Performances by Kelly Vaneman
In 2005 I had the fantastic experience of premiering Rudy Davenport and Delilah Elsen's BYNA, an hour-long song cycle that related the life story of an elderly Southern Appalachian woman. We performed the work in April of 2012 at Converse as a part of the Opera 2 Okra conference on Southern Culture. Here are two of my favorite BYNA songs. (The quilts in the background were provided by the Piedmont Piecers. Fantastic, aren't they?)
"Looking to the Overhills" is one of four instrumental pieces scattered throughout Byna. It takes place just before the end of the work.
In "Ready to Start My Day" Byna tells about her daily life living in the mountains. The part about her dog Helga is especially charming.
Michael Daugherty's Firecracker is one of the coolest pieces I've ever played. It explores Las Vegas--roulette wheels, showgirls, slot machines, and the whole shebang. I performed it in at Converse in 2007 and then with my fabulous colleagues at the Performing Arts Institute in the summer. Paul Hostetter conducted us, and it was a blast.
I've always both loved and been a bit daunted by the music of Francois Couperin. It's fussy, intense, and beautiful--and incredibly rewarding to perform. In spring of 2010 I got to perform the Ninth Concert with cellist Brenda Leonard and keyboardist Brennan Szafron as a part of a Valentine's Day recital featuring works about Love. The Ninth Concert is one of the few by Couperin to have descriptive titles; the entire Concert is subtitled "Ritratto dell' Amore." Oh, and for those with perfect pitch, yes, we're about a quarter-step flat. Sometimes the harpsichord drops, and you just have to roll with it...