Monday, June 18, 2012

New news

Hello friends!

Summer 2012 is upon us.  This past year has been incredibly busy, and the next appears to be picking up steam as we speak.

I am now ABD at the University of Iowa.  I passed my comps this past April and passed my classed this past May, making it all official.  I am writing my dissertation for the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, thanks to the kindness of Dr William LaRue Jones.  I have also been researching Gerard Grisey's magnum opus Les Espaces Acoustiques, and plan on providing a complete analysis.

I will be traveling to Italy this summer!  I was one of 7 composers selected to participate in the La Pietra Forum for New Music in Florence.  I am writing Solar Corona for viola and cello, to premiered and recorded by the inimitable ECCE ensemble.  I am especially excited to get to work with the faculty, who include Georg Friedrich Haas, Louis Karchin, John Aylward, and Dominique Schafer.

Melos Music is currently in the planning stages of the 2012 annual concert.  This year we will be in Philadelphia, and we are currently making our plans with Ensemble39.  A big update regarding this concert is that Melos has been sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit that specializes in sponsoring arts organizations.  What this means for you, dear reader, is that donations to Melos will be tax deductible.  Keep an eye out, as our fundraising campaign is set to kick off soon.

Appointments abound in Iowa:
  • I am going to be the resident assistant for the Center for New Music this year, and I am very much looking forward to working with this ensemble.  It is one of the oldest standing new music ensembles in the country (46 seasons) and is one of the premier new music ensembles in the region.
  • I am the president of the University of Iowa Society for Composers Inc chapter.  In addition to our annual call for scores, we have some great activities in the works, including the formation of the Hawkeye Contemporary Ensemble.  This ensemble will provide the opportunity to have student works performed in addition to masterworks of the mid 20th century to the present.  Concert dates and programs will be announced after the beginning of the academic year, in late August/early September.
  • Zach Zubow, Shane Hoose, and myself have been working tirelessly on the Musical Instrument Samples for some time now.  This is a database of instrument samples recorded in the anechoic chamber at the university.  All the samples are free, and are an especially great resource for anyone interested in researching timbre.  The strings are almost complete and will be posted soon.
Iowa hosted the Exchange of Midwestern Collegiate Composers this past April, welcoming UC Boulder and UMKC to our home for some rigorous concerts.  Marjorie Shearer, clarinetist extraordinaire, was kind enough to write a review of the first night's concert here.  She was kind enough to mention Shooting Snowburst Silhouette Spectacular, a vocal piece I wrote for the Melos concert in San Francisco last August.  You can listen to the recording here.  This year's EMCC will take place in Boulder, CO in late February.  We're driving.

Plenty of excitement planned for this fall, including the Midwest Composer's Symposium at the University of Iowa (with University of Indiana, Michigan, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music) this November and a weeklong residency by the JACK Quartet this October.  Until then, I leave you with my two new favorite pictures of my daughter and me.

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