This past Sun., Roanoke College was granted the privilege to experience many different types of folk music at Brittany Harrison’s Senior Voice Recital. Her recital was inspired by historical music from both the Western and the Eastern world, which thoroughly engaged the audience.
“Folk music is something we’ve all heard and something we all know. It exists in cultures around the world,” Harrison said.
The program began with a Chinese song from the Hunan culture. The composition of this song was adapted from both traditional and Hunan sound. The second Chinese folk song, composed by Hwang Yau-tai, was intended to express anti-communist sentiment. A shift in cultures created the opportunity for the audience to experience sounds from Russia, Finland, and Germany.
The deep, poetic Finnish song “Vainiolla” (In the meadow) was a shocking transition into the fast moving German piece “Spielmannslieder.”
After a short intermission, the production shifted focus to Spanish folk music. The theme of love was presented in a very poetic manner in the Spanish folk songs. “Duerme Negrito” (Sleep, little black boy) narrated a story of a tired mother supporting her young child by working long days in the fields. The upbeat Mexican composition titled “La paloma blance” (The white dove) set the stage for the rest of the merry compositions. The instrumental accompaniment of guitar by Greg Ayers ’07 created a new dimension to the songs.
The recital concluded with a small reception in the Olin Gallery.
“The presentation was fascinating and it was a beautiful performance. It transported me to other worlds,” Professor Banuelos Montes said.
“Some of the music was not typically western which made the recital very nontraditional.” Brynn Scozzari ’11 said.
“Music is always tied to something. It has life, history, and persona,” Harrison said.
In some ways, this recital was a farewell for many seniors, especially those majoring in music and theatre. The recital also educated the audience about the relationship between different types of folk music. Harrison’s delicate voice captured folk music from cultures across the globe. It truly brought inspiration and awe to Olin’s Recital Hall.