"Ellenwood held an understanding but convincing hand over the ensemble, seeking just the sound he wanted. It was good to see everyone fully involved in making the premiere excellent, and it happened…It was a special time for the Nebraska Chamber Players, with the highlight being Ellenwood’s piece which should get widespread performance and respect in the years to come.”

 

—Lincoln Journal Star

Artistic Philosophy

Emotion. Resonance. Transformation.

To make music is to enter into the deepest place in the heart, mind, and spirit—a place beyond words, a place shared by all of humanity, where our deepest yearning and sorrow dwell alongside our purest joy, empathy, compassion, and love. It is a place that I believe everyone needs to find within, but which lays buried, undiscovered, repressed, damaged, or dormant for many of us. Everything I make flows from the deepest center of my being, thus it is my greatest hope that you will truly feel my music internally—and that you will feel and see into your center.

As a composer, I am compelled to navigate, confront, and embrace the darkest and most daunting inner geographies of my heart; these internal journeys enable me to transform my deepest personal joy, love, pain, sorrow, loss, trauma, and yearning into a musical expression that is personally resonant, meaningful, and healing. In my work, you will hear a diverse range of influences—from the harmonic and melodic vocabulary of the late 19th century to jazz. I value melody, drama, lyricism, and emotional intensity. I am unabashed in my love for tonality, harmonic surprise, textural intricacy, and rhythmic complexity.

 

My goal as an artist is to awaken the innermost places in the human heart through musical vibration and resonance. It is my deepest hope that my music creates an internal resonance powerful enough to shake apart the shell, walls, or armor enclosing the listener’s heart, so that they may discover and recognize and heal the deepest parts of themselves. Through such discovery, recognition, and healing, I see a hope for human transformation and transcendence, if we can recognize this deep resonance as powerful evidence of our shared humanity, and we open ourselves to each other, and to compassion, connection, and love.

"resounding depths" (fl, cl, cello, pno version)

Robin Fellows, flute; Christian Ellenwood, clarinet, Benjamin Whitcomb, cello; MyungHee Chung, piano

© 2018 by Christian Ellenwood.