Several current and former members of the Southeastern Louisiana University music program have produced a CD of original music for saxophone with piano and electronic sounds, university officials said.
The album “Embers” is named for the title piece, composed by Kari Besharse, lecturer of music, a news release from the university said.
“The work combines facets of contemporary music with new technological resources, traditional instruments and ensembles,” said Besharse, who coordinated the production. Assisting in production were instructor Philip Schuessler and Richard A. Schwartz, previously with Southeastern and now with Eastern New Mexico University.
“The synthetic sounds used in the album include electronic accompaniment, electronic sounds and live sounds from nature that all interplay,” Besharse said.
The album is available through Centaur Records, one of the oldest and largest independent classical labels. Cover art was designed by Southeastern art instructor Ben Diller.
Performers on the album include Schuessler and Schwartz and Southeastern professor and Grammy-nominated pianist Kenneth Boulton.
“We have a wide diversity of talent at Southeastern that allowed us to develop a jazzy-classical sound with lots of interplay using only a few instruments and synthetic sound,” Schuessler said.
Tracks on the album include composer Ray Pizzi’s “Combat Zone” featuring Schwartz on alto saxophone; “Intervals I” by Schuessler with Schwartz on saxophone and Boulton on piano; “Angels,” composed by professor Stephen Suber, which recalls the memories of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” with Schwartz and Boulton; Schuessler’s “Interruptions III” featuring Schwartz on saxophone with electroacoustic music; Schuessler’s “Driftwood Box Puzzle” with Schwartz on saxophone and Schuessler on piano; and Besharse’s “Embers” featuring Schwartz and Schuessler.”“I was truly honored when Richard Schwartz wanted to include my composition “Angels” in the project,” Suber said. “This is an ideal situation for any composer — to have my composition performed and recorded by performers of the highest caliber, to have my piece played with loving attention to detail and accuracy, and to hear my work being brought to life almost as I imagined it would sound. I am thrilled with the result.”