I couldn't be more excited to have a chance to work with the American Composers' Orchestra for their 2017 Underwood New Music Readings. On Thursday, June 22nd from 10AM to 1PM, you'll get a rare chance to glimpse the orchestral rehearsal process for six brand new works. Then on Friday, June 23rd at 7:30PM you'll be able to hear my piece "Mercury-Redstone 3" at the run-through performance. If you're in New York City, this is about as awesome a free concert opportunity as you'll ever see! You can register (seriously, for free) here for Thursday's rehearsal and here for Friday's run-through performance. See you there!
Luzerne Music Center's second faculty artist concert of the summer will feature my "Celestial Dances," for string quartet. Tickets are available here, and you can find more information about the summer season at LMC's page. The faculty artists are absolutely top-notch -- I'm thrilled to be working with Antonio Rincon, Eliezer Gutman, Laura Manko Sahin, and Jameson Platte!
The annual Curtis composers' orchestra concert lands on April 1st this year -- and I promise this isn't an April Fool's gag! If you can make it to Philly, come hear my latest orchestral work premiered by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra alongside five other world premieres. It's a free concert, and a great one! This year's program may also be livestreamed, so stay tuned for further details.
"Homunculus," commissioned by OneBook Philadelphia and Neil Rao, will be performed on Neil's graduation recital on March 20th. We had a couple nice radio spots about this piece -- feel free to check them out on WRTI and WHYY. It's really quite a spectacle to see Neil perform this work, so if you're free, you should totally come watch.
My choral work "How to Praise" will be featured on a compline service here in Philadelphia on 2/19. My fantastic colleague Emily Cooley will also have a new work performed, so please join us if you are free for an evening of reflection and new music.
The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble will be performing my "27 Morningside," for piano trio, on 2/19. Come on by if you're in the area!
My piece for three flutes, "Sparkplug," will be programmed by SMU's Syzygy ensemble on 1/28. The concert is themed around postminimalism, and this piece of mine certainly fits the bill. Check it out if you're in the area!
On January 25th, my new piece "Homunculus," for solo percussion, will be premiered by friend/composer/percussionist extraordinaire Neil Rao. This work was commissioned for the 15th anniversary of the Free Library of Philadeliphia's One Book, One City event, and the music is related to my experience of reading Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The event also features interviews with several fascinating authors, and it's free and unticketed! I'd love to see you there.
My work for tenor and piano "Reconciliation," based on Walt Whitman's poem of the same title, premieres at a Crescendo Club concert this fall. Drinks will be available beforehand, so it's sure to be a fun evening!
Gossamer takes inspiration from Walt Whitman's A Noiseless Patient Spider, sonically exploring Whitman's vivid imagery.
The Y's Men of Westport and Weston invites community leaders to speak to families about a range of topics; previous speakers have included several CEOs, local congressional representatives, authors, and scholars. In 2011, I presented to the group about the relevance of contemporary classical music and offered them some strategies for approaching it as listeners. I also talked a little bit about my personal journey into the world of classical music. They've asked that I give a follow-up talk this May, speaking about my time at Oxford, the state of affairs in contemporary classical music, and the professional paths available to a young musician crazy enough to try to make a living as a composer.
The New Music New Haven concert on April 2nd was my last during my time at Yale. That sure flew by! My odyssey for bass clarinet and Hammond organ, "My Broken Arcs, Sufficient," was set to premiere that evening.
At the end of October I was invited to speak at Westport, CT's town hall about the intersection of music and technology, especially vis-a-vis my work with the Oxford Laptop Orchestra. There's a stream archived here if you want to check it out--my talk starts at the 52:16 mark.
In 2013, clarinetist and professor Wesley Ferreira commissioned a piece from me for clarinet and piano. Now, one year later, it's available as the title track on his debut solo album--check out the amazing promotional material he's produced here, including a one minute excerpt from my piece. Wesley premiered Madison Avenue at ClarinetFest 2014, and the score and parts are now available for purchase through Potenza Music.
Commissioned by the soundSCAPE festival in conjunction with the 2013 soundSCAPE Composition Prize, Donny Hathaway was premiered this summer by soprano Tony Arnold and the instrumental faculty of the soundSCAPE festival: Aiyun Huang, Thomas Rozenkrantz, Felix Fan, Lisa Cella, and guitarist Josh Hubert (playing on behalf of faculty member Matt Gould). The work features a text by the incomparable Christian Campbell and deals with the tragic death of the legendary soul singer Donny Hathaway.
This spring, Scholastic released its film version of Jon Klassen's Caldecott Medal-winning children's book, This is Not My Hat, complete with an original score I composed. It's a really fun little story, and the Scholastic release has generated some nice buzz; the audiobook won an "Earphones Award" from Audiofile Magazine and earned a spot on their list of the best audiobooks of 2014. Check out their review here, complete with a two minute excerpt of the narration and music.
The Oxford Laptop Orchestra, which I co-founded, got off to a fast start with successful concerts at Oxford's Jaqueline du Pré Music Building and its historic Holywell Music Room. At our inaugural concert, I performed a piece I composed and coded--it's called Electric Fuzz--and there's a video of that performance you can watch online.
After our first concerts, local press and committed members helped generate buzz about our exciting new LOrkestra (here's an entertaining interview I did with colleague Dan Jeffries for that purpose on BBC Radio Oxford). On August 5th, 2013, OxLOrk made its London debut at the Barbican Centre as a featured ensemble on the fascinating "Hack the Barbican" series.
One of the more surreal things about living in Oxford was the incredible level of choral singing going on there--the choirs at the three choral colleges, New College, Magdalen College, and Christ Church, are among the very best in the world. I had the good fortune of being able to write an adventurous piece for Edward Higginbottom and the New College Choir, which they gamely sang at an evensong on 6/16/12. Afterwards, Professor Higginbottom recommended the university interview me for a video series called "Oxford in Voice," and in their psychology of music episode, they use audio from the piece I wrote for the New College Choir--if you listen closely at 3:30 mark, you'll hear it.
One year later, after my second year at Oxford, I was commissioned by the Rhodes Trust to write an anthem for their 110th anniversary service. The piece, entitled How to Praise, launched my collaboration with the fantastic poet Christian Campbell--an artistic relationship that has now also yielded another work for the voice, Donny Hathaway.
In 2012 and 2013, I was fortunate enough to work with dancer and choreographer extraordinaire Pilar Castro Kiltz, founder of Ensemble Dance. Our collaboration started when Ensemble Dance choreographed Tachyon (for solo piano) for three dancers at Greenspace's Fertile Ground Series in New York City on 4/29/12. New choreography and revisited music yielded The Brighter Layer in 2013, which was performed both in New York City at DanceNOW RAW on 4/6/13 and in Brooklyn at the Gowanus Ballroom on 4/20/13.