June 6, 2003
Scott Brickman, associate professor of music at the University of Maine at Fort Kent had his composition Snowball (2003) for violin, guitar, and piano premiered recently by the Strung Out Trio at the campus of Eastern Mediterranean University in Gazimagusa (Famagusta) in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
The Strung Out Trio was established in 2002 and is comprised of classical guitarist, Dr. Matthew Albert Gould, violinist, Beth Ilana Schneider-Gould, and pianist, Nathanael May. The trio is in residence at the Eastern Mediterranean University on the island of Cyprus.
The trio has set forth an active commissioning project to enrich, promote and perpetuate this combination. Their June recital featured new works written for them by Scott Brickman, John Corollo, Adrian Childs, Jeff Harrington, Carson Cooman, Ed Mascari, Justin Rubin, and Richard P. Schaefer, a diverse group of composers from throughout the United States.
The form of Snowball (2003) could be described as a prelude followed by a perpetum mobile. A slow calm beginning, a calm before the "snow storm", introduces the folk-inspired motives of the latter part of the piece. The vernacular music of the "snow ball" is divided among the instruments. The guitar reinterprets and transforms the chord ostinato of the prelude into music resembling the "power chord" idiom of Rock and Roll guitar style.
The piano punctuates the texture with music recalling Jazz and Big Band piano accompaniments. Over this, the violin plays tunes inspired by the French-Acadian Fiddle Jamborees Brickman often participate in, as a bass player, during the Mardi Gras celebration in Fort Kent.
"The title Snowball, assumes three meanings: the "snowball effect" of the form of the piece, throwing snowballs around as play (which we get to do during the majority of the year here in Northern Maine!) and a snow "ball", party-like celebration of our environment," said Brickman.
Among Brickman's compositions are Vacationland, which has been featured in three performances during 2002, in Southampton, United Kingdom in September, at the Northern Arizona University in October and in November at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.
Brickman also composed Sketches of Maine in 1999, which has been recorded by pianist Jeffrey Jacob and available on New Ariel AE 005 CD.
Brickman who was born in Oak Park, Illinois holds a B.M. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Music Theory/Composition from Brandeis University. His music has been performed in major cities throughout the United States as well as in Brazil, Canada and Portugal, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia.
Brickman teaches music theory and history at UMFK, is the co-chair of the New England Region of the Society of Composers, Inc. and is also treasurer of the Northeast Chapter of the College Music Society.
He has taught at the Chautauqua Institution, as well as having served as a reader for the High School Advanced Placement Music Exam.