The Nebraska Chamber Players and composer Rusty Banks will release their CD “Ashfall” at a release party from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Henry’s on South, 2110 Winthrop Road, tying in the celebration with “Give to Lincoln.”
The fossil beds in northeast Nebraska inspired Banks, a former Lincoln musician who now lives in Pennsylvania, to compose his chamber music work, one of four pieces on the new CD.
“It was a piece I’d been wanting to write,” he said. “But the commissions that had been coming along just weren’t a good fit, so I kept shelving the Ashfall idea.”
That changed when Rebecca Van de Bogart, Nebraska Chamber Players artistic director, called Banks asking for a larger-scale chamber work.
“I knew this was the right vehicle,” Banks said.
“Ashfall” features 15 Chamber Players, including a string quartet plus double bass, a wind quintet, harp, piano and percussion. Small music boxes punctuate three sections of it, playing themes based on material from the piece.
Also on the CD are two earlier Banks pieces commissioned by NCP -- “Montuno” and “Lament” -- as well as "Haunted by Waters" for clarinet, violin and piano. The album is dedicated to Jerry Johnston, a longtime NET Radio producer and personality who passed away in February.
The CD will be available at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and direct from the Nebraska Chamber Players at nebraskachamberplayers.org.
-- Jeff Korbelik