The Evolution of the Silent Spring Project
The Evolution of the Silent Spring Project
Music by Mark Fromm
A Citizen of the 21st Century Looks Back (2009)
Sonata Deus Ex Machina (2006)
I. Deus Ex
e to the x (2013)
Silent Spring (2012)
Trillium Ensemble is Pittsburgh’s only professional chamber music trio with the unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet and piano. Members Elise DePasquale, Rachael Stutzman, and Katie Palumbo are dedicated to performing a wide range of musical styles at the highest artistic level, while maintaining a special passion for recently composed music and collaboration with composers to create new works. Since its inception in 2010, Trillium Ensemble has premiered and commissioned works by composers Fernando Benadon, Christopher Catone, Mark S. Fromm, Federico Garcia, Nathan Hall, Matthew Heap, Scott Steele, and David B. Thomas. In the spring of 2015, American University (D.C.) invited the trio to participate in a residency where they read and performed student compositions, held a masterclass for students performing contemporary chamber works, and performed a concert of which included the music of American University faculty, Heap and Benadon. In Pittsburgh, the ensemble has performed in several of the city’s concert series including Bach, Beethoven and Brunch, Friday Afternoon Musicale Series at Chatham University, and Artful Wednesdays Series at the University of Pittsburgh. Trillium has also participated in the 2014 Pittsburgh Festival of New Music’s Soundpike and often performs live on Pittsburgh’s classical music station, WQED 89.3 FM. Embracing chamber music’s unique ability to intimately engage audiences, Trillium Ensemble seeks out creative ways to connect with its listeners. Performances include discussions about music and invitations for active audience participation. Trillium Ensemble enjoys collaborating with composers, visual artists, and videographers to present contemporary music in fresh and innovative ways. Upcoming projects of this kind include a collaboration titled The Silent Spring Project with composer Mark Fromm, sound engineer Don Maue, and producer Jason Allison, as part of the 2015-2016 season of the New Hazlett Theater’s Community Shared Art (CSA) Performance Series. The Silent Spring Project is an immersive musical experience, surrounding the audience with sound, light, music, and storytelling. Inspired by the writing of Pittsburgh native Rachel Carson and Buckminster Fuller, the Silent Spring Project explores our ideas of environmentalism, sustainability, and humanity’s role in the natural world. As part of their CSA Performance on April 14, 2016, the trio will be releasing their debut CD of Fromm’s five chamber pieces that inspired the Silent Spring Project.
Mark Fromm is a composer, musician, teacher, and artist who is fascinated and inspired by science, nature, astronomy, cosmology, and the unknown: ideas which he strives to bring to life in his work. His best work has come from commissions and the resulting collaboration with performers and conductors, including The Pittsburgh Philharmonic Orchestra, for whom he wrote the tone poem Frick Gates; the Baltimore ensemble Symphony Number One, writing his own Symphony No. 1; Carnegie Mellon University’s incredible Contemporary Music Ensemble, writing his contrabassoon concerto Lingua Cosmica, which, as a bassoon player, was a dream come true; and the Pittsburgh trio Trillium Ensemble, writing Silent Spring, based on ideas from Rachel Carson’s landmark book of the same name. Fromm was born and raised in Pittsburgh and received his BFA in Composition from Carnegie Mellon, studying with Nancy Galbraith, Leonardo Balada, and Efrain Amaya. He then moved to Montreal to earn his master’s degree at McGill University, studying with John Rea, before returning to Pittsburgh and earning his PhD at the University of Pittsburgh, studying with Amy Williams, Mathew Rosenblum, and Eric Moe. He now teaches music theory, composition, solfege, and rock orchestra at the Creative and Performing Arts School for grades 6-12 in downtown Pittsburgh to some of the most creative and motivated young musicians in the area. The 2014-15 school year was a whirlwind of activity with the commissioning, composing, and premiering of his contrabassoon concerto and his first symphony, both longer than any other pieces he had ever written. In 2016 he is looking forward to the performance of an ongoing collaboration with Trillium Ensemble; they are putting together a performance of five of his chamber pieces called The Silent Spring Project, which will be brought to life with live electronics, lighting, projections, and geodesic domes as part of the New Hazlett Theater’s CSA series.