david servias

Oregon Media Project: Channeling Oregon’s beauty into music

Oregon composers write new music to accompany images of Oregon


The beauty of Oregon’s sweeping landscapes from the Pacific Ocean to the high desert country has long inspired artists — perhaps none more than photographer and University of Oregon professor emeritus Don Hunter. Even in his 90s, Hunter was a one-person show, packing three projection screens, six projectors, and sound equipment into his station wagon and setting out across the state and beyond to share with audiences his Oregon story programs comprising multi-image, music and narration. When age made it impossible for him to take his show on the road, Hunter donated his collection of 150,000 colored slides to the Lane County Historical Society in 2010

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Oregon’s landscapes inspire new Oregon music for violin and piano. Photo: Terry Kneen.

When  Eugene violinist Wyatt True discovered the Hunter collection, he was inspired to explore the idea of  of combining photographs of  Oregon with music. He conceived an evening of original music for violin and piano with projected imagery, and submitted the idea in a funding proposal to Mu Phi Epsilon, a professional music fraternity. When he was awarded the MPE’s Beth Landis Violin Scholarship in 2013, True commissioned Oregon composers Benjamin Krause and J.M. Gerraughty to write new works for violin and piano inspired by four distinct Oregon land- and cityscapes: Portland, the Willamette Valley, sand dunes, and the high desert. Violinist True and pianist and David Servias, accompanied by projected photographs, will premiere both  new works on October 25 at Oregon State University (where Dr. Servias teaches) and the University of Oregon on October 27.


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