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Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble with Tracey Engleman, Soprano

November 15, 2019 @ 7:30 pm



Composer Scott L. Miller is proud to announce the premiere of The Blue in the Distance, for Chamber Ensemble and Immersive Film presented with live music he composed, setting the poem of the same name by MN Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen. Featuring soprano Tracey Engleman and Zeitgeist (new music ensemble based in St. Paul, MN), performing in the sonically immersive, classical ambient style that so much of Miller’s recent music is known for. The film, created by Miller, explores Quarry Park Reserve in Waite Park, MN. The program will also include a poetry reading by Joyce Sutphen, including new work from her book Carrying Water to the Field.

Audience members will be provided with Virtual Reality headsets to watch the immersive 360º film version while Zeitgeist performs the music live. Audience members who arrive after all headsets have been distributed (or who are uncomfortable wearing a headset) can watch a 2D version of the film projected on a screen in the hall. The composition and Zeitgeist instrumentation will be for soprano, clarinet/bass clarinet, percussion, piano, and electronic sound.

“I wanted to create a new VR concert work based on an inspiring natural Minnesota location for my longtime friends and collaborators here to perform. I chose the Quarry Park Reserve in Waite Park, MN, as the location and began filming there in April 2018, in the days following the blizzard that month. I felt it important to add a narrative element to the film and set about looking for poetry that resonated with the project, ideally by a Minnesotan and about Central Minnesota. While filming in the spring, I read a lot of poetry and ultimately came across the work of Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen. Joyce grew up in St. Joseph, not far from Quarry Park (it was just a closed granite quarry then), and her work frequently evokes imagery and aspects of life in Minnesota that resonate with me. The Blue in the Distance perfectly captures the natural setting of Quarry Park, and provides a perfect structure for me to organize the film and music around.” — Composer and Virtual Reality Filmmaker Scott L. Miller Miller has collaborated with Zeitgeist as a composer, performer, and producer of their recordings since 2003. He created his first VR concert work, Raba, with Tallinn-based Ensemble U:, VR film-maker Rein Zobel, and the SCSU Visualization and Simulation Lab in 2017. Raba was created in response to a visit to the Marimetsa Raba, an enormous bog in Estonia.

Created and presented with the support of Mark Gill, Director, St. Cloud State University Visualization and Simulation Lab, film editing and production assistance from Kyle Yotter and Jack Wald. Support provided in part from: ● The SCSU Department of Music ● MN NICE – The Minnesota (State) Networked Immersive Collaborative ● and the Minnesota State Innovation Funding Program ● The American Composers Forum through the 2018 McKnight Composer Fellowship Program.

Scott L. Miller is a 2018 McKnight Composition Fellow and Joyce Sutphen is Minnesota’s Poet Laureate.


November 15, 2019
7:30 pm
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St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN United States + Google Map