“The Egyptian Blue Jazz Bowl piece was the first artwork I chose for this project. In part, I chose the bowl for the intimate connection I felt, as if experiencing the vibe of the 1920’s New York Jazz Scene ‘in the now’. I almost felt that I could get inside the bowl and hear the music, as if putting my ear to a conch shell and the music would be there! I also chose the Blue Jazz Bowl, because I had not yet composed jazz music, and had been thinking about writing in that genre for awhile.
“In this piece, I aimed to start with typical ‘Jazz like’ expectations for the listener, and then offered a few twists with the harmonies & rhythms I chose. The middle section exploits one of my favorite chord voicings with ‘artificial harmonic’ treatment. This technique requires the player to make the chord voicing with the left hand while simultaneously touching a nodal point with the right hand index finger, and plucking with the right hand thumb.
“Originally, the harmonic section was written solely with harmonics. I then decided to do echoes back-and-forth between harmonics and normally plucked strings. I had planned to include cello and percussion in this piece, and then thought better of it. The solo guitar & the details of the harmonic section spoke succinctly to the intimate quality I sensed from the solitary bowl. Finally, in the louder section near the end, I aimed to express the dynamic vibrant energy from the omnificent blueness of the bowl.”
About the Artwork
Egyptian Blue Jazz Bowl
Artist: Viktor Schreckengost, American, 1906-2008
Medium: Glazed earthenware with engobe, sgraffito design
Credit Line: Purchase made possible by Ronda Stryker and William Johnston
Object Number: 2007.38
Collection of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts – Visit website
About the Musician
Composer, cellist, singer/songwriter, guitarist and owner of Broughton Music Center & Northville Center for Music & Art, Laurie A. Jarski is a professional cellist in the Presence of Three Trio, Red Willow Dream, the Battle Creek Symphony, C.O.R.E.tet String Quartetto, and principal cellist with The National Women’s Music Festival Orchestra under Nan Washburn.
Laurie has composed commissioned works for orchestra, chamber orchestra, choir, and a variety of chamber ensemble pieces..
Her current compositional endeavors are women focused – one project honors pioneering women of the professional orchestra world (Lois Schaefer, flutist of The Boston Symphony, and Winifred Mayes, cellist of Philadelphia Orchestra); another explores the powerful rhythm of speech possessed by some of the great women in our history: Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Kiran Bedi, Hillary Clinton, Viola Davis, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Michelle Obama, Michelle Bachelet, and Queen Elizabeth II.