Marlboro College



MARLBORO, VERMONT – Composer and multi-instrumentalist Elizabeth Brown will perform a program featuring traditional music for shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and dan bau (Vietnamese monochord) as well as her composition Vox Inhumanae on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Apple Tree Building at Marlboro College.

Brown will also talk about her experiences studying these two Asian instruments, including a residency last year at the Hanoi National Conservatory of Music, where she was a visiting artist through a grant from the Asian Cultural Council.

Brown’s Vox Inhumanae, completed in 2003, is a series of instrumental monologues for three instruments with otherworldly vocal qualities. In addition to shakuhachi and dan bau, she will play theremin. The theremin was invented by Leon Theremin (1896-1993) in 1919 in Russia. An analog electronic instrument, it’s played by interrupting radio waves with one’s hands. The player appears to be playing the air. Popular in movie soundtracks in midcentury, the instrument gradually dissappeared from the music scene until a 1995 documentary of Theremin’s life started a renaissance, inspiring a new generation of theremin players.

Brown was born in 1953 in Camden, Alabama, where she grew up on an agricultural research station. She received a Master’s degree in flute performance from The Juilliard School, and started composing in her late 20’s. Since then, her music has been heard around the world, with performances in Japan, the Soviet Union, Colombia, Australia and Vietnam as well as across the United States and Europe. She has given solo moonlight shakuhachi performances in Maine’s Acadia National Park and in the sculpture quarry at the Lacoste School for the Arts in Provence. Orpheus, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, and Newband have all premiered her compositions. Brown has been a fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy and at the MacDowell Colony. A solo CD, Blue Minor: Chamber Music by Elizabeth Brown will be released later this season by Albany Records.

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This event is free and open to the public.

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