D'Arcy Reynolds is a well known composer on the West Coast where her compositions have been premiered at numerous concert halls and music festivals. In recognition for her outstanding work D'Arcy has won several grants from such prestigious organizations as the American Composers Forum, the American Music Center and Meet the Composer.

She has written works for Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Chorus, Chamber Ensemble, Voice and Piano. She has completed three song cycles for soprano and chamber ensemble (The Past Keeps Changing, Beyond Dreaming, and Listening to Winter), all of which have been written in collaboration with living poets. Recent premieres include Cloven Dreams, performed by Tessa Brinckman & the East/West Continuo in Portland, Oregon, Elegy by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, 21 for piano, and The Past Keeps Changing, performed at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA.

In addition to her work as a composer and pianist, D’Arcy Reynolds is the founding Director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum. The Chapter became an important arts organization for artists throughout Northern California, and as Director of the San Francisco Chapter, Ms. Reynolds developed an innovative Composer in the Schools Program, held salons with new works by Northern California Composers and administered interdisciplinary granting programs with composers, poets and choreographers.

She received a 2004 Meet the Composer Global Connections grant and is traveling to South Africa where the Sontonga String Quartet will perform her string quartet Cloven Dreams at the University of Cape Town.

Visit D’Arcy Reynolds's Web Site
Monday, April 25, 2005
Rhodes University and the International Library of African Music

We are in Grahamstown, at Rhodes University, and the environment here is more conducive to music-making than UCT. The faculty and students seem very appreciative that we are here, and are really taking advantage of the opportunity. Sontonga hasbeen hosting master classes with pianists over the past few days, while I have been working with Andrew Tracey at the International Library of African Music (ILAM).

There is a major collection of African Instruments and field recordings at ILAM. Hugh Tracey started the tradition of collecting these field recordings all over Africa in the 1930's. His son Andrew has continued that tradition for many years,and is just about to retire from Rhodes. I have been studying Ulimba with a Malawin musician since I have been here. There are three of us at the instrument at a time, each with two mallets. Everything is displaced by a 16th note, so there is an amazing pattern of rhythmic and melodic interest that results.

I had used two of Hugh Tracey's field recordings while writing Cloven Dreams. Andrew Tracey attended the performance of Cloven Dreams and gave it his seal of approval, which is fairly unusual for the 'classical' composer (thank you Terry Riley for all the study of North Indian Raga that opened my ears to the non-western aural tradition!). It definitely takes some good ears and instincts to bring across the feel of the music from another culture.

Sontonga is going to Zim for a festival, and we will meet in Nieu-Bethesda later in the week. I am having trouble finding DSL connections for my laptop, and there is now a power problem on one of the USB ports, so I hope to correct this problem to upload more photos from Nieu-Bethesda. Off to Addo and Owl House today.

ILAM Instruments on display

Andrew Tracey, Malawan Ulimba player, and students