Today’s video premiere comes to us from Clocks in Motion, a percussion ensemble comprised of John Corkill, Christopher G. Jones, and Sean Kleve. Their second album, Oneira, is out now on Aerocade Music and features the music of Las Vegas-based composer Jennifer Bellor.
The album was born from the ensemble’s “Clock Shop” initiative: a program designed to create new works for percussion with a single composer over an extended period of collaboration. As the inaugural Clock Shop composer, Jennifer Bellor developed the three works on Oneira with the Madison, Wisconsin-based percussion ensemble between 2018 and 2021.
As the centerpiece of the album, the 11-minute titular work is “inspired by virtual worlds and dreaming,” according to Bellor. The myriad wooden and metallic timbres of mallet percussion instruments and their variable resonances are brought to life by a whimsical animated music video by Christine Banna.
Here’s what Jennifer Bellor had to say about the inspiration behind the composition:
When I did a quick Google search of “oneira,” the one site that caught my attention was this page that showcased the Greek band “Oneira,” and in the description of their title, Oneira is described as “a dream enriched by the experiences and emotions of each of its members, the result of their respective backgrounds, travels, traditions.” This description resonated with me, since I imagined each of the parts alone having their own identity and character, with the mallets being tools and the keyboard instruments different materials/colors. When they come together, they create this interwoven melodic structure that, to me, represents a virtual world.
And here’s what animator Christine Banna had to say about creating the sci-fi world in the music video:
The concept for “Oneira” originated as a direct response to the music. I took in Jen’s composition and studied it before I started the process of conceptualizing the animation. I let my response to the music develop organically. From the start, the percussion felt like it had a crystalline sound, so I knew crystals would be an essential aspect of the narrative and visuals…From there, I started to develop a character who was thrown on a journey to mirror the flow and change in the composition itself. Science fiction felt like a genre that would give me a lot of freedom aesthetically and narratively, and with those initial seeds, I began to explore, research, and plan.
You can catch the Oneira album release show live at Constellation Chicago or via livestream on Sunday, August 28, 2022 at 8:30pm CDT. Ticket information here.
About Jennifer Bellor
Las Vegas-based composer Jennifer Bellor has been described as “that rare composer whose music manages to be instantly listenable and emotionally resonant without any compromise to its sophistication.” (textura) Bellor’s music has been presented by Washington National Opera, American Composers Orchestra, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Clocks in Motion, Transient Canvas, Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, UNLV Wind Orchestra, Eastman Saxophone Project, Elevate Ensemble, and many others in the US and abroad. Jennifer Bellor is on the music composition faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and artistic director of the new music series Nextet.
About Clocks in Motion
Hailed as “nothing short of remarkable” (ClevelandClassical.com) and “the most exciting addition to Madison’s classical music scene” (The Isthmus), Clocks in Motion is a percussion quartet that performs new music, builds many of its own instruments, and breaks down the boundaries of the traditional concert program. With a fearless and uncompromising ear to programming challenging and adventurous contemporary percussion ensemble repertoire, Clocks in Motion performs classic pieces from the past century alongside newly commissioned works.
Not only known as a virtuosic performing ensemble, Clocks in Motion works passionately to educate young audiences through masterclasses, residencies, presentations, and school assemblies. The individual members of Clocks in Motion’s unique skill sets and specialties contain an impressive mix of musical styles including, rock, jazz, contemporary classical music, orchestral percussion, marching percussion, and world music styles. Clocks in Motion proudly performs using Marimba One marimbas and vibraphones.
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