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New music on Mark Twain's "A Sweltering Day in Australia" composed by David A. Jaffe for contralto Karen Clark and the Galax Quartet
60 backers pledged $5,545 to help bring this project to life.
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On the 4th of December in 2014, the Galax Quartet and the contralto Karen Clark will premiere a new work, "Eight O's in Woolloomooloo" for voice and string quartet, written by the Berkeley composer David A. Jaffe.  The lighthearted lyric is drawn from Mark Twain's "A Sweltering Day in Australia," a poem originally published in his travel book "Following the Equator."

This new piece by composer Jaffe will become a permanent and superb addition to the repertoire for contralto and string quartet. The performers are seeking private donations for the last bit of financing to pay for the commission and the Berkeley CA premiere, which is funded in part by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music (New York City) and presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society. (We thank you for considering donating.)

The Galax Quartet is a variation on the classical string quartet. The Galax Quartet combines the traditional violin family instruments (18th century violin(s) and viola and cello) with the viola da gamba. With only three (!) pieces from the 18th century written for this ensemble of instruments, the Galax Quartet frequently find itself commissioning living composers for new music.

"Eight O's in Woolloomooloo" was inspired and instigated by a frequent Galax collaborator, the contralto Karen Clark. The composer and Ms. Clark worked together on occasion during the 1990s at Princeton University. When they both found themselves later living in Berkeley, Ms. Clark introduced the composer to the Galax Quartet and the "Eight O's" project was born.

[Also on the December 4 program will be a substantial selection from J.S. Bach’s final work, Art of the Fugue, as well as the so-called 'deathbed chorale' Vor deinem Thron. A trio of darkly beautiful consort songs by John Dowland completes the program.] 

Risks and challenges

"Eight O's in Woolloomooloo" is written and in rehearsal. The concert premiere is set for December 4 at Trinity Church (at Dana St. and Durant St.) in Berkeley CA. Barring an act of God, this concert will take place. After the December premiere, we will be eager to perform "Eight O's in Woolloomooloo" again. That's the reason some of our award levels offer home concerts!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You get a mention in the program for the December 4 premiere in Berkeley CA + our heartfelt thanks for your generosity

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    You get the above + a copy of our CD "On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder" (Innova Records)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You get the above + a signed, framed page from the composer's pencil sketches for "Eight O's in Woolloomooloo"

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    You get the above + two tickets to the December 4 concert in Berkeley (or to a concert if we're performing in your area)

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    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    You get the above + a signed, framed page from the manuscript score for "Eight O's in Woolloomooloo" in the composer's calligraphy

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    You get the above + a house performance (contact us at galaxquartet@gmail.com before choosing this)

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    You get the above + an arrangement of a song of your choosing (not in copyright, e.g. by John Dowland) to be performed at the house concert (contact us at galaxquartet@gmail.com before choosing this)

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    Pledge $5,200 or more About $5,200

    For the entire amount sought ($5200) you get the above awards + you can be the sole commissioner and have the work dedicated to you (contact us at galaxquaratet@gmail.com before choosing this)

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Funding period

- (21 days)