What better way to celebrate one of Indiana’s most-beloved state parks than by having a special piece of music written? Classical Music Indy has commissioned Indianapolis composer Rob Funkhouser to write Three Peacetime Images for Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park as part of the Indiana Arts Commission’s Arts in the Parks and Historic Sites program.
Music in Nature
Nature is mystifying and beautiful. The calls of a bird or the shade of color on a flower are delights of life that surround us, yet often go unnoticed. To celebrate the majesty of nature, Classical Music Indy got together with Indiana’s Fort Harrison State Park to conceive an idea that would draw attention to the wonders of this Indiana locale. The idea was to create a unique music composition for this unique Indiana park and present it in a concert series. Thanks to the Indiana Arts Commission’s Arts in the Parks and Historic Sites program, Classical Music Indy has been able to commission a brand-new piece of music by Indianapolis composer Rob Funkhouser, which will premiere on April 28th at 2pm at the Sycamore Shelter of Fort Harrison State Park.
According to his website, Rob Funkhouser “is a composer, performer, and instrument builder who can never quite sit still.” The Butler graduate has released recordings on various music labels in three different countries and maintains an active career as a performer in Central Indiana. In addition to the Music in Nature commission, his current projects include music for the dance Parade 2017 choreographed by Rebecca Pappas and facilitated by No Exit Performance, as well as a new work for Forward Motion, a local ensemble.
Funkhouser’s Three Peacetime Images for Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park tells the story of the park’s creatures in three movements. In the first of them, percussion instruments imitate the sound of woodpeckers with varying rhythmic patterns, ranging from steady to sporadic. The second movement’s melodicas and alto saxophone stand in for frogs, croaking in the night. As a finale, Funkhouser raids the collection of Rhythm! Discovery Center, incorporating the one-of-a-kind “plank marimba” to evoke the visual excitement of lightning bugs through the audible sensation of mallets on wood.
The performers for this premiere will be Hannah Carlson on percussion, Corey Denham on percussion, and Amanda Gardier on saxophone. Other pieces on the eclectic program will range from J.S. Bach’s Suite for Lute in G minor BWV 995 to Steve Reich’s Clapping Music, as well as some jazz standards hand-picked for the program by Gardier.
We hope you will join us on April 28th at 2pm at the Sycamore Shelter of Fort Harrison State Park to celebrate the distinct aspects of the park with the premiere of Funkhouser’s Three Peacetime Images for Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park. Future performance dates at Fort Harrison State Park for the Music in Nature series are: June 17 at 2pm, and September 22 at 2pm.