Alex Freeman

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Alex Freeman (b. 28 April 1972) grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Around the age of 13 he became interested in composing. As his trombone teacher in those years was also a composer and student of the renowned American composer Robert Ward, who was then teaching at Duke University, his trombone lessons slowly became composition lessons. He left North Carolina in 1990 to study at the Eastman School of music, where his teachers included Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Joseph Schwantner, and David Liptak. There, in addition to his studies as a composer, he was an avid conductor of the music of his fellow composers. He then went to Boston to study with Lukas Foss and got his Master's at Boston University, spending two summers teaching young composers at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute with Charles Fussell and Richard Cornell, with whom he also studied during those years. In 1998 he moved to New York to begin his Doctoral studies at the Juilliard School, studying with Christopher Rouse. The focus of his doctoral document, The First Movement of Sibelius's Fourth Symphony: Sketch Study and Style Analysis, led him to Finland. The recipient of a Fulbright Full Fellowship, he moved to Helsinki in 2001 to research Sibelius's sketches and study composition with Eero Hämeenniemi at the Sibelius Academy. Dr. Freeman now lives in Northfield, MN, and is Assistant Professor of Music in Composition at Carleton College. More information: www.alexfreemanmusic.com

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Aerial Voices

Aerial Voices

$12.00

for piano solo

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Aerial Voices

Aerial Voices

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Aerial Voices

Charles Fussell has been a teacher, mentor, and friend of mine since my time living in Boston (1994-98). Charles's music has inspired a lot of my music for its clarity, freshness, and emotional impact and one of my favorite of his works is his choral cantata, Specimen Days, scored for choir, orchestra and baritone solo. The deceptively simple melody that appears in its prelude recurs throughout Fussell's monumental cantata like an acquaintance that comes into your life sporadically, but in all the most important moments. It is a beautiful, deceptively simple melody and Specimen Days continues to be a singularly beloved favorite of mine.

The title of my variations comes from the title of the prelude to Fussell's work, Aerial Voices. In Fussell's score, we find a brief quote from Walt Whitman where the theme appears: “Carols vibrating through the air I leave...” from Walt Whitman's No Labor-Saving Machine, in which he suggests that his existence yields no physical object or practical device, rather only "carols" that remain and "vibrate in the air". Whitman's imagery and allegory are multi-layered, but in the context of a choral cantata based upon a wide swath of Whitman's words, there is a literal aspect to those words that comes to life in a very memorable tune. I dedicate this work to my good friend, teacher, and mentor, Charles Fussell.

Blueshift

Blueshift

for chamber ensemble

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Blueshift

Blueshift

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Blueshift
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, marimba, Thai gongs, and piano

The title of this single-movement work comes from the term in astronomy used to describe the phenomenon in which the frequency of an electromagnetic wave emitted by a celestial object that is moving toward an observer shifts toward the blue side of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is somewhat akin to the Doppler effect as it would apply to light. Its opposite, redshift, is regarded as evidence of an expanding universe—objects moving away and outward exhibit this.

The basic concepts of shortening wavelengths and contraction of material, as opposed to, say, expansion, are applied to this composition. But the very sound of the word “blueshift”, which I like very much to say, and the notion of light from remote celestial objects on a journey across the universe toward us would probably speak better to the ambiance of the work (but there is no program or story implied). It progresses in one continuous movement from more nebulous textures to clearer, brighter, more transparent music.

Carols for Yuletide

Carols for Yuletide

$13.50

for SATB chorus

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Carols for Yuletide

Carols for Yuletide

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Carols for Yuletide

I. Chanticleer
II. Four Thousand Winters
III. Coventry Carol
IV. A Wassail, a wassail throughout all this town!

Coventry Carol

Coventry Carol

$2.25

for SSATTB sextet

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Coventry Carol

Coventry Carol

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Coventry Carol

Dedicated to English Vocal Consort of Helsinki

Day and Moon (Païvä ja Kuu)

Day and Moon (Païvä ja Kuu)

$6.00

for SSAA choir and electric kantele

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Day and Moon (Païvä ja Kuu)

Day and Moon (Païvä ja Kuu)

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Day and Moon (Païvä ja Kuu

Four songs of Aaro Hellaakoski

Four songs of Aaro Hellaakoski

$5.75

for SATB chorus

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Four songs of Aaro Hellaakoski

Four songs of Aaro Hellaakoski

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Four Songs of Aaro Hellaakoski

I. Ensimmäinen Tähti
II. Kuutamo Metsässä
III. Sade
IV. Niin Pieniksi

Intermezzo

Intermezzo

for piano, clarinet, violin, and cello

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Intermezzo

Intermezzo

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Intermezzo

This short composition was written for the wedding of Sarah Schauss and Timo Sipilä in 2006.

The Last Polka

The Last Polka

for chamber ensemble

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The Last Polka

The Last Polka

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The Last Polka

by Beck Hansen
arr. Alex Freeman

For the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble
Sponsored by the Richmond Clarinet Choir

Night on the Prairies

Night on the Prairies

$3.00

for piano solo

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Night on the Prairies

Night on the Prairies

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Night on the Prairies

Night on the Prairies was composed for pianist Nicola Melville shortly after I moved to Northfield, MN. It is one of thirteen compositions for solo piano by living American composers and it appears on her recording Melville’s Dozen (Innova).

My recent orchestral and choral work, The River Between, contains Walt Whitman’s Night on the Prairies, which served as an inspiration for this piano composition. As I had never actually lived on the prairie before moving to Minnesota, I felt a new connection to that text after many walks through Carleton College’s beautiful and expansive arboretum. This short piece attempts to evoke something of the purity of those natural surroundings, while also giving allusion to a kind of simple campfire tune that perhaps Whitman’s “wearied emigrants” might have sung or whistled as “the fire on the ground burns low”.

O Magnum Mysterium

O Magnum Mysterium

$2.25

for SATB chorus

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O Magnum Mysterium

O Magnum Mysterium

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O Magnum Mysterium

O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia
viderent Dominum natum jacentem in praesepio.
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare
Dominum Jesum Christum.

Domine, audivi auditum tuum et timui:
consideravi opera tua, et expavi,
in medio duorum animalium.

Outside Voices

Outside Voices

$13.50

for piano solo

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Outside Voices

Outside Voices

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Outside Voices

for Risto-Matti Marin
Commissioned by the Mänttä Festival

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