Musiqa will perform Lonesome Roads by composer Dan Visconti, as a part of American Trios!, March 11, the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston.

Program Note

Lonesome Roads was inspired by memories of long, cross-country car trips and the rumbling, uneven grooves that underscore a constantly-shifting landscape. Beginning from the faintest murmurs, the music evokes a vast space that can be alternately lonely, hypnotic, or hard-driving and rhythmic. Across several brief, fragmentary movements, the initial melodic murmurings assemble themselves into propulsive ostinato figures and wild, aggressive riffs colored with raw timbres and powerful rhythms characteristic of rock and beat-driven music. These movements may be played in any order so that each ensemble can make their own journey with the piece, which becomes a kind of road atlas with many routes connecting any two points. It’s pure “driving music”, a mixtape populated with the vastness, diversity, and flavor of the North American landscape.

Lonesome Roads was commissioned for the Gryphon, Deseret, and Triple Helix piano trios by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University.

About the Composer

The musical compositions of composer Dan Visconti are rooted in the improvisational energy and maverick spirit of rock, folk music, and other vernacular performance traditions—elements that tend to collide in unexpected ways with Visconti’s classical training, resulting in a growing body of work the Cleveand Plain Dealer describes as “both mature and youthful, bristling with exhilarating musical ideas and a powerfully crafted lyricism.” Visconti continues to receive commissions and performances by some of the top interpreters of contemporary music, including the Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the 21st Century Consort at the Smithsonian, and Music from Copland House. Visconti’s compositions have been honored with the Rome Prize and Berlin Prize, the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing Arts, the Barlow Prize, and the Cleveland Arts Prize; awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Society of Composers, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Naumburg Foundation; and grants from the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Chamber Music America. He has also been the recipient of artist fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Copland House.