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Treasured Tunes featuring Andrew Crane

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Podcast Transcript


Welcome to Treasured Tunes where professors from the East Carolina University School of Music offer commentary about selected musical pieces. Please sit back and enjoy the music.

Dr. Andrew Crane Speaking

My name is Andrew Crane. I am the director of choral activities at East Carolina University. The piece we will be presenting to you today is called Spirits by Ryan Murphy. Ryan Murphy is a friend of mine and a composer and also a conductor. He is currently the associate artistic director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He also composes and arranges a lot of music for that ensemble. I asked Ryan to write this piece. It was commissioned and premiered by the East Carolina University chamber singers, which is the group that I conduct here. I asked him to write it this year, and we sang it for our October 2011 concert. It is based on a poem of Robert Bridges, an English poet. I wanted to read a little bit of the text, which is very descriptive. It goes like this: Angels, spirits of sleep, white robed with silver hair in your meadows fair where the willows weep and the sad moonbeam on the gliding stream writes her scattered dreams. It talks a lot about angels, dreams, sleep, and thoughts that come to us in our sleep. Because of that it’s very mysterious and a little bit dreamlike in its composition. You will hear throughout a cello obligato line, which is played wonderfully by an ECU student Cameron Grimes. We were very fortunate that he accompanied us on this piece. The recording that you will hear was recorded in Peace Presbyterian Church in Winterville. This song will be featured on our upcoming CD, which will be released this coming fall. Hope you enjoy it.

Music playing composed by Ryan Murphy (Spirits, conducted by Dr. Andrew Crane and performed by the East Carolina University Chamber Singers)

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