"Waves" (2012) for bass clarinet and marimba by Mischa Salkind-Pearl. Commissioned and premiered by Transient Canvas.

Waves, like many of my pieces, is a gradual transformation from one state to another. I often write music with agency, moving from one place to another with a sense of motivation. Waves is a changing object.

I took the title from a Japanese tanka poem by Fujiwara no Tadamichi, printed below. I wanted to convey the immensity of the ocean through amplification of the instruments, through which they can seem closer to our ears. So much of the magic in the sounds made by marimba and bass clarinet happens at a very low volume; I love the constant sense that the scene could suddenly turn dramatic and violent, just like the ocean. In the end, the piece does not merge so much as it scatters and fuses, much like a waterfall might eventually become a still pool.

- Mischa Salkind-Pearl

 

As I row over the plain
Of the sea and gaze
Into the distance, the waves
Merge with the bright sky

-Fujiwara no Tadamichi

 

Mischa Salkind-Pearl is a Boston based composer of instrumental and vocal music. His music is informed by questions of humans' relationships to nature; through the musical qualities which grow from this relationship, feelings of mystery, anticipation, and the unexpected are common threads in Mischa's music. The Boston Globe wrote of his opera Troubled Water, premiered in September 2015 by Guerilla Opera, that “the invoked virtues, literary and musical, so fascinatingly and congruently avoid the conventionally operatic." Boston Classical Review listed Troubled Water as the Best Premiere of 2015. His works have been performed throughout the United States, Japan, Germany, and Italy, and have been featured at music festivals and concert series in Boston, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Fairbanks, Tokyo, Freiburg, Pavia, and elsewhere. He has received commissions and performances from numerous ensembles and soloists, including Boston’s Guerilla Opera, Dinosaur Annex, and Ludovico Ensemble, the Boston Conservatory Sinfonietta, Alea III, Chamber Cartel, Callithumpian Consort, Sinopia Quartet, the DMC percussion-clarinet duo, Ensemble SurPlus, Diagenesis Duo, Transient Canvas, Finland's Uusinta Ensemble, Juventas New Music, and UMBC’s faculty ensemble, RUCKUS; percussionists Trevor Saint and Masako Kunimoto; saxophonist Philipp Stäudlin; guitarist Gregory König; cellist Jennifer Bewerse; pianists Elaine Rombola, Miki Arimura, and Kate Campbell; as well as conductors Russell Ger, Eric Hewitt, Jeffrey Means, and Yohei Sato. He holds a BA in Music from Skidmore College, a Certificate in American contemporary music from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and an MM in Composition from the Boston Conservatory. His primary teachers have included Linda Dusman, Marti Epstein, and Dalit Warshaw, with additional studies under Anthony Holland and Carlo Alessandro Landini. Mischa is co-founder and artistic director of the Boston area Equilibrium Concert Series. He currently teaches at the Boston Conservatory as a member of the Composition, History, and English as a Second Language departments. He is composer-in-residence for the Ludovico Ensemble.