Sadie Harrison-Lachrymae (Tennessee) after Cotton Eye Joe

Posted on June 19th, 2014 by


Sadie Harrison-Lachrymae (Tennessee) after Cotton Eye Joe(Dorothy and Elliott’s Piece) Shaftesbury 29th March 2014

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

UNEDITED outtake. Recorded 18th June 2014 St John the Baptist Aldbury (in the presence of the composer) Engineer-Jonathan Haskell-Astounding Sounds.

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-'Lachrymae' (Nashville 26th February 2014)

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-‘Lachrymae’ (Nashville 26th February 2014)

This piece comes from ‘Room 2’ of Sadie Harrison’s ‘Gallery’. I premiered Book 1 at Wilton’s Music Hall in 2013.

My score of Sadie Harrison's 'Lachrymae' complete with  indications of resultant tones and the 'darkness-point' one of which seems lie at the heart of so many of Sadie's pieces.

My score of Sadie Harrison’s ‘Lachrymae’ complete with indications of resultant tones and the ‘darkness-point’ one of which seems lie at the heart of so many of Sadie’s pieces.

‘Lacrhymae’ is written in response to a small painting which I made in Nashville, TN, a month before. The painting had a number of sources. The reason for the title was two-fold. I was working with composer David Gorton on his evolving piece based on the epnonymous John Dowland work.

However the impulse for the composition, and uppermost in my mind while I worked on the painting, was the Dorothy (Dee Dee) Schwartz, who died on in the first week of March. I was privileged to have been Dee Dee’s friend and was enormously affected by her paintings, three of which hang in my apartment. There is a fascinating artistic relationship between her paintings and the music of her husband Elliott. They both continue to teach me so much.

Sadie has known Dee Dee and Elliott for twenty years; this piece is for both of them, as you can see from the title. In the middle, it bursts into ‘a quirky little hoedown’, a moment of joy and dancing, which reminds me of the Civil War folk song, ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’ which is one it’s sources-this is was recorded in 1929 by Gid Tanner and his ‘Skillet Lickers’ (two fiddles, banjo, guitar) and, to me, they suddenly appear out of the mist, and are gone.

With composer Elliott Schwartz, his wife, artist Deedee Schwartz, and writer Malene Skaerved. Portland, Maine-August 2011. Breakfast, and plotting more developments for our Jefferson/Cosway project

With composer Elliott Schwartz, his wife, artist Deedee Schwartz, and writer Malene Skaerved. Portland, Maine-August 2011. Breakfast, and plotting more developments for our Jefferson/Cosway project