On August 4, 2016, the Delgani String Quartet received a grant from the Creative Heights initiative of the Oregon Community Foundation to commission and record a new composition for string quartet inspired by the Oregon Cascade Range.
The Oregon Community Foundation describes the Creative Heights initiative as a “four-year initiative (2014-2017) aiming to provide artists and other cultural creatives an opportunity to stretch their creative practice, provide unique opportunities for Oregonians to experience innovative arts and culture, and to increase Oregon’s cultural visibility and vitality.”
Delgani’s Cascade Quartet Project is a two-year endeavor to connect music to landscape through composition, performance, and documentation. This year, composer Benjamin Krause will be writing a new piece for string quartet inspired by the cascade peaks visible from the Dee Wright Observatory atop the Mckenzie Pass. The composition will be completed in June 2017 at which point Delgani will begin rehearsing and recording. In August/September 2017, Delgani will perform the work from atop the Dee Wright Observatory while using HD video equipment to capture the surrounding peaks. The video footage will then be combined with a studio recording of the piece to create a musical documentary of the Oregon Cascade Range. In collaboration with the Cascade Geographic Society, the documentary will be enhanced with information about the history and formation of the Range. The video will be used in the Society’s museums and at presentations by Delgani throughout the 2017/2018 concert season.
The Cascade Geographic Society’s mission is to “Preserve, Educate, & Promote the Cultural, Historical, & Natural Resources of the Cascade Mountain Range & all of the Lands & Waters that it Influences…” The society will help Delgani create an informative documentary that will be both educational and entertaining. The video will be in a multi-media exhibit at the Society’s living history village, The Oregon Country Settlement, where they maintain several museums. They have specific plans for its incorporation into an installation at the Wy’East Museum on Native American History and Culture during the 2017/2018 season.
Composer Benjamin Krause’s works are widely performed across the U.S. as well as internationally, including premieres at Brevard Music Festival (Brevard, NC), the Stamford International Music Festival (Stamford, UK) and at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, where he was awarded the Prix Marion Tournon Branly. His “Pathways” for chamber orchestra was selected as a winner of the inaugural Houston Symphony Young Composer Competition and will be performed on three subscription concerts in September 2016. He scored Timothy Lanzone’s feature film Travelling Salesman (2011), which was an “official selection” 2012 New York International Film Festival and won Best Picture at the 2012 Silicon Valley Film Festival. It is currently being shown at festivals around the world, including Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, and across the United States. A graduate of Rice University (D.M.A.) and the University of Oregon (M.M.), Krause is Visiting Professor of Music at Valparaiso University, where he teaches composition, theory, orchestration, and jazz combo.