Lacy Music in 2012 located in Durham, NC which serves over 200 students with private and group instruction.

Through the Mangrove Tunnels Track List

Scott Lee - Through the Mangrove Tunnels (2018)
1. Through the Mangrove Tunnels [3:59]
2. The Man in the Water [4:00]
3. Narvaez Dance Club [4:51]
4. Flying Fish [1:32]
5. Playthings of Desire [6:28]
6. Engine Trouble [6:00]
7. The Ballad of Willie Cole [11:37]
8. Floating Away [7:07]

Total: 45:40

JACK Quartet
Christopher Otto, violin
Austin Wulliman, violin
John Pickford Richards, viola
Jay Campbell, cello
Steven Beck, piano
Russell Lacy, drum set

Produced and edited by Scott Lee
Recording Engineer: Rick Nelson
Recorded at Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University, Durham, NC, April 25, 2018
Mixing: Michael Hammond
Mastering: Ryan Streber

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