In this episode of Composer Quest, Rick shares his entire strategy for making it as an independent composer, which he’s been perfecting for many years. We also get to hear how Rick converted orange juice, French toast, eggs, and bacon into music for a treble clef quartet.
Friends and fans --
I've found a new, free way
to bring my music into your world ...
... by emailing a weekly message in which I share the story behind a single piece of my music, along with a link to a webpage where the piece can be heard and a free PDF of the score.
My brilliant daughter Shenandoah coined a term for this new medium. She says to call such a message an "mpFree."
It is the most effective way I’ve found to share my music with the people I care about, namely, friends and fans who have told me they're interested in discovering more of my work and want to be included on the list of recipients.
THREE NEW CDs OF RICK'S MUSIC!
A Christmas Gift
- Sir Gawain & the Green Knight: A Christmas Legend
- Guitar Suite: For an Old Friend at Christmas
- Four Carols,
- A Christmas Ceremony
- A Christmas Rondo
- Quintet for Clarinet and Strings
- Trio con Brio for violin, clarinet and cello
- Serenade for Mary for flute, clarinet and string quartet
- Four Places on the Appalachian Trail for violin, French horn, cello and piano
- "Images of Mt. Emily" Trio #4 for violin, clarinet and piano
- World Enough and Time for cello and piano
New Book: The Boy Who Would Be Famous!
When young Rick Sowash discovers that none of his
family is mentioned in the World Book Encyclopedia,
not even his grandfather for inventing the oven door
window, found in every American kitchen to this day,
he decides to do something about it and becomes The
Boy Who Would Be Famous
New Orchestral Work: Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
Sowash's Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, recorded
by the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg,
Russia, now available from Marguis
Classics or direct
from this site. Also included on the disc will be works
by Paul Ben-Haim and John Williams.
"If Aaron Copland wrote the definitive American clarinet
concerto, Sowash may have [written] a close second. Even
with a common heritage, each work is strikingly original.
-- Patrick Hanudel, March/April '12 issue of
Review in The Clarinet June, 2011
by Gregory Barrett
A self-styled Ohio Charles Ives, Sowash embraces vernacular music and has the skill and sensitivity to fashion approachable yet intellectually satisfying art music.
Such is the case with his six-and-a-half minute clarinet and piano jewel Sanctuary at 3 AM. Anthony Costa, clarinet and Phil Amalong, piano, have made a lovely recording of this intimate piece that evokes the sanctuary of a church in the middle of the night. The musical materials are simple but Sowash includes just enough harmonically altered notes to keep the music sounding fresh and the listener wondering when and how the next surprise will be realized.
If you love melody, check out Rick Sowash's music. you will be glad you did.
read the complete review...
RAVE REVIEW OF CD "PASTORALE" IN DEC. ISSUE OF "THE CLARINET" MAGAZINE
From Audio Notes, by William Nichols
"...These are two very attractive and appealing works by Rick Sowash, played
most effectively by a seasoned ensemble which is well known to most of our
readers. Another important factor to the success of these pieces is the
recorded sound, which is stunning. The instrument timbres captured here
are as vivid and natural as recording gets, including the terrific
sounding piano, an instrument which is so often poorly reproduced in
modern recordings. The Verdehr Tio seems present in the room, with each
instrument detailed, and the ensemble balance perfect. Kudos to producer /
engineer Sergei Kvitko and the Blue Griffin Studio in Lansing, Michigan
for these recordings, which would make any audiophile smile."
The Memorial Church at Harvard University has held a daily service of
Morning Prayers since nearly the universityís founding. A few services each week
feature music for just eight menís voices or eight womenís voices (rather
than the larger mixed choir). This necessitates a search for
unaccompanied repertoire for these small ensembles.
Though there is obviously much two-part Renaissance choral music for
non-mixed voices, there has been almost no such unaccompanied repertoire
composed in recent centuries. In the past few years I have invited a number of
distinguished contemporary composers to write new motets for this genre.
No composer has responded to my request more enthusiastically and
abundantly than Rick Sowash, who has brought to the genre both tremendous
skill and great imagination.
Composer in Residence
The Memorial Church at Harvard University
Storytelling Know-How: for Teachers, Preachers and Speech-ifiers
Storytelling Know-how for Teachers, Preachers and Speech-ifiers shows how anyone can use their eyes, voice, face, hands and props to tell stories that will make listeners’ imaginations soar.
