Articles

The Red Door: Clarinet Works of David Maslanka – A conversation with Jeremy Reynolds and Matthew Maslanka

This conversation is about the album The Red Door: Clarinet Works of David Maslanka (2021)

Works discussed:

Three Pieces (1975)
Fourth Piece (1979)
Little Symphony (1989)
Eternal Garden (2009)
Trio No. 1 (1971/2012)
Trio No. 2 (1981)
A Litany for Courage and the Seasons (1988)

Matthew Maslanka: My name is Matthew Maslanka. I’m David Maslanka’s son. I’m being joined by Jeremy Reynolds who is professor of clarinet at University of Denver Lamont School of Music. And he has just released a two-CD set of basically everything dad ever wrote for chamber clarinet. And it is just a stunning piece of work. And I am grateful to be able to talk with you about it today.

Jeremy Reynolds: So thank you. Matthew, thank you so much. This has been a long time coming. And thank you for speaking with me. And anytime I can talk about your dad’s work and working with him and stuff. It’s always my pleasure. So it’s great. Fantastic.

MM: Why don’t you tell me a little bit about how this thing came to be?

JR: Yeah. So a very good friend of mine, Peggy Dees, who your dad also knew quite well. She was integral in getting Eternal Garden off the ground. She was I think the leader of the commission project. And she contacted – No, we met actually doing a recording session down in Florida for I think it was Carl Fischer. And we became really good friends and she roped me into the commissioning project for […]

Rehearsing Alex and the Phantom Band and Saint Francis: Middle Tennessee State University (Oct 2016)

In October 2016, I (Matthew Maslanka) accompanied my father to Middle Tennessee State University where I photographed and recorded his masterclasses and rehearsals. This is his rehearsal on October 25. He helped produce his final CD during this visit.

Audio Recording (1:22:57)

(transcript below)

Reed Thomas
Good afternoon, everybody. So, the plan for next couple of days, we’re going to start with some sections of Alex and the Phantom Band, then we’re going to move on, once we’ve had the chance to dress and get ready, we’re going to move to St. Francis. And the second movement, first, then we are going do the first movement and during those times Dr. Maslanka is going to be working with you. Helping, so we can make sure that we produce the music in a way that is the best of our ability. (inaudible)

So we are very privileged to have him here to work with us this week. So if you will please welcome Dr. David Maslanka.

David Maslanka
Thank you, it’s an honor and will evolve as a pleasure as we get going together. My whole need in the music making is just that, that we make music together, as opposed to technical chunks of this and that. We’re going to make music all through the rest of our week together today. So I want to start, not take too much time with you now just to let you know who I am. And we’ll start with our friend, Alex here. This is a neat little […]

Masterclass: Middle Tennessee State University (Oct 2016)

In October 2016, I (Matthew Maslanka) accompanied my father to Middle Tennessee State University where I photographed and recorded his masterclasses and rehearsals. This is his first masterclass, on October 24. He helped produce his final CD during this visit.

Audio Recording (1:05:22)

(transcript below)

 

 

David Maslanka
Thanks for that. Thanks for for being here.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about composing and to show you some things concerning Bach chorales. This has been a foundational thing for me for a long time.

A huge amount of things have happened in the 20th century and in our own time. The options that you have for technical things in music are extraordinary. You have to kind of not look at certain things in order to be able to focus on something that you might really want to do. And it might seem like a complete backward kind of motion to take something like the Bach chorales and make them a center of the life. And I’ll just tell you a bit about that.

I’ve written a lot of music. Now there’s something about I think about 150 opus numbers at this point, and still very alive and very much interested in writing.

But composing makes me nervous. And does that make any sense? Composing makes me nervous. Because I don’t know what’s going to happen. And I don’t know what’s supposed to happen. Right? I don’t start I can’t start with a pre plan of any kind. I simply have to open and trust […]

Liner Notes for David Maslanka’s Final CD

This is a portion of the liner notes for David Maslanka: Works For Wind Ensemble, his final CD. The disc will be released on January 8, 2021.

Sacred Spaces

By Matthew Maslanka

Dr Reed Thomas makes a mean paella. For as seriously as he takes it, I suppose he should, but it was still a revelation to eat. The secret, I’m told, is in the heat and timing. He had a simply enormous pan that cooked over a charcoal pit, low and slow. Adding the rice and stock up front, he gradually added the other elements – shrimp, saffron and asparagus, among a host of other delicious treats – at exactly the right intervals. After pulling the pan off the fire, while the paella cooled enough for us to eat, we gathered for some pictures — and then we dug in. The socarrat, the lovely toasty caramelised Valencia rice at the bottom of the pan, was delightfully crunchy, flavoured with not only the seafood stock, but also every one of the layers of goodness on top.

Dr Thomas also runs a hidden gem of a band programme an hour outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro punches well above its weight; the ensembles there show remarkable training and professionalism.

I started publishing the music of my father, David Maslanka, in 2012. I’m the guy who prepares the music for printing, gets it printed, distributed and sold; and manages the licensing. I also accompanied Dad around the […]

Interview with Tiffany Woods (2003)

In May 2003, Tiffany Woods emailed David a series of questions in the course of writing a paper. She was a student at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and taking a Band Literature course with Dr. John Locke. David wrote a thorough response. The interview has been excerpted from their correspondence and interleaved here. It has been lightly edited for spelling and style.

