JACOBSENThe show began with an interview with New York-based cellist and conductor Eric Jacobsen, who is a finalist candidate for the post of Music Director with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

The music aired during the program included:

Vijay Iyer – Dig the Say, from Brooklyn Rider: Brooklyn Rider Almanac
Colin Jacobsen – Exit, from Brooklyn Rider: Brooklyn Rider Almanac
Osvaldo Golijov – Last Round, Britten Sinfonia
Tan Dun – Concerto for String Orchestra & Pipa: I. Andante Molto; II. Allegro; III. Adagio; IV. Allegro Vivace, Moscow Soloists, with Wu-Man, Pipa
Astor Piazzolla – Histoire du Tango: I. Bordel 1900; II Cafe 1930; Nightclub 1960, from Tango de Piazzolla
Zoë Keating – Tetrishead, from One Cello x 16: Natoma
Halou – Hollywood Ending (feat. Zoe Keating), from Halou
Maya Beiser – Kasmir, from Uncovered

Listen here:

RCatWPRKThe focus of today’s show was recent music for tuba, because for the second half of the show I conducted an interview with Robert Carpenter, the principal tubist for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

Oystein Baadsvik – Fnugg, from Tuba Carnival
Michael Daugherty – Reflections on the Mississippi for Tuba and Orchestra: I. Mist, II. Fury, III. Prayer”, IV. Steamboat
John Williams – Wild Signals, from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
John Williams – Tuba Concerto – I. Allegro Moderato, II. Andante misterioso, III. Allegro Molto
Timothy Buzbee – Six Pack: Blowing Off Steam, Discotheque, Melancholy, Anger, Inebriated, Invincible, from Buzzed (Albany Records 2008)
Daniel Crozier – Caccia for three tubas, from 2013 BUTI Recital, Robert Carpenter, Tuba
Robert Spillman – Two Songs: I, Andante, II. Allegro, from 2013 BUTI Recital, Robert Carpenter, Tuba

Listen here:

IMG_0713The focus for part of today’s show was music for percussion, in anticipation of an upcoming Man Forever show at our local Will’s Pub, sponsored by Accidental Music Festival. For the second half of the show I conducted an interview with Dr. Timothy Stulman, a composer, colleague and friend of mine at Full Sail University.

Glenn Kotche – Monkey Chant, from Mobile (Nonesuch 2006)
Man Forever with So Percussion – Ryonen (Thrill Records)
Chen Yi – Chinese Folk Dance Suite: I. Lion Dance. Energetically, II. YangKo. Elastically, III. Muqam. Fierily, from Momentum, Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Chou Wen-Chung – Yü Ko, from Music of Chou Wen-Chung
George Crumb – Celestial Mechanics (Makrokosmos IV): I – Alpha Centauri, from Berlin PianoPercussion Ensemble
Timothy Stulman – Autumn from SiJiTu, (BGSU Philharmonia)
Timothy Stulman – Element Cycle (New York Youth Symphony)
Timothy Stulman – Kong Kong (Yeji Kim)
Timothy Stulman – Ekaggata (Jeff Heisler and Chen Yeh)

Listen here:

Repost of an evening at the americas society

November 24, 2014

The Americas Society first entered my radar back in June, when I hauled my flute out of the closet to play in their Make Music NY event, an all-flute performance of Henry Brant’s Mass for June 16. Conducted by Sebastian Zubieta (except during the parts where he’d drop his arms and let us navigate ourselves, at our separate chosen tempos, to the section finishes), we made our way through the simple, free-floating melodies while standing in a circle in Central Park. The listeners sat in the middle or circled the edges in bemusement.

Our rehearsals had been held in the beautiful Salon Simón Bolivar, and I returned last Monday night for a piano recital by Ana Cervantes. Before heading upstairs, though, I dropped in on the first floor gallery, which currently houses an exhibition of spatial art by Latin American artists. My favorites were the pieces by Esvin Alarcón Lam: geometric shards of abandoned school buses, multi-colored representations of urban decay.

The concert itself was one of the most inspiring events I’ve witnessed in recent memory. Ana Cervantes had commissioned 16 composers from the US, UK, Colombia, Brazil, & Mexico to write works for her, which were meant to channel a Mexican muse. Having just read a delightful book by Francine Prose about musedom, I was eager hear these works. The composers must have had at least two women on their minds while writing them: their chosen muse and, of course, Ana Cervantes herself.

Ana Cervantes is a thoughtful and intelligent artist, obviously deeply familiar not just with the sounds of her instrument but with the ideas and sentiments behind the notes she was playing. I was only able to stay for the first half of the concert but even that hour or so of music and talk was invigorating and enriching. Silvia Berg’s El sueño…el vuelo of 2010 incorporated Frida Kahlo as well as the miraculous travels of the monarch butterfly into its 4 sections of 24 measures, “in constant metamorphosis”, and then a fifth 24-measure section signifying “the unplanned voyage that we all must make”. The swirling patterns quickly drew me into their playful beauty. The next score, the 2011 Lágrimas y Locuras, Mapping the Mind of a Madwoman by Joelle Wallach, was held up by Ms. Cervantes before she continued playing, enacting a Mexican tradition to acknowledge a living composer when they can’t be present for the performance. “How nice to be reminded that we have living composers,” she said, “and that some of them are women!”

