It was an absolute dream on December 12th to be honored with the Morton Gould Young Composer Award and asked to perform at the ASCAP Foundation Honors at Jazz at Lincoln Center! There was so much talent and pure joy at the event, and it is certainly a night that I will never forget. I am truly humbled with the recognition from ASCAP Foundation.
The piece that earned the award was Meia: A Song Cycle for Berimbau. This song cycle includes six pieces ranging from solo through sextet and can be found on the Innova Recordings album, MeiaMeia. Individual pieces in the song cycle, Meia, include:
um só (performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center for this event)
The video for my drum set and electronics piece, “Post-Lightened,” is now up on the Vic Firth YouTube page!!!! Thank you so much to Evan Chapman for commissioning this piece, trusting me with one of my first big electronics projects, and putting together this INCREDIBLE video!
Also, if you’re at PASIC this week, you can also come say hello at the Living Room Music booth in the expo hall and take a look at this score as well as many others if you’re interested in performing it!
This evening, Minnesota-based quartet Zeitgeist will premiere “The North Star,” for clarinet/bass clarinet, piano, and 2 percussion. It is such an honor to be working with an ensemble that has built a legacy of over 40 years of performing, commissioning, outreach, and advocacy for new music. They will also perform “The North Star on October 13-14 as a continuation of the Here and There: Zeitgeist and No Exit Ensemble series, as well as another performance in Duluth, MN as part of the Greenlight New Music Festival. More information about GNMF can be found here.
Program Notes for “The North Star:”
“The North Star” serves as a historical and cultural tour of Minnesota’s main industries: logging, mining/shipping, agriculture, and manufacturing/technology. Inspired by traditional folk music, cultural records, state anthems, and binary computer and Morse codes, this work celebrates Minnesota and its important contributions to the United States, past and present. “The North Star” was composed for Zeitgeist, a Minnesota-based, musical icon.
Movement 1 quotes the melody from Minnesota logger Michael Cassius Dean’s, “The Falling of the Pine.” Movement 3 quotes the state song, “Hail! Minnesota,” composed by Truman E. Rickard and Arthur E. Upson. Both pieces are in public domain. Access to the sheet music was available through the Minnesota Folksong Collection and Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State (accessed in summer 2018 online).
Percussionist Alex Richard will premiere “Graphic Content No. 3” this Friday on her senior recital at University of Tennessee-Knoxville. This is the third graphic score I have created as part of the ongoing “Graphic Content Series.” Alex commissioned this piece from me earlier this year, and I cannot wait to hear her interpretation of the score! She even used the score as her poster art for the recital! Live webcast streaming services are available through the University of Tennessee-Knoxville School of Music website on the day of the performance.
This fall I have the amazing opportunity to work with Minnesota-based ensemble Zeitgeist to write them a new piece for the inaugural year of the Greenlight New Music Festival. The new work will be inspired by the various industries and cultures found in Minnesota, including mining, maritime work, agriculture, and logging. It certainly won’t be as comprehensive as one of my favorite albums by Sufjan Stevens as far as state culture (Illinois, 2005), but I will certainly take influence from that album! Zeitgeist is also hosting a Lowertown Listening Session before GNMF featuring my music!
This upcoming March, I am so fortunate to be working with the Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra to premiere my first orchestra piece as well as a new concerto for Projeto Arcomusical and orchestra composed by the incredible Elliot Cole! I am constantly grateful for the opportunities I have received through Arcomusical, and I very much look forward to this project in the spring!
Last week, Projeto Arcomusical went back into the studio to record our second album, Spinning in the Wheel (Rodar na Roda). Our sophomore album will include works by Elliot Cole, Gregory Beyer, Kyle Flens, Alexandre Lunsqui, and myself. We are looking forward to the next steps in the editing process with an anticipated release in Spring 2019! Shout out to our producer, Ben Wahlund, engineer Dan Nichols, Kiwi Audio owner Brad Showalter, Elliot Cole, and all the members of Projeto Arcomusical: Gregory Beyer, Daniel Eastwood, Kyle Flens, Ethan Martin, and Raychel Taylor!
This Thursday (May 17th) and Saturday (May 19th), Susan Jolles and Ingrid Gordon of Queens-based ensemble Percussia will be performing “Sacred Spirits: Forces of Nature” at the East Elmhurst and Woodhaven branches of Queens Library. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.percussia.org/.