Kari Besharse

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Embers Recording Project

This summer I have been involved with my first studio recording project. My piece “Embers” for saxophone and piano has been recorded and will be part of an album of new & adventurous music for saxophone, piano, and electronics. The star of this CD is saxophonist Richard Schwartz, who commissioned and premiered “Embers” to begin with. I am super excited as this will be the first time a piece of mine has been professionally recorded and set for release on a commercial CD. The album also includes works by Philip Schuessler (who plays piano on Embers), Stephen Suber and Ray Pizzi. We recorded the album in June & July in the recording studio at Louisiana State University with a great recording engineer, Bill Kelley. It has been an interesting process and now we are in the final stages of getting this project completed!

Even though this has been a minimal, bare bones recording project involving only a few performers, the costs still add up. We have launched a Kickstarter project to help generate funds to bring the project to completion. You can check out our Kickstarter video below and then head on over to our Kickstarter page for more information.

Project page: http://kck.st/1d7IPD5

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Summer Update!

Hey all,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any updates. Here is what has been going on!

The Anemone Fragments for cello and electronics recently received its second performance at Music on the Mountain, Birmingham Alabama. The piece was once again performed by Craig Hultgren, cello accompanied by *yours truly* on electronics. Craig performed a whole concert of new/recent music for cello with and without electronics. The concert also contained a follow-up presentation of Craig’s Vox Novus project, 15 Minutes of Fame. Here is a recording of the performance.


In other news, saxophonist Richard Schwartz is recording a new album of newish pieces for solo saxophone, with or without piano and/or electronic accompaniment. My piece Embers, is set to be the title track of his album, which will be released on Centaur Records later this year.

I’ve also been working away on finishing two pieces, Icons for clarinet, violin, bass, electric guitar, and percussion and Crickets and Gongs for orchestra.

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A couple of weeks ago, my piece Embers was performed on a concert of new works at Southeastern Louisiana University by Philip Schuessler, piano and Richard Schwartz, alto saxophone. The concert was a huge success. It was great to see so many students and faculty members participate in this concert, both as composers and as performers. There was quite a variety of pieces and styles represented and all were well-performed. The only hitch was of course due to technology (thankfully my piece was completely acoustic this time). One of the channels of our borrowed power amp turned out to be busted. However, the electronic works were still able to be performed, the composers just had to use the regular P.A. system of the recital hall (not great, it’s mostly for lecturing).

Phil and Rich did a great job on my piece. Here they are getting ready to perform:

I was able to get a decent recording this time. I’m still hoping we can do a studio recording once we are all finished with our finals and grading! Here’s the recording from the concert I recorded on my Sony PCM-D50. I also made a video, but I still need to edit that and this computer with its bum lower memory slot is of no help whatsoever.

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Southeastern Louisiana University Composers Concert

Just two days until the Composers Concert at Southeastern Louisiana University! Philip Schuessler and Richard Schwartz will be performing my piece Embers for piano and saxophone. It should be a great show, as there seems to be a growing interest in new music and composition at SLU. The concert also features works by faculty composers Philip Schuessler, Stephen Suber, and Brian Hanson, and new pieces by student composers Daniele Lesniowski, Carter McFarland, and John Holley. Oh, and we have a special guest coming to present his music at the composers forum and on the concert Tuesday, Greg Robin.


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Almost There

My courses at Southeastern Louisiana University have kept me pretty busy this Fall. Right before the semester began, I was asked to teach Form and Analysis and Modal Counterpoint. These two new courses have been a joy to teach, but have kept me on my toes all semester. Our last day of class is only two weeks away, December 1st. I am hoping winter break will provide me with some solid composition time and some new inspiration…

I’m going to Africa. No joke. I’m going on a safari with my family to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I have been looking forward to this since the second I was invited to go along, and now it’s just two weeks away. I am going to take my audio recorder and video camera and collect lots of material. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet, but with my recent interest in site-specific sounds and soundscape, I am positive I will compose something. It’s hard to speculate, I’m just very excited about the trip at this point.

This semester, I have been trying to eek out time to work on my piece Icons, for T.V. Buddha Ensemble in Champaign, Illinois. It’s getting there… I should have a double bar line very soon.

Today I finally finished editing the score and instructions for Embers, my piece for saxophone and piano.

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Embers, my latest work for saxophone and piano premiered March 19th at the North American Saxophone Alliance region 6 conference at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. This piece was written for Southeastern Louisiana University saxophone professor, Dr. Richard Schwartz. He was accompanied by Dr. Philip Schuessler (my astonishingly talented husband) on piano. The premiere performance was not recorded, but Phil and Rich are rehearsing the piece for a recording session next week. Here is an excerpt from their rehearsal today!