Scott Slapin, a violist and composer here in town, recently recruited me to play his new Trio Sonata with him and his violist wife and musical colleague Tanya Solomon.
My own recording projects tend to be somewhat gradual affairs. The repertoire is made up of music I've had for at least a few months, sometimes years. The preparation goes through several cycles of: "It's ready." "Let me try a practice recording." "I hate the way I'm playing this." "It might be ready in two more months." The recording process itself can be spread out over several weeks or months. Then it gets released when it's good and ready.
Scott and Tanya work fast though. Besides their professional orchestra careers, they've played in film scores and with several high-profile touring soloists. I won't say exactly how long I had the score before recording day, but it was not a few months. Fortunately the composition is beautiful, with some haunting ideas that followed me around all day while I was learning it, logically constructed and easy to follow. And it wasn't overly hard to play. I even like the recording. I think listeners will love it too. It's reminiscent of chamber music by Shostakovich but truly with Scott's own voice. Also, Scott and Tanya sound glorious.
The recording is part of a full album of Scott's compositions. I'll update when it is released, and there will surely be something on violaduo.com about it as well.
There will be a live performance of the Trio Sonata and other pieces at the Unitarian Society of Amherst on Sunday May 15 2016.