Program Notes for the 2021-22 Hawai'i Symphony Orchestra Halekulani Masterworks New Perspectives Series by composer Michael-Thomas Foumai. Notes frame each work with a composer's perspective, giving readers a listening guide to visualize a dramatic narrative, illuminating historical significance with musical symbolisms and hidden messages.
Historical narratives prepare the pre-concert listener with context for an informed musical experience: an introduction of the composer's biography and intentions, the conditions and global affairs surrounding the composition's creation (locally to the composer's environment and broadly in scope to the composer's generation), and a calibrating of the listener's ear to the era it was composed (framing the language of the time, highlighting musical conventions and breakthroughs).
Music-based analysis provides a detailed guide of the composition's structure and how it applies to other works performed on the program. Standard music theory terminology introduces musical concepts to build basic and advanced musicological literacy. Terms are defined and complimented with aural examples taken from the works performed. In addition, directed clues in the music (sonic landmarks) invite the audience to actively listen for musical concepts in practice during the live performance.
Lastly, the composer's perspective provides discourse with metaphors, pointing to the music's relevance to present societal issues in Hawaiʻi and the world.