Ms. Wallach’s piece was more roaming, more like a ballade, than the light and airy piece by Silvia Berg. She writes in the program notes that “rather than recount the story of La llorona, this work evokes her tempestuous emotions as she haunts the banks of innumerable Mexican waterways seeking her lost children.” So, the descending full hand chords were “overflowing” with emotion and orchestration, which, as Ms. Cervantes pointed out, contrasted with the next work, Desde el Aire: Seis Instantes by Alba Potes (2010)–a work created with “an economy of means.” The monarch reappears here as a muse alongside Charlotte of Habsburg, Empress Carlota of Mexico; both are delicate symbols, victims of violence. The six pieces were astonishingly brief: the last was a single line. The muffled tone clusters of the beginning, so carefully rendered by Ms. Cervantes, seemed to represent the muted desperation of our planet, increasingly less habitable for the butterflies.

Mario Lavista’s expansive 2013 piece Mujer pintando en cuarto azul was an homage to English-Mexican artist Joy Laville, and the last piece before intermission was probably the most interesting texturally speaking: Charles B. Griffin’s …like water dashed from flowers… of 2010. During the piece, Ms. Cervantes rattled a sleigh bell type object, sang, shouted, and stamped her feet. I have a feeling this one might have included the monarch on its list of muses, too, because I definitely heard the words “la mariposa”, along with a few others, though my Spanish skills are admittedly nonexistent. The music dribbled out and formed beautiful puddles of sound, struck occasionally by a vocal exclamation. Once her fingers were occupied with the keyboard, Ms. Cervantes used her feet to rattle the bells, shouting a vehement exhortation before a final dissolution of sound.

With visual art, public events, and such intimate, eye-opening concerts, the Americas Society will join my list, right next to the Morgan Library, of fascinating institutions tucked away on the east side of NYC.

The focus of today’s show was recent music for viola, because for the second half of the show I conducted an interview with Dr. Mauricio Cespedes Rivero, the principal violist for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

Nicolai Roslavets – First Viola Sonata, Lawrence Power, violist
Garth Knox – Viola Spaces (Eight Concert Studies), Garth Knox, violist
Kajia Saariaho – Je sens un deuxième coeur, I. Je dévoile ma peu, Saariaho Trio
Krysztof Penderecki – Cadenza for Solo Viola, Mauricio Cespedes, violist
George Rochberg – Viola Sonata, First Movement, Mauricio Cespedes, violist
Thomas Pasatieri – Sonata for Viola and Piano, First Movement, Mauricio Cespedes, violist

Errata: I mistakenly declared the Arditti String Quartet to be an American string quartet when in fact they were founded in the UK. Garth Knox, whose Viola Spaces I featured prominently in the show was born in Ireland and raised in Scotland. This is what happens sometimes when you riff, people!

Listen here:

The focus of today’s show was recent music for guitar (and one piece for lute).

Sting – Fragile, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
William Kanengiser – Mbira, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Ian Krouse – Labyrinth on a theme of Led Zeppelin (5 movements), Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
Led Zeppelin – Friends, from Led Zeppelin III,
Steven Rosenhaus – Lute Concerto, Mvt 2, Sonata Samba, Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, live recording
Charles Griffin – From the Faraway Nearby, Goldspiel-Provost Classical Guitar Duo
Redneck Manifesto – Soundscapes Over Landscapes, Dublin Guitar Quartet, from Deleted Pieces
Pat Metheny – 45/8, Santa Fe Guitar Quartet, from Journeys
Paulo Bellinati – Baiao de Gude,San Francisco Guitar Quartet, from Black Opal
Dusan Bogdanovic – Stir Fry, San Francisco Guitar Quartet, from Compadres
David Burdick – Episode in Compound Meter, San Francisco Guitar Quartet, from Silhouette
Clarice Assad – Bluezillian, San Francisco Guitar Quartet, from Chasing Light
Hermeto Pascoal – Bebe, Sergio & Odair Assad, from Latin American Music for Two Guitars
Astor Piazzolla – Tango Suite, Sergio & Odair Assad, from Latin American Music for Two Guitars
David Evan Thomas – Thrum, Minneapolis Guitar Quartet

Listen here:

 

I did no interviews for the November 10 show, nor was there any special thematic focus. Just good music. The playlist was:

Jimi Hendrix/Maya Besier – Little Wing, from the album Uncovered
Laurie Anderson – O Superman
Dosia McKay – Glossolalia, performed by NeoQuartet (via Soundcloud)
William Susman – Camille, in 3 movements (Vitality, Tranquility, Triumph), performed by Octet, from the album Scatter My Ashes
Arvo Pärt – Spiegel im Spiegel, performed by Angele DuBeau and La Pieta
Eleanor Sandresky – Lullabye, from A Sleeper’s Notebook
Charles Griffin – Murmuring in Comala, performed by Ana Cervantes, from Rumor de Paramo
Alex Shapiro – Bioplasm, performed by the Los Angeles Flute Quartet, from Notes from the Kelp
Tina Davidson – Blue Curve of the Earth, performed by Hilary Hahn
Lisa Bielawa – Roam, performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, from In Media Res
Paul Schoenfield – 4 Parables, performed by the New World Symphony

