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RU Professor Releases CD Recorded at RU

Graham Hair with Professor Bruce Mahin

Graham Hair and Bruce Mahin discuss the recordings in Glasgow.

One composer is originally from Australia. The singers are from Scotland. And most everything else is Radford University Department of Music’s Dr. Bruce Mahin when it comes to Ravello Record’s recent release of the CD “Music from Three Continents.”

Mahin, along with his own compositions, brought in Australian composer Graham Hair and the Glasgow group Hair directs, Scottish Voices, to create a 12-piece compilation of classical pieces for voice. Each composer has two sections of works sung by Scottish Voices.

CD cover for "Music From Three Continents"

Mahin originally met Hair in Glasgow back in 1996, when the former was there on a research fellowship. Over the past eight years, the RU professor has written several pieces for Scottish Voices.

In 2009 and 2011, Mahin brought Hair and his group to the U.S. for tours. Scottish Voices performed at RU and in Baltimore in 2009. During that time, they recorded Mahin’s “Time2” at RU. In 2011, they recorded "Songs from the Turkish" and "Whitman Psalms" also at RU. Mahin then engineered the work and sent the master to Ravello Records.

The songs in Mahin’s “Time2” section of the CD are based on poetry by the American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Penn Warren.

When asked what the biggest challenge was for this CD, he said it was pulling together all the materials for the final project, “This involved several years of planning and preparation of scores, program notes, copyright permissions for the texts, photo preparation, recording and engineering. I don't think anyone can really appreciate how much work and time it takes to produce something like this.”

In addition to all this, Mahin also created an iPad app and the multimedia features that accompany the CD. These include the CD booklet with sung texts and translations, commentaries from both composers, the scores of the works, session photos, and ringtones.

But foremost, Mahin is a composer. Martin Anderson notes in his review for the January/February issue of Fanfare Magazine that, “Mahin writes expertly for his voices, and the dramatic gestures of the second movement, ‘Dreaming in Daylight’ are very effective indeed, as are the final movement, ‘Platonic Drowse’ are particularly noteworthy.”

“Music from Three Continents” is available at the RU Bookstore or on iTunes, Amazon and Naxos.com.

Mahin will also be co-teaching a music and multimedia summer sequence of courses. He is sharing the bill with Dr. West Bowers from the School of Communication. These three courses will provide 12 hours of credit and involve using iPads for music and multimedia creations. For more information, please click on this link to the course description.

For more information about the CD or the summer course sequence, contact Mahin at bmahin@RADFORD.EDU.

Feb 3, 2014

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