11.11.19 - A fresh start: new releases and upcoming concerts
-Welcome to the new blog!
-New Commercial Release:"Figments, Vol. 2" - Now Available
-New Recording Available: "Double Portrait"
-Concert Upcoming: February 22, 2020
-Upcoming CD Release: "Aspects of Landscape" - March, 2020
Welcome to inaugural post on my new blog! I recently decided to divest myself of all Facebook/Zuckerberg platforms, specifically because of Facebook's increasingly transparent hostility to LGBT+ persons, and because of the company's refusal to fight political misinformation that will affect our upcoming elections. Their disregard for destabilizing our democracy to benefit their own bottom line, rather than the health and solubility of our electoral process, is unconscionable. So - now all of my updates will be here, on this blog and on my website! I hope this will be one of numerous non-Facebook ways we can stay in touch. If you do not wish to receive these blog updates by email, please inform me and you will be removed from the list.
New Commercial Release Now Available: "Figments, Vol. 2" - an old favorite on a new release
On November 8, 2019, Navona Records released a new compilation of solo and chamber music called "Figments, Vol. 2: Contemporary Solo and Chamber Ensemble Works." This collection of pieces includes one of my most popular pieces: Mar de Lurín, after paintings by Fernando de Szyszlo for oboe and guitar.
Mar de Lurín was composed in 2011, inspired by the gorgeous, sensuous paintings of Peruvian painter Fernando de Szyszlo and has been performed around the United States and several times in Germany; most recently it was performed in February 2019 in Baltimore, MD by oboist/composer Ben Stevenson and guitarist Sean Brennan.
Mar de Lurín was the first piece of mine that Fernando de Szyszlo heard, happening upon it by accident while he and his son Vicente de Szyszlo set up his Apple TV. They searched Fernando's name on YouTube and the premiere performance video at Vanderbilt University appeared. I had actually been trying to reach Fernando in order to get permission to display images of his work alongside recordings of my music inspired by him (I found out later that I had missed a letter in his email address, so my messages went into the void). It was a surprise and delight to receive a message from him and an honor that he appreciated and enjoyed the music so much. In his email on Nov. 20, 2012 to me, Fernando thanked me for "understanding what I search for in painting," one of the highest praises I have received in my artistic career. The correspondence this chance encounter began culminated in a visit to Fernando in Lima in 2015, shortly before he passed a few years later. That trip then inspired the contents of my 2016 Sonata: "Los Dedicatorias" for violin and piano.
There are many different versions of Mar de Lurín; Fernando often worked in a series of paintings using the same title. I hope that the repetition of shapes and gestures, mysterious atmosphere, and vibrant-bordering-on-lurid colors are matched in my duo. Following this link you can listen online through Spotify, find the work on other streaming platforms, or order a physical copy of the CD. To learn more about the piece itself, follow this link to the page for Mar de Lurín.
New Recording Available: Double Portrait, for String Quartet
Composed to celebrate my older sister's engagement, Double Portrait was recorded in September by a fantastic mix of longtime musical partners like Robby Neubauer and Lavena Johanson, as well as first-time collaborators, Eric D'Alessandro, Holly Jenkins, and Chelsea Kim. The piece uses a technique present in numerous works of mine that use the names of people in my life to generation a set of pitches, to be used to created the fabric and material of the piece. In this case, this technique becomes a metaphor, as I used the names of my sister and her fiancé to generate the material, with the piece pairing, contrasting, and intertwining their names/themes over the course of the piece.
Concert Upcoming: February 22, 2020
Mark your calendars and save the date for a concert in Baltimore at 8pm on Saturday, February 22, 2020. Details such as the title and venue are still a little fuzzy, but I would like to extend an invite to a concert that will also celebrate my 30th birthday. The program is a complement to the August concert May She Love: Songs & Opera Celebrating Sappho & Stein, featuring exclusively higher voices. This concert, which will include numerous world premieres, will present my compositions for lower voice parts: several works for TTBB with accompaniment, songs for tenor and piano, and the first performance of my Walt Whitman cantata: The Need of Comrades with its original forces: countertenor, tenor, baritone, and piano.
Upcoming CD Release: "Aspects of Landscape" - March, 2020
I am very excited to announce that we are in the home stretch before the independent release of "Aspects of Landscape: Music inspired by the world of John Hitchens." This CD was conceived as a musical companion to a retrospective show of John Hitchens's paintings taking place in Southampton, England throughout the month of March, 2020. The album compiles my works in dialogue with John's paintings, a creative correspondence and friendship that has continued and strengthened since 2013. You can read more about the history of this project on my Dayton-Hitchens page.
Stay tuned for future updates - thanks for reading!