Errollyn Wallen

The music of composer Errollyn Wallen spans numerous styles from avant-garde classical to jazz songwriting. Born in Belize City, Belize, she now resides in London where she founded Ensemble X whose motto is, "We don't break down barriers in music . . . we don't see any." Wallen has written prolifically, including a Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, commissioned by BBC Radio 3, In Our Lifetime, choreographed by Christopher Bruce for London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Horseplay, commissioned by The Royal Ballet), a second opera Look! No Hands!, a saxophone concerto for jazz virtuoso Courtney Pine, to be premiered by the Hallé Orchestra, and Mercury, for brass band and steel drums.

She also has composed extensively for chamber media, including piano solo and duet, string quartet and various mixed ensembles, often with voice. The Independent on Sunday wrote, "If Wallen was to become a household name it could only be a good thing."

Her performances at Other Minds marks only her second U.S. appearance and her first on the West Coast. In between her work on classical composition, Wallen began in 1988 writing pop/jazz songs for a change of pace. By now she has produced numerous such selections and has recorded a demo CD, Meet Me at Harold Moore's, in which she solos on vocals and piano with in arrangements for herself and ten other players. The results are electrifying, as she moves freely among influences ranging from Laurie Anderson to gospel, Bill Evans, blues, Schubert, and Ives.

Music excerpts:

Louis' Loops
Margaret Leng Tan, two toy pianos
(Recorded at Other Minds 5, March 25, 1999)
© 1999 Errollyn Wallen

Favorite Things
Errollyn Wallen, piano solo (composed by Richard Rogers)

Songs (Recorded at Other Minds 5, March 25, 1999)

What's Up Doc?
Errollyn Wallen, voice and piano

Errollyn Wallen, voice and piano

What Shall I Sing?
Errollyn Wallen, voice and piano

Magritte Man
Errollyn Wallen, voice and piano

The Lighthouse
Errollyn Wallen, voice and piano

Recorded at Other Minds 5, March 26, 1999
Ellen Ruth Rose, viola; Michael Orland, piano
United States concert premiere
© 1998 Errollyn Wallen


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