A Charles Ives scholar takes in a Charles Ives play

Listen Now
14min 04sec
Photo: Ken Singleton, Charles Ives scholar
University of Northern Colorado professor Ken Singleton is an expert in the music of Charles Ives.

Update: Hear an expanded version of this interview, including some of Charles Ives' most important music at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, and on Colorado Spotlight at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3.

University of Northern Colorado music professor Ken Singleton is an expert on the music of Charles Ives, the 20th century American composer who left his mark with dissonant music that often recycles existing melodies in hair-raising settings.

When the Curious Theatre Company in Denver announced the opening of a new play called “Charles Ives Take Me Home,” CPR Classical asked Singleton to preview the production and report back.

The three-character play tells the story of John, a classical violinist who so deeply loves the music of Charles Ives he can’t wrap his head around his daughter Laura’s love of basketball. That disconnect creates decades of family misunderstandings, while a fictionalized version of Charles Ives oversees the action and acts as an advisor to John.

Singleton spoke with Monika Vischer of CPR Classical about why Charles Ives’ presence ties the play together and why Ives’ music made sense in the play. Click the audio above to hear the interview.

Here’s a playlist of Ives music Singleton noticed in the Curious Theatre’s production. You'll need a Spotify account, which is free, to listen:

Actors John Belden and Kate Berry, who play John and Laura in the play, spoke with CPR arts editor Chloe Veltman. Check out the interview, which aired this week on Colorado Matters, or watch this excerpt Belden and Berry performed in the CPR Performance Studio.