Blog Entry

When Great Trees Fall premiered by Lyric Arts Trio in Kansas City on November 6. Second performance on January 22, 2017

14876537_1273510336042823_6590440184146777453_oOn Sunday, November 6 at 2:00pm, the Visitation music ministry hosts the Lyric Arts Trio in a special concert, Of Love and Remembrance. This program is especially appropriate for All Souls Day with selections that bring to mind happy memories of the past that bring a measure of comfort and peace to those left behind. Program of Mahler, R. Strauss, KC composers Ian David Coleman and Jean Belmont Ford and a world premiere of my “When Great Trees Fall”, commissioned by Lyric Arts Trio in honor of soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson’s father’s memory. A second performance takes place on January 22 at 3pm at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, Kansas.

Between Islands premiered by Mark Sunderland at Orlando White House October 2

14492412_651075281721956_1210956791754853384_n“Form, Structure and Interactions” will be performed at the Timucua White House on Sunday, October 2, 2016 with free admission (donations accepted, refreshments encouraged). Trumpet player, Mark Sunderland, will perform six works by Central Florida Composers Thad Anderson, Charlie Griffin, Chan Ji Kim and Steve Kornicki. In addition, Mark will perform Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Aries from “Sirius.”

Mark Sunderland is a highly skilled, multi-instrumentalist with a true passion and gift for playing the trumpet. Equally at home with classical trumpet and jazz improvisation, his ability to create memorable phrasings and craft intricate, high- energy, improvisational solos is remarkable. Sunderland studied music education at Stetson University from 2002-2006 and worked as a public school music teacher from 2007-2010. He is music director at Calvary Chapel in Melbourne, FL.

Thad Anderson’s kaleidoscopic Re-Cite is from his series called Lines. It is a solo work intended for any single line instrument. The piece utilizes live processing and draws inspiration and structure from a 1951 minimalist painting by Ellsworth Kelly titled Cité. Sunderland will perform this piece on trumpet.

Charlie Griffin’s Between Islands – for trumpet and electronic score is an expression of the experience of separation from loved ones long gone. According to Griffin, “The experience of losing a truly loved person is profoundly sad at the beginning and for a long time. But the quality of that loss gradually transforms. It becomes part of who we are. And with that realization comes a sense of serenity because the people we loved and lost are clearly residing within us.”

Chan Ji Kim’s colorful and evocative work for trumpet and fixed media is entitled Go-sa-mok which means a withered elm tree in Korean. “The audio samples recorded for the piece included sounds of nature around Haeiknsa Temple in Korea, where I found this withered elm tree, a UNESCO World Heritage site,” says Kim.

There will be three works by Steve Kornicki: Instructions for Harmonic Permutations in Temporal Placements combines a collage of electronically altered trumpet sounds (recorded by Sunderland) with the solo trumpet; A Fanfare of Displaced Tones in Pulsing Groups of Sevens is an ensemble work for trumpet and pre-recorded instruments (three trumpets and flugelhorn by Sunderland and two Fender bass guitars by Kornicki); and Mixed Signals (Video Symphony) is a 15-minute audio-visual exploration in the deconstruction of sampled orchestral sounds and improvisational interaction with Sunderland on trumpet/flugelhorn and the composer on piano. This work will be accompanied by Kornicki’s video art created by filming images on an analog TV screen through textured and stained glass.

Karlheinz Stockhausen, one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music is known for his groundbreaking work in electronic music, aleatory (controlled chance) in serial composition, and musical spatialization. Sunderland will perform his Aries, a 15-minute tour de force for trumpet and electronic music from his extended work, “Sirius,” which has been described as “a modern mystery play, clothed as a science fiction story.” While not described by the composer as
an opera, it is nevertheless a musical drama, in which four emissaries from a planet orbiting the star Sirius bring a message to earth.

Panta Rei performed by Hippocrene Saxophone Ensemble February 15 and March 1

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The Hippocrene Saxophone Ensemble will perform new music by Central Florida Composers Forum members and others at the Gallery at Avalon Island (37 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida) at 7:00PM. The concert includes a performance of my Panta Rei for saxophone quartet, originally premiered by the Amherst Saxophone Quartet. The Hippocrene Saxophone Ensemble will reprise the concert on March 1 at 8PM in the UCF Rehearsal Hall.

