Sunday, October 26, 2008

Update of the epoch

Alright, it's been entirely too long, I guess.

I've been busy, though. I've been putting my time to (mostly) good use. Pianist Carol Minor and I just gave two full recitals, one in Glens Falls, NY and the other in Boston, MA. Next up for us is London, where we'll play two pieces in London's Regent Hall for a New Music Conference in early November. I'll try to post the proper details shortly. I don't have them at hand at the moment and I'm just a little too lazy to hunt them down right now.

Otherwise, I'm doing some other work for a local symphony, some for a symphony back in Boston, and have started my coursework for my PhD. A couple more years and I'll be licensed to operate on folks. Simultaneously, I'm teaching some clarinet at my new school and conducting some rehearsals. All in all, they're keeping me awfully busy from early morning until late at night.

Oh, and I'm still playing with my orchestra in upstate NY.

But I must talk about two commissions: one that just passed and another that's in the oven.

Yumi Hara Cawkwell wrote a piece for Carol Minor and me entitled "Six Flowers" that we've now performed 2 times in concert and once for a school outreach program. We were pleased to have Yumi fly over from London for the World Premiere in Glens Falls. The piece is not the easiest thing in the world, with plenty of holes to step in if I'm not constantly subdividing. I'm sure that Frank B. would be nodding his head saying "You should never stop subdividing," were he to read that. The piece certainly shows some of Yumi's background as a DJ and her love of drum and bass music. The audience in Glens Falls went wild for it. They connected immediately with the music and apparently were very enthusiastic about Yumi as well. We'll be giving the London Premiere in a few weeks. Again, more on that later, I'm sure.

The next piece is a solo piece by Panamanian composer Emiliano Pardo-Tristan. I have heard a CD of his music and was instantly taken with his use of Folk Music and 20th century devices to create his own style. It was harder to find music I didn't want to hear again on that cd than to find pieces I thought were wonderful. I was able to meet with the composer yesterday morning to go over some sketches for the piece. It turned out that he had most of it already written. We will be working on trying to clarify some of the notation for future performers. I'm sure though, that he will make some changes along the way. I'm already happy at the process. It seems like we'll have an excellent piece when he's done. I'll make sure to post when I know what the Premiere date will be.

Alright...Sleep beckons. I spent all day taking care of errands and sitting on my butt for a day off. Tomorrow, back to work. I think it's time I learned this Elliott Carter piece.

Since I don't have any new pics yet from the most recent concerts, here's one of me slapping around a bass clarinet last Spring. Yes, I'm using my foot instead of a peg. I'm practical like that.


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