Vinculum Symphony

Vinculum: (Latin) 1). A bond of union; 2). math.: A straight line drawn over two or more terms; 3). anat.: A ligament or frenum. (Oxford)

Vinculum Symphony is a large scale composition that brings together chamber musicians and experimental instrument builders, people who build and improvise on their own creations in the tradition of Harry Partch. This unique work got it’s start in 3 month’s of chamber concerts Beth produced during a residency at the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts. It was developed further and presented on a larger scale at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, in collaboration with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, during Beth’s Phylis Wattis Residency at YBCA.

During a McKnight Composer Residency from the American Composers Forum, the piece left the Bay Area and was presented in collaboration with contemporary chamber players Zeitgeist, and Twin Cities’ instrument builders at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. Beth hopes to mount the work in a European city next and is making inquiries into venues in Prague and Barcelona.

“After many years of playing and/or composing for the experimental instruments of Oliver DiCicco, Trimpin, Chico MacMurtrie, Barry Schwartz, and Brenda Hutchinson, I decided to make a large scale piece that would bring all of these instrument builders together. I wanted to create a large work that could be my first ‘symphony’. Vinculum is very unique in that is necessary for it to change each time it is produced to reflect the people I’m collaborating with and the city I’m collaborating in. I adapt existing movements for the instrument builders who are going to be involved and write new movements to reflect my impressions of the city that it’s being produced in. Vinculum also has this wonderful sense of community in it as it brings together musicians who don’t often know of each other — from the contemporary and jazz music worlds with those of the experimental instrument world.

During a run of the piece, as an added pleasure, exhibits of the instruments as sculpture can run concurrently and workshops for families constructing and playing unique instruments can be held. Vinculum = to unite.”