Music in Bloom is a CD recording project of new music for old instruments by Chicago-based composer, Eric Malmquist (b.1985). Drawing on his deep love of early music, combined with modern influences, Malmquist uses old instruments and Baroque musical forms to create twenty-first century sounds that appeal to broader and younger audiences for Music in Bloom. The recording will feature four compositions by Malmquist: The First Suite for Harpsichord (2017), Suite for Baroque Flute D’Amore and Harpsichord (2018), The Fair Singer (2018), and The Rose Cheek’d Laura (2018). Three leading Early Music musicians Leighann Daihl Ragusa, flute d'amore, Josefien Stoppelenburg, soprano, and Charles Metz, harpsichord, will perform for the recording.
Music in Bloom seeks to explore the creative possibilities of juxtaposing the old with the new by recording new music compositions for old (Baroque) instruments, in particular the flute d’amore and harpsichord. The flute d’amore, or flute of love, is considered the mezzo soprano of the flute family. While we don’t know exactly when the flute d’amore came to be, we do know that the earliest known music written for it dates back to the 1730’s. In recent times, the flute d’amore has fallen out of use. We aim to revive flute d’amore performance by expanding its repertoire and by reaching out to new audiences. The harpsichord, the most important chamber music keyboard instrument of the eighteenth century, was considered a quaint relic by the mid nineteenth century when it was replaced by the more powerful piano. Since the 1960s, the harpsichord has made a come back as a vital instrument with specific characteristics and timbres that no other instrument can replace. The harpsichord has been used with modern instruments in contemporary works and arrangements, but our project brings something new by commissioning new music for old instruments.
Artistic Team Behind Music in Bloom
Cover Artwork by Josefien Stoppelenburg
As part of the project, I commissioned Josefien Stoppelenburg to paint the artwork for the CD cover. The painting features the harpsichord and flute d'amore prominently. If you look closely in the bottom righthand corner, you will see a little black cat. That represents Eric Malmquist who loves cats!
Premiering Music in Bloom - January 2019
Recordings and Interviews
“Crude Imitation”, from Suite for Flute D’amore and Harpsichord (2018), features imitation in unison in increasingly tighter stretto.
Hear harpsichordist, Charles Metz, talk about Music in Bloom.
Hear Chicago-based composer, Eric Malmquist, talk about composing new music for old instruments.
“The World Turned Upside Down” from Suite for Flute D’amore and Harpsichord (2018) uses fragments of a Revolutionary War-era tune, also a time of uncertainty and toxicity.
“Tree of Life” from Suite for Flute D’amore and Harpsichord (2018) was written the day of the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.