Local painter, musician, and composer Phillipe Treuille presented “Concert for All Ages” at the Millbrook Library this past Saturday afternoon to an audience of children and adults. This half-hour concert was well-attended and none of the infants there managed to utter a cry while children between four and ten were happily immersed in the music. This concert was a companion event to the exhibit of Phillipe’s children’s paintings. There were only two of Phillipe’s adult paintings in the exhibit: a speeding police car on its way to a house in the middle of nowhere and a depiction of the military memorial canon in the Tribute Gardens that wore the ironic label of “Live Forever.”
The program opened with an excerpt from Phillipe’s Requiem Mass, the Absolve Domine (Forgive me, Lord). Phillipe had distilled the orchestral composition into a trio presentation with himself at the digital keyboard of a Roland piano (the only electronic piano that my ear can tolerate); he was supplemented by Rob Murphy on violin and Daniel Frankhuizen on cello. The minimalist arrangement sounded adroit and suitably meditative.
“The Blue Cat in Imagination Land” had a program and is being turned into a children’s book and perhaps an animation story. The story follows a curious cat in a garden who becomes lost at nightfall; its only when the cat discovers how it can create self-illumination that it can find its path homeward during the dark. There was an attractive lyricism to the conclusion.
The program for “Dog Train” depicted a train hiding in a tunnel. The train becomes lonely and tries unsuccessfully to make friends with clouds and then the sun. Happily, the train discovers another train to become friends with. Murphy’s violin delivered a decisively cheerful conclusion.”
“Yampam and Friends” offered a recent work with a cheerful lilt. Even newer, yet quite short, was “Mouse Helicopter” which was presented as a solo piano improvisation without notation. That is also the title of Phillipe’s most recent children’s painting on display at the library.
“Trio for piano, violin, and cello” (1999) was composed at the age of fifteen before Phillipe had attended Juilliard School. At that time in high school he was inspired by Beethoven. The trio began with the piano leading, then handed the lead to Frankhuizen on cello where he shone for a couple of minutes; the lead then passed to Murphy on violin, presenting a good upper register response to the lower register cello; the piano then resumed the lead with support from his duo, ending with a briefly balanced unity, a satisfactory but perfunctory unity that might have undergone more development. (I wondered it this movement had been abbreviated for this concert.)
This charming event delighted both children and adults. Phillipe has keen ear for melodies that appeal to children. Children’s music by professional musicians is itself an august genre: Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Poulenc, etc. While the immediate outcome appears to be a few children’s books, we look forward to musical video animations on our local television programming or perhaps a symphony or two. Phillipe’s artwork can be seen at https://www.philippetreuille.com/prints; a YouTube video of Phillipe’s “The Blue Cat” with saxophone accompaniment appears below.