The past month or so has been busy, with performances at the College Music Society national conference in San Antonio, a recital presented at Pitt-Bradford in collaboration with soprano Lucy Dhegrae and cellist Nicholas Finch (an amazing treat!), and the mammoth, but wonderful, score to Unter der Laterne in France. Looking forward to a few weeks break here at the holidays, then on to finishing up several premieres for the spring, including Notes from the end of an empire for electric guitar, live electronics, and video in February and Laud-Absolution for soprano, baritone, piano, and harp in April. Work on the opera continues, too, with Sarah Heady, with workshop performances in New York and Pennsylvania planned for Fall 2018. Lots to do, but I feel incredibly blessed to work with such dedicated, talented collaborators!
Another summer finishing up! Projects for this fall include a commission for a new work to be premiered on the Fordham University Voices Up! series, a collaboration for multimedia with the artist Keiko Sono, and ongoing work on the opera Unfinished, the next iteration of which should see daylight with Vital Opera in 2018. Also a new one for me: travel in November to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations in Marseille to perform the film score to Unter der Laterne, a wonderful 1920s German silent.
Many thanks to the many incredibly talented artists who participated in Seegers, One Quiet Plunge’s multimedia response to the lives and work of Pete and Ruth Crawford Seeger. Video is up on our project page for those who want to check out wonderful compositions by Joseph Bertolozzi, Gabriel Lubell, and Nathan Hall!
Many thanks to a couple of extremely talented artists who traveled to Bradford this month for some exciting collaborations. Michael Matsuno worked with Pitt-Bradford students to present a program of interdisciplinary responses to his recital of 20th and 21st century works and gave a dynamite premiere of my new work Notes from the end of an empire into the bargain. Thanks, too, to composer/conductor Daniela Candillari and Tanya Holtland who were in residence to kick off their joint collaboration on a new work of “spiritual ecology” that soprano Lucy Dhegrae and I will premiere this in November 2017.
I’m thrilled to be able to share video from August’s workshop performances of Unfinished: An Opera. Please click here to see the NYC performance at the National Opera Center. Many, many thanks to Vital Opera for producing the performances, stage director Kelvin Chan, musical director Daniela Candillari, singers Danielle Messina, Maggie Finnegan, and Jennifer Panara, and, of course, poet Sarah Heady for the beautiful text. Generous funding for this project was provided by Arts Mid-Hudson and the Central Research Development Fund of the University of Pittsburgh.
Lots more coming shortly on this project and others…
Some upcoming performances:
Wednesday, March 2 – Eric Bowling, Music from elsewhere: flute, Vincennes University, Vincennes, IN
3pm, Sunday, April 3 – Poné Ensemble for New Music, Eight Miniatures for Bassoon & Horn, New Paltz Methodist Church, New Paltz, NY
7:30pm, Tuesday, April 12 – Voices Up! concert series, Pained in the blue seat, pained in the red seat, Lincoln Center campus of Fordham University, New York City
Looking further down the road, I’m thrilled to have received a grant from Arts Mid-Hudson to fund a developmental workshop in August of Sarah Heady’s and my new opera, Unfinished – more details coming soon!
I’m really pleased to be beginning a new position as Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, teaching courses in music theory, history, and interdisciplinary arts. I couldn’t be happier to be joining this community!
Excited for some upcoming performances, including the Ars Musica premiere of Foster the Light for choir, percussion, harp, and organ:
- 8 pm on Saturday, March 14 at Ridgewood United Methodist Church in Ridgewood, NJ
- 5pm on Sunday, March 15 at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Hillsdale, NJ
See www.arsmusica.org for tickets and info. And come early for a pre-concert talk with yours truly! Additionally, One Quiet Plunge presents An arrow pointed down, our multi-composer, multi-artist project for electronics and video:
- 6 pm on Saturday, March 21 at Mid-Hudson Heritage Center in Poughkeepsie, NY
- 6 pm on Friday, April 17 at Samuel Dorsky Art Museum at SUNY New Paltz
See www.onequietplunge.wordpress.com for further details. Several more performances to be announced shortly!
