Hultgren Premeires Snakeskin (verso)

score selection
Craig Hultgren will premiere my work Snakeskin (verso) for cello and live electronics tonight at Georgia State.

Tuesday, October 15 at 7:30pm
Florence Kopleff Recital Hall
15 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta GA, 30303

neoPhonia is presenting Craig in a program of contemporary music for solo cello. The concert includes works by three Georgia State faculty: Nickitas Demos, Robert Scott Thompson, and Marc LeMay.

First Flight for Crow Chases Red-tailed Hawk

invented instruments

I’m excited to premiere a new work for invented instruments and electronics on Saturday as part of the Birmingham New Music Festival. Crow Chases Red-tailed Hawk uses bullroarers and other instruments that make sound when swung overhead on the end of a string. I’ve been working on prototypes for these instruments–whistles, buzzers, hummers, swoopers–for the last few months and this will be their first public outing.

Birmingham New Music Festival
Mostly Improv Night
October 12, 2019 at 7PM
East Village Arts of Birmingham
7611 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35206

I need help naming the instruments, so please come to the show, listen, and give me your best suggestions for names.

Carrier Hotel Victoria

Carrier Hotel Victoria Quartet score excerpt

My new string quartet will be premiered at Chamber Music @ AEIVA. Carrier Hotel Victoria was written in response to Irene Grau‘s exhibit. Her work and mine both reference Alphonse Allais’ collection of monochromes, Album Primo Avrilesque. The quartet unfolds with each musician proceeding independently, as if reading through Allais’ book of colors—the resulting mixtures generating subtle variations of the monochromes.

Chamber Music @ AEIVA
Thursday February 21
5:00 Reception
5:30 Concert
Free and open to the public

Performers:
Sarah Nordlund Dennis, violin
Pei-Ju Wu, violin
Zak Enikeev, viola
Laura Usiskin, cello
Christopher Steele, piano

Worldlines Premieres at AEIVA

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.

Friday April 7 5:00pm
Chamber Music at AEIVA: Air in a Loop
University of Alabama at Birmingham Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts
1221 10th Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35205
5:00pm Reception and art viewing
5:30pm Concert

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.

Follows From Hummingbird

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.

Download a pdf of the score

Carefully Unfolded Premiere by Wind Quintet Unfolds Sunday

carefully unfolded II image
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

  • Barbara Harrington, flute
  • Jim Sullivan, oboe
  • Brian Viliunas, clarinet
  • Tariq Masri, bassoon
  • Kevin Kozak, horn

For readers keeping track, I posted about this piece in progress earlier.

 

Sunday April 10 2:30pm
BAMA presents An Afternoon of Music for Wind Quintet and Piano
Brock Recital Hall at Samford University
800 Lakeshore Dr
Homewood AL 35209

Follows From Hummingbird Premieres at AEIVA

follows from hummingbird image

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.

Thursday March 10 5:00pm
BAMA presents Chamber Music at AEIVA
University of Alabama at Birmingham Abroms-Engel Institute for Visual Arts
1221 10th Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35205
5:00pm Reception and art viewing
5:30pm Concert

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.

Druid City Ensemble Premieres Color Coded Materials of the Artist

CCMOTA green page 1

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.

 

Kallay Tour Underway

A History of Elevators in Film (excerpt)

A History of Elevators in Film (excerpt)

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.

 

Feeney & Richman Premiere Glacial Erratics

glacial_erratics_image

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