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The Heart of the Matter
The instrumentalists have what it takes to deliver quality performances and reputations for doing so. The venues are informal and friendly, ticket prices affordable. The music is diverse, contemporary, and approachable. This describes TURNmusic, a performance series created by conductor Anne Decker. Reasoning would tell you to expect a good concert, but consider one other factor. Heart. When Anne has to choose one word to describe what she’s working on, “heart” is the word she picks.
Anne Decker is an accomplished musical talent who has surrounded herself with the same. She proclaims, “I have wonderful players! I have the best!” The ensemble—Mary Rowell, John Dunlop, Dan Liptak, Hilary Goldblatt, Mary Jane Austin, Nicola Cannizzaro, and Eben Bodach-Turner—are working with Anne to bring more music to Vermonters. This is Anne’s vision, and it’s going exactly where she wanted it to go. Playing their third program in less than a year, TURNmusic is building a history of success.
A Web of Connections
The pieces are by living composers (Evan Ziporyn, Caroline Shaw, Matt Larocca, David Lang, Eve Beglarian, and Ruby Fulton), two of whom will be at the performances this week. Some have Vermont ties; some do not. Anne describes the upcoming sounds as “definite, sweet, and minimal,” but “not a theme, necessarily.” She also says the programs are “not a watering down, and not pop. But I am giving the audience something they can understand.” As an afterthought: “and, of course I’m programming some they won’t.”
She is choosing music she loves. “It’s the first time I’ve gotten to do that. I have a love for music of all genres. It ends up as modern concert music that I believe can appeal to a much wider crowd.” She describes many of the composers she chooses as “urban-dwelling” and spoke of how the work of one composer brings her to another, then another. “I’m building this web of connections, and bringing an urban sensibility in modern music to Vermont. That was not my goal, but it’s turning out like that.”
A Nice Time
It’s that simple. Anne is straightforward in her conducting and in the way she describes the nearing events. The programs are well considered. In planning the series, she thought about the kind of environment where people would want to spend their evening. She thought about the kind of surroundings “people would really embrace.” Whether attending at the ArtsRiot in Burlington or the Green Mountain Club’s visitors center in Waterbury, Anne envisions the evening might go like this:
“The audience would come in, and take a look at the artwork by my friend Jess Graham. I would love it to be a social experience! They would have a seat, and hear six pieces. The smallest piece is for two [players], the largest for eight. They’ll hear mostly acoustic sounds, and a little bit of an electronic, ambient track in one of the pieces. They’ll hear a lot of colors and grooves. I love rhythm and moving.” Sincere and concise, she adds, “I really believe people will like it. I think they will have a really nice time.”
Anne would love to see another capacity audience at this labor of love. “Come with open minds and open hearts,” she invites. “Relax and hear the colors and textures.”