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.
The piece is for open instrumentation: four or more performers using electronic and/or acoustic instruments. We chose to perform the sections in the following order: Foothills, Unmatched set of revolving doors, Cirrus – lock of hair, I Send the Rockets Up, Constant Interference. Download the score
On Thursday I’ll be performing my work Comes and Goes with Andrew Dewar, Wendy Richman and Geni Skendo during the opening concert of the third Birmingham New Music Festival. Andrew and I will perform with electronics (modular synth and Max, respectively) while Wendy plays viola and Geni performs on various flutes. We worked up a wonderful blend of sounds during rehearsal last weekend; I think this is going to be a special performance.
Comes and Goes was written for Gates Ensemble and first performed in Austin, TX in 2007. My memory of the performance is a bit hazy. On the day of the show I was packing for a move from Austin to Albany, NY and gashed open the bottom of my foot. After stitches and pain meds, I somehow joined the other musicians on stage to perform with my foot elevated on a nearby chair. The piece is for four or more musicians performing on electronic and/or acoustic instruments. Each movement explores a specific set of sounds derived from the technique of amplitude modulation. Download the score for Comes and Goes.
I’ll also be performing on banjo and electronics with Geni Skendo for two of his compositions.
Thursday 9/22 7:30pm
Birmingham New Music Festival
UAB Hulsey Recital Hall
950 13th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35294
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.