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22045551
22045551
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22045551

Cameos (Bold Beauty): 6 Songs on Poems by Molly Fillmore

By Juliana Hall

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Mezzo-soprano voice and piano - Late Intermediate
Composed by Juliana Hall (1958-). E.C. Schirmer Publishing #8993. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.8993).

Item Number: EC.8993

English.

The song cycle Cameos (Bold Beauty) came about when singer Molly Fillmore commissioned Juliana Hall to compose songs based on six of her own poems, each poem being a poetic illumination of a lesser-known woman visual artist. Fillmore elaborated, "The idea for this cycle came while watching an episode of Antiques Roadshow on PBS. One of the pieces analyzed was a painting by a female American artist from the early 20th century. In discussing the work, the fact that the artist faced challenges with recognition due to her gender was mentioned, and I wondered how many female artists we should know more about, and do not, because their work was not created by a man. This inspired me to ask myself if there was something I, as a singer, could do to highlight some female American artists? I thought of the song group Le travail du peintre by Francis Poulenc and decided that there is good reason for a similar type of song group with female painters as its muse. The title of the poetry set, Bold Beauty, is straightforward. All of these women created beauty not only for themselves, but also for us, then known and unknown audience; in order to do so, as products of their time and our world, they needed to be bold. They challenged prescribed roles and expectations because they were compelled by art; and we are so grateful for their boldness and their beauty."

 
Hall writes of Cameos, "I'm grateful to Molly for sending me her wonderful poems, so full of brilliant color and sparkling musicality. Ordinarily I take my cue from words alone, but with Cameos, this was the first time I've ever had two sources of inspiration to guide me in my composing: Molly's lively and imaginative words, of course, but also the creations of the six women artists who were the subject of Molly's poems, the amazing artwork itself, gave me a second perspective from which to view this project as I wrote, and provided a unique experience for me that made these songs a special joy to write." This mezzo-soprano version of Cameos was written in September, 2018 and premiered on October 18, 2018 by Molly Fillmore and pianist Elvia Puccinelli at the national annual gathering of collaborative pianists known as CollabFest, sponsored that year by the University of North Texas School of Music in Denton, TX, where Hall had been invited to be resident composer. Cameos was originally composed as a soprano cycle in 2017, but in 2018 Fillmore asked Hall to make the songs into a mezzo-soprano version for her. The two versions are largely the same; however, there are enough re-written passages for the mezzo-soprano to account for range changes (and adjustments necessitated by these) that Cameos (Bold Beauty) should truly be considered a separate work for mezzo-soprano in its own right, in addition to sharing with the soprano version the lofty goals of bringing attention and acclaim to these six accomplished women artists.
 
Contents:
Sarah Albritton
Kay WalkingStick
Nellie Mae Rowe
Alice Dalton Brown
Agnes Pelton
Corita Kent.

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