RHAPSODY: an acoustic sextet commissioned by the Greenfield Prize in Music at the Hermitage Artist Retreat
Rhapsody - 13' excerpt video from the World Premiere, New College, Sarasota, Florida, April 21, 2017
In 2015, Previte received the Greenfield Prize in music at the Hermitage Artist Retreat to create a new work. Terminals Part II: In Transit (or RHAPSODY) is the result. RHAPSODY is the second in a three-part series exploring the experience of travel. Terminals Part I: DEPARTURES, is a set of five concertos written for the visionary percussion group SO Percussion and five improvisers. This piece premiered at Merkin Hall in New York City in 2011 and the recording was released on Cantaloupe Music in 2014. In RHAPSODY, the improvisers from DEPARTURES, each of whom had been selected based on their ability to separately carry fifteen-minute concertos, were thrown together into one ensemble.
Beginning from the point of view of a passenger sitting comfortably in an airplane, RHAPSODY twists and turns, until the traveler finally arrives at a strange shore - on a raft.
What is the experience of being in transit? Separated from your home but not yet at your destination, you are neither here nor there, confined with strangers in an intimate environment for a predetermined amount of time. Uncomfortable, yet somehow free. To travel is to be bound with these strangers by faith—faith in the vessel which carries you, faith in the people who operate it, and ultimately, faith in the strangers waiting at your destination.
"In what may prove to be a landmark event, New Music New College presented the world premiere of Bobby Previte’s “Rhapsody (Terminals Part II: In Transit)” at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion on the New College of Florida campus before a near-capacity and highly enthusiastic audience on Friday evening. The concert was the result of Previte winning the 2015 Greenfield Prize.
Composer Previte, playing percussion as well as guitar, autoharp and harmonica, and joined by guitarist Nels Cline, John Medeski, piano; Greg Osby, alto saxophone; Zeena Parkins, harp; Jen Shyu -- voice, traditional Chinese string instrument er hu, percussion and piano, delivered a remarkably energetic and compelling performance. Their skill and unflagging energy proved to be essential to the performance of this challenging composition, focusing on a sometimes obscure scenario: a recreation of the experience of being “in transit” in life. Many of us have experienced the pervasive combination of both the excitement of discovery and the lack of traditional roots as we move forward in our lives and careers, but have seldom heard this sensation expressed publicly and so expertly as in this intense performance."
- SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE