L. K. Notareschi, …an ocean by itself (2001)
A passion for sounds and ideas marks the music of Loretta Kathryn Notareschi, a 1999-2000 Fulbright Scholar to Hungary and summa cum laude graduate of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.

In 1999, Notareschi earned a Bachelor of Music in composition (with a minor in art history) at USC, where she was named the Outstanding Graduate of the Thornton School's senior class. She went on to earn a General Diploma, with high honors, from the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary in 2000. Her principle teachers in composition have included Morten Lauridsen, Erica Muhl, Frederick Lesemann, and Elinor Armer, and she has studied choral conducting, solfege, and performance practice under the eminent Hungarian conductors Kiss Katalin and Erdei Peter.

A faculty member at the Walden School in Dublin, NH, Notareschi has received the Ensemble Eleven Young Composers Award, the GALA Choruses Youth Composition Award, the Phi Kappa Phi Award, and the Peter David Faith Memorial Award for her compositions. Commissions have come from the ensemble Non Sequitur, the yesaroun' Duo, Ensemble Eleven, and individual performers from around the country. Her music has been performed in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, California, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.

an ocean by itself, written in 2001 for the yesaroun' Duo, grew from a fascination with the play of internal and external forces in a person's life. I found these words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay "Experience," to be particularly provocative: "Underneath the inharmonious and trivial particulars, is a musical profession, the Ideal journeying always with us-the heaven without rent or seam."

There are several quotes in the piece, mostly textual but also musical. The second measure after rehearsal letter A begins the first of several iterations of music inspired by Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, whose James Agee text reads "It has become that time of evening when people sit on their porches, rocking gently and talking gently" Later, just before letter C, this text is whispered along with some other text from later in the same prose poem. The first line of another Agee poem set by Barber, "Sure on this Shining Night," is quoted in that passage, as well as lines of poetry by Shelley, Blake, and Yeats, and lyrics by the rock band U2. Later, lines from Robert Fitzgerald's translations of Virgil's Aeneid and Homer's Odyssey are spoken. The text at the beginning is mine.

All of the texts (including the musical quote) taken together refer to the internalized sound- (and speech)- tracks that we all live with, products of all the cultural "foods" we ingest. In part, …an ocean by itself is my meditation on an adjuration spoken by multi-media artist Bill Viola: "Be careful what you eat."

The title comes from a phrase I heard used to describe the patterns of Indian drumming. It refers to the idea that a body of sounds or ideas can constitute an "ocean" by itself, an enviornment in which it might be fun, or beautiful, or overwhelming to explore and play.


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