Tiffany Woods: I’ve read your interview with saxophonist Russell Peterson and first I want to talk a little about your compositional process and you referred to what you termed “active imagining.” While to some degree this makes sense in terms of a ‘programmatic’ piece, such as A Child’s Garden of Dreams and maybe even the Mass, when you sit down to “compose a symphony” does the same concept still apply?

David Maslanka: “Active Imagining” is a term used by the psychologist Carl Jung. It is a way of moving the conscious mind into the space of the unconscious. They closest thing to it that most people do is daydreaming. The difference is in being aware that it is happening, and in finding ways to deepen the experience. The result is that it is possible to approach the unconscious directly and to ask for the direction or energy that wants to become music. The process applies equally to all kinds of music. It isn’t about whether the music has a story, but about opening the channel […]

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 35, Damon Talley’s Interview of David

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature one of David's very last interviews. In April of 2017, Damon Talley - Director of Bands at LSU - had the opportunity to sit down with David and discuss Symphony No. 4 during a residency with the LSU Wind Ensemble.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 34, Julian Velasco’s Interview of Gary Green

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature Julian Velasco's interview of Gary Green from the Wharton Center in East Lansing, MI from October 24, 2017.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 113, Amazing New Student Performances

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we are excited to feature three amazing new student performances of David's music: Give Us This Day, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble, and The Seeker.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 33, John Floridis’s Interview of David

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature an episode from Montana Public Radio's Musician's Spotlight featuring John Floridis interviewing David about his music and background as a composer.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 32, Julian Velasco’s Interview of David – Part 2

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature Part 2 of Julian Velasco's interview of David from his home in Missoula, MT in 2016.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 111, Freshly Uploaded to the Web!

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we are exited to feature new performances of three works just uploaded to the web in the past seven days: Symphony No. 10: The River of Time, Recitation Book, and Illumination.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 31, Julian Velasco’s Interview of David – Part 1

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature Part 1 of Julian Velasco's interview of David from his home in Missoula, MT in 2016.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 30, Jim Tevenan’s Interview of David

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature an episode from Spokane Public Radio's From The Studio featuring Jim Tevenan interviewing David about his music. The Whitworth Wind Symphony had just performed David's Symphony No. 4.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 109, Lawrence University Conservatory of Music

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three ensembles from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in performances of David's music: Symphony No. 4, Crown of Thorns, and Tears.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 29, David on Dreaming and the Unconscious Mind

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature a speech David gave on matters of dreaming and the unconscious mind before a performance of A Child's Garden of Dreams by the James Madison University Wind Symphony.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 28, David in Rehearsal with Mike Fansler and the WIU Wind Ensemble

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature a video of David in rehearsal with Mike Fansler and the Western Illinois University Wind Ensemble from December 2011. The rehearsal footage captures an amazing realization of the "Doxology" from Symphony No. 4.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 107, Electrifying Saxophone Performances

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three electrifying new performances of works for saxophone: Recitation Book, Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble and Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 106, Dances

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three compositions in which David experiments with dance forms: Montana Music: Three Dances for Percussion, Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble, and Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Wind Ensemble.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 26, Joseph Lulloff Performs Saxophone Concerto in Lucerne

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature a classic performance of the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble with Gregg Hanson leading Joseph Lulloff, Alto Saxophone and the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble from the 2001 World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 104, Recordings of Lesser-Known Works

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature recordings of three lesser-known works of David's: Images from "The Old Gringo," Little Symphony on the name BArnEy CHilDS, and Orpheus.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 99, Even More New Performances of Chamber Music

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new performances of chamber works: Quintet for Winds No. 3, Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba, and Sonata for Bassoon and Piano.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 98, New and Classic Recordings of David’s Symphonies

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature two new performances of favorite symphonies: Symphony No. 4Symphony No. 7, and the recording of the premiere performance of "Allegro Molto" from Symphony No. 2.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 97, Playing in Quarantine

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three amazing examples of how a few talented musicians have used technology to play David's music and make it available on the internet for us to enjoy.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 96, Beautiful Solo Saxophone Performances

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three beautiful new solo performances of works for alto saxophone: Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble - Movements I and III, and Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano - Movement I.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 95, More New Performances of Chamber Music

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new performances of chamber works: Quintet for Winds No. 3, Quintet for Winds No. 1, and Sonata for Oboe and Piano.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 92, New Performances of Percussion Music

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new outstanding performances of some of David’s works for percussion: My Lady White, Hohner, and Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 12, O Earth, O Stars With Kim Risinger and Adriana Ransom

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature pictures from David's residency with Stephen K. Steele at Illinois State University prior to a concert featuring David's O Earth, O Stars performed by Kim Risinger (Flute), Adriana Ransom (Cello), and the Illinois State University Wind Symphony.

By |2020-03-19T15:10:06+00:0019 March 2020|Featured, From the Maslanka Archive, O Earth O Stars|

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 91, David’s Symphonies Around the World

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we travel from the corn fields of Iowa - to the exciting streets of Paris - to the historic sights of northern Portugal to feature three new performances of favorite symphonies: Symphony No. 9Symphony No. 10, and Symphony No. 5.