Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A solo flute recital by Lisa Cella featuring works inspired by technology.

Madelyn Byrne, In a Winter Landscape
Christopher Adler, 010 machine states
Christopher Burns, Knot Theory
Matthew Burtner, Flute Code
Adam Greene, Ripples
Nicolas Tzortzis, Incompatible(s) III-b

7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
French Parlor, Founders Hall
University of San Diego

$10 general
$8 USD faculty, staff, and seniors
$5 students with ID

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's going on...

It's been a busy time, and I've neglected this space even as several interesting events have come and gone. Onward, to the future then! More amazing things are on the horizon:

If you're in New York City on September 28th, you really must head to the Kaufman Music Center and catch this performance by the Da Capo Chamber Players featuring the music of Chinary Ung. It features the premiere of "Singing Inside Aura, for amplified singing violist and chamber ensemble." This is a completely re-composed version of a recent work for viola solo and chamber orchestra.

Southern California/Baja: the Chamber Opera collaboration "Cuatro Corridos," which premiered in San Diego this past spring, will be presented in Tijuana on September 28th. It features Susan Narucki, soprano, Steven Schick, percussion, Aleck Karis, piano, and Pablo Gomez, guitar.

On October 4th, "Cuatro Corridos" will be played in Dallas. See more here.

Boston area friends, please make an effort to attend a portrait concert featuring my friend Curtis Hughes. Concert is September 29th at Boston Conservatory.

Apparently Lisa Cella still hasn't gotten tired of playing my piece "Ripples." Evidence? Well, she's playing October 4th in Milwaukee, as well as November 13th in San Diego, and November 16th in Atlanta. Lisa has recently recorded the piece, and I'm really looking forward to hearing how the work has developed since she's been playing it now for several months.

October 4th is shaping up to be a big night for New Music. The only excuse for not going to a concert that evening is if you happen to be going to bed early because you're running the St. George Marathon the next morning.

That weekend gets a head start at the Kennedy Center, where the National Symphony premieres a new multi-media work by Roger Reynolds based on the writings of George Washington. Performances are on Oct. 3-5. It's quite a remarkable project. Here's some recent press about the work.

This should keep us busy for a few weeks, at least.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Flute Project...

Lisa Cella is coming back to San Diego for a two-day festival of flute music. It looks to be a fascinating overview of contemporary music for flute, both solo and ensemble. The concerts are at the Atheneum in La Jolla, and information about the programs can be found here.

 Of course, I'm particularly excited that Lisa will be playing Ripples, my piece for alto flute. When I wrote it I was interested in (or maybe even obsessed with) the connection between the performer and the instrument, the embouchure in particular. Several performance techniques are chained together, linked according to whether they are played with a closed or open embouchure. The act of moving the flute toward or away from the lips -- a small physical motion -- has dramatic sonic consequences.

The piece assumes a critical distance from the traditional bel canto voice of the flute, delving into the basic connection between the performer's breath and the instrument. When the usual methods of sound production are disrupted or altered the result is fragile and mysterious. The unstable territory that emerges depends upon a sensitive collaboration between the performer and listener.

While Lisa's extraordinary technical skills will serve this piece well, it is her humanity and depth of spirit that will be on display Friday night.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Back to Boston, for the week...

This week is an arctic blast from the past, as I travel to Boston just after the giant snow storm to do some editing, lecturing, and coaching with Chinary Ung, whose new work for viola and orchestra will be premiered by Boston Modern Orchestra this Friday at Jordan Hall. Today at Boston Conservatory we will be giving a joint lecture, along with Chinary's wife, the violist Susan Ung. We will discuss Chinary's work featuring vocalization and how it has led to this new exploration of its potential in an orchestral context.