May 22: Composers – Allan, Touch, 2009

Jon Curtis Season of the Day

We continue our miniseries about "Composers - Allan Petker" with a story of collaboration across cultures and disciplines.  Here to tell us the story is David Irvine:

“Touch” was the result of a convergence of several inspirations.  First was attending the Oregon Bach Festival in 2005 and hearing three world premieres of major choral works.  I thought to myself, “I want to do that!”  Then I became acquainted with the artwork of He Qi and was amazed by him. 

I discovered that the work by this Chinese artist was only available in one place in the US and that was in Sister Bay, Wisconsin.  This little town of 200 people happened to be where my in-laws lived!  On our next visit to Sister Bay, we purchased one of his paintings and learned about He Qi from the gallery owner, who was a close friend of He Qi. 

I put two and two together and was inspired to give Allan a commission.  I remember eating dinner with Allan at the Seafood Peddler in San Rafael and offering him the commission.  Allan asked what the text would be.  I still remember the distraught look on Allan’s face when I said there was no text, only paintings! 

Allan perused He Qi’s artwork, picked his favorites, but couldn’t find a common thread or theme.  Looking at Allan’s favorites, I saw the thread.  In all of his favorites, Jesus was touching someone.  Allan took it from there and “Touch” was born.

The world premiere was at St. Andrew Presbyterian in Sonoma on June 28, 2009 with Allan conducting and with He Qi and his wife in attendance.  The next performance was with Consort Chorale on August 16, 2009.  Besides the gift that Allan gave all of us with this beautiful, inspired piece of music,  both Allan and I gained a new and lasting friendship with He Qi!

"Touch" is set to He Qi's artwork.  This is the performance by Consort Chorale, Opus 16, 2009.  You may also want to refer to the Opus 16 program notes for Touch.

Quiz of the Day

Yesterday's Quiz: Here's the official answer from our very busy Director, Allan.  "As for publishing companies, let's go with publishing companies I either own or serve as the Vice President of Publications.  I am involved with more publishers as a writer, or have done clinics for them, and that list will get too unwieldy."

"Own: Pavane Publishing and John Rich Music Press.
VP of Pub: Fred Bock Publishing Group, which includes the following imprints: Fred Bock Music Company, Gentry Publications, Hinshaw Music, National Music Publishers, Jubal House, Epiphany House, H.T. FitzSimons Company, and The Raymond A. Hoffman Company"

Perhaps an easier question for today: What tattoo does Allan have on his left arm?

Reply with your answers, or photos?