Phil Taylor – Alison Attar (harp)


Composer: Phil Taylor; Harp: Alison Attar

Recorded live as part of the Project Incubator concert at Constellation Chicago, May 10, 2015

Composer’s Notes: Night was written with, for, and is dedicated to Alison Attar. The piece began life as a set of miniatures little ideas crystallizing from our joint explorations of timbral and musical facets of the harp. The concept of separate pieces fell away pretty early on, leaving behind a residue of sounds and gestures which seeded the final, through-composed work. I liken its character to an observer sitting still on a park bench at night: within a prevailing calm, things appear and disappear from shadows on the periphery, some clear and active, others quiet and obscured.

About the Artists

Phil TaylorPhil Taylor strives to spark connections and open lines of communication with performers and listeners through musical gestures, counterpoint, and transformation. His works are often inspired by phenomena in nature, architecture, linguistics, literature, and other arts. Taylor’s merits include two BMI Student Composer Awards and his works have been performed across the United States. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in composition at the University of Chicago, where he studies with Augusta Read Thomas and Shulamit Ran. More information and listening can be found at:

Alison AttarConcert harpist Dr. Alison Attar specializes in contemporary and Baroque music.  A champion of new music, Attar performs regularly with numerous contemporary music groups, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Fulcrum Point and Contempo (formerly Contemporary Chamber Players).  Her interest in historical harps, specifically multi-row instruments, has led to performances internationally.  Highlights of Attar’s career include the Chicago Symphony’s 2013 Beyond the Score project “A Pierre Dream,” two complete Ring cycles with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and her role for nearly 20 years as second harpist for the Grant Park Symphony.  Attar is highly regarded by her colleagues for her professionalism, leadership, versatility, vibrant and expressive sound and her uncanny rhythm.  She holds a B.M., M.M., and D.M. in harp performance and a B.A. in Italian culture, all from Northwestern University.  She can be heard on over 20 recordings ranging from pop music and jazz to Baroque opera and contemporary chamber music.