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In this blog entry we remember David Maslanka (August 30, 1943 - August 6, 2017)

The quote in this entry's title was by Robert Hohner, who commissioned, performed, and recorded several works by David. I was lucky enough to witness and participate in their collaborations.

When David Maslanka was the featured guest at the composers symposium at Central Michigan University, he discussed topics such as the "Library of the Universe", as he called it, where one could go to learn about anyone, past or present. I imagined that one reached the library of the Universe through some sort of focussed, meditative state. He discussed his life, working regimen, family, nature, and time.
 
Maslanka's ideas about time were incredibly interesting. It seemed to me that he prescribed to the philosophy that all things were happening at the same time. Chronological time only exists for the sake of perception, and to make it possible to meet someone for coffee. He encouraged composers to see time in an expansive way, so as to work at a time when one is creative, and not feel confined to a schedule per se (unless that is what inspires you, or is necessary...).
 
The first photo below was taken at the memorial concert for Robert Hohner in Mount Pleasant, MI. David wrote a piece for the occasion, simply titled, Hohner. Pictured with David (center) are Jon Johnson (left), and Doug Corella (right). All three heroes of mine.

The second photo is from an old notebook of mine..a draft of a letter I sent to Maslanka over 20 years ago. This excerpt gives an idea of the importance I placed on him as a composer and a person. I was asking him to look at a score I was working on. He wrote back an expansive critique that was crushing and inspiring at the same time. Ultimately it was motivating. He was honest and genuine, direct, and extremely generous. A peaceful, loving, intelligent and kind genius. Thank you David.  Thomas Kozumplik

Maslanka Corella Johnson





















photo by Scott Thompson

Maslanka Letter Draft


PercussEnsApril2017 small

This winter was a mixture of deep creative hibernation, freelance work, and collaborations.  We now emerge with a very special collaborative project with the New York University percussion studio, to be premiered May 1 in New York City.

A couple of years ago, I approached Jonathan Haas, director of NYU percussion ensemble, about performing the album version of Loop 2.4.3’s Time-Machine_music.  Jonathan was interested, but the timing wasn’t right. As the conversation continued, it was decided that I would write a new large scale work, essentially a symphony for percussion.  

Jonathan clearly wanted a large work, and it ended up being huge. He has said the work is larger in scope than anything they have ever taken on. There will be 16 musicians sprawled across the stage with keyboard percussion, piano, timpani, drums, metals, and a literal cage of tuned gongs. Every performer plays multiple instruments; some are called upon to sing as well. I have been meeting with the ensemble throughout the winter as they ready the premiere on May 1.

I would like to thank Jonathan and his fabulous percussion studio for their dedication and thoughtful approach to this music. It has been an amazing opportunity and experience.

The 40-minute work, entitled Child of the Earth (un niño busca a Dios), is in four movements:

I. Mother Nature (la inocencia pérdida)
II. Mysticism (Carillon)
III. A Journey (baile de los tambores)
IV. Beauty and Its Passing (cuando habiamos podido amar)

Child of the Earth is dedicated to the memory of Chad M. Plasters.

Please join us for this premiere, made possible by the generous collaboration of all parties. Brief program notes follow below.

The full May 1 program includes landmark works by Lou Harrison and Minoru Miki, providing context with the origins of symphonic thinking in percussion literature in Harrison’s Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra, and the virtuosity and visceral, tribal energy of Miki’s Marimba Spiritual. These highly evocative works, along with atmospheric, romantic, and groove oriented musics, influence Child of the Earth.

Long-time Loop 2.4.3 collaborators Aviva Jaye and James Godwin will assist with the vocal material on Child of the Earth.

NYU Percussion Ensemble
Miki, Harrison, Kozumplik World Premiere
Monday, May 1, 7:30 p.m.
Frederick Loewe Theatre
35 West 4th St.
New York, NY 10012

Admission is Free

Information: 347-687-5243

Presenter Website: http://events.nyu.edu/#!event_id/146712/view/event


Notes on the program
Child of the Earth is semi-programmatical and explores man finding his place in the world, and then leaving it. The title is personal and universal - we are all children of the earth. The second part of the title (un niño busca a Dios) represents man’s journey to find meaning in life. This is also personal and universal - we are all on a journey, yet everyone is on his own. People seek meaning, seek God, in many ways - through religion, through nature, through art, through physical feats, through drugs, relationships…
 
Synopsis

In Movement I we explore birth, youth, the loss of innocence, and a cry for help.

Movement II is a moment of connection to the universe. A youthful declaration of love and faith.

Movement III is an active journey, exploding with the energy of life.

In Movement IV we suffer the anguish of lost love, then remember when we could love…

In form, Child of the Earth resembles the symphony of the late Romantic period; the language and execution are contemporary and led by expressive intent. Viewing the percussion family as an orchestra one could imagine marimbas as strings, vibraphones as brass, glockenspiels as high winds…drums, gongs, piano, and the wide variety of world percussion provide great opportunity for expression. There is no attempt to reference any style, only the attempt to express through music, which pays homage to all that I hold dear.

My heartfelt thanks to Jonathan Haas and the NYU Percussion Ensemble for inspiring and realizing this work. My sincere gratitude to my family and friends for putting up with me during its creation.

Child of the Earth is dedicated to the loving memory of Chad M. Plasters.

- Thomas Kozumplik

I originally wrote the below while at Stillwaters this past fall. Life was hectic...it didn't make it onto the blog at the time. There have been many great tour experiences over the past year and we will write about some more of them. This particluar visit with Jeff and Mary at Stillwaters was poetic, and I still remember it presently and fondly. Steve Gilewski, longtime Loop 2.4.3 collaborator and friend, joined for this run of performances in VA and DC.

"The grounds are so vast and peaceful.  Songbirds, majestic birds of prey…and chickens!  I saw a bald eagle there my first night.  The trees and other plants are many and varied.  There are fruit trees that look like they go largely unharvested by humans, but that provide food for birds, squirrels and other wildlife.  It made me take the fruit tree into wonder…as long as it has sunshine and rain, it asks nothing, yet provides abundance and gives freely.  I saw this as an analogy for Mary and Jeff.  They are such wonderful and giving people..it somehow makes you appreciate peace and beauty so much more."

Stillwaters
Marshall, VA
September 2016

Time Machine Cover Loop243 web

Time-Machine_music is our fourth album of original music and it marks a decidedly new direction. We hope you'll take a listen and let yourself be immersed in the sound...we intend to take you on a journey. We have once again pressed this to 180 gram vinyl, as well as offering CD's and hi-res digital downloads. We're really excited about the physical versions. The vinyl jackets are amazing...it's like you have a mini Jon Waldo painting, with extras...

The Loop 2.4.3 team on this album includes Sean Boyd (co-producer and engineer), Jon Waldo (painting, LP and CD packaging design), Steve Gilewski (graphic design, web design), Joel Hamburger (audio engineer), Allen Baker (audio engineer). Thomas Kozumplik wrote the music and performed. We went back to our good friend Joe Lambert for the mastering.

The Seattle radio station and internet publication Second Inversion is streaming the album, along with a review and dialogue with Kozumplik on their feature "Sneak Peek Audio Leak."

The album is on iTunes, etc. and you win special places in our hearts if you get it directly from our label at Music Starts From Silence.

Thank you to all of our fans and supporters for sharing the music with us at live events and supporting us online. You light up our lives.

We've created a blog with lots of photos, along with reflections on creating, and life on the road.  Please visit it and follow if you like.  This page also serves as our social networking hub and has links to Instagram, etc.  

tttmachine.tumblr.com

Thanks for reading!