#MusicMonday Greg Danner and Singing Wood


American composer Greg Danner is professor of music at Tennessee Technological University. He studied at universities such as Southeast Missouri State University, Eastman School of Music, and Washington University. He has been awarded numerous prizes for composition and many notable commissions for bands and chamber ensembles. He is also an active horn player.

Danner wrote the piece Singing Wood: Interpretations on Four Woodcut Prints that we will be performing in our upcoming concerts. Published in 2005 the piece has catchy melodies and equal parts for both clarinet and marimba. The first movmement is based on the work Lake Louise by Canadian artist Walter J. Phillips. The second movement is based on the work by American artist Gustave Baumann. The music of the second movement is lyrical and flowing with a slow cadenza for the clarinet near the end.  The third movement Willows and the Moon has strong jazz influences and employs a very intimate section with very soft dynamics that draw the audience in. The music is based on the Willows and the Moon by Arthur Wesley Dow which can be viewed on the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco website. The last movement Sierra Skyscrapers was inspired by the woodcut of the same name by Frances Hammel Gearhart and is in reference to the beautiful colours found in this work. (also avaialble to view on the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco ). For us the last movement has melodies reminiscent of the Aaron Copland. 

On Naxos there are a number of recordings of Greg Danner available but I've chosen to focus on the set of band music. Check out volume 1 Walls of Zion available on Naxos.