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Morning Music for Fish (2019)

Morning Music for Fish was commissioned by the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra for their 2018-2019 season, during which I served as the Arlene and Larry Dunn Composer-In-Residence, and premiered in Finney Chapel in Oberlin, Ohio on March 31st, 2019.

Program Notes:
When starting this project, I was looking to make something that evoked the environment of Oberlin and began thinking about local inspirations. As I came to rehearsal week after week with this in mind, I realized what a constant the koi pond is in my life as a student and in the lives of all the players as they undertook their weekly trips to the conservatory for rehearsal. 
I knew I wanted to write something fun, bright and exciting for NOYO and so I grew attached the idea of writing a piece that reflected themes of water, koi fish and dance music based off Oberlin’s koi pond. I also learned that the koi fish was the mascot of NOYO, an exciting coincidence. I thought about how to include the “characters” of the koi fish and so created a narrative arc for this piece and landed on the concept of combining the sounds of daybreak near the pond with energetic, bright, dance music for the fishes.

This is a live recording of the premier by Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra’s Philharmonia under the direction of David Pope.

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The Wild Iris (2018)

The Wild Iris, for Clarinet, Violin and Cello, was written for the SOLI Chamber Ensemble and premiered at the 2018 Alba Music Festival. Inspired by the work of Louis Glück, The Wild Iris explores instrumental music's ability to portray narrative through emotive gestures. This work was first conceived as a flute solo for Kelsey Burnham and premiered at Oberlin Conservatory in January of 2018. This is live recording of Oberlin's Sinfionetta performing The Wild Iris under Tim Weiss in Fall, 2018.

Clarinetist: Emily Hancock
Violinist: Munira Mirxat
Cellist: Jumi Lee

              

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Rubble Flora (2018)

Rubble Flora was inspired by the work of Louise Glück and written for Kelsey Burnham. The piece consists of two movements and was premiered at Oberlin Conservatory in Clonick Recital Hall in February, 2018.

I The Wild Iris

II The Poppy

 

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Black is the Colour (of my True Love's Hair) (2017)

Black is the Colour (of my True Love's Hair)for Soprano, Flute, Percussion, Violin, Cello and Piano, is the first piece in a collection of classical folk songs inspired by the folk song collections of Berio and George Crumb. This piece was composed during a 6 week residency at the Brevard Music Center, and was premiered August 4th at a New Music Concert featuring:
Soprano - Charlotte Jackson
Flute - Austin Brown
Percussion - Thomas Faulkner
Violin - Korah Cuff
Cello - Matt Lei
Piano - Kevin Madison
Conductor - Rob Rankin

Kindred

for orchestra

Kindred (2017)

Kindred for orchestra was written during a 6 week residency at the Brevard Music Center, and is dedicated to my brother Chris Watson. This recording is a reading from the BMC orchestra, conducted by David Dzubay.

 

Stages of Grief

Kari Watson

Stages of Grief (2017)

The Stages of Grief is an autobiographical exploration of my experience with grief in the last two years. I wrote this piece for Oberlin's Contemporary Music Ensemble throughout spring semester of 2017. The instrumentation consists of Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, Violin and Double Bass. This piece is dedicated to my 16 year old self, in honor of how far I have come.

It exists in five movements: 
Shock, Denial
Pain, Guilt
Anger, Bargaining
Depression, Loneliness
The Return of Light

I wrote this piece during a three week trip to Oslo, Norway in January. During this trip I studied Grieg’s settings of Henrik Ibsen’s texts, and his String Quartet in G Minor. I wrote this piece through a workshopping process, and would like to thank Magnar Åm, Eivind Buene and Lasse Thoresen for their input. This piece is dedicated to my Godparents, Kari and Ola Sveen.

This recording features; Maggie Kinabrew (soprano), Carson Mchaney (Vln I), Riley Calcagno (Vln II), Anders Cornell (Vla) and Maya Enstad (Cello) and was recorded in Kulas Hall, Oberlin, OH.

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Tak (2016)

I wrote this piece during a three week trip to Oslo, Norway in January. During this trip I studied Grieg’s settings of Henrik Ibsen’s texts, and his String Quartet in G Minor. I wrote this piece through a workshopping process, and would like to thank Magnar Åm, Eivind Buene and Lasse Thoresen for their input. This piece is dedicated to my Godparents, Kari and Ola Sveen.

This recording features; Maggie Kinabrew (soprano), Carson Mchaney (Vln I), Riley Calcagno (Vln II), Anders Cornell (Vla) and Maya Enstad (Cello) and was recorded in Kulas Hall, Oberlin, OH.

 

 

Variations on a Theme (2016)

I wrote this piece during my first semester at Oberlin, and is dedicated to my mother Elizabeth Watson. This piece was written in November of 2016 for my composition 201 final, and recorded by Liam Kaplan in Warner Concert Hall, Oberlin, OH.

Etude No.2: Throwing Stones (2016)

This is my second electronic etude. This piece was constructed using field recordings of water, sand and wind that were taken at Walden pond in Concord, Massachusetts in November. The natural recordings are paired with recordings of breathing sessions with Talia Roland-Kalb at Oberlin in December. This piece also incorporates external effects processors such as the eventide eclipse, hardware synths, internal instruments, and EQ filters.

 
 

               To listen to more of Kari's music: