Willimantic, Conn: — Anthony Cornicello, professor of music at Eastern Connecticut State University, will present “A Coney Island of the Mind” in the Aetna Theater at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford on May 17 at 1 p.m. While there is no charge for admission into the performance, entrance fees for the museum apply.
Cornicello’s composition takes six poems from Lawrence Ferlinghetti collection and re-imagines them for tenor, chamber ensemble and interactive electronics. The instrumentation (sax, guitar, bass, accordion and drum set) is reminiscent of a jazz group, and is indicative of Ferlinghetti’s interest in jazz, as well as that of the composer.
“It’s an unusual hybrid piece, a true fusion work,” said Cornicello. There are written passages as well as improvised sections. The Prelude (N-train Fantasy) can even function as a jazz tune on its own. Yet some of the songs like “Pennycandy store beyond the El” have a post modern quality more like the concert music I’ve been writing for the past 30 years.”
Cornicello, who directs the Electronic Music Lab at Eastern, said his compositions “blur distinctions between performers and electronic, timbre and harmony, composition and improvisation and explore the boundaries of what may be considered post-classical concert music. The music is vibrant and visceral, full of rhythmic energy and harmonic sophistication, and my forays into live electronics have led to exciting combinations of instruments and processed sound.”
Cornicello has been commissioned to write music for the Trio 3D (Paris), ModernWorks (funded by Meet the Composer/ Commissioning Music USA), the New York New Music Ensemble, the Group for Contemporary Music and the InterEnsemble (Padova, Italy). His music has been presented as part of the Darmstadt and June in Buffalo Festivals; published by C.F. Peters; and appears on the Centaur and Albany labels.
The concert is presented in conjunction with “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland.” For more information: http://thewadsworth.org/event/musical-performance-a-coney-island-of-the-mind/