Moderately Lazy Biker’s
Guide to Litchfield County
by Rick Sowash
with quotations from Odell Shepard
and illustrations by Beatrice Stevens
moderately lazy biker loves a long downhill glide, has no
complaint with more or less level terrain, but abhors a steep
climb. Though decidedly hilly, even mildly
mountainous, Litchfield County offers many a glorious ride
for the moderately lazy.
Classical Magazine Review - June, 2009
Sowash - Three trios for violin, clarinet and piano
Rick Sowash. Three trios for violin, clarinet
and piano. No. 1: Sunny Days (Suite) (1996); No. 2: American
Variations on a Belorussian Folksong: “The Sun Already
Shines” (2005); No. 3: Memories of Corsica (2007).
Here are three delightful trios for violinclarinet and piano
by a prolific Cincinnati composer who, luckily for us has
had a long and ongoing love affair with the clarinet. A few
decades ago, musicians were hard pressed to find works for
this trio combination. The internationally acclaimed Verdehr
Trio has championed the cause of expanding this repertoire
by commissioning both audience friendly music and experimental
pieces to our repertoire, including the third of these trios
by Rick Sowash.
Order the sheet music...
Rick Sowash's New Film on Johnny Appleseed!
of the most beloved folk heroes in history, Johnny Appleseed
transformed the American frontier. He planted the apple
trees that fed and sheltered the early settlers of our
Review of "Memories of Corsica"
Stephen Brookes, The Washington Post
"Rick Sowash composed his "Memories of Corsica" for
the Verdehr Trio in 2007, and it's an engaging, colorful
tone poem in the time-honored genre of musical travelogue.
"Audubon" a Wind Octet
Listen to the premiere performance which took place on June
11, 2006 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, at "WindFest
III." The concert was sponsored by the Kitchener-Waterloo
Chamber Music Society.
Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
Listen to the premiere performance of Rick's newest major work, the
Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra.
Join the weekly free Sowash MP3 email list at email@example.com
Review of The Boy Who Would be Famous
by Jane Durrell
Author Rick Sowash’s memories of his years from five to ten (1955-1960), when he set out to be famous, incorporate important interactions with both sets of grandparents and inadvertently let us know how we might be remembered by those small people who are so important in our lives. Our memories might even merge with some of young Rick’s dreams and confusions. Is he the first child to have gone to school expecting to learn to read the first day?
American Record Guide Review of the Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
"If Aaron Copland wrote the definitive American clarinet concerto,
Sowash may have [written] a close second. Even with a common
heritage, each work is strikingly original. ...
Sowash writes for a full orchestra with winds, brass, and
percussion ... immerses the soloist in orchestral color, almost like
a tone poem with solo clarinet ...[and] navigates his expansive
soundscape very well, driving the Concerto forward with expressive
motivic digures and highly colorful scoring."
-- Patrick Hanudel, March/April '12 issue of American Record Guide
Sanctuary at 3 am "
by Ray Silvertrust, The Chamber Music Journal
"Mr. Sowash's music cannot be pigeon-holed. At times
neo-classical, romantic, neo-romantic, or impressionist, the
music is always original and never hackneyed or low-brow."
Review of the CD
“Sanctuary at 3am”
by Charles Parsons
from The American Record Guide, September/October, 2004
"It’s all totally tonal, tender, melancholy,
quietly old-fashioned and exquisitely beautiful, exquisitely
played. The music rests gracefully and gratefully in the
ear. It’s music to “get away from it all.” What
a treasure! What a pleasure!"
Classical Net Review,
by Steve Schwartz
"However, the melodies so consistently seduce me, that
my analytical listening goes to hell. Like the American composer
Jerome Moross, Sowash's music gives the impression of "just
song." It's not, of course, since the textures often
spring from imitative counterpoint, yet without calling attention
to themselves as such."
"Rick Sowash: An Important Contemporary American
by Ray Silvertrust
The Chamber Music Journal
Vol. XIV No. 4 Winter 2003
Most importantly, this is music which upon hearing
immediately convinces as to its value. It is a pleasure to review two
recent CDs of his music.
ACMP - The Chamber Music Network