The entire program is:

– David MacDonald: *Linear Geometry*
– William Albright: *Doo-Dah*
– Steven Danyew: Saxophone Quartet No. 2: *Chant*
– Charles B. Griffin: *Panta Rei*
– Benoit Glazer: *Petite Fete de Sax*
– Daniel Saylor: *Waves to Oceans (Organic Suite Composition #1)*
– David MacDonald: *Ungroup*

Zero Crossings – October 19, 2015, Interviews with Full Sail Students & Composers Gabriel Kahane and Mark Piszczek

Today’s show featured a presentation by four young composers in Full Sail University’s MPBS program (Bachelor of Science in Music Production) on songs they care about and chose to analyze. The composers and their songs were: Claudio Matta discussing Damien Rice’s “I Don’t Want to Change You,” Vincent Indiano and P.O.D.’s “If it wasn’t for You,” Jerrell Vargas and Evan Craft’s “Quiero Decirte,” and James Tyler presenting Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World.” My interviews with them and their presentations were recorded, but there was an issue with one of the microphones. I’m going to try to clean it up, so check back for audio from the first hour.
kahaneIn the second hour I interviewed over the telephone Gabriel Kahane, whose new work for string orchestra called “Freight and Salvage” will premiere this weekend at the Bob Carr Theater, as their new Music Director Eric Jacobsen leads the Orlando Philharmonic in a program that also includes Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe: Suite No. 2. Van Cliburn silver medalist Joyce Yang will be the pianist for the concerts which take place on October 24 at 8PM and Sunday at 2PM.
Mark-Piszczek-Composer-1024x585Local composer Mark Piszczek joined me in the studio to discuss his own premiere this weekend by the Brevard Symphony, led by Christopher Confessore of a new piece called Songs from the Gulf of Sorrows. The performance will take at King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, Florida. Mark also discussed his plans for the creation and opening of a new performance venue in Orlando, Blue Bamboo Music.

      Zero Crossings – October 19, 2015, featuring
interviews with Gabriel Kahane and Mark Piszczek

Murmuring in Comala to be performed at 43rd annual Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico by pianist Ana Cervantes, October 15, 2015

980-anacervantespianoOn October 15 at 5PM in the Salón del Consejo Universitario in the principal building of the University of Guanajuato, pianist Ana Cervantes will perform a program titled Exposición/ReExposición (in English, Exposition/Recapitulation): a kind of retrospective consisting of pieces she’s interpreted over the course of her 15 years studying, working and living in Mexico. This program is a Recapitulation –necessarily brief— of some of the music which she has commissioned or premiered, including music of Georgina Derbez, Gabriela Ortiz, Jack Fortner, Alex Shapiro, Mario Lavista, Stephen McNeff, and Tomás Marco, among others. My contribution to the program will be a solo piano work entitled Murmuring in Comala, originally commissioned by Ana as part of a multi-composer project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Pedro Paramo, an important proto-magical-realist novel by Mexican author Juan Rulfo. She premiered at the 34th Festival Internacional Cervantino in October 2006 and subsequestly recorded the work on compact disc.

Rulfo’s striking sonic palette (groaning wheels, rattling windows, falling rain and murmuring ghosts), echoes the complex narrative unfolding, where we rarely know whose voice we are hearing initially. Just as sounds imply someone making them, we recognize the voices peripherally, like registering a ghost image. We discover whose voice it was rather than whose voice it is. We must resist the temptation to steamroll through these difficult passages because these veiled voices are so crucial to our understanding. Equally striking is the novel’s non-linear conception of time. It flowers slowly in multiple directions. This is a lovely analog to music, which is surprisingly multidirectional: we listen ahead and backward simultaneously, constantly reinterpreting each new musical gesture by placing it in its previous context and anticipating its direction.

The White House Overture receives local premiere at the Global Peace Film Festival, October 1 & 3

GPFFThe new documentary film about one of the most unique venues in Orlando will receive its local premiere screening at the Global Peace Film Festival on October 1 and 3 in Orlando.

Benoit Glazer and his wife built a concert hall in their Orlando home to share unique experiences of music and art with everyone. Montréal-born Benoit Glazer has been making music professionally since 1981. He is a trumpet player, arranger and a conductor for Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba in Orlando, Florida. His love for music runs deep, so deep, in 2007 he and his wife built a concert hall in their house. Just about every Sunday night strangers (who become friends) gather in their living room to share a unique experience of music and art. Admission is a dish, snacks or a bottle of wine. They’ve hosted over 400 concerts, musicians from 24 countries along with 300 artists. The Timucua white house is quickly becoming a cultural icon in Orlando.

Director, Screenwriter, Cinematographer and Editor Steve Radley graduated in communications from the University of Wisconsin. He has produced and directed short video web vignettes for various companies.

The documentary opens and closes with excerpts from my string quartet, Set Fire to Have Light, which was performed at the White House during the time the documentary was being filmed in May 2013.
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3 Meditations for Women’s Chorus included on Penisula Women’s Chorus new CD “Mostly Made in America”

chorus_informal_300dpiThe California-based Peninsula Women’s Chorus recently released Mostly Made in America (2015), a CD that includes my 3 Meditations for Women’s Chorus. The CD release comes on the heels of a concert tour that ended in Argentina. This CD is an homage to the musical heritage of America, giving voice to celebration, uncertainty, the spirit of struggle, as well as the tranquility and familiarity of the sounds of home. PrintFeatured on the CD are some the PWC’s signature and most intimate performances, including the heart-wrenching “Let Evening Come,” the battling interludes of “Thou Famished Grave,” the intricate and exuberant “Venite Exultemus Domino” and the well-loved Songs of Night, commissioned to celebrate Artistic Director Martín Benvenuto’s tenth anniversary with the PWC in 2013.

