Firebird Ensemble recently released an album devoted to music by Professor of composition and theory Eric Moe. The CD, Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, takes its name from one of the evocatively titled compositions contained on the disc. The remaining works on the album live up to Moe’s proclivity for intriguing titles as well: Frozen Hours Melt Melodiously into the Past, riprap, Preamble and Dreamsong from the 4-5 a.m. REM Stage, and Mud Wrestling at the O.K. Corral. The musical selections provide a compelling survey of the breadth of Moe’s creative vision. Summing it up succinctly in the liner notes, Robert Kirzinger writes,
“The five works on this disc tap into a wide and deep current of sources and ideas, a microcosm of Moe’s fascinations, with references to Goethe and Richard Wilbur as well as his own already wildly allusive Tri-Stan. As was David Foster Wallace, whose short story “Tri-stan” provided the basis for Moe’s 45-minute monodrama, Moe is an artist with chops and pedigree.”
Firebird Ensemble also displays chops and pedigree to spare in a project that is the culmination of a longstanding and fruitful collaboration between Moe and Boston-based new music group. In 2009, Firebird commissioned Moe to compose Frozen Hours Melt Melodiously into the Past, then commissioned a companion piece, the title track, in 2011. Both were composed with the support of the Jebediah Foundation New Music Commissions. Firebird cellist David Russell, (a frequent Music on the Edge performer) commissioned another of the selections, Mud Wrestling at the OK Corral, further underscoring the importance of enduring artistic relationships.
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch is a New World Records release available directly from New World Records as well as from iTunes, Amazon, and many other outlets.