Scrag Mountain Music is excited to resume live in-person programming with concerts that celebrate and pay heed to the movement of water. The concert features Abenaki singer-songwriter Bryan Blanchette performing his original songs inspired by water, accompanied by string quintet, and the Aeolus Quartet for the world premiere of Scrag co-artistic director and composer Evan Premo's newest piece “My River Runs to Thee” for string quintet and soprano with text by Emily Dickinson, commissioned in celebration of the Friends of the Mad River 30th anniversary. Concerts are on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at 1 p.m. (outside Phantom Theater Edgcomb Barn, 970 Dump Road, Warren; rain venue Phantom Theater) and Sunday, August 15, 2021, at 1 p.m. (Hubbard Park Tuning Forks Stage, 400 Parkway Street, Montpelier; rain venue Vermont College of Fine Arts Chapel, 36 College Street, Montpelier).
“As the son of two biologists, I have always been deeply interested in making connections between music and the natural world. When thinking about how we wanted to shape our first in-person concert in over a year, it was a natural decision for us to honor and bring attention to the land we are on through music. I hope that the pairing of my new piece and Bryan Blanchette’s powerful songs will inspire listeners to both celebrate and consider the responsibility that we have to the world around us," Premo explained.
Sung in both Abenaki and English, Blanchette’s music is connected to the earth and water which has been home to the Abenaki people for over 10,000 years. Blanchette’s music will be paired with Premo’s Quintet No. 1, “My River Runs to Thee.” This work is inspired by the concept of watersheds and is the first in a four-part cycle of new works by Premo that explores the elements of the nature world. The piece culminates with Scrag co-director and soprano Mary Bonhag singing the Dickinson poem.
All concerts are “Come as you are. Pay what you can,” with advanced “Pay What You Can Ticket” purchases encouraged at www.scragmountainmusic.org.