Grant Colburn (b. 1966) — A Voluntary (1983) for organ
“A Voluntary” (1983) is one a series of pieces inspired by English baroque models. The term “voluntary” first came into use in the 16th century, to denote a piece that was not founded on a plainsong cantus firmus. By the 18th century, it had become established as a standard embellishment of an Anglican church service. In the hands of John Stanley and contemporaries, the voluntary came to have a form of its own, usually a suite in two, three, or four small movements.
Grant Colburn (b. 1966) is a native of Wisconsin and is active as a harpsichordist, pianist, and composer. In the late 1970s, his interest in the harpsichord was spurred after hearing a recording by Igor Kipnis, with whom he later studied. Colburn’s music generally employs historical styles, and he has written and published numerous compositions for keyboard, ensembles, solo instruments, and the voice. His music has been performed by musicians around the world, and a full concert of his work was presented at the 2007 Boston Early Music Festival. Colburn is a founding member of “Vox Saeculorum,” a composers collective devoted to new music in historical styles. He is also active as a rock musician, performing with the band Strange Ritual.