Alumna Molly Barth (AD Flute Performance, 2000) recently released a CD that includes performances from fellow CCM alumni Matt Albert (AD Violin Performance, 2000) and Stuart Gerber (MM Percussion Performance, 1998; DMA Percussion Performance, 2003). The new record, thorn, is a collection of works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang and was released on the Cantaloupe Music record label.

The Grammy Award-winning flutist is a Cantaloupe artist and has established herself as one of the leading performers of contemporary music for flute. Lang approached Barth to collaborate on thorn after hearing her perform. The record is named after one of Lang’s pieces for unaccompanied flute, which is also featured on the album.

“David Lang’s music is incredibly focused,” Barth says. “Each of his pieces has a very specific goal in mind, and he is meticulous in the manner in which he expresses his musical intent for each work. David approached me to collaborate on this album after hearing two of my performances of thorn for solo flute. He was captivated by the energy embodied in these performances and was intrigued enough to invite me to record many of his chamber works.”

Also featured on the new CD are violinist Matt Albert and percussionist Stuart Gerber. Albert formerly served as the director of chamber music at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and is currently the chair of the Department of Chamber Music at the University of Michigan School of Music. Gerber regularly performs around the world as a soloist and is an Associate Professor of Percussion at Georgia State University.

Barth is one of the founding members of new music sextet eighth blackbird, which she performed with from 1996 to 2006. Currently, Barth is part of Duo Damiana with guitarist Dieter Hennings. The duo’s forthcoming CD on Innova Recordings will feature a work by CCM composition professor Michael Fiday.

Barth also co-founded the Beta Collide New Music Project, which creates interdisciplinary art as well as music-only performances and recordings. She is the flutist in the Oregon Wind Quintet and is an Associate Professor of Flute at the University of Oregon.

“I perform solo, chamber, and orchestral music spanning several centuries. All music requires the same diligence in practice and attention to detail, and I approach it all in pretty much the same manner. Musical intent of each note, intricacies of phrasing, and knowledge of each performers’ musical role are equally relevant in preparation and performance,” Barth says.

In a review of thorn for The Log Journal, Steve Smith writes, “What emerges is a varied yet consistent overview of Lang’s chamber-music activities… The performances, by Barth and a small host of excellent associates (including fellow former blackbird Matt Albert on violin), strike just the right balance between nervous tension and technical security.”

Visit the Cantaloupe Music’s website for information on how to preview or purchase thorn.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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