Rise came out of a collaboration between Jonathan and Annika as part of Jonathan’s full-length album recording project Timbre|ine. Timbre|ine will be released in early 2020 and features newly-commissioned works by Annika, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Felipe Salles, Eric Wubbels, and more.
Here’s what Annika had to say about Rise:
I asked Jonathan to explore and embody the numerous resonances and timbres of the alto saxophone in the way that a vocalist explores the nuanced vocal qualities and expressive micro-variations in sound color at the far reaches of their own voice. And I asked Nicholas to reimagine the role of his instrument from one of a keyboard percussionist to one of a resonating fiddle. Much like the sympathetic strings on a Norwegian hardanger fiddle create a reverberant sound bed for the fiddle’s melody lines, the piano serves to timbrally support, resonate and conflict with the saxophone’s vocal lines. While it may not sound like it, this piece is entirely acoustic.
About Jonathan Hulting-Cohen
Classical saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen’s performances as soloist and chamber musician have been considered “impressive” with “exceptional facility” (Schenectady Daily Gazette), and “fun to watch” (Oregon Arts Watch). He made his concerto debut with the Philadelphia Classical Symphony in 2011. With the Adrian Symphony Orchestra (MI) and Sequoia Symphony Orchestra (CA), he performed John Williams’ Escapades. In 2017 he premiered Felipe Salles’ Sagrada Familia with Arno Bornkamp. He made the world premiere recording of Stacy Garrop’s Quicksilver with the UMass Amherst Wind Ensemble in 2018. He is currently preparing Kenneth Fuchs’ Rush for performance in 2020. Since 2017, he has commissioned and performed recital repertoire connecting classical, jazz and folk aesthetics. His current recital season pairs these works with classical standards by Poulenc, Pascal, and Piazzolla. He has performed at Chamber Music Northwest and at Carnegie Hall’s 21st Century Ensemble. He is co-founder of The Moanin’ Frogs saxophone sextet, and the saxophone and harp duo Admiral Launch, whose debut records appeared on Teal Creek and Albany. Jonathan trained at the University of Michigan under Donald Sinta and is currently Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a Conn-Selmer and D’Addario Woodwinds Artist, performing exclusively on their equipment and aiding in their design.
About Nicholas Shaneyfelt
Nicholas Shaneyfelt is Assistant Professor of Music in Collaborative Piano at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He completed his doctoral studies in the Collaborative Piano studio of Martin Katz at the University of Michigan. Prior to Michigan, he served as Staff Accompanist for the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Shaneyfelt co-directs the International Music Festival of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy. Originally from Knightstown, Indiana, Dr. Shaneyfelt received undergraduate degrees in Music and Computer Science from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Music degree from UMass. He tours regularly with the Piatigorsky Foundation, an organization committed to bringing live classical music to underserved areas.
About Annika Socolofsky
Annika Socolofsky is a US composer and avant-folk vocalist. Her music stems from the inflections and resonance of the human voice and is communicated through mediums ranging from orchestral works to unaccompanied folk ballads. As a composer, Annika has collaborated with artists such as the Rochester Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, Third Coast Percussion, Sō Percussion, Contemporaneous, and sean-nós singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, among others. As a vocalist, she has performed as soloist with the Albany Symphony, Dogs of Desire, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Camerata, Eighth Blackbird, and composer-vocalist Alex Dowling. Annika has been awarded a Fromm Foundation Commission, The Cortona Prize, and a BMI Student Composer Award, and fellowships to the Blackbird Creative Lab, Banff Centre for the Arts, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and Bang on a Can Summer Festival. Her research focuses on physiology in contemporary vocal music, using the music of Dolly Parton to create a pedagogical approach to composition that is inclusive of many vocal styles and techniques, evading the age-old false dichotomy of straight tone vs. bel canto vocal style. She is a doctoral candidate & fellow in composition at Princeton University. Her primary musical mentors have been Evan Chambers, Reza Vali, Kristin Kuster, and Dan Trueman. Annika plays a Norwegian hardanger d’amore fiddle made by Salve Håkedal.