Philip Carlsen

Biography: 

Born in Coulee Dam, Washington, in 1951, Philip Carlsen studied at the University of Washington, Brooklyn College, and the CUNY Graduate Center, working principally with Robert Suderburg and Jacob Druckman, as well as with Stuart Dempster, William Bergsma, Mario Davidovsky, and Charles Dodge.  He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Maine Arts Commission; a residency at the MacDowell Colony; and the 1989 American Composers Alliance/Town Hall Commission. 

The National Symphony Orchestra, in connection with its nationwide residency program, chose Carlsen to represent Maine in writing a new chamber work for premiere at the Kennedy Center that would “express the spirit of Maine’s people.”  Other commissions have come from the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Bossov Ballet Theatre, the Sebago-Long Lakes Region Chamber Music Festival, the trio Penumbra, etc.  Carlsen’s solo piano piece “October,” recorded by his son Melsen, is available from Navona Records on the SCI CD series.

In addition to his orchestral, chamber, and vocal music for traditional Western musicians, Carlsen has also composed for Javanese and Sundanese gamelan, for Laotian khean, and for his own original instruments.  He has written and premiered five pieces for automobile orchestra in Farmington, Maine.  One of them, “ReinCARnation,” was encored in October 2015 in the courtyard of Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg.

Carlsen is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Maine at Farmington, where he conducted the orchestra and taught other music courses for 33 years.  He lives in South Portland, Maine, with his wife, the poet Jeri Theriault.

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ACE Publications

1 Asa Nisi Masa (2016)
2-2-2-2 / 2-1-1-0 / 1 perc / solo violin / strings

2 ASA NISI MASA - duo version (2017)
violin, piano

3 At the Winter Window (2019)
SATB chorus and piano

4 CAR AFTERLIFE (2008)
50 automobiles with drivers, 4 conductors

5 Cool Mosses Deep (2019)
flute octet (piccolo, 4 C-flutes, 2 alto flutes, bass flute)

6 A DARK PINE'S HAND (1997)
2 fl(pic), 2, 2, 1+1 / 4,2,3,1 / timp / 3 perc / str

7 DISTANCE - PROXIMITY (2013)
brass quintet (2 tpt, hn, tbn, tba)

8 DRAGONFLY (2008)
solo marimba

9 DUST AS WE ARE (2003)
Javanese gamelan (pelog), singers (gerongan), orchestra

10 EAST BY NORTHEAST (2009)
wind octet (fl, ob, cl, bn, hn, tpt, tbn, tuba)

11 ECHO PIECE NO. 1 (1998)
2,2,2,2 / 2,0,0,0 / cellos and basses

12 ECHOES OF A SHADOW (1990)
solo piano

13 ELUSIVE BLUES (1990)
solo piano

14 FAIR SEED-TIME (1985)
Tenor and Orch: 2,2,2,2 / 2,1,1,0 / 1 perc / pf / str

15 Far Psalteries of Summer (2003)
violin, cello, marimba, piano

16 FOUR JOURNEYS IN MAINE (1989)
S, 2fl(pic), ob, 2 cl(bcl), 2 bn / 1,1,1,0 / 1 perc / str

17 THE GARDEN (2000)
SATB chor, 2 perc, 2 pf

18 HOLLY AND IVY (1998)
fl, cl, hn, perc, vln, vla, vc, db

19 IMPROMPTU (2018)
Euphonium, Marimba

20 IN SEARCH OF HOLLY (2017)
3 marimbas, 1 snare drum

21 INCARNATION for automobile orchestra (2009)
32-Automobile orchestra, conductor

22 LANDSCAPE WITH LADYSLIPPER (1997)
fl(pic), ob(ca), cl(bcl), vln, vla, vc, db

23 THE LOTOS-EATERS (2003)
Javanese gamelan (slendro), singers (gerongan), orchestra

24 MAINE TRAVELER'S ADVISORY (1997)
fl, cl, bn, tbn, mba, vn, db

25 Midsummer Night’s Dream (songs and incidental music) (2009)
singers, toy piano, flute, cello, percussion

26 MOVING DAY (2016)
vcl, pf

27 NACH BACH (2017)
marimba quartet

28 NEW WORLD SUITE No. 3, Part 1: ALL THE DESANCTIFIED PLACES (2017)
vln, vla, vcl
Speaking string trio

29 NEW WORLD SUITE No. 3, Part 2: WHO IS THE FLUTEPLAYER? (2018)
for violin, viola, and violoncello (players speak text)

30 NIGHT THOUGHTS (1996)
S, SATB chor, 2 hn, hp, 2 vla, 2 vc, db

31 NIGHT THOUGHTS - Piano Vocal (2015)
SATB, piano

32 NIMBUS (1978)
vibraphone, marimba, suspended cymbal, Chinese cymbal, tam tam, brass wind chimes
3 PERC

33 October (2003)
solo piano

34 PENUMBRA (2016)
clarinet, violin, piano

35 Phantastische Sonate (2014)
piano and chamber orchestra (2-1-2-2 / 2-1-0-0 / timp / str)

36 POLKA FOLKS - 4-hands marimba version (2018)
1 marimba, 2 players. May also be played on 2 marimbas

38 ReinCARnation (2012)
Car radios
Automobile orchestra

39 Rhizome (2019)
bass flute, trumpet, vibraphone, and double bass

40 ROWING IN EDEN (1992)
2fl(pic), 2ob(ca), 2 cl, 2 bn / 4,2,3,1 / timp / 1 perc / hp / str

41 SNOW LEAF (2005)
Javanese gamelan, slendro and pelog

42 SNOW LEAF, VALENTINE (2010)
for Javanese gamelan, slendro and pelog

43 Soft Voices - a cappella (2005)
SAATB a cappella (Vocal quintet or choir)

44 Soft Voices - Choir with Chamber Ensemble (2005)
SATB, 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 0 0 - STRINGS

45 SONGS OF HERSELF (1989)
SATB chor

46 SUSURRUS (2014)
solo marimba

47 TANGO TANGGUNG (2012)
cello, with Sundanese gamelan degung (5 or more players)

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