MP3 Dennis Ruff - L.A. Frames of Mind
To the composer, the music on this CD reflects the better nature of Southern California. It is contemporary classical in style, somewhat jazz inflected, cool and urbane.
18 MP3 Songs
All of the music on this CD was composed in Los Angeles in the last five years; and I have collected these works together because they are all, to one degree or another, site-specific. All of the music on this CD has something else in common: It is upbeat and unusually easy on the ear for contemporary classically-oriented compositions.
The TRIO FOR FLUTE, GUITAR & CELESTA, the SONATA FOR HARP & PERCUSSION, and BLACK WATER FLASHING are intended as portraits (and celebrations) of parks and residential areas within a few miles northeast for downtown Los Angeles. The VARIATIONS FOR PIANO & PERCUSSION, "SPRING," the CHILD''S PLAY SUITE FOR OBOE & PIANO, and SUMMER NIGHT FOR FLUTE, OBOE, HARP & PIANO do not carry geographical titles. Still, to my mind, this music is quintessentially Southern Californian. But if these works remind you of Waterloo, Iowa and Vero Beach, Florida (for example) that''s perfectly OK with me.
I confess that when I composed the THREE WOMEN SUITE in 1999, I had in mind three legenday women -- Cleopatra, Ophelia and Salome. But when I revisited the scores five years later in putting together this CD, the sometime jazz inflected nature of the music led me to think of them in terms of now. You will find in the NOTES ON THE MUSIC included in the CD elaborations of who these women might be in terms of contemporary L.A.
Finally, the themes in VARIATIONS ON THEMES OF MYASKOVSKY are from Myaskovsky''s Twenty-First Symphony from l940, a work for which I have a particular fondness. Having composed my VARIATIONS for solo piano in 1999, I rewrote it for harp & piano on receiving the news in March, 2004, of the death in L.A. of a friend -- Paul Winfield, the actor. The revised work is dedicated to his memory, and provides a fitting conclusion, I believe, to this CD of L.A. portraits.