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Julia Wolfe

Publisher: G. Schirmer

With a Blue Dress On (2010)
Red Poppy
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
20 Minutes
Unavailable Explain this...
Programme Note
Julia Wolfe With a Blue Dress On (2010)

September 8 2010
Monica Germino, violin
Gaudeamus Music Week
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Commissioner: Eduard van Beinum Stichting

Instrumentation: solo plus 8 recorded tracks

My love affair with American folk music began in the 1980s when I lived, studied, and worked in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There I began to play mountain dulcimer, sing, try out the bones. The folk scene was and still is very rich in Ann Arbor - and I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture. As I veered off into more experimental ideas in music the folk threads remained - references in such titles as Four Marys (my first string quartet), Cruel Sister (for string orchestra), and most recently Steel Hammer (an evening length art ballad for trio mediaeval and the Bang on a Can All-Stars). In this new work for solo violin/voice and prerecorded violins the folk roots come to the fore with fiddling licks, fragments of song, and bows deep into the string. I was inspired by a plaintive field recording of a woman singing "Pretty little girl with a blue dress on". Her tone was rough and her rhythm irregular. The timing and tempos, or implied tempos, in the piece play on this irregularity and fluctuation - placing folk-like fragments into a kind of hyper state.
The live player is accompanied by four violins and four voices (prerecorded by Monica Germino).

with a blue dress on was written for Monica Germino and commissioned by the Eduard van Beinum Stichting.

  • 13 OCT 2016
    TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 23 NOV 2010
    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
    Monica Germino, violin
  • 08 SEP 2010
    With a Blue Dress On World Premiere
    With a Blue Dress On (for multiple Monica’s)
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Monica Germino, violin

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