The CCM-based composer brought his own unique style to the One City, One Symphony concert’s all-American program but also celebrated the American roots nested within the musical styles of all of the composers.
“I think it’s impossible for me, or any other American composer for that matter, to not have American elements in our work,” he says. “Sometimes we don’t even notice them because they’re bred so deeply in our bones.”
Fiday favors using perfect fifth harmonies, which create that great “open” sound that is instantly recognizable as American-bred. His love of jazz found its way into Three for One as well. Some of the “crunchier” harmonies in the piece harken back to legendary jazz artists Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk, Fiday says.
“The rhythmic profile, which is a very important element of almost all of my music, stems from my love for both jazz and popular music — music that is propulsive and energetic, yet also unpredictable.”
Audience members enjoyed Fiday's piece, according to a review by Cincinnati Enquirer arts reporter Janelle Gelfand.
"The work was attractive, well-crafted and consistently inventive," Gelfand wrote. "The audience approved with a standing ovation."
Although Fiday has been commissioned to write compositions for multiple organizations, including the National Flute Association and the American Composers Orchestra, Three for One is his first commission for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
“I’m very proud of the CSO for their increased interest in commissioning new music; a situation I think has improved greatly in the time I’ve been in Cincinnati, particularly during the past four or five years,” he says.
Fiday not only works to create his own new music but also fosters that creativity within his students. CCM has one of the nation’s top 10 music composition programs, according to the US News & World Report. Student composers enjoy working with CCM ensembles and community organizations for hearings and performances.
Engaging one of CCM’s own composers exemplifies One City, One Symphony’s “home” theme, uniting the community through locally made music. According to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, “By connecting music the CSO performs to themes relevant in our everyday lives, One City, One Symphony inspires us, provokes our thinking, and celebrates our shared humanity.”
For more information about the concert, read Janelle Gelfand's review on Cincinnati.com.
Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies