J a m e s R. C a r l s o n, c o m p o s e r

Welcome to my webpage. Here you will find a calendar of upcoming performances of my compositions, a list of my works with audio and score excerpts, my biography and reviews of my music. I am also on Facebook and MySpace. You are welcome to look around and contact me if you have any questions or would like copies of scores, parts or recordings.

I also perform with my wife, Lucie, in a violin-accordion duo called CRICKET & SNAIL.

As a composer, I aim to create compelling musical works that vividly engage my listener's emotions, imagination and spirit. My music is often inspired by the visual arts, dance, poetry, and a variety of musical traditions. Generally, my vocabulary is eclectic, synthesizing and juxtaposing many styles and idioms. I enjoy *writing for my gig,* that is, finding just the right style, form and difficulty level for every piece I compose. This process always keeps things interesting, keeps me connected to the performers I'm working with and allows me to continue to broaden my horizons. More information about my works is here

A number of my recent pieces have been inspired by traditional Appalachian music. For example, I use two folk melodies, My Homes Across the Smoky Mountains and Wild Rose of the Mountain in my orchestra and narrator piece Off-Trail in the Smokies (2009). This piece was commissioned by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and was premiered at Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Similarly, my chamber piece Fiddlin' After Midnight (2007) is based on Appalachian folk tunes and features a traditional fiddler alongside classical musicians.

I frequently compose choral music and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Choral Society premiered my Hodie, for choir and orchestra at the 2008 Clayton Holiday Concerts. Also, the University of the South Choir commissioned me to compose a setting of There is no rose that was premiered to an audience of 3000+ at the 2008 Lessons & Carols Services in All Saints Chapel in Sewanee, TN.

I am also very interested in composing music for dance, theater and multimedia productions and find collaborations to be very rewarding experiences. I am currently involved with UNLESS & UNTIL, an exciting multimedia project combining art, literature, animation/video. To keep updated about this project, go to the project preview page here. I am the co-founder and music director of ART MOVES, an annual site-specific dance production at the Knoxville Museum of Art wherein all the music and dance is based on works of art on display in the museum. Since 2005, I've been involved with the Tennessee Valley UU Church Performing Art & Lecture Series (PALS) and I organize a thematic multimedia concert event every season (2006: Sounds of the Labyrinth; 2007: Echoes of Appalachia; 2008: Waging Peace in Times of War; 2009: Sounds & Sweet Airs: Shakespeare & Music).

Unless Until

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Unless and Until, a multimedia storybook on Facebook

BUY the CD UNLESS & UNTIL, THE SONGS through LULU.COM by clicking HERE.

My music has been performed by such groups as the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Plymouth Music Series Orchestra, Auros Group for New Music, Ciompi String Quartet, the Rilke Ensemble Choir (Sweden), Luna Nova New Music Ensemble, the Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Knoxville Choral Society, the Cornell Chamber Singers, the University of Washington Chorale and college choirs throughout the Southeast. My works have been featured at the New Music Days Festival (Gothenburg, Sweden), the Oregon Bach Festival, the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival (Memphis, TN), the Encounters/UNC Festival of New Music, the North Carolina Dance Festival, the Otterbein "Old Links to New Music" Contemporary Music Festival, the University of Nebraska New Music Festival and various music conferences.


Unless & Until, a multimedia storybook, presented at the University Gallery, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, Friday, September 25, 2009.

Lovely Luna, Rebekkah Hilgraves, soprano, Valerie Blair-Ingenito, piano, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 6:00, Northern Ill. Univ. Music Recital Hall, Dekalb, IL

Letters From Sala, incidental music, Nov. 12-14 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 15 at 2 p.m., The Players Theatre, 838 N Tamiami Tr, Sarasota FL 34236, 941-365-2494

Back by popular demand! SOUNDS & SWEET AIRS: Shakespeare & Music, featuring my Menacing Spirits: 2 Shakespearean Monologues for contralto and piano, and performances by the Wild Thyme Players, Impulse Dance Co., and others, 7:00 p.m., November 22, 2009, PALS, Tennessee Valley UU Church, 2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN.

Labyrinth for alto saxophone and narrator, Christian Segmehl, alto sax, ChrisTine Urspruch, narrator, December 6, Alter Bahnhof, 88433 Schemmerhofen, Würzburg, Germany.

ART MOVES 2010, a site-specific multimedia dance production event at the Knoxville Museum of Art, Momentum Dance Lab, Saturday & Sunday afternoon, February 27 & 28, 2010, KMA, Knoxville, TN. (For more about Art Moves, see Workslist)

The Water Cycle for alto saxophone and percussion, Randall Hall, alto sax, March 23, 8:00, Wallenberg Hall, Augustana College, IL.

MUSIC & HEALING, a unique concert experience that explores the healing power of music, featuring performances by violinist/composer Lucie Novoveska, soprano Rebekkah Hilgraves and the world premier of The Touch for soprano and marimba by James Carlson. TVUUC Performing Arts Series, May 1, 2010, 2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN.

2008-09 Season Performances
2007-08 Season Performances
2006-07 Season Performances
2005-06 Season Performances
2004-05 Season Performances

I'm currently living in Monteagle, Tennessee.
Please feel free to e-mail me if have any questions or would like any additional information
about me or my works.

James Carlson
James Carlson
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Works List
Score Excerpts

My Space

Email: alembickmusic@aol.com