About me

I am an active composer, music teacher, farmer, and organizer of music events. I share a monthly Music as Meditation concert with listeners and fellow musicians and I organize several concerts of new music each year. I use this blog to tell people about my musical endeavors. You can find pages about The Davis Hill Farm and The Davis Hill Studio on this blog. Look for the orange link on the right-hand side of the page.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


     Who says conversation has to involve words? On Saturday, January 30, and Sunday, January 31, you can witness Dialogues, a performance of new music with dance and visual art. Ellen Schwindt composed a set of five duets for violin and viola and Jeanne Limmer choreographed them. They are counterpoint—a musical conversation involving similar but independent parts. Jeanne brings out the human side of this idea through evocative movement, using the talents of four expressive dancers: Jeanne herself with Lori Richardson, Jamie Robinson, and Kelley Simpson. Ellen Schwindt and Chris Nourse will play these duets while the dancers move around them.

     Ralph Farris, founding and artistic director and violist of the string quartet Ethel contributes two pieces to the concert. Ralph's sense of humor comes through in his table top music for two violins. Chris Nourse and Ralph will bring this duet to life. Ralph is also contributing a piece for viola and piano that he and his mother will play. His mother commissioned this piece in honor of his father, Ralph H. Farris, Sr.
     A reprise of Ellen Schwindt's viola sonata will be performed by a mother-son duo in the concert. Ralph Farris works with Nancy Farris, pianist and organist known in these parts for her contributions to choral music through organizing and accompanying, to play this neo-romantic sonata. During this performance a montage of projected photography provides a narrative-without-words for the listener. The photographic images include a narrative of sorts that may be described as two walks and a nap.

     George Wiese brings his virtuosic trombone playing to realize Ellen Schwindt's newly penned Cycles for Trombone and Piano. The Cycles are composed on an altered scale related to the familiar blues scale. This scale has two distinct centers, rather than the one we are used to with our normal Ionic and Aeolian scales. You may think of the two nodes of the scale as analogous to the two foci of an ellipse.
     Saturday's concert takes place at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center at Fryeburg Academy. It is presented by and benefits Mountain Top Music Center. Tickets are $15 at the door. Sunday's Concert is at 3 PM at the Dance Studio on the campus of Brewster Academy and benefits The Composer's Consortium. For more information contact Ellen Schwindt at 603-447-2898 or ellen.m.schwindt@gmail.com.

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