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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Album preview: David Colson's "Rise: Music in Times of Uncertainty"

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Navona Records
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The album cover

David Colson has taken on many roles in his musical life, from percussionist, to professor, to director of the Western Michigan University School of Music. Through it all, he's turned to composing at key moments, often when he's inspired to write for colleagues he values.

In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Colson talks about the music on his new release, and they play excerpts from The Wind Is Rising, the Earth lets itself be inhaled written for bassoonist Benjamin Kamins, Dionysian Mysteries written for the all-saxophone Capitol Quartet, Rise, written for pianist Lori Sims and Clocks in Motion, and How We Change, written for the Western Brass Quintet.

The unique titles he gave the works and their movements helped put him in a meditative frame of mind that made composing easier, says Colson.

Most of the music was recorded in October 2021 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at WMU, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued — part of the "uncertainty" in the album's title.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.