Shards I performed by Nicholas Horvath as part of Glassworlds in Orlando, September 6

horvathTen hours of piano music will be performed non-stop by Nicolas Horvath at the Timucua White House on September 6, 2015 starting at noon. Glassworlds will be an epic exploration into 21st century avant-garde music featuring the music of Philip Glass plus homages by American composers to the minimalist master. The audience is invited to immerse themselves in this sonic environment and can come and go quietly as they wish during the performance. Donations and refreshments will be welcomed at the door.
During this performance, Horvath will feature works by me and Central Florida composers Thad Anderson and Steve Kornicki. My contribution was a yet-to-be-completed set of solo piano pieces that take as a motive Steve Reich’s minimalist classic, Piano Phase as a source for variations inspired by Philip Glass and run through my own compositional filter. Anderson is Assistant Professor of Music at UCF, Kornicki has composed media production music heard around the world as well as contemporary classical with a recent performance by the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, and Griffin hosts the radio program “Zero Crossings” at Rollins College WPRK.
Horvath will begin with the entire Philip Glass piano repertoire then take the audience through the Glass homages by renowned local and US composers, each visited one-by-one, like sound objects in a vast music ocean. Every composition has been written specially and exclusively for Horvath’s virtuosic expertise. The eclectic mix varies from up-and-coming composers born in the 90s to more seasoned composers, from post-minimal to post-complexity styles and a multitude of other avant-garde influences –Glassworlds offers something enjoyable for everyone.
“With incredible stamina and concentration (and with fleeting aid of eye drops every few hours and maybe a sip of red bull), Horvath undertakes the entirety of this repertoire from start to finish without a single break, playing for up to 10 hours. Echoing the informal New York School approach, the audience is free to get up, move around, lie down on a pillow and blanket and even have a quiet snack or a bar visit. Whether audience members come from beginning to end, leave for a bit and return or only stay for a few hours; being able to listen to this gargantuan musical process is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be fully taken advantage of! Don’t let it be missed!” ~ Nikolaii Westgarth
Besides the three local composers, there will be works by American Composers Kyle Gann, Paul A. Epstein, Carson P. Cooman, Alvin Curran, Michael Jon Fink, Jim Fox, Eric Moe, Gary Powel Nash, William Susman, Michael Vincent Waller, Bil Smith, and more.

Zero Crossings – August 3, 2015, Featuring an interview with Stephen Sieffert

stevesiefertToday’s show featured an interview with dulcimer player Stephen Siefert. Siefert was in town from Nashville to perform with the Orlando Philharmonic for their concert featuring music of the Americas. Led by Duo Sole (Mauricio Céspedes Rivero and Alexander Stevens), this concert featured music from Canada, North America, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Featured composers include Connie Ellisor, Ennio Morricone, Astor Piazzolla, Alberto Ginastera, and a world premiere by Benoit Glazer. Featuring Mauricio Cespedes Rivero on viola and guitar, Alexander Stevens on violin and Stephen Seifert, dulcimer.

The music aired during the program included:
Stephen Siefert – Black Mountain Rag, from Delcimore Revisited
Stephen Siefert – Twilight Eyes, from Delcimore Revisited
Connie Ellisor – Blackberry Winter Movement 1, performed by Stephen Siefert and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra
Stephen Siefert – Mode for Dulcimer, from Key West Dulcimer Fest
Benoit Glazer – Chance’s Main Theme, from 7 Lives of Chance (Soundtrack) (Timucua Records)
Alberto Ginastera – Danzas Argentinas, performed by Michiko Tsuda
Alberto Ginastera – String Quartet No. 1, performed by Enso Quartet
Alberto Ginastera – Concerto for Harp and Orchestra
Ennio Morricone – The Mission: Gabriel’s Oboe

Listen to the show here:

      Zero Crossings – August 3, 2015, featuring an interview with Stephen Siefert

Zero Crossings – July 27, 2015, Featuring an interview with Dosia McKay

dosia31Today’s show featured an interview with North Carolina based composer Dosia Mckay.

The music aired during the program included:
Dosia McKay – Is Now Not Enough?, from Glossolalia (2014)
Dosia McKay – Three Monologues, from Glossolalia (2014)
Dosia McKay – Endless Immersion (Excerpt), from Endless Immersion 1 & 2 (Gavia Music)
Dosia McKay – Labyrinth, from Lacrimosa

Listen to the show here:

      Zero Crossings – July 27, 2015, featuring an interview with Dosia McKay