Distant Monuments

Purchase at any Delgani performance or mail a check for $25 ($20 + $5 shipping) to:
Delgani String Quartet
PO Box 11131
Eugene OR 97440

Liner Notes

Benjamin Krause | String Quartet No. 1, “Cascades”

I visited the McKenzie Pass on a cold, misty day in late October of 2016. As I emerged above the tree line, a gloomy yet beautiful sight greeted me: as far as my eyes could see, fields of barren lava rock occasionally punctuated by lone pine trees, all shrouded in the (now icy) mists. I spent several hours at the pass, mainly in the stone shelter of the Dee Wright Observatory, and saw no other pedestrians during my visit. I began jotting down short descriptions and phrases that occurred to me as I took in my surroundings – “Lava fields. Craters and crevices. Lonely trees. Sharp edges. Desolation,” and later, musical descriptions to correspond with these: “Scratchy, metallic, percussive, distant, desolate, forlorn…” Though everything was blanketed in the frozen mist, I knew that beyond, in the distance, stood the magnificent peaks – the Sisters, Black Butte, Mt. Washington. It was in the imagining of these distant monuments which led me to the apotheosis and finale of my quartet, a movement which envisions these peaks emerging from behind the clouds.

The four quartet movements are musical reflections of the moods and vantage points, either real or imagined, and the general impression left on me by my visit up to the pass. The music takes the listener on a journey that begins with the barren, lonely expanse of lava rock and ends with a view of the mountains beyond.

Benjamin Krause

Oregon Portraits | Violin & Piano

In 2013, Wyatt True commissioned four works for violin and piano, inspired by landscapes of Oregon. The compositions were performed at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon in a multimedia concert including images of the landscapes. Benjamin Krause’s Movie Music for Portland involves a simple melody unfolding over a pulsing, hypnotic background, and creating a cinematic soundtrack that evokes a sense of nostalgia and bittersweet beauty. The Activity of Sand is inspired by Oregon’s coastal dunes, where beautiful sand patterns and formations are sculpted by shifting winds, creating ever-flowing, kaleidoscopic designs. The music evokes a mysterious atmosphere wherein the musical elements are similarly developed and transformed. J. M. Gerraughty’s pieces are a study in contrast, inspired by the rain shadow of the Oregon Coast Range. The Air Is a Chamber depicts the sodden stillness of Oregon’s temperate rain forest, while The Earth Is A Cell embodies the gritty dryness of the state’s desert region.

Photos:

Top left: City of Portland Archives, Aerial of Downtown Portland East to Mt. Hood c.1969
Nature photography: Chris Malone Photography

David Servias

Pianist David Servias performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician. He has appeared with orchestras, and toured in Japan with the Oregon State University Wind Ensemble, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. In addition to performing new music and music of composers whose music is less frequently performed, he often appears as a jazz pianist. David currently teaches piano, music theory, and ear training at Oregon State University.

Benjamin Krause

Benjamin Krause’s work has been recognized by the Houston Symphony, the Presser Foundation, ASCAP, Da Camera of Houston, and The American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. His piece Pathways, for chamber orchestra, was named the winner of the Houston Symphony’s inaugural Young Composer Competition and was described as “attractive…the composer craftily reconstituted orders of events to create a compelling dramatic arc. Krause’s excellent control of dissipating energy for the serene ending of the work was most impressive” (concer- tonet.com). He currently serves as Visiting Professor of Music at Valparaiso University, where he teaches theory, composition, jazz, and leads the VU New Music Ensemble (VUNUMU), which he founded. Recent commissions include those from the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, the Network for New Music of Philadelphia, and the Delgani String Quartet. He holds degrees from Rice University (DMA), the University of Oregon (M.M.) and Valparaiso University (B.M.).

J. M. Gerraughty

Jason Michael Gerraughty is a composer of vibrant, dramatic, and bold music. His musical influences are diverse, ranging from the small-town New England municipal bands he performed with in his youth, to the orchestral, chamber, and gamelan ensembles he has performed with as an adult. Gerraughty earned his BM at the Hartt School, his MM at the University of Oregon, and his PhD at Stony Brook University. His music has been recognized by his colleagues: recent awards include 2013 PARMA Student Composer Competition, the 2012 Manhattan Beach Frank Ticheli Composition Contest (Finalist), the American Composers Forum Finale® National Composition Compe- tition (Honorable Mention), and The ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (Finalist). Gerraughty lives in the desert outside Los Angeles.