The name started as a joke, but it stuck.
Screamocity isn’t a traditional ensemble, by any means. It features Dr. Elizabeth Robinson, Assistant Professor, and Freddie Green, Assistant Professor, on flute and trumpet, respectively.
“It was a play on words. We both play treble instruments that are in high frequencies,” says Green. “It’s kind of like a scream in that it could be, if not done well, very annoying.”
Screamocity is set to perform Friday, Jan. 17, at the New Music Festival at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. The festival will feature performances by more than 75 musicians, as well as masterclasses and lectures.
“It’s a new music festival created this year by the Flute New Music Consortium, which is an organization I and a couple of my off-campus colleagues created,” says Robinson. “In the process of organizing it, there was an opening for Screamocity to come and perform.”
The duo have made a point to commission new works, putting an emphasis on women composers, she says.
“The festival is devoting two concerts to works by women composers, so it fits really well with the programming.”
They’ll perform two selections during their concert. The first is “Amuse-Bouches” by local composer Barbara York, from Pittsburg, Kan. It is subtitled “A tasting menu for unaccompanied flute and trumpet.”
“The piece is based on 10 recipes, which she took and put music to,” says Green. “Each one is a delightful bite or taste to the palate of music.”
The second is “Brief Transit,” which will be the world premiere of the work commissioned last summer from Michigan composer Nicole Piunno.
In addition to Screamocity’s performance, Green will moderate a Q&A by Florida State University faculty member and composer Paul Richards.
The festival will mark only the fourth public performance for Screamocity, two of which have been during concerts at Missouri Southern.
Gathering for a recent rehearsal in Green’s office on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, they start with “Crispy Fried Calamari,” from York’s “Amuse-Bouches.” There’s a light, playful interplay between the two instruments that sounds more natural than one might expect.
“It’s a little odd,” Robinson says of their pairing. “But we make it work.”