You can hear the show here:

 

10553576_719635338091452_4262318597060907318_nStarting on October 13, I began hosting a 2-hour radio show on WPRK 91.5 FM in Winter Park, Florida, the basement radio station of Rollins College.The show airs from 2-4PM EST and streams live here. Just click on the Listen Live! button. On November 3, 2014 I began recording the show. The Facebook page for the show is here. You can hear the second half of that show below.

This particular show was a somber one, as it was dedicated to the music of John Joshua Alvarez (1981-2014), a local guitarist and composer.

The playlist for the entire show is:

Meredith Monk – Gotham Lullaby Remix, from Monk Mix: Remixes & Interpretations of Music by Meredith Monk, Vol. 1
David Maslanka – Mother Earth, University of New Hampshire Wind Symphony
David Maslanka – Symphony #2, Illinois State University Wind Symphony
Adam Silverman – Carbon Paper and Nitrogen Ink, Mvt. 1
Maya Beiser – Wish You Were Here, from Uncovered
Gary Barlow – Dying Inside
Heitor Villa Lobos – Etude #7
John Alvarez – Dirty Little Ditty
John Alvarez – Rocking Out With My Butthole Out Blues
John Alvarez – Space Spunk
John Alvarez – In the Beginning
Bob Dylan/Antony and the Johnsons – Knocking at Heaven’s Door

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10649908_10154803100720644_2559681895381466296_n Pianist Ana Cervantes will give the New York premiere of my …like water dashed from flowers…, a piece that borrows elements from the folkloric song La Zandunga and Nahuatl poetry translated into Spanish. The piece is somewhat demanding and includes aspects of ritual and song, where the pianist is asked at times to recite text, sing, play a rattle, stomp her foot (wearing ankle bells), or utilize other extended techniques, often while playing the piano at the same time.

The piece was composed as part of a multi-composer commissioning project and CD recording entitled Song of the Monarch: Women in Mexico. Nearly 20 composers from around the world were commissioned to respond to the theme, which conflates the varied historical roles played by women in Mexican history and the annual autumn migration of Monarch butterflies into Mexico.

Ana premiered the piece at the Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2010.
The details of the current performance are:

Americas Society
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY
November 17, 2014
7:00 p.m.

Admission: FREE for AS Members; $20 for non-members. No additional fees will be charged when purchasing online. $10 student tickets will be available for purchase at the door with ID.

Repertoire

Silvia Berg (Brazil) El sueño … el vuelo (2010)
Joelle Wallach (USA) Lágrimas y locuras, mapping the mind of a madwoman (2011)
Alba Potes (Colombia/US) Desde el aire: seais instantes (2010)
Paul Barker (UK) La Malinche (2010)
Charles B. Griffin (USA) …like water dashed from flowers… (2010)
Horacio Uribe (Mexico) El viaje nocturno de Quetzalpapálotl (2010)
Jack Fortner (USA) Retrato de Malintzin (2010)
Georgina Derbez (Mexico) Un vuelo para Ana (2011)
Anne LeBaron (USA) Creación de las Aves (2011)
Gabriela Ortiz (Mexico) Preludio y Estudio (2011)

 

1080p-cf-vets-orlandoThe Central Florida Composers Forum and Timucua Arts Foundation are pleased to announce a series of concerts to benefit and honor American military veterans. We will present Canines for Veterans, a program of brand new music and poetry on November 9, 10, and 11 in Winter Park, Tampa, and Jacksonville. Proceeds from these concerts will be donated to K9s for Warriors, a Florida-based charity that provides service dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

The concert will feature patriotic standards and new compositions by Florida composers written for the Sovereign Brass and in the case of the performance at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, two new pieces for choir. Premieres will include a new piece by me called Threat Perception as well as works from composers Larry Adams, Stan Cording, Benoit Glazer, Susan Lackman, Keith Lay, Daniel Saylor, Tim Stulman, and Rebekah Todia. Local poets include Alice Friedman, Carlton Johnson, Holly Mandelkern, Jane Peterson, Al Rocheleau, and Ruth Titus.

The concert will be performed three times:
•Nov. 9, 7:30pm
Trinity Preparatory School Auditorium
5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park, FL 32792
Tickets: $20

•Nov. 10, 7:30pm
University of South Florida School of Music Concert Hall
4202 East Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33620
Tickets: $20

•Nov. 11, 7:30pm
Community Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville (Atlantic Beach)
150 Sherry Dr, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
Tickets: $30

The performances are sponsored by the Bryce L. West Foundation, Herschel Lasik, the Timucua Arts Foundation, and Full Sail University.