Premiere of Dana Wilson’s Hanging at the Brasserie
Late in the fall of 2019, three high school trumpeters in Ithaca, NY made plans to attend the 2020 International Trumpet Guild Conference and to perform on one of the Prelude concerts. They began working on several unaccompanied trios, and then, through their teacher, Jane Dunnick, asked Dana Wilson to compose a short piece for this performance. Dr. Wilson was kind enough to agree to write a piece, and the result was Hanging at the Brasserie (a brief conversation for three trumpets).
By February, they had the piece in hand, and were into rehearsals of all three pieces they would play in the prelude concert. Then, over a very short time, the ITG conference was canceled, high school classes moved online, and there was neither a place nor an opportunity to rehearse together, let alone perform. After a couple months of online lessons, Jane Dunnick decided to teach in person, but outside with roughly 15 feet of separation. This proved successful, except when it rained, and the trio decided to rehearse outside as well, with a goal of recording it outside. To eliminate the issue of wind blowing the music, and performing without a conductor, they memorized the music. A friend of Jane’s, retired Ithaca College voice professor David Parks, also runs a recording studio. He offered to record the trio’s performance of the Wilson piece which led to the video you see and hear here. The video and sound were recorded in the field where they are seen playing, and David matched the sound to the video, shot with various cameras, including a drone. Because of the separate tracks for video and audio, there was no editing of the audio, Jane just chose the best of the three recordings.
The rather stark background for the recording may be appropriate. Dana wrote the piece before Covid-19 caused shutdowns. A “brasserie” is an informal French bar that serves a small menu. Dana’s title indicates he had in mind three friends meeting at the bar just to hang a bit. Very soon after its completion, bars, restaurants, theaters, auditoriums – almost everything was shut down. So instead of a bar, the young men meet, with social distance, in a yard where there is no food or drink, and the only other souls are stone people.
You may view the completed video here:
(Source: Jane and Kim Dunnick)