Banff and ICEBERG

I've just returned from three weeks at the Banff Centre, where I participated in the first Banff Choral Arts program with Pro Coro Canada and Michael Zaugg. I can't recommend the program enough; if you're a composer or conductor with any interest in choral music, apply. It's so rare to compose music and hear eight professional singers read it literally an hour later. Everybody involved was incredibly friendly and supportive, which can be sadly uncommon in our little field.

Also, the Banff Centre is the most luxurious artist residency I've ever attended - three delicious meals a day, a full gym, and three ski resorts within an hour's drive. We did a day trip to frozen Lake Louise, where I played hockey and hiked across the lake. Like I said, apply!

This past February, the Locrian Chamber Players - New York new music stalwarts who only perform music less than ten years old - performed my trio Devotion (for flute, cello, and piano). I wasn't there but I heard the performance went swimmingly, and I'm honored to have been programmed by such a distinguished ensemble.

Coming up soon:

  • Tomorrow, March 17, my clarinet solo Eat Your Vegetables will be performed at the NACUSA National Conference in Kansas City. 2pm, Gano Memorial Chapel at William Jewell College.
  • ICEBERG New Music's 2018 season is here! On March 23, the great Mivos Quartet will premiere my first string quartet, Earth Tones, at the Tenri Cultural Institute in downtown Manhattan. It's an investigation of Schumann resonances via just intonation and dance-pop. We also have a concert on April 20 with two-keyboard two-percussion powerhouse Yarn/Wire, also at Tenri.
  • On April 5, the Boston New Music Initiative will present Eat Your Vegetables at Arts at the Armory in Somerville.

Hope to see you somewhere at something!

I'm in the Boston Globe!

The Boston Globe just ran an article about my friends in Black Sheep, and clarinetist Bradley Frizzell said some nice things about my clarinet solo "Eat Your Vegetables"! Check out the whole article here, and come out tomorrow night to the Lilypad in Cambridge to hear the piece.

And listen to "Eat Your Vegetables" performed by NY Philharmonic legend Stanley Drucker here.

"fall" happenings

It's still way too hot in NYC. Do we have seasons anymore?

In any case:
October 6 - catch ShoutHouse performing Dharmakaya with dancers at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, and Black Sheep performing Eat Your Vegetables in Cambridge, MA.

November 19 - Sonic Liberation Players perform Koch-aine in Watertown, MA (Boston area)

and coming up next year:
March 23 - Mivos premieres my first major string quartet, presented by ICEBERG New Music, in Manhattan.

April 6 - Boston New Music Initiative performs Eat Your Vegetables in Somerville, MA.

details on the events page. and more soon!

things soon and not so soon

I've been spending a lot of time in Memphis with the Blueshift Ensemble (and with Porcellino's insane chicken biscuits). And next week, I'll be back for the first annual Crosstown Continuum Festival! On Saturday, August 5, Blueshift will be premiering Buddha Body, a three-movement expansion of last year's Dharmakaya. I'm also doing arrangements for a special Blueshift-accompanied set by brilliant songwriter and rapper Don Lifted - who will be creating visuals for the entire evening. 

Details here: http://crosstownarts.org/calendar/continuum-music-festival/ and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/continuummusicfestival/

Next year, I'll be writing my first string quartet for new-music phenoms Mivos Quartet as part of ICEBERG New Music's second season. And there's more to come - stay tuned!

new music in New York and Memphis

two quick announcements:

1. on May 10, loadbang will be premiering my rLung, a setting of the Heart Sutra, at the DiMenna Center in NYC - hosted by my composer's collective, ICEBERG New Music. open bar at 7:30, 8pm concert, followed by a talkback. should be a great time! more at https://www.icebergnewmusic.com/concerts.

2. big doings in Memphis - I can't announce them all yet, but keep an eye out for the premiere of my Buddha Body at the beginning of August, for the Blueshift Ensemble. more details soon!

brief mid-winter update

I just finished two and a half incredible weeks at the New Dramatists Composer-Librettist Workshop, facilitated by Nautilus Music-Theater. I cannot recommend this program enough for creators of new music-theater of any sort (opera, musicals, alternative music-theater, or anything in-between). Don't expect to sleep much, though.

Now on to a new piece for loadbang, for ICEBERG New Music's inaugural season. I'm setting the Heart Sutra, a profound Buddhist text. And I'm doing it in Sanskrit, which is proving to be quite the challenge - though a welcome one!

Next month, it's off to Finland for a month in the snowy woods at the Arteles Center. Looking forward to daily saunas and maybe even the Northern Lights.

Finally: as the world we thought we knew falls to pieces around us, we have to keep making art. We can still celebrate what is beautiful and true about humanity, and it will nourish us for the fight. Stay strong - I'll be right there with you.

An antifascist Christmas

I've been laying low for the past few weeks, musically speaking. Politically speaking, not so much. Like many others, I've been shocked by the country's rapid descent into authoritarianism, and I see it as part of the artist's job to speak out against injustice. And like many others, I've been donating, calling elected officials, and spending far too much time on social media. I am always looking for ways to be more useful, so please be in touch if you're interested in what I can offer. (Besides music, I have a bachelor's in international relations and a strong background in the politics of the Middle East.)

Now to the fun stuff:

Dec. 15: the Blueshift Ensemble will be performing my trio Devotion, for flute, cello, and piano, in Memphis, TN. More info here

March 2017: I'll be in residence at Arteles in Finland! It's gonna be really cold. I'm hoping to see reindeer and the Northern Lights and Nokia and Sibelius and saunas and all the Finnish stereotypes.

May 10, 2017: My composers' collective, ICEBERG New Music, presents killer NYC new-music ensemble loadbang at the DiMenna Center in Manhattan. They'll be premiering a new piece of mine, along with four others, and at least one winner of our call for scores. (Submit to our call for scores! It's cheap and quick.)

June 2017: NY-based classical / jazz / hip-hop ensemble ShoutHouse will give the NYC premiere of Dharmakaya, which won their call for scores! You can hear a recording of the piece, performed by Blueshift Ensemble, here.

Also in June 2017, I will be in residence for two weeks at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center For The Arts, in Nebraska. Cue Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley. Yes, I know that was over ten years ago. No, I don't care.

And there's much more in the works, as always. Keep in touch!