Many, many thanks to Dusty Francis and Ars Musica Chorale for two premieres this past month: O who is glory in the shapeless maps and Murmur of spring in time of frost both received wonderfully expressive, committed performances on Ars Musica’s November and December programs, and I was thrilled to be present for both. The third work written as part of my Composer-in-Residence position with Ars Musica, Foster the Light, will premiere in March 2015.
Looking ahead, I’ll be presenting Landscapes for solo piano and live electronics at the Hearing Landscapes Critically conference in Paine Hall at Harvard University on Friday, January 16, 2015. You can hear a preview of the piece over on the Listen page.
Looking (further) ahead, I’m hard at work on both the creative and logistical aspects of One Quiet Plunge‘s spring project, An arrow pointed down. Arrow is a multimedia concert-length piece for video projection and live electronic music, and I’m honored to be working alongside a number of really talented composers and visual artists. Performances on March 21, 2015 (Poughkeepsie, NY) and April 17, 2015 (New Paltz, NY) – check it out!
November 22 sees the world premiere of O who is glory in the shapeless maps for SATB chorus, mezzo-soprano and baritone solo, and organ, the first work written as part of my Composer-in-Residence position with Ars Musica Chorale. Details (and tickets) for the performance can be found here. Soloists, conductor, and choir are fantastically talented, rehearsals have sounded great, the performance promises to be more so!
O who is glory typifies a compositional approach I’ve pursued in a number of recent pieces, a variant of Stockhausen’s concept of “moment form”: the piece moves by accretion, a series of discrete musical moments that slowly unfold and add up to a total form. The technique creates a unique musical experience for the listener—this listener, anyway—and is an outgrowth of my long-standing interest in how music creates and controls our perception of time. (The same question has been central to my theory work as well, including my current project on the creation of structural hierarchies in Tristan Murail’s orchestral music; I’ll read a paper on the topic at the 2015 New England Conference of Music Theorists—see a detailed abstract here.)
This month sees the premiere of Lacunae/music in two directions for violin and piano at Spectrum NYC (121 Ludlow St.), put on by the New York New Music Collective at 7 PM on Friday, October 17. I’ll be at the piano, alongside violinst Benita Benéitez Vega. I’ll also be accompanying baritone Kelvin Chan in Brian Fennelly’s wonderful Sacred Songs on the same program.
I’m excited to be beginning a new position as Guest Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. The new position will include teaching aural skills, as well as a sabbatical replacement teaching private composition and introductory through advanced computer music.
I’m very pleased to be appointed 2014-2015 Composer-in-Residence with Ars Musica Chorale. Under the direction of Dusty Francis, the choir will premiere three new works of mine throughout the season. I’m thrilled to be working with them and am hard at work on the first piece, O who is glory in the shapeless maps.
I’m excited to see the premiere of a new piece of mine, Pained in the blue seat, pained in the red seat. The piece sets texts by long-time-friend-but-first-time-collaborator Sarah Heady that dramatize a Metro-North train ride up from the city to Dutchess County; the poetry is incredibly vivid and it was a delight to work on the piece. It will be premiered at the Cunneen-Hackett Center by Lucy Dhegrae, soprano, Kelvin Chan, baritone, and James Fitzwilliam, piano, as part of the June 29 concert produced by One Quiet Plunge.
Thanks to Michael Matsuno for his recent, wonderful performance of AxBxC at UC San Diego. I wrote him a tricky piece (or thought I did, anyway!) and he rocks it.
Thanks to Duo 231 (Ariel Detwiler & Sam Crocker) for their recent performance of Eight Miniatures.
The Millbrook High School Wind Band gave a fantastic rendition of The Extinguished Lights at the Swathmore Music Center in Bethesda, MD. You can hear an audio excerpt over on the Listen page.