Release Date: November 13, 2015
Catalog #: NV6015
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century

Astral Travels

David Arend composer

David Arend double bass
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronský, Jiří Petrdlíkconductors
Salim Washington tenor saxophone

With an innate sense of curiosity and a drive for knowledge, humans constantly push the boundaries of their physical and psychological environments, attempting to break through and discover the unexpected. On his debut Navona Records release ASTRAL TRAVELS, composer and double bassist David Arend explores several frontiers, including perceived boundaries between musical genres, earth and outer space, humanity and nature, and perception and reality.

Taking its title from the scientific name for California Redwood trees, Sequoia Sempervirens (2010) is a colorful double bass concerto whose atmospheric music illustrates the mysteries and forces of the forest. Arend deftly crafts moments of fragility, sweeping orchestral gestures and overlapping, intertwining textures to portray an abstract musical landscape.

Voyager: Three Sheets to the Wind (2013-14) celebrates the mission of the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft and the relentless efforts of the scientists whose work greatly enhanced our understanding of the solar system. A double concerto for tenor saxophone and double bass, this work incorporates stylistic characteristics of jazz and classical music. Written for the brilliant tenor saxophonist Salim Washington, Voyager mingles through-composed and improvised sections for both soloists. At one point in the work, the entire orchestra enters into a quiet, distant improvisation. Composer/soloist Arend utilized a meditation technique called astral travel while composing this piece, mentally tracing the Voyager planetary encounters and the journey beyond. He uses color and timbre to great effect in his orchestral writing as well as in his handling of the soloists, dramatically portraying the journey from Earth to the Solar system’s edge and into the infinite.


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Artist Information

David Arend


Arend moves easily across genres such as classical, jazz, and electro-acoustic music. He has written or performed music in contexts ranging from theater, dance, and concert stage to art galleries, night clubs, and outdoor festivals. Arend's music has been performed in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

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Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra


The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the foremost and oldest symphony orchestras in the Czech Republic. It is based in the historical capital of Moravia, the city of Olomouc, and has been a leader of music activities in the region for the past 70 years. Its artistic development was directly influenced by distinguished figures from the Czech and international music scene.

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Jiří Petrdlík


Jiří Petrdlík (b. 1977) is appreciated as one of the most respectable conductors of his generation. He studied piano, trombone, and conducting — 1995–2000 at Prague Conservatory, and 2000–2005 at Academy of Performing Arts Prague — with Hynek Farkač, Miroslav Košler, Miriam Němcová, Radomil Eliška, and Tomáš Koutník, and took part in the masterclasses of the New York Philharmonic Principal Conductor Kurt Masur and the BBC Philharmonic Principal Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek. Petrdlík also successfully took part in several competitions, including the Donatella Flick Conductor Competition in London.

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Petr Vronský


After successes in several important international competitions for conductors — including the competition in Besancon France in 1971 and the Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1973 — his career began at the opera company in Pilsen. From 1974 to 1978, he was Chief of Opera of the State Theater in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic. In 1978, he was appointed Chief Conductor of the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he held until 1991. Vronsky was later appointed Chief Conductor of the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava in 2002.

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