May 18, 2017
Hannah Lash composes "Ludus" for Christopher Houlihan
Hannah Lash
Hannah Lash

Ludus was composed specifically for Christopher Houlihan and commissioned by David Emery in memory of Professor C. Edward Bryan for the 2017 American Guild of Organists Southeast Regional Convention in Jacksonville, Florida. Ludus meaning ‘game’, ‘play’ or ‘training/lesson’ in Latin, refers to the formal construction of the piece. The piece, in Lash’s own words, “is in a lot of ways a kind of game about contrapuntal practices which are deeply connected to the organ repertoire. It is in some ways like a lesson for me as I learn to write for this instrument!”

As this work is Lash’s first ever composition for organ, it presented many unique opportunities and challenges: “what I found to be most challenging to get my head around is the fact that there is no direct correlation between the physical effort of the player upon the quality of sound produced. Unlike my own instrument (harp), where the more I exert myself and the more deeply I play into the strings, the louder the sound, the number of stops and which ones you use decide how much sound is going to come out of the organ. I found that surprisingly disconcerting as I was writing my piece.”

Ludus begins almost like a 3-part sinfonia, with three voices whose relation to one another is well-defined. Lash directs the listener to the moment when the three voices in imitation transform into a 4-part fugue, “I like the fluidity of what that shift means for the form of my piece. This is a piece whose general character will be familiar to players and audiences, but it seeks to push the boundaries of these familiar elements as far as possible without their losing their recognizability.”

The world premiere of Ludus is on June 14 at 7:30 pm at the 2017 American Guild of Organists Southeast Regional Convention at Jacoby Hall (300 Water Street) in Jacksonville, Florida. The New York City premiere is on June 23 at 8:00 pm at The Church of the Holy Apostles (296 9th Avenue), and composer Hannah Lash will be in attendance.

See Related:
Related Link
Back to List
Back to Top