Graphite is proud to welcome Dr. Ellen Gilson Voth to our roster. Dr. Voth is a well-established composer, with works in print by many leading publishers. Her music is known for its craftsmanship, sophisticated texts, and accessibility.
Voth’s choral work “Across the empty square,” for mixed voices and piano, is a monument to current times. But the themes are also universal and timeless. The text, adapted from a larger poem entitled “Lockdown,” transcends the global pandemic and explores how we can make progress against hate, fear, and isolation. Voth embeds traditional melodies into the piece with a seamless and integral nature. Fragments of the traditional hymn and tune, “How Can I Keep from Singing” gradually emerge from the piano. She further embraces the global nature of the pandemic by including a Chinese folk melody. The global crisis also provides an opportunity for healing. Voth says, “The power of the text is that we can reach out and sing, even though we are separated. We can always take the step to embrace the arts as a source of healing.” “Across the empty square” is also published for piano and C instrument.
Voth’s art song “As night and morning meet” is an example of how she chooses texts carefully and wisely so singers find a point of contact. The song has many-layered meanings that both the performers and audiences may explore. There are multiple meetings: lovers, night and day, sea, and the sand. Dr. Voth is an accomplished pianist and has composed an accompaniment evocative of a rippling sea. She expertly integrates the piano and voice into a synthesized whole. The longing of the lovers becomes a casting into the bigger philosophical questions of life.
Voth’s music is immediately accessible and is thoughtfully crafted on many levels. She carefully considers how to interpret texts rhetorically and structurally. Her music can be considered from multiple viewpoints. It is like a fine wine that you open, smell, swirl, and ultimately, taste. The experience is complex, enjoyable, and ultimately edifying.
About the composer
Active as a conductor and composer, Ellen Gilson Voth composes works that reflect her passion for and commitment to high standards of artistry in writing for the human voice. Praised for music that is “superbly crafted for singer and accompanist,” Voth’s works have been commissioned and premiered by a wide range of professional, semi-professional, and amateur choirs across the US, and featured at regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and College Music Society. Her art song and short opera works have garnered national attention as well. An experienced educator and clinician, she regularly presents workshops and coaches emerging composers on the art and craft of composition. Voth received her DMA degree from The Hartt School, University of Hartford, and currently lives with her husband and daughter in West Hartford, CT. To learn more about her work, visit www.ellengilsonvoth.net A monument to current times, the themes are universal and timeless. The wonder of the natural world and the hope of a new day.