by James Hampson, with Shanyse Strickland and Susan Anderson
In a live-streamed recital this summer at IHS53, Dr. James Hampson premiered Lazy Bones, a new work by Shanyse Strickland for a newly (re)designed instrument, the slide horn, or corno da tirarsi, built by Susan Anderson. Here, the three artists engage in a roundtable discussion about the power of collaboration between builder, composer, and performer:
Lazy Bones is a piece exploring the movement of bones, the human body’s physical foundation which interacts with everyday life in a world that is constantly changing around us. The design of the human body, its functions, and, most importantly, the dexterity it possesses, is something that has always been a fascinating phenomenon which moves beyond science into the spiritual world. Lazy Bones explores different events one experiences in life while presenting the horn in some familiar and some not-so-familiar territories; Lazy Bones tells a story as much as it provides a demonstration of what the slide horn can do. Strickland sees this piece as opening doors for more composers to write specifically for this instrument in new ways.
Susan Anderson is a repair technician and instrument builder in Portland, Oregon. She got her start in brass instrument repair during her undergraduate years at the University of North Texas, and she founded Jackalope Brassworks in 2012 while completing her master’s degree in horn performance at the University of Oregon. The project's original intent was to make a historically informed instrument more accessible to horn players by combining a custom slide with an ordinary posthorn. Adapting the design to complement the demands of modern composition was, for Susan, a fun challenge.
Shanyse Strickland is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger from Akron, Ohio. Shanyse received her undergraduate degree in horn performance at Youngstown State University and a graduate degree at Duquesne University, and she recently earned an artist diploma in jazz horn at Montclair State University in New Jersey where she now resides. Shanyse is currently freelancing in New Jersey and New York while focusing on her newest endeavors as a modern composer, taking on projects that she hopes will shape the future of art music.
Dr. James Hampson holds a doctorate from Boston University in historical performance on natural and historic horns as the first person in the country to pursue this degree. He is guest instructor of natural horn at Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Hampson owns Hampson Horns, a business specializing in rare and antique brass instruments. This slide horn is one of many projects he has in the works to make historic instruments and knowledge more available and accessible to all.