Release Date: November 9, 2018
Catalog #: NV6194
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century
Large Ensemble
String Orchestra

Spoon Hanging From My Nose

The Music Of J.A. Kawarsky

Dr. J.A. Kawarsky composer

SPOON HANGING FROM MY NOSE, the debut album by composer J.A. Kawarsky, combines spirit and wit with compositions that dance between tender and strikingly agitated. With works for orchestra, some composed by Kawarsky and others originally by Brahms but arranged and reimagined by Kawarsky, the album as a whole is a triumphant entrance into the full album release for the composer.

Fastidious Notes, the opening piece on the album, is true to its name — the orchestra is attentive to every last note of the piece. Going back and forth between agitation and serenity, the piece takes listeners through an entire gamut of emotions, borrowing ideas from greats such as Shostakovich and Copland along the way. This piece is followed by a series of reinterpretations of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes, originally composed for vocal quartet and piano 4 hands. Kawarsky sets these 18 waltzes to a new accompaniment and orchestration, utilizing 10 instruments, reimagining the performances with a sound that is fresh and full.

And We All Waited… takes the tone of the album in a different direction — this time, delivering a pointed message. After the tragedies of numerous shootings in the United States and far too many lives lost, the composition asks, when is enough enough? For now, people are left to wait while those in charge take time deciding what to do, and the composer suggests that the time for an answer is now, and should have been a long time ago. The album wraps up with Episodes, written for piano and orchestra. Drawing from sources from Prokofiev to traditional Jewish melodies used at Yom Kippur, the piece was composed in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

SPOON HANGING FROM MY NOSE is a powerful moment within the Navona Records catalog. Not only is Kawarsky introducing his first solo album to the world of music, but the compositions are challenging, humorous, and altogether make a statement that cannot be ignored.


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Artist Information

J.A. Kawarsky


Dr. J.A. Kawarsky (b. 1959) is Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton in New Jersey. Kawarsky received his B.M. in composition from Iowa State University and his M.M. and D.M.A. from Northwestern University, where he studied with John Paynter, Alan Stout, and Frederick Ockwell. In 1982, Kawarsky conducted the Opera Company of the Negev Region in Be’er Sheva in Israel. Before coming to Westminster in 1989, he taught at Fort Hays State University, the University of Wisconsin, and Moraine Valley Community College.