One project that has occupied much of my time over the last couple months has been doing all the music prep. for a concert that took place this past Thursday, a concert by the Baltimore Symphony. Last year, a friend of mine, Grammy-nominated arranger and composer Don Hart, co-wrote a 30-minute piece for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, Time Turns Elastic, with Trey Anastasio, frontman for the band Phish. It was performed at a sold-out show at the Ryman Auditorium, featuring Orchestra Nashville, along with several other Phish tunes Don arranged for orchestra. In December, Trey recorded the piece up in Seattle with the Northwest Sinfonia, and that recording is now available for pre-order, releasing on June 9th. Last week’s performance was the East Cost premier, and included first performances of several other Phish tunes Don orchestrated. Last I checked, I had spent over 100 hours preparing parts and printing out several thousand pages of music for the show, and it was a real privilege to be involved in a project with such great music.
The reviews from Thursday’s show are starting to come in, like this one from the Baltimore Sun.
Musical worlds collided Thursday night when rocker Trey Anastasio took the stage with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and conductor Marin Alsop. There were no casualties.
Anastasio, founding member of Phish and a songwriter with a refreshing avoidance of conventional chord progressions, has been collaborating with traditional classical ensembles for several years now. His most ambitious effort in this field is a half-hour piece called Time Turns Elastic that he co-wrote with Don Hart, composer-in-residence of Orchestra Nashville. It premiered last September with that orchestra and received its East Coast premiere at this BSO concert, which drew a young, animated crowd.
As one would expect from a concert connected to Phish, a live bootleg is already available on the Internet and can be downloaded here.
The next performance of Time Turns Elastic will be this Fall with a little-known orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, at this place called Carnegie Hall.
The picture is of Don Hart with scores for all the songs he arranged.