Worldlines, my brand-new piece for three or more sustaining instruments, gets its premiere tonight at the Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts in a concert of chamber music inspired by Jessica Angel’s site-specific installation Facing the Hyperstructure.The program features three other world premiere compositions by Monroe Golden, Kyle McGucken, and Tom Reiner.
The pieces will be performed by Hillary Tidman, flute; Diana Dunn, oboe; Kathleen Costello, clarinet; Tariq Masri, bassoon; and Kevin Kozak, french horn. The event begins at 5pm with a reception and time to take in the artwork, followed by the concert at 5:30pm.
Like many of my recent scores, the musicians performing worldlines determine the moment-to-moment shape of the music. In this case, all of the musicians share the same written material and use hand-signals to determine how they navigate through it. One hand signal may cue players to repeat their current phrase, while another may cause them to read backwards through the score.
Here I am trying out a pair of ChromaDepth glasses surrounded by Jessica’s artwork. The glasses add a sense of depth to Angel’s vividly-colored environment.
Here’s a recording of the premiere performance of Follows from Hummingbird for 3 or more sustaining instruments. The performers are Hillary Tidman, flute; Brad Whitfield, clarinet; and Laura Usiskin, cello.
I’m so happy with this first performance; the musicians nailed it. My scores often require a period of workshopping—work that reaches beyond typical rehearsal activity to include comparing alternate realizations, discussing timing, and lots of listening—so premiere performances can be risky. These performers, however, really embraced the spirit of the piece and pulled it off with elegance and aplomb.
The work is based on Hummingbirds (1997) a group of small Oil paintings on linen by the artist Enrique Martínez Celaya.
My piece …then carefully unfolded and placed in… receives its premiere performance tomorrow at 2:30 pm. It’s a big work: 6 movements that each function as a kind of canon, a dronal piece that moves from sunny lydian to spacey locrian. The work is scored for any 5 sustaining instruments and is being performed by
Follows From Hummingbird, my brand-new piece for three or more sustaining instruments, gets its premiere on Thursday at the Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts in a concert of chamber music inspired by the visual art of Enrique Martínez Celaya. The piece will be performed by Hillary Tidman, flute; Laura Usiskin, cello; and Brad Whitfield, clarinet. The event begins at 5pm with a reception and time to take in the artwork, followed by the concert at 5:30pm.
Follows From Hummingbird is one of a series of pieces I’ve completed recently that uses a circular structure to organize musical modules. The middle section of this piece employs a spirograph-style traversal of the points around the circle which generates a charming flower shape in the score; a welcome side-effect of the process.
I’m looking forward to this weekend’s Birmingham Art Music Alliance performances by the Druid City Ensemble – Sarah K. Crocker, harp; Whitney O’Neal, flute; and Dawn Neely, soprano. They’re premiering three movements of Color Coded Materials of the Artist. The composition uses lists of pigments taken from Max Doerner’s classic reference The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting, with Notes on the Techniques of the Old Masters.
Saturday November 7 2:30pm
Druid City Ensemble
Southside Baptist Church
1016 19th St S
Birmingham, AL 35205
Sunday November 8 2:30pm
Druid City Ensemble
University of Montevallo
720 Oak St
Montevallo AL 35115
Both concerts are free. The program also includes pieces by Marvin Johnson, Mark Lackey, Jody Landers and Drew Pendergrass.
The Birmingham Art Music Alliance kicked off the Beyond 12, 2015 Tour featuring pianist Aron Kallay last night with a performance at the Hoover Library Theater. Aron will perform six more times through April 8. This tour features three premieres of pieces by Alabama-based composers including Monroe Golden, Brian Moon and myself.
My work is titled A History of Elevators in Film, and like all the pieces on the program it features a retuned and remapped piano keyboard. In my case, I’m using Max to retune and remap pitches on the fly in response to the pianist’s performance.
Percussionist Tim Feeney and violist Wendy Richman will premiere my Glacial Erratics for 1 or 2 sustaining instruments and electronics in a concert presented by the Birmingham Art Music Alliance. Also performing will be Osiris Molina on clarinet. The concert will feature works by Lori Ardovino, Monroe Golden, Joseph Landers, Adriana Perera, William Price and Ron Wray.
Wednesday January 21 7:30pm
Tim Feeney / Wendy Richman / Osiris J. Molina
Moody Music Building Recital Hall
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa AL
Soprano Susan Williams will premiere Sudden Swan for voice and live electronics at the Birmingham New Music Festival on Saturday August 23 at 7:30pm. The concert is at UAB’s Hulsey Recital Hall, 950 13th Street South,Birmingham,AL. Admission is free.
Susan and I have known each other since our college days at Birmingham-Southern. Since then she’s landed leading opera roles and appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Duke Symphony Orchestra and many others. This is the first time Susan and I have worked on a piece together, and we’re so excited to present it on Saturday.
The performer in Sudden Swan improvises a melody to a drone using a small set of just-tuned pitches. Each pitch is associated with one or more words which are strung together to create an ever-evolving poetry. The computer responds to variations in the vocal performance with subtle shifts of timbre, pulsating rhythms, and sometimes unpredictable flourishes.
Here’s the score for Having Told the Hive the News. The piece will be premiered next week by the Huntsville Master Chorale directed by Patricia Ramirez-Hacker. I was invited to introduce the piece to the group in February and had such fun working with the singers. I can’t wait to hear how the work has developed. I will attend the concerts and participate in pre-concert discussions.
Huntsville Master Chorale presents
Spring is Bach
Friday May 2, 7:00pm
Faith Presbyterian Church
5003 Whitesburg Dr Huntsville AL
& Sunday May 4, 3:00pm
Monte Sano United Methodist Church
601 Monte Sano Blvd Huntsville AL