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 Dem ESCHART von Brunswick gewidmet (2019)
8 pianos in separate rooms

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

9 DRAGONFLY (2008)
solo marimba

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

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

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

13 ECHOES OF A SHADOW (1990)
solo piano

14 ELUSIVE BLUES (1990)
solo piano

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

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

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

18 Gambangan (2019)
solo marimba

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

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

21 IMPROMPTU (2018)
Euphonium, Marimba

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

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

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

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

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

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

28 MOVING DAY (2016)
vcl, pf

29 NACH BACH (2017)
marimba quartet

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

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

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

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

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

35 October (2003)
solo piano

36 PENUMBRA (2016)
clarinet, violin, piano

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

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

40 ReinCARnation (2012)
Car radios
Automobile orchestra

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

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

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

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

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

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

47 SONGS OF HERSELF (1989)
SATB chor

48 SUSURRUS (2014)
solo marimba

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

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