Projects


We create powerful experiences through chamber music, driven by artistic collaboration and dynamic engagement of the audience. We expand the repertoire for flute, clarinet and piano by partnering with compelling composers of our time.


 

Silent Spring Project

The Silent Spring Project is a concert program that Trillium Ensemble created in collaboration with composer Mark S. Fromm, sound designer Don Maue, producer Jason Allison, set designer Lisa Leibering, and lighting designer Antonio Colaruotolo. The trio first premiered the Silent Spring Project as part of the New Hazlett Theater’s Community Supported Art (CSA) performance series on April 14, 2016.

This project explores the impact of mankind on the environment using musical, visual, audio, and theatrical elements. Composer Mark S. Fromm re-imagines five of his pieces into a narrative that combines Buckminster Fuller's ideas about the future of humanity with Rachel Carson's warnings about releasing too many man-made chemicals into the environment. Instead of playing one piece after the other, in a traditional concert style,  the works are woven together to create one seamless story.

Inspired by Rachel Carson’s book of the same name, Mark's composition Silent Spring is the climax of the Silent Spring Project. Carson was one of the first in the environmentalist movement to criticize the use of DDT and the potentially devastating effects it could have on the earth. The Silent Spring Project takes this idea further, exploring humanity’s role in affecting the environment, from industrialization to conservation. Fromm's hopeful ending inspires us to continue efforts to preserve our environment.


Eleven Echoes of Autumn

In 1965, George Crumb composed Eleven Echoes of Autumn for violin, alto flute, clarinet and piano. Each echo explores many varied timbres from the instruments. Special effects are featured on the violin and piano and in Echo 4, the flute and clarinet play into the piano. A line from Federico Garcia Lorca, one of Crumb’s favorite poets, is spoken during Echoes 5-7: “y los arcos rotos donde sufre el tiempo” (“and the broken arches where time suffers”).

In 2013, Trillium Ensemble filmed and recorded this inspiring piece. Moved by the eeriness of Crumb’s work, we wanted to present a video that matched the mood of the piece. The East Liberty Presbyterian Church (Pittsburgh, PA) graciously donated their sanctuary space for our project. Having wanted to work with violin friend and colleague, Dawn Posey, Eleven Echoes of Autumn presented a wonderful opportunity to collaborate. Sound engineer, Chris Catone, and videographer, Emily Wingfield, completed our artistic collaboration. Trillium’s flutist for this project was then-member, Deidre Huckabay. Current members, Katie Palumbo and Rachael Stutzman Cohen also perform.

11 echoes of autumn.jpg

Echo 1. Fantastico
Echo 2. Languidamente, quasi lontano ('hauntingly')
Echo 3. Prestissimo
Echo 4. Con bravura
Echo 5. Dark, intense
Echo 6. Dark, intense
Echo 7. Dark, intense
Echo 8. Feroce, violento
Echo 9. Serenamente, quasi lontano ('hauntingly')
Echo 10. Senza misura ('gently undulating')
Echo 11. Adagio ('like a prayer')


The mill

The Mill is an original multimedia production created by composer/producer Christopher Catone for live musical performance along with projected film. It documents the history of steelmaking in America with its epicenter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The film chronicles the rise of the steel industry in the United States, its most prosperous years and its eventual decline and collapse. The film includes edited footage from Steel: A Symphony of Industry (1936), The Open Road (1951), Valley Town (1940), and The City (1939).

Trillium had the privilege of working on The Mill with Catone in April of 2012 when we premiered at Duquesne University’s Pappert Center in the Mary Pappert School Music. We later recorded the soundtrack for The Mill in August 2012 with Pamela Murchison (flutist and founding member of Trillium), Francois DuBois (sound engineer/producer) and Christopher Catone (producer/composer).  

All footage for The Mill is used with permission from Prelinger Archives. Additional footage was graciously provided by Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area. Special thanks to Ron Baraff, Director of Archives at Rivers of Steel.