New CD: Scott Pender’s “In the Time Before”

Scott Pender is a Washington DC-based composer and occasional contributor to this site.  His chamber piece “In the Time Before” was just released on Navona Records.

“Post-minimalist” is an entirely accurate description for the piece.  As Scott explains in his program note, he was inspired to sit down and write it after hearing Steve Reich’s Double Sextet in a performance by the Bang on a Can All-Stars in 2010.  You can’t get much more literally post-minimalist than that.  The piece does have that same constant pulse and interlocking grids of sound, but its own sweet tunefulness as well.  What’s also different is that after listening to Reich I usually carry away a timbre.  After listening to “In the Time Before” I have a melody in my head plus a bit of wistfulness.  Maybe that nostalgic feeling is something I’m projecting onto the piece, but then there’s Scott’s title to consider.

The Navano release, titled “Lock & Key,” also features music by R. David Salvage, Daniel Purttu and Malcolm Hawkins.  The “digital booklet” features extensive notes plus full scores and even a short video of Scott and members of the Morovian Philharmonic prior to the recording session.

Below is a recent video of the composer at the piano with Jeff Kahan performing Scott’s Variations for Piano and Oboe.


Excerpt from the score of “In the Time Before”:


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