Starry Night Project: Music Based on Visual Art
MONTAGE Music Society’s Starry Night Project is a multi-disciplinary initiative that features music of noted living American composers written exclusively about works of visual art. The featured paintings belong to prominent art collections, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and The Art Institute of Chicago.

A key component of the project is the connection of ear to eye, eye to ear; thereby encouraging the audience to observe, notice and gain more appreciation and understanding for the respective art forms. Forging connections between art forms encourages active listening and observation and stimulates fresh, new insights into the musical and visual creative processes.

MONTAGE also frequently features another composition based on visual art in their STARRY NIGHT Project performance programs. William Grant Still’s Suite for Violin and Piano features three movements, each based on a different work of visual art.

Album credits

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Matthew Harris (b. 1956): Starry Night
Seven Paintings for Violin, Cello and Piano
Written under the support of a National Endowment for the Arts grant
Dedicated to the Stony Brook Trio
C. F. Peters Edition
Performers: Sarita Uranovsky, violin, Marc Moskovitz, cello, Debra Ayers, piano
Van Gogh: Starry Night (Canto) (4:12) Listen to sample
Rousseau: Sleeping Gypsy (Berceuse) (3:27) Listen to sample
Picasso: Harlequin (Caprice) (3:17) Listen to sample
Ensor: Masks Confronting Death (Dirge) (3:46) Listen to sample
Matisse: The Piano Lesson (Etude) (1:25) Listen to sample
Dali: Persistence of Memory (Fantasy) (3:16) Listen to sample
Mondrian: Broadway Boogie (Dance) (2:38) Listen to sample
Stephen Paulus (b. 1949): ART SUITE for Cello and Piano (1999)
Commissioned by David and Judy Ranheim for Bjorn Ranheim, 1999
Published by Paulus Publications 
Performers: Marc Moskovitz, cello, Debra Ayers, piano
Breughel (The Kermess) (1:52) Listen to sample
Degas (Dancer) (3:26) Listen to sample
Seurat (A Sunday at the Grand Jatte) (6:59) Listen to sample
Rivers (Washington Crossing the Delaware) (2:20) Listen to sample
Libby Larsen (b. 1950): Black Birds, Red Hills
A Portrait of Six Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe for clarinet, viola and piano
Commissioned by the University of Alabama for Thea Engelson and Scott Bridges, 1996
Oxford University Press (ASCAP) 
Performers: Stephen Dyball, viola, Bruce Creditor, clarinet, Debra Ayers, piano                      
See image
Pedernal Hills (2:42) Listen to sample
Black Rock (2:01) Listen to sample
See image
Red Hills and Sky (2:03) Listen to sample
See image
A Black Bird with Snow Covered Red Hills (2:25) Listen to sample
Looking (0:38)
(coda to A Black Bird with Snow Covered Red Hills)
Listen to sample
Andrew List (b. 1966): NOA NOA
A Gauguin Tableau for Clarinet, Violin and Piano (2008)
Commissioned by Greg DePrince for MONTAGE Music Society
MONTAGE World Premiere
Performers: Sarita Uranovsky, violin; Bruce Creditor, clarinet; Debra Ayers, piano
Where Do We Come From? (3:48) Listen to sample
What Are We? (3:55) Listen to sample
Where Are We Going? (8:41) Listen to sample

MONTAGE Music Society is grateful to the following for support of the STARRY NIGHT Project:
Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund
Greg DePrince: ‘Noa Noa’ commission
Ann Tracy, our most loyal recording sponsor!
Matthew Harris
Andrew List
Richard Schaul-Yoder
Hannah van Field 
Sophie H. Gay
Aimee Marshall
Hilary Richardson

Special thanks:
George Shackelford, Chair of the Department of the Art of Europe and Solomon Curator of Modern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; Susie Wagar, Leah Whiteside 

Recording Producer: MONTAGE Music Society, Inc.
Recording Engineer: Joel Gordon with David Corcoran assisting
Editing for Noa Noa: Tom Carr
Recording Piano Technician: Leonard Harris
Recorded May 15-19, 2008 at Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College
North Andover, Massachusetts
MSR Classics, Catalogue # 1264

Pamela Hitchcock, Wissahickon Design, website

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