Sacramento State professor and flutist Laurel Zucker does it all. She’s a world-renowned performer, a prolific composer, and she owns an independent record label called Cantilena. The latest CD from Cantilena is Lyrical Sonatas for Flute and Guitar. The New York City native says the impetus for the most recent installment came from her dear friend and long-time collaborator, Marc Delpriora, who she’s known for forty years. She says Delpriora asked her to record a sonata about three years ago but she couldn’t due to illness. Delpriora asked Zucker again after waiting for a while and this time she agreed.
In addition to Delpriora’s “Sonata for Flute and Guitar,” Zucker has a couple of pieces on the album as well. The first is a composition she wrote after hearing an old Jamaican children’s tune that she stumbled upon while on the internet. It’s called “Biddy, Biddy.” Zucker was amused by the fact that the title means “chicken” which informs some of the work’s characteristics. Otherwise, she explains her rendering sounds nothing like the original aside from an inherent childlike quality.
Happy accidents on the internet aside, much of Zucker’s inspiration for composing comes from her travels. Her Honduras Suite found on this album was inspired by the people and places in the Central American country. All of it, Zucker says, is her way of cataloging the moments of her life.
This weekend Zucker will peform at the Crocker Art Museum as part of a program of pieces written by female African-American composers in celebration of Black History Month. Zucker will join composer and pianist, Jacqueline Butler Hairston and soprano, Henrietta Davis for the event. Learn more about Laurel Zucker, her new album and Cantilena Record at www.laurelzucker.com.