I’m very excited to be presenting the first two scenes of my chamber opera-in-progress, Eidolon
, based on H.D.’s epic poem Helen in Egypt, today at the Longy School of Music’s Pickman Hall. This is the culmination of the last few years that I have spent as an artist-in-residence at Longy, and it promises to be an exciting finale. Sonja Tengblad is singing the lead role of Helen and she sounds fantastic surrounded by some wonderful Longy singers, Charlotte Ensley and Daniel Haaskenson, and a chamber group of Aleksis Martin on clarinet, Ross Jarrell on percussion, and Yvonne Cox on harp. I look forward to sharing the recording here on my website soon.
I am extremely excited about the premiere tonight of my newly commissioned piece for the violin and cimbalom duo Lamnth, which was the dream, which was the veil?
Working with Lilit Hartunian and Nick Tolle on this piece has been incredibly rewarding, and I look forward to the recording session we have scheduled this weekend. Stay tuned for a release of new violin music!
Tonight is also special because I’ve curated a program at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall that celebrates the musical life of legendary NEC composition faculty member Arthur Berger. There will be performances of his works, in addition to premieres by my wonderful colleagues Kati Agócs, Stratis Minakakis, and Rodney Lister, as well as a new collaboration between Ran Blake and John Mallia. It’s going to be a memorable night.
My article, “Form and Exhaustion in Pascal Dusapin’s Quad – In Memoriam Gilles Deleuze,” has been published in the latest volume of Perspectives of New Music
! This project has been years in the making, and couldn’t have been possible without M. Dusapin graciously granting me an interview in his studio in Paris back in 2016. A huge thank you is due to him, his publisher Editions Salabert, the editorial staff at Perspectives, everyone at Duke University who helped me to shape it over the years, and to my colleagues for their support. It’s a dream come true to see my work in one of my favorite theory journals!
What a wonderful surprise it was to learn that Transient Canvas are playing my piece Ratyll
tonight in Prague, especially since I was only a three-hour train ride away in Bavaria. Long story short, I’ve had a wonderful, if brief, stay in beautiful Prague. Last night I took in Don Giovanni
at the Estates Theatre, which was a stunning production. And today Amy, Matt, and I went to the National Museum, which had an interesting collection to say the least. I think the most striking thing has been the architecture—the city is gorgeous! I’m looking forward very much to the concert in a few hours at the Komunitní prostor Smíchov, which includes pieces by Yaz Lancaster, Mikhail Johnson, Yi-Ting Lu, and Elliott Miles McKinley.
I am beyond thrilled with the premiere of my newest work, We the Way Outward
, by the Callithumpian Consort last night at NEC’s Jordan Hall. This piece for flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, drum set, and piano was commissioned by Boston Musica Viva as part of their Write It Now Commissioning Initiative in 2021 and draws inspiration from Nathaniel Mackey’s incredible poetry collection Double Trio
. The program also included Alvin Singleton’s Be Natural
, Georg Friedrich Haas’ tria ex uno – Sextet after Josquin Desprez
, and two other BMV commissions, Peter Child’s Six Dances of Death after Holbein the Younger and Henry VIII
, and John Heiss’s Quartet
(1971). It was a night to remember, and I am so grateful to Steve Drury and all of the players for an incredible premiere performance.
I am excited for the first NEC Composers’ Series concert of 2023 in Jordan Hall tonight at 7:30pm. Sophia Szokolay
is performing the first movement of my massive violin solo, Tide Tiding Time
, and she sounds phenomenal! I’m so grateful to her for learning this really challenging piece. The concert features some other really exciting pieces, including a piano solo by my colleague Kati Agócs, a song cycle by Malcolm Peyton, and a newly commissioned percussion sextet by Marc Anthony Turnage, who will be in residence this week at NEC as the Malcolm Peyton composer-in-residence.
Today was a very special day for me. Emmanuel Music premiered my newly commissioned motet, Magnificat
, during the service for the third Sunday in Advent at Emmanuel Church in Boston. As a long time member of the congregation and former sexton at Emmanuel, it was a dream come trueThis setting of the Magnificat seeks to tap into the great joy inherent in this canticle, and is structured as an introduction to J. S. Bach’s cantata Ärgre dich, o Seele, nicht (Do not be confounded, O soul), BWV 186a. You can here it here (at 19:10 and before the cantata at 1:22:10): Magnificat
Tonight in the Cube at Virginia Tech Sarah Plum
is playing my piece LUNE for violin and electronics as part of their Music and Technology Festival. She’s also playing some other amazing pieces by Eric Lyon, Kyong Mee Choi, Randall West, Charles Nichols, Joo Won Park, and Mari Takano. It’s been a joy revisiting this piece with her, would that I could be there for the performance.
I am thrilled to be an inaugural artist-in-residence at the Longy School of Music at Bard College. I am developing a new work there over the next two years based on H.D.’s epic poem Helen in Egypt with the mentorship of composer Amy Beth Kirsten. It’s been a thrill to get to know the amazing faculty and student composers at Longy, and to work alongside my fellow artists-in-residence Bahar Royaee and Sam Wolf. On the 28th, we shared our works-in-progress with a guest artist, stage and movement director Elizabeth Margolius, in the first of four Claiming Space events that will take place during the residency. More information about this exciting new program can be found here: Longy AIR.
This has been a busy month for performances, and I was overjoyed to have several of my own works programmed this October. On the second of the month, the TEMPO Ensemble at California State University, Northridge, performed my Pierrot piece Tarot Teller, which was inspired by Nathaniel Mackey’s poem from Eroding Witness. A video of the performance can be viewed here: Tarot Teller.
On my thirty-fifth birthday, I had the pleasure of curating the first Composers’ Series concert of the year at New England Conservatory. Anna Kevelson and Erika Rohrberg gave a stunning performance of my piece for two flutes, l’averse. Also on the program were works by Felicia Sandler, John Heiss, Lavell Blackwell, Robert Cogan, and Stratis Minakakis. All in all, it was a fantastic night for new music in NEC’s historic Jordan Hall.